5 Must-Do Hikes Near Brisbane

If it’s a nature fix you’re seeking, then these five trails in the Southern Downs and Granite Belt will keep you active for days. From walking past waterfalls to taking in epic views, these trails are serving all the outdoor vibes you need this summer. Here’s five trails worth lacing your boots for:

1. Granite Arch, Girraween National Park

Granite Arch in Girraween National Park

If you prefer your walking trails with more granite and less rainforest, then head straight to Girraween National Park, about 30 minutes south of Stanthorpe. Girraween National Park is dramatically speckled with natural rock formations and spectacular boulders balancing precariously on mountaintops, making this park incredibly unique (and very popular for photographs!).

For those who like their walks short, try the Granite Arch walk (1.6km, 30 mins return), a gentle stroll that takes you through Girraween’s own granite archway. For more trails and tips, check out this How to Guide and get ready for some seriously insta-worthy views!

How to get there: Follow the New England Highway south of Stanthorpe, and continue past Ballandean before turning left on Pyramids Road. There is parking available at the Information Centre of the Bald Rock Creek day-use area.

Distance: 1.6km

Time: 30 mins return

2. Queen Mary Falls Circuit, Main Range National Park

Aerial photo of Queen Mary Falls Circuit

Visiting Queen Mary Falls is a must do on any Southern Downs and Granite Belt trip. Embark on the easy Queen Mary Falls circuit, a 40-minute walk that takes you from the lookouts at the top of the falls to the creek below. Take a leisurely stroll through changing forests to the top, and then the base, of spectacular Queen Mary Falls. From the Queen Mary Falls picnic area, head along a fragrant eucalypt-topped ridgeline to the lush, rainforested gorge. Park Rangers suggest walking the circuit in a clockwise direction as it is easier on the legs!

This park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, famed for its ongoing geological processes, evolutionary history, and diversity (especially of rare, threatened and endemic species).

How to get there: From Warwick head out to Killarney via Warwick-Killarney Road, once at Killarney drive 8km via Spring Creek Road until you reach Queen Mary Falls.

Distance: 2km

Time: 40 mins

3. Dalrymple Circuit, Goomburra section of Main Range National Park

Rock pool at Dalrymple Circuit, Goomburra

You’ll be swapping screen time for green time when you enter the Goomburra section of Main Range National Park. It’s home to rugged mountain ranges, spectacular lookouts, lush subtropical rainforest and some of the region’s most beautiful swimming spots. With plenty of trails available, the Dalrymple Circuit will only take about 30 minutes, but you’ll enter a whole new world. There are also private and national park campgrounds close by, as well as lodges if you like your creature comforts.

How to get there: The Goomburra section can be reached from both the New England and Cunningham highways. From the Cunningham Highway turn off at Gladfield, 25km west of Cunninghams Gap, and travel 8km to join Inverramsay Road, then follow Inverramsay Road, and Forestry Reserve Road to the park entrance.

Distance: 1.2km

Time: 30 mins

4. Mount Cordeaux track, Cunningham’s Gap section of Main Range National Park

Man standing on rocks at Mt Cordeaux with view in the background

It’s time to dust off the boots and get your blood pumping! Travelling from Brisbane to Warwick, you’ll encounter the Cunningham’s Gap section of the Main Range National Park. The Mount Cordeaux track zigzags through rainforest to the exposed upper slopes of the Gap, providing spectacular mountaintop views back to Brisbane. The walk will take about 2.5hrs but it’ll be worth it for those views!

How to get there: To get to the start of the track, which is located within the Cunningham’s Gap section, drive 116km south-west on the Cunningham Highway from Brisbane. If you are travelling from Warwick drive 50km east on the Cunningham Highway.

Distance: 6.8km return

Time: 2.5 hours return

5. Scenic Rim Trail, Maryvale

Hiking meets luxury on the Scenic Rim Trail. Sitting on the border of the Southern Downs and the Scenic Rim, the Trail is the jewel in the crown of Spicers Retreat’s nature-based eco offerings. The trail features small group all-inclusive walking adventures where your luggage is transported and knowledgeable guides lead the way. You can choose your desired length and add on extra nights at nearby Spicers Retreats to complete your experience.

Distance: One guided hike has a distance of 28km, the other guided hike has a distance of 30km.

Time: The shorter hike takes 2 days to complete and the longer hike takes 5 days.

How to get there: The Scenic Rim Trail starts at Spicers Peak Lodge, which is about 1hr 45mins from Brisbane. Follow the signs to Warwick.

While You’re Here

Make a weekend of it by checking out these other things to do in the area:

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