Nestled in South D’Aguilar National Park, the lesser-known Mermaid Mountain is equally rewarding as it is challenging, offering spectacular views of Lake Manchester and beyond. 

 

We acknowledge that this adventure is located on Yuggera and Waka Waka Nation, the traditional Country of the Yuggera and Waka Waka people who have occupied and cared for this land and water for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Highlights

  • Epic mountain and lake views
  • Flora spotting
  • Trekking a less-crowded trail

Where’s Mermaid Mountain anyway?

This 12.9km loop trail is around an hour’s drive west of Brisbane, perfect for those who prefer tracks without the traffic but don’t want to spend hours driving to a hiking spot just to enjoy the calming sounds of the forest.

Read more: 21 Best Outdoor Adventures Near Brisbane (And Where To Stay!)

 

 

The first thing to know about Mermaid Mountain is that you need GPS navigation for the entire walk. There are no markers or coloured ribbons in the trees and the track breaks off in different directions quite frequently. We used AllTrails the whole time, making sure to follow the map and check where we were going, the whole time thinking, ‘Geez it’d be easy to get lost out here without AllTrails…’.

Read more: How To Hike Off-Track

But don’t let that put you off. Mermaid Mountain is a spectacular walk and totally worth it, taking you through lush eucalypt woodland full of beautiful flora. We even managed to spot some nodding greenhood orchids hiding alongside trees near the gullies.

Wearing shoes with good grip is a must, as the fire trail leading to the summit is incredibly steep, with loose rocks and gravel that are easy to slip on. Once you reach the top of the hill, the trail reaches an intersection where you have to veer off to the left, walking around 100m down and up to the summit lookout.

Mermaid Mountain’s summit boasts epic views of Lake Manchester all the way out to Main Range. 

 

 

We stopped at the lookout for lunch and walked back to complete the loop, which leads down a gully and back to the car park.

Being a hard-to-navigate trail, we recommend starting the Mermaid Mountain trek before 12pm (when it’s not daylight savings, that is) so that you aren’t hiking in the dark.

We mostly had this hike to ourselves. And for a weekend, especially in the Brisbane area, it was a great feeling!

Essential Gear

  • AllTrails or equivalent GPS navigation app
  • Hat
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Lunch

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

How To Get There

From Mt Crosby Rd, turn right onto Lake Manchester Rd. The trail head can be seen from the car park, but to make sure you don’t miss it, link the GPS coordinates from AllTrails to Apple Maps or Google Maps, and it’ll lead you to the exact location of the car park and onto your journey.

Skill Level

Advanced

Mermaid Mountain is classed as advanced due to its hard-to-navigate trail and the extremely steep hill just before the summit.

Distance / Duration

12.9km / Around 4.5 hours, including stopping for lunch