Less than two hours’ drive from Brisbane (90km North) in the Blackall Range is the 58km Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk. If you’re looking for an overnighter hike near Brisbane, this should be your next trip.
- Multi-day hike close to Brisbane
- Cheap camping
- Bush walking and lookouts
- Lizard and bird life
- Waterfalls and creeks in the wetter season
In the wetter seasons the Walk traverses across many creeks and past many waterfalls; in the summer it offers good bush walking and solitude. State hike-in campsites are included along the trail for cheap camping (Flaxton, Ubajee, & Thilba Thalba for about $6 a night). The walk even passes through the small townships of Flaxton and Mapleton.
In terms of wildlife, you’ll admire plenty of birds and lizards on your way. Most of the creeks and waterfalls were dry in March when I went, but the lookouts before and after Thilba Thalba campsite are spectacular, and swimming in the rock pools is refreshing and serene.
I started at Maroon Pocket Dam to Flaxton Walkers’ Camp (16km) on day one, then up to Thilba Thalba camp on the second day (26km, pretty long slog), and finally to the finishing point at Delicia Rd (16km).
The Walk follows a rough “P” shape so you can choose to cut off the part below the circuit if you just have a weekend. If you have a full 4 days you can follow the walk according to the official itinerary.
The walk is very well marked along the multitude of day trails in the area, except perhaps near the rock pools (go up from the waterfall to the pools and then keep heading up the mountain). You can purchase a map from the Visitor’s Centre in Mapleton (open >10:00am weekdays) or at the newsagent in the town if you arrive earlier.
- Sun protection
- Camping gear
- Water + purification device for campsite tanks
- Salt for leeches
- Communication device (network connection at all 3 campsites)
How To Get There
Head North towards Mapleton on the M1 (Bruce Highway) for 90km and park at Maroon Dam Pocket carpark. Make sure you have another car at Delicia Rd or arrange pickup there.
- Wild swimming
- Wildlife watching
Beginner — Intermediate
Distance Covered/ Elevation Gain
58km of Class 3/Class 4 (moderate fitness) tracks
Greatest elevation change is 150m to 450m