PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Tuesday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Brisbane
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
25° & PARTLY CLOUDY ON TUESDAY 23 JULY IN BRISBANE
By Saphira Schroers
June 20, 2019
  shares

The Nine Best One-Day Hikes in and Around Brisbane

Swap the pavement for bush tracks, waterfalls and mountain peaks.
By Saphira Schroers
June 20, 2019
  shares

Just an hour or two from Brisbane, you can find a myriad of natural delights spread throughout world-class national parks. From granite boulders and mountain ranges to tranquil rainforests and gushing waterfalls, there's guaranteed to be something for everyone.

One day walks are a great way to maximise how often you get outdoors, especially when busy schedules get in the way of full weekends away. They're also perfect for getting a little nature therapy into your week, without having to carry all that pesky camping gear.

It's amazing where a few hours of hiking can get you — volcano-forged mountain summits and prehistoric rainforests are just the start. So pick one of the below hikes, pack a backpack and head on an adventure.

cp-line

Glass House Mountains National Park by Ming Nom Chong for Tourism and Events Queensland

MOUNT BEERWAH SUMMIT, GLASS HOUSE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

Mount Beerwah is the Goldilocks mountain of the Glass House range: a famed series of mountains located 75-kilometres north of Brisbane. It's a step up from Mount Ngungun, but less intense than Mount Tibrogargan. The hike to the summit takes 1–2 hours one way and requires decent rock scrambling skills. After the initial climb, you'll be ogling Beerwah's distinctive 'organ pipes' — a series of massive granite columns, right before the summit. Enjoy the panoramic vistas from the top, and see if you can pick out Mount Coonowrin's distinctive peak. Check the forecast and turn back at the first sign of bad weather — it's dangerous when wet.

cp-line

Purling Brook Falls by Tourism and Events Queensland

PURLING BROOK FALLS CIRCUIT AND WARRINGA POOL, SPRINGBROOK NATIONAL PARK

Purling Brook Falls is Springbrook's most popular walk, located 100 kilometres south of Brisbane. Shortly after starting the grade three track (six kilometres, three hours) from Gwongorella Picnic Area, you'll glimpse Gold Coast and Purling Brook Valley from the top of the cliffs. The vegetation gradually changes to cool rainforest, before you branch off at the base of the falls for Warringa Pool. Walk through the piccabeen palms to this emerald oasis in the heart of the rainforest. Then, head back to the base of the falls and continue the circuit as you gently wind back up to drier open eucalypt forests. Walking clockwise saves you from doing the 450 stairs on the way up.

cp-line

Twin Falls Circuit by Matthew Taylor Thomas for Tourism and Events Queensland

TWIN FALLS CIRCUIT, SPRINGBROOK NATIONAL PARK

Waterfalls galore awaits you on the Twin Falls Circuit, 100 kilometres south of Brisbane. The Twin Falls are so close to the Purling Brook Falls (above) that you should consider doubling up for the ultimate one-day adventure. The grade three track (four kilometres return, two hours) passes Tamarramai Falls, before snaking behind Twin Falls, which feeds into a delightful waterhole. Then, it continues past Tallanbana and Blackfellow falls. One of the highlights of this walk — aside from the endless waterfalls — is the sheer variety of vegetation types you hike through, including several types of rainforest as well as montane heath and open brush box forest.

cp-line

KONDALILLA FALLS CIRCUIT, KONDALILLA NATIONAL PARK

Head north from Brisbane for just over 100 kilometres, deep into the Blackall Range, for a day hike that combines top-notch swimming holes with a picturesque waterfall. From the carpark, continue down to the bridge and turn right. This class three track (4.6 kilometres, three hours) passes a rock pool at the top of the falls early on. This is a great walk for summer, when you can whittle away the hours swimming and enjoying the valley views. Continue to the base of Kondalilla Falls — which fittingly means 'rushing water' in the local Aboriginal language — before making your way back. This hike is accessible by train and bus within 700 metres.

cp-line

Lamington National Park by Jason Charles Hill for Tourism and Events Queensland

DAVES CREEK CIRCUIT, LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK

Daves Creek Circuit (12 kilometres, four hours) is one of the most botanically diverse track in Lamington, 106 kilometres south of Brisbane. This class four track gets you the most plant bang for your buck per kilometre. As you hike, notice how the vegetation around you rapidly changes — you'll walk through every kind of rainforest, as well as eucalypt and heathland. The track is scattered with lilies, orchids, banksia, wattles, ferns and casuarina, plus a bloom of wildflowers in late winter and spring. There are also two grand lookouts: the first over Woggunba Valley, and the second over Numinbah Valley. See if you can hear the pealing sounds of the Albert's lyrebird as you hike.

cp-line

Morans Falls Lookout- by Jason Charles Hill for Tourism and Events Queensland

MORANS FALLS TRACK, LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK

Morans Falls is a popular day hike to sweeping valley vistas from the top of Morans Falls, and beyond. Morans Falls is also located in Lamington, 110 kilometres south of Brisbane, in the Green Mountains section. This is a family friendly grade four track (4.6 kilometres, two hours) through the largest undisturbed area of subtropical rainforest in southeast Queensland. The valley views from the top of Morans Falls are a picturesque delight, but the views of the falls themselves from further down are a close second. Lamington also has an epic multi-day hike, if you'd like to stretch it out across a couple of days.

cp-line

Scenic Rim

MOUNT CORDEAUX AND BARE ROCK, MAIN RANGE NATIONAL PARK

Mount Cordeaux juts out of the perimeter of the Scenic Rim, a 116-kilometre drive southwest of Brisbane. The day walk up Mount Cordeaux and out to Bare Rock (12 kilometres, 4.5 hours) is the best way to admire the Scenic Rim's crescent of impressive ranges and valleys. First, you'll step back in time to walk through the same ancient rainforests that covered the Gondwanan supercontinent more than 180 million years ago. Then, you'll soak up the expansive views of the mountainous ranges from the Mount Cordeaux Summit and then from Bare Rock: truly one of the best views in Southeast Queensland. In spring, giant spear lilies bloom, with their five-metre long flowering stalks adorned with red flowers.

cp-line

Lower Portals

LOWER PORTALS TRACK, MOUNTT BARNEY NATIONAL PARK

Mount Barney is the pinnacle of bushwalking in Southeast Queensland, located 116 kilometres southwest of Brisbane. While the arduous summit hike is better left for hardcore hikers, that doesn't mean Barney shouldn't be on your list. The Lower Portals hike (7.4 kilometres, three hours) is a great way to experience this incredible mountain without all that pesky elevation. The track ends at a swimming hole within a rocky gorge — bring your swimmers (if it's warm). See if you can spot the delightful orange starbursts of the extremely rare Mount Barney bush pea on your walk. This class four track has a tendency to heat up, so head out between April and September.

cp-line

Girraween National Park by Ben Nott for Tourism and Events Queensland

THE SPHINX AND TURTLE ROCK, GIRRAWEEN NATIONAL PARK

Girraween is a spectacular and remote national park, with unusual granite boulders speckled across its landscape. Its name is just as beautiful — it means "place of flowers" in the local Aboriginal language. While it's located just over three hours' drive (244km) southwest of Brisbane, the walk to Sphinx and Turtle Rock (7.4 kilometres, four hours) is well worth it. The Sphinx is so named because of a massive boulder, which seems to balance impossibly on another. Then, there's the gargantuan granite 'turtle shell' rock to see, too. Come in spring for seas of yellow wattle.

cp-line

Top image: Springbrook National Park by Peter Lik for Tourism and Events Queensland

Published on June 20, 2019 by Saphira Schroers

  •   shares
      shares
  • VIEW COMMENTS

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x