South East Queensland is home to some of the most breathtaking hikes in the country, there’s no denying it. Just a short drive from Brisbane, you’ll find national parks galore full of trails and walking tracks that you can tackle: a lot of them boasting spectacular views and nature therapy. So what are you waiting for? Pack the car and get outdoors for leg day on one of these epic hiking spots in and around Brisbane.
See Also: 5 Short Walks In Brisbane
1. Bally Mountain
Not only does Bally Mountain have incredible views from its peak, looking out to the Gold Coast and beyond – it’s also lesser-known so you might have the trail to yourself.
The trail is located just over an hour’s drive south of Brisbane, and comes with a fair bit of uphill walking and rock scrambling. The views are well worth it though.
2. Border Track and Box Forest Circuit
Leg day is made easier with waterfalls and the Box Forest Circuit has got you covered when it comes to the majestic cascades. You’ll get to see four waterfalls along this track.
To get there, though, you’re going to have to take the Border Track for just over a couple of kilometres. It’s gorgeous in its own right, trekking through the lush Gondwana Rainforest.
It should go without saying, but this walk can and does get muddy. The muddier it is though, the better the waterfalls and the few creek crossings.
3. Mermaid Mountain
We could have started easy, but where’s the fun in a breezy walk when you could tackle the moderately challenging Mermaid Mountain loop that will take you up to a lookout with views of Lake Manchester and Mount Nebo?
With 481 metres of elevation on old 4wd tracks, this is no walk in the park. But, you can make it easier by going anti-clockwise. The bushwalking trail, which is open all year, is quite popular but there are times you can find peace and quiet.
4. Mount Greville Loop
Up the mountain on one side via Waterfall Gully, which is steep and a measure of your fitness, and then down on the other via Palm Gully. You might think why not walk the other way, but have you tried fighting gravity?
Along the hiking trail, you can stop at Baby View and Slab Rock for some pretty spesh vistas but the Mount Greville summit, which rises 720m above sea level, is what you’re here for. From up the top, you’re going to be left speechless counting all the other mountains near Brisbane you can see.
5. Bare Rock and Mount Cordeaux Track
Hiking loops are great but sometimes you just want to go out and up and back down again after taking in some spectacular views. And if spectacular views are what you’re after, then the summit of Mt Cordeaux and Bare Rock are going to certainly please. The Fassifern Valley, Main Ranges and the Scenic Rim take on a simply magical ambience at the right time of day with this bushwalk near Brisbane.
6. Ships Stern Circuit
From cliff faces to waterfalls and the dark rainforest floor, Ships Stern Circuit has got it all and is one of our favourite nature trails. The popular walking track is one of the best in the Binna Burra area of Lamington National Park. Clockwise or anti-clockwise, extendable or not, you’re in for a lonnnnggggggg walk. Thankfully there are lookouts to scope, creeks to cross hills to climb and descend, and one special side-track that leads to Ballanjui Falls and Guraigumai Rock.
🚶♀️17.5km loop (or up to 23km with added tracks)
⏳5.5 hours plus
7. Mount Coolum Track
If short and sweet is what you’re looking for, then the Mount Coolum walking track to the summit is a great option. Climb to the top and if the weather is sweet you can head straight to the beach for a dip to cool off. If you want to add a bit of extra effort, head down the other side by the backside track.
It’s not the most challenging trek near Brisbane, but we do love a swim after working up a light sweat.
🚶♀️1.6km up and back
⏳Less than 1 hour
8. Mount Maroon
There comes a point on this track up to the summit of Mount Maroon where many people go the wrong way. Instead of following the track down, they go left thinking that that’s the way. It’s about two-thirds of the way up. Don’t do that unless you really, really really want to, but please don’t do that.
A hike up Mount Maroon is a great day out for the family too, but be warned there’s not much shade and it can get a bit rocky going up. Make sure you check out the Mount Barney National Park website regarding controlled burns—you might find Mount Maroon closed off when you visit.
🚶♀️4.3kms out and back
9. Wild Horse Mountain Lookout
This track might appear easy-peasy (and it is considering some of the others on this list) but don’t let its short distance fool you. Getting up to the summit will break a slight sweat but once up the top, you’ll be able to take in some fabulous views of the Glass House Mountains if you turn to face west. We hear that sunset is kind of incredible.
🚶♀️1.4km out and back
10. Mount Barney South East Ridge and Peasants Ridge
Considered to be possibly the toughest peak to climb in Queensland, this route is not for the faint of heart. From dense bush to climbing along the ridge route and hard-to-make-out trails, it’s on this list because we know you like a challenge. If you make it, it’s well worth all the sweat you’ve put in to make it to the top but save some energy for the way down as the descent into the rum jungle is no easy feat.
11. Mount Tibberoowuccum and Trachyte Circuit Loop
Did we include the Mount Tibberoowuccum and Trachyte Circuit Loop into this list just because we wanted you to say Mount Tibberoowuccum? Yes, yes we did. However, that isn’t the only reason why we included Mount Tibberoowuccum (see what we did there?)
In fact, we included Mount Tibberoowuccum in this list because it’s one of the smaller peaks around town, which gives us the chance to pick up the pace and pound the trail a little faster. Even still, there are still some pretty sweet views to check out like Jack Ferris Lookout, Cooee View and Ngungun View. You can add another climb if you like with a trek up Mount Tibrogargan.
Take note that times are estimates and will actually vary greatly depending on your fitness levels as well as the state of the terrain and if you get lost or not. You’ve also got to take into account the amount of time you spend checking out the views, the waterfalls and all the beautiful nature around you. And, how many photos you take.