Nature’s Slip n’ Slide // Wilson’s Peak (QLD)

Wilson's Peak Cliffside

Welcome to nature’s slip n’ slide. Get ready to slide down the slopes of Wilson’s Peak – and that’s just when you’re going up!


Highlights

  • Good chance of having the summit to yourself
  • Mountain views including Mt Lindesay and Mt Superbus
  • Beautiful rainforest walk that will test your mountain legs
  • Straddle the Queensland/New South Wales border

The Lowdown

At 1230 metres high, Wilson’s Peak towers above the border fence, and makes this one strenuous hike. It’s leg day because it’s up, up, up to the summit with very little reprieve all the way.

Starting on a maintenance trail with undulating hills, the Wilson’s Peak trail goes alongside the rabbit proof fence straddling the Queensland/New South Wales border in Main Range National Park. The trail takes you through the foothills of Wilson’s Peak before you start the climb. The trail is easy to follow to the rocky base of the summit, you simply keep the fence to your left as you climb.

As the mountain squad of myself, Sabrina, Dale and Shannon ascended, we left the Australian bush landscape behind and entered into bright green rainforest that is a moss lover’s dream, with the green stuff draped over trees, and giving the landscape a mystical quality.

It was a tough plod up the mountain sides, my calves were crying and my hands and knees quickly became covered in mud as I tried to keep upright.

Just when you think the hike to Wilson’s Peak couldn’t possibly get steeper, it does.

As we got closer to the peak and the rainforest became denser, the trail because more slick with dew and leaf litter. I was using the fence to help keep me on my feet, and gripping onto tree roots to help gain some traction.

There were a couple of times when I took a step, couldn’t get traction and my whole body slid a couple of metres down the slippery slopes.

Once you reach a rocky outcrop (and the end of those steep hills), follow the footpad around the other side and you’ll find a yellow tape marker tied to a tree on your left to mark the point where you ascend to the summit. Then keep following the markers and the footpad and you’ll reach the summit in about five minutes.

Summit Time

We had the summit all to ourselves, watching the clouds swirl around the mountaintops, momentarily revealing the top of Mt Superbus and other Scenic Rim mountains.

On the way down, you’ll spot the distinctive peak of Mt Lindesay on the horizon. It’s a knee killer on the descent as you continue the slip and slide back the way you came. This is a quiet trail and we only saw one other person on the mountain that day.

Word of Warning

Do not attempt this mountain if it’s raining or been raining recently. It’s extremely steep and slippery in places even when it hasn’t rained so it will be a difficult feat trying to make it up in wet conditions.

If you’re looking for some more adventure on Wilson’s Peak, drive around to the Head Road side. Track down Wilson’s Creek, rockhop down the mostly dry creek bed and you’ll come to the base of Kinnane’s Falls and a little waterhole.

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Mud sliding
  • Photography
  • Swimming

Essential Gear

  • Long pants (in preparation for your slip and slide)
  • Gloves (to hold onto the fence)
  • At least 3L of water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Wet weather gear (weather can change quickly in Main Range)
  • Jumper (it can get really cold at the summit)

How To Get There

It’s about a two-hour drive from Brisbane to this section of the Main Range National Park. From Brisbane, head down Ipswich Road and get onto the Cunningham Highway. Exit onto the Ipswich-Boonah Road, and follow the signs to Boonah. Once in Boonah, take the Boonah-Rathdowney Road at a large roundabout. Follow this for about 10 minutes, then turn right onto Carney’s Creek Road, and follow this road down almost to its end. It turns to gravel shortly after The Head Road turnoff but is suitable for 2WDs.

When you’re about 1km from the border gate, you’ll see a No Through Road sign to your right and a little parking area. Park here and then head up the hill, keeping the fence on your left. You’ll pass through three gates along a maintenance trail before you start the ascent up through the rainforest.

Skill Level

Intermediate. Easy to navigate along the rabbit proof fence, but it’s a tough, remote trail and there’s some rock scrambling involved. Only fit, experienced hikers should attempt this hike.

Distance / Elevation / Duration

12 kilometres / 1230 metres / About 5 hours return. If you plan to rockhop down Wilson’s Creek from Head Road, add another hour.


Want more Queensland Microadventures…?

ADVENTURE UP NEGLECTED MOUNTAIN (QLD)

A FIRST TIMER’S GUIDE TO MOUNT BARNEY (QLD)

SNEAKY SIDE TRIP TO THE SPRINGBROOK PINNACLE (QLD)

DOUBLE TROUBLE // MT. MAY AND UPPER PORTALS (QLD)

MT. MATHIESON // MAIN RANGE NATIONAL PARK (QLD)