Calling all South East Queensland explorers! If you love to hike, then you’re going to love Lisa Owen’s list of her favourite hiking trails no more than three hours drive from Brisbane.
There are so many awesome intermediate hikes near Brisbane. These are great trails for hikers with a little experience who are keen to get some distance on their legs or give mountains a go – and you’re going to see some spectacular views, rainforest and waterfalls to boot.
1. Warrie Circuit // Springbrook National Park
Springbrook National Park should be high on the list for any nature and waterfall addicts out there. It’s only a 90 minute drive out to Springbrook from Brisbane and there’s some great waterfall walks you can do to satisfy your outdoor cravings.
My personal favourite is the Warrie Circuit – a 17km circuit starting from Tallanbanna Picnic Area. The circuit passes up to 10 waterfalls including Twin Falls, Rainbow Falls and Blackfellow Falls. There are also some spectacular creek crossings, including the Meeting of the Waters.
This is a whole day walk and will take about 6-8 hours depending on your fitness (and the number of photo stops; there will be a lot!) It’s a particularly great hike to do after heavy rain when the waterfalls are cranking. The good news is that due to the distance of this trail, you’ll probably only see one or two people on your hike, so you get all the spectacular waterfalls to yourself!
If you are a fit and very experienced hiker, you can also add the off track bush bash to Springbrook Pinnacle. The hike to the Pinnacle is an offshoot from Warrie Circuit and is about a 30 minute trek each way through thick rainforest.
2. Coomera Circuit // Lamington National Park
If you haven’t already noticed, I love to chase waterfalls and the Coomera Circuit is another of my favourite places to do it.
The Coomera Circuit is located in the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park and is a 17.4km return hike. The trail passes Coomera Falls, and a lookout into the 160 metre Coomera Gorge, before traversing pretty creek crossings and several waterfalls.
The Coomera Circuit starts and ends on the Border Track and will take about 5-6 hours return.
3. The Pyramid, Sphinx and Turtle Rocks // Girraween National Park
With its granite boulder strewn landscape, Girraween National Park is a unique place to explore. Seeing as you made the effort with a three hour drive to reach the park, why stop at just one hike? Why not tackle two?
The best hike is up to The Pyramid for an epic view. You’ll need some rock scrambling skills to reach the top of The Pyramid. The return hike is 3.6km return. Then you can tackle the hike up to the Sphinx and Turtle Rock. This hike is 7.4km return and will take you about three hours.
4. Mt Beerwah // Glass House Mountains National Park
More of a rock scramble than a hike, the 556m Mt Beerwah is a bang for your buck mountain for outdoor lovers. Don’t be fooled by its height, Mt Beerwah is a tough climb and shouldn’t be attempted in the wet.
After about a 45 minute rock scramble – you hit a ledge with the peak of Mt Beerwah soaring straight up above your head. Then it’s a winding, steep path up to the summit. All the hard work is worth it when you reach the summit and get 360 degree views over the other Glasshouse peaks, the pine plantations, Mt Pomona and over the D’Aguilar Range.
Be careful on the way down the mountain as it’s just as hard as the ascent. Best to take a mate along for this one – the hike will take about three hours return and you must have a good head for heights!
If you’re looking for something a little easier to start with, head over to Mt Tibrogargan first.
5. Flinders Peak // Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate
The hike up to Flinders Peak will get your heart pumping! The first part is steep and then about halfway up you’ll start doing some rock hopping along the ridgeline.
You’ll need some basic navigational skills for this hike as you’ll need to be able to follow foot padding and triangle markers at the rocky sections.
There’s also some short rock scrambles as you near the top, and then you get a good view from Little Flinders, and then the actual peak about 15-20 minutes further along a rocky and uphill trail.
From the carpark, the hike is 9km return and will take about four hours.
Make sure you tell someone where you’re going and what time you expect to be back. We highly recommend bringing a hiking buddy along with you.
If you want to make a weekend out of this list of intermediate hikes near Brisbane, camping is also possible at some national parks including parts of Girraween National Park and Lamington National Park. Head to the Queensland National Parks website for more information.
- Insect repellent
- A first aid kit
- Shoes with grip for any slippery trails or rocks