A fresh new multi-day hike in Queensland’s Main Range National Park, the 47km long Scenic Rim Trail, takes you along ridges and past waterfalls you can’t reach in a single day hike.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Bundjalung people who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.


  • Hike 47km along this newly created multi-day hike in Main Range National Park
  • Walk along rugged mountain ridges and through lush rainforests
  • Sleep under the stars and wake up to incredible views over the Scenic Rim
  • Enjoy absolute serenity as you’re likely to be the only ones along this trail
  • Finish off the last day with Bare Rock and Mt Cordeaux

Day 1 – Thornton View Trailhead to Mt Mistake Walkers Camp

Distance: 9km
Time: 5 hours
Elevation: 700m ascent, 140m descent

After being dropped off at the Thornton View Trailhead, we begun the ascent onto the Mt Mistake Mountain range. It’s a slow and steep climb, following the track that zig-zags up the mountain. Weeds are growing wild here after the 2019 bushfires and on several occasions it was hard to find the path as it was so overgrown. We crossed a small rocky creek bed several times, dry in the summer heat. In some places the path turns into natural rock and walking turns into rock scrambling.

As we reached the cliffs near the top of the trail, we saw two rock wallabies on the rocky outcrops. We rounded a rather steep and narrow path and to our relief, saw we’d made it to the summit! The views on top of the ridge were absolutely spectacular and well worth the hot climb up! The entirety of the first section of the hike is hot and exposed, so wearing sunscreen and a hat is a must. 

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!



From here, the path follows the mountain ridge to the south and was much easier than the previous climb (although still uphill!). We came across a beautiful lookout with benches and seats – Sunrise Lookout. This was a great spot for a break and some well deserved snacks. Just as the name suggests, Sunrise Lookout would be worth the short journey back to watch the sunrise the following morning. Half a kilometre south of the lookout is the Mt Mistake Walkers Camp and home for the night.

The Mt Mistake Walkers Camp is in the middle of the ridge and is surrounded by a tall eucalyptus forest. Although there are several small clearings for tents surrounding the toilet and water hut, we were the only ones at the camp. 


Day 2 – Mt Mistake Walkers Camp to Castle View Walkers Camp

Distance: 14.5km
Time: 5 hours
Elevation: 470m ascent, 370m descent

We woke early together with the forest – first came the kookaburras and slowly the noise of the birds and insects around us grew louder and louder. Despite the summer heat during the previous day, the night had been chilly and I wish I’d packed an extra jumper with me! A hot cup of tea with breakfast oats warmed us up again and soon the tent and our bags were packed, ready for day two. 

The second day starts with a moderate climb and the path joins up with a former logging trail. The track is wide and we followed this shared path for the remainder of the day, watching as the landscape around us transformed from dry eucalyptus forest into rainforest. At one stage the noise of the cicadas around us grew so loud, we had to shout to each other to be heard! It was as if we were at a concert and nature was giving its best show! 



Soon, we were deep in the Gondwana Rainforest which gave us a much-welcomed cooler change. We passed multiple wild boar traps laid by rangers as well as a piece of discarded logging equipment called ‘The Winder’. 

The Castle View Walkers Camp surprised us, as the path crosses right through the middle of the campsite. Through the trees there are views towards Mt Castle and at night we saw the twinkle of lights from the Gold Coast. This was the coldest night of the trip, we huddled around our little gas stove while the walls of the hut provided shelter from the wind.

Day 3 – Castle View Walkers Camp to Banshee Walkers Camp

Distance: 10.5km
Time: 7 hours
Elevation: 520m ascent, 500m descent

We started the day easing into the hike with a fairly flat section of trail, which turned into much tougher terrain after the Mt Castle Lookout. I almost trod on a large Carpet python which camouflaged extremely well with the tree roots. 



This section of the path is more popular with day hikers and we stumbled upon a beautiful rocky outcrop a bit before Sylvesters Lookout. From here we could see all the way to Cunninghams Gap – I couldn’t believe how far we still had to go!

After Sylvester’s Lookout the track took us into dense rainforest, making it was difficult to find the path in places. We followed the orange markers on the trees as best we could, keeping the ridge on our left and slowly descended deep into the gully. Here the track was steep, rocky, and wild and eventually spat us out at Dalrymple Creek where we refilled our bottles. 

Crossing the creek, we followed the Cascade Circuit which took us past creeks and waterfalls. 

At the intersection, we turned left onto the Ridge Track which was steep and hot in the afternoon sun. Finally, to my relief, we reached the third campsite, tucked away in the shadows of a cluster of large fir trees. 

Read more: How To Poo in The Bush


Day 4 – Banshee Walkers Camp to Cunninghams Gap

Distance: 13.3km
Time: 7 hours
Elevation: 410m ascent, 680m descent

Similarly to the previous day, the track was kind to our sore knees to begin with, before a turnoff took us deep into the dense rainforest over a barely discernible path. We passed several short yet steep ascents and descents, carefully navigating our feet over the tree roots and rocks that covered the path. The going was slow and we had to keep a careful eye out for orange triangles marking the way. 

After some hours of this tough terrain, we emerged from the rainforest onto Bare Rock – a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the 360 degree view of the Scenic Rim. A popular spot for day hikers, it was much busier here, as well as on the remainder of the well maintained track back down to Cunningham’s Gap. We got some curious looks when we appeared out of the rainforest in our dirty gear and hiking bags! 

It was late afternoon when we made our way down the final section and there were plenty of wallabies about. We slowly made our way to the civilised world, looking forward to the snacks that were awaiting us in the car.

Essential Gear

How to Get There

This is a one way hike (north to south only) which starts at the Thornton View Trailhead. 

We parked my car at Cunningham’s Gap (end point) before getting a lift with a friend to the starting location. It was approximately 1.5 hours drive from Cunninghams Gap to the Thornton View Trailhead. Follow Main Camp Creek Road to the very end, until you reach the Trailhead. It’s well signed, has lots of parking space and a small amenities building.

Skill Level


At 47km, the Scenic Rim Trail is not the longest four day hike, however there are steep and difficult sections along the track. The terrain is tough with many obstacles and navigation can be difficult. Overnight hiking experience and navigation skills are essential.

Distance Covered / Elevation Gain / Duration

47km / 2260m / 4 days