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Baroon Pocket to Kondalilla Falls Hike

Home > Brisbane > Adventure | Escape the City | National Parks | Outdoor | Walks
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published February 15th 2016
One of the best longer hikes with several shorter options
This walk is one of the most amazing walks in South East Queensland. The walk includes views of the dam, Obi Obi Creek, upper and lower Kondalilla Falls and widely varying bushland, from rainforest to dense bushland and riparian forest. There are also 2 places to swim. The walk is a little long at 20 km and some sections are a little steep, however it is well worth the effort.

Upper Kondalilla Falls and Swimming Hole is the destination of this great hike
Upper Kondalilla Falls and Swimming Hole is the destination of this great hike


The official name of this walk is the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, Baroon Section. You can do this walk as part the great walk or if you are looking for a shorter walk, you walk 6.5 kms from Baroon Pocket Dam to Flat Rock beside Obi Obi creek, swim there and return.

Obi Obi Creek at Flat Rock
Obi Obi Creek at Flat Rock


About the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is made of 3 sections that are interconnected by walks along the road. Most hikers will do it in 4 sections and complete the walk in 4 days with camp sites along the way. The two main sections that day walkers do are this walk from Baroon Pocket Dam to Kondalilla Falls and the Gheerulla Valley Circuit.

A boardwalk near the start of the hike
A boardwalk near the start of the hike

The Start of the Walk

Most people start the walk from the Baroon Pocket Dam, though you could also start at the Kondalilla Falls end, but this will add another 2 km to the walk going from the car park to the falls and back.

The start walk at Baroon Pocket Dam
The start walk at Baroon Pocket Dam


You will find the start of the walk on the northern side of Baroon Pocket Dam along Narrows Road. Near the end of the road you will see a car pack on your right. If you arrive at the damn wall you have gone too far. There are toilets at the picnic area nearby.

To Baroon Pocket Dam Lookout

The first section is just over 2 kms to the Baroon Pocket Dam Lookout with views of the dam as well Obi Obi Creek from above.

A boardwalk near the start of the hike
A boardwalk near the start of the hike


This part of the walk is well maintained and could be considered class 3 under Australian hiking standards. This is a nice little walk to do if you are having a picnic at Baroon Pocket Damn.

Baroon Pocket Dam
Baroon Pocket Dam


To Flat Rock

After the Baroon Pocket Dam you will see a sign on the trail recommending only experienced hikers continue. From here the trail is steeper and less well maintained but still something that any reasonably fit and prepared hiker can do.

From the lookout down to Flat Rock is reasonably steep. Remember you will have to go back up this path on the way back.
From the lookout down to Flat Rock is reasonably steep. Remember you will have to go back up this path on the way back.


The walk goes down to the Obi Obi Creek where the terrain changes from rainforest to dense bushland and riparian forest. This starts the nicest walking part of the hike as it is mostly flat and shaded.

Obi Obi Creek at Flat Rock
Obi Obi Creek at Flat Rock


Your destination, after another 4.4 kms from the Baroon Pocket Dam Lookout, is Flat Rock. You can't miss this location as it is a big flat rock beside a swimming hole.

To the Kondalilla Falls Circuit

From Flat Rock the walk continues to follow along beside Obi Obi Creek until you arrive at the lower section of the Kondalilla Falls Circuit.

Kondalilla Falls on a rainy day
Kondalilla Falls on a rainy day


You can either follow the path to the right and go up directly to the upper falls or follow the track to the left and view the lower Kondalilla Falls. If you are doing the hike as a return trip you can choose either way to go up and then come down the opposite way, however if you are doing this walk one way as part of the Great Walk then go left to see the falls.

Upper Kondalilla Falls

Upper Kondalilla Falls has a small falls and swimming hole. This area is popular with families and day trippers. The car park is less than 1 km walk away from here so it gets very busy on hot days.

Upper Kondalilla Falls and Swimming Hole
Upper Kondalilla Falls and Swimming Hole


However you will want to stop here for a swim and maybe have your lunch here as well. Other than flat rock, there are really no other really good places to sit and enjoy lunch.

Swimming at the upper Kondalilla Falls
Swimming at the upper Kondalilla Falls


Returning

You do have to return back the way that you came. The hardest part is returning back up the hill from Flat Rock to the Baroon Pocket Dam Lookout. Overall though this is not a difficult walk for anyone who is reasonably fit. It is recommended that you leave early to give yourself plenty of time to return as most people will take about 7 hours, including breaks, to complete the walk.

The path varies from rainforest, dense bushland and some open patches
The path varies from rainforest, dense bushland and some open patches


For a longer walk it is fairly popular and you will see a reasonable number of people on the trail compared with other similar length hikes. You will also see more people at the ends of the hike doing the shorter walks.

One of the highlights of the walk are several huge old rainforest trees
One of the highlights of the walk are several huge old rainforest trees


After the hike

For a reasonably paced group of hikers, you can except to take 7 hours on this hike. There are not that many places to stop, but those where you can stop are so pleasant you will be tempted to linger. Afterwards you will be looking for a place to relax, have a cup of coffee and maybe a nice slice of cake.

I should mention that the Flame Hill Winery is just up the road and you to pass it driving to the hike and a great place to stop, sample some wines and have a snack. Otherwise your main choices are in Montville and Maleny. While both towns have great cafes, generally we head to the UpFront Club and Cafe or Colin James Fine Foods for ice cream in Maleny. But these are just two among many other choices.

The UpFront Club in Maleny is a great place for coffee, cake and meals during the day
The UpFront Club in Maleny is a great place for coffee, cake and meals during the day


Of course when you are in this area you can also pick up locally grown fruit and vegetables on the way back. There are couple on Steve Irwin Way just past Landsborough and Vecchio's near Beerwah.

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Where: Baroon Pocket Dam, Narrows Rd, Montville QLD 4560
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