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Baxter Creek & Mapleton Falls Hike

Home > Brisbane > Day Trips | Escape the City | National Parks | Outdoor | Walks
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published April 10th 2016
The loveliest section of the Sunshine Coast Great Walk
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is made up of a number of fantastic smaller sections worth hiking on the own. A beautiful section is the Baxter Falls and Mapleton Falls Walk. Two others are the Baroon Pocket to Kondalilla Falls track and the Gheerulla Valley Circuit.

Baxter Falls
Baxter Falls


This walk starts at the Great Walks Entrance on Flaxton Mill Road, goes down to Baxter Creek and Falls, and then up again to the road. It is then a pleasant stroll along the side of the road following the Great Walk signs to Mapleton Falls.

Mapleton Falls Lookout
Mapleton Falls Lookout


All up, the walk is 12 kms return. You can also just do a very pleasant shorter hike just down to Baxter Falls and back.

Hikers on the trail to Baxter Falls
Hikers on the trail to Baxter Falls


The start of the walk is easy enough to find. Put 160 Flaxton Mill Road into GPS and you will see the start of the walk and carpark on the other side of the road from this address. It is also just past the start of the dirt section of Flaxton Mill Road.

The start of the hike
The start of the hike


If you only want to walk as far as Baxter Falls and back then you could start walking at Suses Pocket Road, but there is no parking at that location other than pulling off to the side of the road onto what are very narrow shoulders.

The various access points to the hike are clearly marked
The various access points to the hike are clearly marked


Starting from Flaxton Mill Road, the walk proceeds a short distance down a hiking path and then joins a fire trail that leads to the Flaxton Walkers Camp.

The early part of the track is very easy
The early part of the track is very easy


This camp has basic facilities, including toilets and a water tank. Fires are not allowed. If you are not doing the through walk or doing an overnight stay before taking on one of the walking tracks, there is little appeal to camping here.

Flaxton Walkers Camp
Flaxton Walkers Camp


The fire trail continues past the walkers camp for another 400 metres before joining the hiking path. This path leads down the hill through a series of switchbacks and steps. The total vertical descent is about 200 metres. While not the hardest or steepest path I have walked, it is a relentless and continual slope, which of course you will have to head back up.

The tracks to and from the creek are steep. The one to Flaxton Mill Road has lots of steps.
The tracks to and from the creek are steep. The one to Flaxton Mill Road has lots of steps.


When you arrive at the creek, follow the sign to the right to arrive at the lovely Baxter Falls and the pool underneath it. The water looks deep enough to swim, but you would probably be better off going to a better swimming hole like Kondalilla Falls.

Baxter Falls
Baxter Falls


Crossing the creek here is easy. You have to option to rock hop over, but there is also a metal suspension bridge which makes the crossing easy in all conditions.

The bridge over Baxter Creek
The bridge over Baxter Creek


From Baxter Creek, the track leads back up. This side is not as steep as the track on the other side with only a few steps. If you are not sure of your fitness and just want to visit the falls, then this is the side to do.

The path up to Suses Pocket Road is long but not as steep as the other side of the creek
The path up to Suses Pocket Road is long but not as steep as the other side of the creek


The track lets out at Suses Pocket Road. From here the walk goes a little over 2 kms along the road to Mapleton Falls. This is a pleasant and signed walked, and part of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk. Suses Road joins Obi Obi Road before veering off to right onto Mapleton Falls Road.

The road into the walk from Obi Obi Road is well sign posted
The road into the walk from Obi Obi Road is well sign posted


The end destination of walking along the road is the beautiful Mapleton Falls Lookout. To honest, the view of the falls is not very exciting as you are almost directly above the drop, but the view down the valley is spectacular.

Mapleton Falls Lookout
Mapleton Falls Lookout


There is also the 1.2 km Woompoo Circuit here, as well as a nice picnic area. So when walking this track, this is the place to stop for lunch. The Mapleton Falls Lookout is worth visiting on its own, in which case, it is just a matter of driving up to the lookout.

Wompoo Circuit at Mapleton Falls
Wompoo Circuit at Mapleton Falls


The walk to return back is simply to retrace your steps. After the hike the nearest cafe is the Flaxton Barn. There are of course other places to go for coffee, cake, meals and drinks in the area. We often stop at the UpFront Club in Maleny or taste the wines at the Flame Hill Vineyard.

The Flaxton Barn is the closest place to walk
The Flaxton Barn is the closest place to walk


The Complete Sunshine Coast HInterland Great Walk is 58 kms in length and takes 4 to 6 days to complete. While the various sections and subsections are popular with hikers, few people do the complete walk. Most of the best overnight hikes are in the Gheerulla Valley.
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Why? Everyone loves a beautiful view
Where: Flaxton Mill Road Entrance (just after the end of the bitumen section of Flaxton Mill Road)
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