Renee’s strapped on her runners and hit the trails to show you why Queensland’s southeast corner should be on your radar. From Toowoomba to the NSW Border, these are our top trail runs in South East Queensland.


We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.


Top 6 Trail Runs of South East Queensland:

1. Table Top Mountain, Toowoomba
2. Redwood Park, Toowoomba
3. Bunya Mountains
4. Cunninghams Gap, Main Range National Park
5. Queen Mary Falls, Main Range National Park
6. Border Track, Lamington National Park


Trail running is something I’m relatively new to. I discovered while I was spending time in South East Queensland. I fell in love with the endorphin rush, the immersion in the nature, and the fact it’s the only sport I can find where it’s socially acceptable to take snacks and stop for the odd picture snap. 

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Queensland’s southeast corner is a true playground of Mother Nature, especially for trail runners like me. Here are a few of my favourite trails in the area to get the endorphins flowing, feel the chest-muscles squeeze in delight at the magic of the natural world, watch a magic sunrise, and get back to the yay of play as you gallivant around the mountains. 


Trail Runs in South East Queensland


1. Table Top Mountain, Toowoomba

Distance: 2.4km
Elevation: 160m
Joy-factor: 9/10

It’s a scramble to the top for this one, but it’s worth it for sunrise, sunset or just a day-time jaunt with 360° views across the Darling Downs. Table Top Mountain for Toowoomba is what Bondi is for Sydney – if you haven’t done it, did you even really visit?

The trail starts from a small car park, and the first kilometre of dirt track takes you to a false peak. From there, the next kilometre is a scramble over decent boulders. Very traversable, though quite technical after rain as the undergrowth is quite muddy. If you’re going at sunset, definitely take a torch.

While the trail is distinct, it can be tricky to pick out the most stable route coming back down. Once on top of the mountain, there’s a rough trail going the entire way around the edge where you can catch your breath and check out an incredible view at every point of the compass. Prime sun-chasing spots are abundant.



2. Redwood Park, Toowoomba

Distance: 6km
Elevation: 270m
Joy-Factor: 7/10

Redwood Park is a 243 hectare playground, shared amongst hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and horse riders. A lot of trails are marked specific to horse/bike/foot, to avoid any unanticipated and potentially startling meetings from occurring.

This particular trail is on the southeast side of the Toowoomba range, and is less common with mountain bikers. The trail weaves down the Toowoomba range into the diverse vegetation below it, with a few stretches of relatively flat terrain. Approximately 60% of this trail is ascent/descent.

At the bottom of the trail, before it turns back up the range, there’s a small picnic spot complete with toilets and an information board. Prepare your gluteus for all the strain as you climb back up the range; it’s a tough one!

Read more:  The 5 Best Sunrise Spots Near Brisbane



3. Bunya Mountains

Distance: 12km
Elevation: 363m
Joy-Factor: 10/10

So many trails, so many lookouts, so much play. Head to the Bunya Mountains in spring for fireflies along the southern trails – ab-so-lute MAGIC. Conveniently, Dandabah Campground is located right in the middle. Set up with all the facilities for a comfortable stay including two cafes, a small shop, AND a whiskey bar. Long weekend sorted! Otherwise two other campgrounds exist (toilets only); Burtons Well and Westcott.

There’s an information centre at Dandabah with plenty of information regarding all the trails, including distance, terrain, and likely return times. The majority of these trails either commence from Dandabah, or further west, along the east-west access road running through the mountains. They’re well signposted, and mostly start from a car park with co-located compost toilets.



4. Cunninghams Gap, Main Range National Park

Distance: 12.6km
Elevation: 629m
Joy-Factor: 8/10

Main Range National Park is two hours west of Brisbane and Cunninghams Gap is where multiple trails begin before weaving through rainforest, and summiting Mt Cordeaux. You can spend an entire day exploring all the trails, but be warned; the only thing not in abundance is flat terrain. Prepare your hamstrings accordingly. Otherwise the area is overflowing with adventurous possibilities! 

There are two summits for you to explore, split by the highway and car park. To the south is Mount Mitchell; a single 10km trail that winds through spectacularly diverse terrain and at times is quite exposed to the elements. To the north of the car park is Mount Cordeaux; and all trails eventually lead to this summit, and onwards to ‘Bare Rock’, if you don’t opt for alternate, shorter ring-roads back to the car park. 

It’s approximately 6km to Mount Cordeaux, and 11km up to Bare Rock. 

The positive news here is the views are spectacular, and that then from there it’s 6 or 11km respectively of downhill running to finish! These trails can be moderately technical after wet weather, with mud and rocks getting slippery.



5. Queen Mary Falls, Main Range National Park

Distance: 2km
Elevation: 84m
Joy-Factor: 6/10

Short, but sweet, Queen Mary Falls is located along the QLD/NSW border, two hours drive west of Brisbane or 1.5 hours south of Toowoomba. It’s a popular day trip and sometimes crowded, however the majestic waterfall is worth it. You can always extend your travels and visit multiple waterfalls in the area.

There’s a cafe located on site as well, and it’s not far from the township of Killarney which is a wonderful post-adventure stop for sustenance and strolling.



6. Border Track, Lamington National Park

Distance: 21km
Elevation: 476m
Joy-Factor: 100/10

Run the border of QLD/NSW, in the hinterland behind the Gold Coast, and see genuinely breathtaking views reaching right across the Gold Coast and to the ocean beyond. This trail is by far the most fun I have run, for the views, the winding trails through the rainforest, the kind track-sharing hikers, and the incredible set-up at Binna Burra which is where the trail finishes. 

Read more: Take a Bite of Lamington National Park (QLD)

I recommend starting at O’Reilly’s and finishing at Binna Burra; the last 2km are downhill and, trust me, you’ll really appreciate that fact after 19km. There’s a shuttle bus that runs to a timetable, that can drop you at the start of the trail at O’Reilly’s. Check out the Binna Burra website for the details. The entire site is fitted out with a cafe, bar, an information centre, and a decent variety of accommodation from swag sites through to lush glamping.