The Steamers are rock formations found in a rugged remote area of Main Range National Park. They are so named due to their magnificent stature that resembles the shape of a steam boat. The high protruding peaks are named the Stern, Mast, Funnel and Prow and project above deep valleys on both sides. Here’s Dan’s guide to an amazing vantage point located on the Stern.
- Good old Aussie bushbashing
- Jaw-dropping rock formations
- Heaps of birdlife
- Challenging navigation
I spent most of 2015 absolutely fascinated by The Steamers and to this day I have re-visited the area, part of the Main Range National Park, half a dozen times. Still, the terrain, the sound of local bellbird colonies and, of course, the Stern lookout never cease to amaze me. I have guided a couple of friends to this lookout and while they admit the terrain is testing and at times unforgiving they gasped in awe when they finally arrived at the lookout. I always aim to be in front of them on their final approach to the lookout and watch their eyes beam as the Mast fills their view.
I have been undecided whether to share this trail on the internet as it was quite an experience finding the lookout from a topographical map. I have provided directions that will take you to the base of the Prow but if you wish to be proper tested then finding your own way up is what I recommend. Also you’ll be able to enjoy some small caves along the way (perfect for snack and water breaks).
The Steamers are a perfect challenge for hikers with experience and who wish to be tested physically and navigationally. For your efforts I can guarantee you will be rewarded with what I so often refer to as “the best view in South East Queensland”.
- Minimum 5L water in Winter and 8L in Summer
- Food for up to 8 hours + for worst case scenarios
- Mount Superbus Topo map (1:25000)
- First Aid Kit (including compression bandages)
- Gaiters or long pants
How To Get There
The Steamers – 2.5 Hours From Brisbane
From Emu Creek Road (4WD Required)
Head to Emu Vale (East of Warwick) and drive approx. 20-25km along Emu Vale Road. This road turns to dirt after approx 3-5km and shortly after turning to dirt you will find the first of four decent sized river crossings (only suited for 4WD’s).
Follow this road almost to the end at which point you will find another road on your left (Old Mill Road) which will not be signed, however, there is a gate that you will need to open and shut again. From this point you will need to follow Old Mill Road across another nine river crossings before veering right down a vehicle track (again no signs).
Follow this track until you hit another gate and your journey on foot begins. That is all the direction I will give as there are no definitive tracks to follow so your approach will be determined by your hiking and navigation skills (this is the fun part – so enjoy).
From Teviot Falls (No 4WD)
Park at the top of Teviot Falls at the junction of Head Road and Brett Road and follow the trail toward Mt Roberts and Lizard Point via Brett Road. You can use the app Maps.Me to assist you on this trek if you are not confident with reading topographical map, but knowledge of topographical maps is highly recommended. This trek is overgrown in some places and is quite lengthy in comparison to the Emu Creek Road approach. Research, research, research!!!
It doesn’t matter which way you approach The Steamers, ensure you are very familiar with the terrain and have a detailed approach in mind. The directions I have provided are the first steps in getting there; however, the rest (the fun part) is your responsibility. Exploring and path finding is the best bit of any new adventure and you should relish in the challenge because I can assure you the reward is certainly worth it.
- Bushwalking (bush bashing)
- Bird Watching
This trail should only be attempted by experienced hikers who are comfortable using topographical maps or who own a GPS. This trail isn’t officially graded but should be considered as very hard due to the remoteness and difficulty of the terrain. Be sure to do your planning and research of the area (Google Maps) before attempting, always have a backup plan.
Distance Covered / Elevation Gain
15.3km with an elevation gain of 720m and a reaching a maximum elevation of 1087m. Excluding the break at the Stern lookout the hike took 4 hours and 2 minutes but this time is quite quick as I know the terrain quite well. I suggest planning for 6-8 hours if it is a first attempt starting from the base of the Funnel.
Dan Parkes knows how to have fun. Check out his other microadventures…