9 short hiking tracks in Southern Queensland Country | blog.queensland.com

9 short hiking trails in Southern Queensland Country 

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There’s nothing like getting some fresh country air in your lungs and lacing up your hiking boots to enjoy a (relatively) easy day walk in Australia’s best national parks.

Get set to huff and puff as we reveal 9 of the best day walks in Southern Queensland Country – guaranteed to put a grin on your face, a sweat on your brow, and offer you the perfect excuse to correctly wear your #ActiveWear.

Scenic Circuit

Bunya Mountains
4kms (allow 1.5 hours)

An easy walk combining nature’s finest – rolling mountains, rainforest, rock pools, waterfalls and an epic fig tree. It’s no wonder this 4km trek is one of the most popular routes in Bunya Mountains National Park; which is also home to the world’s largest remaining stand of bunya pine rainforest.

The park is also Queensland’s second oldest national park and the Scenic Circuit takes hikers past some of the best spots, including Festoon Falls and Tim Shea Falls.

The Pyramid

Balancing Rock

Helping Balancing Rock stay in place

Girraween National Park
3.6km (allow 3 hours)

Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to go on the TV show Gladiators and take on their Pyramid challenge. Sadly, that show came to an end, but Mother Nature has her very own Pyramid (sans awkward gladiator Lycra and padding).

This walk isn’t for those with a fear of heights as it culminates in a scramble up a sheer granite rock face. It’s steep and you’ll want sturdy shoes with a decent grip to take on this climb. At the top, make your way to the north-face to check out Balancing Rock – a huge granite boulder balancing precariously and itching to have its picture taken.

Words of wisdom: Rain and granite rocks = slippery. Unlike the Gladiator TV show, this Pyramid has no safety barriers and is geared towards the daring.

Granite Arch

Granite Arch Girraween National Park

Girraween National Park
1.6km (allow 30 minutes)

A much easier walk, perfect for the family or those with limited time. Granite Arch is a cruisy 1.6km circuit that loops through open blackbutt and stringybark forests and passes right through a natural granite arch.

Hot tip: Time your visit for spring to see the beautiful wildflowers.

Castle Rock

Girraween National Park
5.2km (allow 1.5-2 hours)

One of the more challenging walks, Castle Rock is a 5.2km adventure (and we mean adventure) that will take you to a rocky summit at 1,112metres. Did we mention that this hike involves steep climbs on exposed granite rock?

Like all good climbs, the huffy puffy to the summit of Castle Rock is rewarded with awesome views of the granite peaks in Girraween National Park.

The Sphinx and Turtle Rock

Girraween National Park
7.4km (allow 3-4 hours)

An easier option (compared to Castle Rock), The Sphinx and Turtle Rock track is a gentler hike that includes a less demanding walk along a ridge taking in stunning views of the country before arriving at the main event.

Mother Nature waved her magic wand to create some very cool rock formations here – the Sphinx, a granite pinnacle with a large balancing boulder on top; and Turtle Rock, a large granite monolith that looks like a… you guessed it, a turtle shell.

Queen Mary Falls Circuit

Queen Mary Falls - Killarney

Main Range National Park
2km (allow 50 minutes)

We all love waterfalls and the Queen Mary Falls Circuit has to be one of the easiest waterfalls to access from Brisbane. Don’t believe me? Check out our day trip to Queen Mary Falls.

The 2km walk is a fave with families and budding photographers who are keen to snap a photo and enjoy a picnic. There’s a lookout at the top of the falls, but for the best photos hit the stairs, make your way to the base and take in the 40-metre plunging screen of water.

Hot tip: Keep an eye out for koalas at the start and end of the walking circuit.

Governor’s Chair Lookout at Spicer’s Gap

Main Range National Park
300m (allow 5 minutes)

If you’re not a fan of breaking a sweat and are seeking something more regal, Governor’s Chair Lookout is the perfect excuse to stretch your legs with its easy 300-metre stroll. This lookout is perched at the crest of Spicer’s Gap and takes walkers to an impressive lookout over Fassifern Valley.

Keep an eye out for the large rock on the edge of the cliff face, it’s rumoured this place got its name as it was apparently a popular resting spot for early Governors of Queensland when their journey took them through these parts (the original route linking Warwick and Moreton Bay).#FunFact

Mount Cordeaux

Main Range National Park
6.8km (allow 2.5 hours)

This is a lovely 6.8km walk offering plenty of opportunities to hear and see wildlife. Mount Cordeaux (Niamboyoo in the local Aboriginal language), located in Main Range National Park, is a well-defined track that zigzags through rainforests to a lookout on the southern side that takes in fantastic views.

Hot tip: Time your hike for spring when giant spear lilies are in flower on the face of Mount Cordeaux.

Crows Nest Falls via Kauyoo loop

Crows Nest National Park

Crows Nest National Park
(includes The Cascades, Kauyoo Pool and Bottlebrush Pool)
2.7km (allow 1 hour)

Who doesn’t love a swim after a day of walking? A popular picnic spot for families, the Crows Nest Falls via Kauyoo Loop is a relaxed 2.7km circuit that offers not one but TWO swimming holes: Kauyoo Pool and Bottlebrush Pool.

Keep your eyes peeled for the endangered brush-tailed rock-wallabies (Petrogale penicillata) – they can often be seen in the nearby granite hills and boulders. If you’re here in summer make sure you spend some time at The Cascades where you can hear the ‘tock tock’ call of striped march frogs.

Have you been hiking in Southern Queensland Country? What’s your favourite day hike?




  • Jane

    Have been to, camped, swum, & walked at Girraween NP, many times!
    It’s so beautiful!
    Loved climbing to top of Pyramids, done that a few times, & also climbed Bald Rock, been to Boonoo Boonoo Falls, on the other side, in NSW. Camped there, too!

    • http://queensland.com/blog Queensland Blog

      Nice one, Jane! It certainly is a very beautiful part of the world. Good to see you getting out there and enjoying it. Thanks for the comment!