Now that Summer is coming to a close, the weather has begun to cool enough for us to dust off those walking boots in the back of our cupboards and start planning our next weekend hikes. After long days spent at the beach or relaxing by the pool, it can be daunting to think we may have lost some fitness. The good news is that hiking tracks near Brisbane are so diverse, there are hikes for all abilities. We’ve compiled a variety of hikes to accommodate all those wanting to get out there, from easier well loved walks to those harder and more off the beaten track.
Most of these hikes can be found within a few hours drive of Brisbane.
Mount Coot-tha Summit Track, Brisbane
A popular hike for Brisbanites, the pet-friendly Mount Coot-tha Summit Hike is located less than 10 kms from the CBD. Starting at SJ Slaughter picnic area, begin the walk up through beautiful bushland to the summit lookout for some of the most stunning views over Brisbane. While you’re here why not grab a coffee or breakfast at The Summit Brisbane Cafe (not a bad way to reward yourself for your morning walk!). With well defined paths and a gradual uphill ascent, this hike can accommodate a wide range of fitness levels.
Time: 1.5 hours
Distance: 5 kms
Warrie Circuit, Springbrook National Park
One of the most stunning hikes in the Gold Coast region, the Warrie Circuit takes you through the Springbrook National Park, passing through valleys, rainforests and stunning lookouts. With more than nine waterfalls on this trail, a chorus of rushing water will act as a soundtrack to your hike. Allow some extra time to take a dip in one of the many tranquil pools to be found along the way.
Time: 4.5 hours
Distance: 17 kms
Difficulty: Moderate - Hard
Natural Bridge Walk, Springbrook National Park
Nature’s amazing design is obvious in the striking architecture of the Natural Bridge - a natural arched cave with a waterfall tumbling through its ceiling. It’s something that has to be seen to be believed. This easy circuit walk will take you to the Natural Bridge where you can swim and enjoy the tranquil ambiance. Take the walk in the evening to see thousands of tiny lights belonging to the glow worms that call this cave home. This magical place is a great walk for kids due to its short distance and ease of access. Come on weekdays or early mornings to have the place to yourself!
Time: 1 hour
Lower Portals Track, Mount Barney National Park
The Lower Portals Track is a slightly more challenging walk with a few rock scrambles, but it’s all worth it to see the lush Lower Portals gully. Follow the river to some stunning rock pools, filled with crystal clear and cool (emphasis on cool) water where you can cool down after accomplishing the first half of the walk. There are also campsites dotted along the track so it’s easy to turn the walk into a weekend away.
Time: 3.5 hours
Distance: 6.3 km
Curtis Falls and Lower Creek Circuit, Tamborine Mountain
This well-trodden hike is a popular destination due to its easy terrain and lush scenery. On a hot day you’ll notice the drop in temperature as you descend into the damp rainforest floor, passing towering ferns shady eucalypts. At Curtis Falls, best seen after recent rainfall, you have the opportunity to take a dip in the nearby rockpool. This track is accessible all year round and is a must when visiting Tamborine Mountain. Learn more about the hike and other things to do in the area.
Time: 1 hour
Distance: 1.5 km
Daves Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park
Set in the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, this hike is like stepping back in time to an ancient world where rare and endangered species roam and geological processes continue to shape and change the landscape of the subtropical rainforest.
Enjoy hiking through diverse vegetation and stunning lookouts and don’t miss ‘Surprise Rock’, a volcanic dyke that has withstood centuries of erosion. Also watch out for the signs pointing to caves that you can explore along the way.
Time: 3-4 hours
Distance: 12 km
Mt Warning Lyrebird Track, Northern Rivers NSW
You’ve heard about the famous Mt Warning summit hike, but did you know there is an easier, and just as beautiful walk around the base of the mountain? The Lyrebird Track located in the Wollumbin National Park in northern NSW showcases some of the best of Australia's cool subtropical rainforests, including diverse animal and plant life. The track takes you past breakfast creek to a scenic viewing platform where you can lookout over the Northern Rivers Region. Bring the kids and allow more time for exploring the jungle-like landscape.
Time: 45 mins
Distance: 0.6 km
Header image: View from the top of Mt Cootha - Photo by Seb. Via Unsplash