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Best Bushwalks in the Scenic Rim

Home > Brisbane > Outdoor | Escape the City | Day Trips | Adventure | Walks
by May Cross (subscribe)
I'm a writer, artist and keen photographer.
Published September 9th 2020
These tracks are made for walking
Get back to nature and go bushwalking in the spectacular Scenic Rim. The Scenic Rim is home to over hundreds of kilometres of stunning tracks and national park trails. It is the perfect place to escape, get some healthy exercise and experience stunning scenery with gently flowing creeks and impressive waterfalls. There are six National Parks for you to explore, just an hour from Brisbane or the Gold Coast. So pack your car, the kids, or your friends and spend a day (or weekend) walking one of the dozens of magical bush tracks that dot the region's 4,243 square kilometres. And best of all, bushwalking is free. Don't forget your camera.

hazy, hill, scenic, rim, oreillys, bushwalk
Spectacular Views in the Scenic Rim (May Cross)


To get you started, here are 12 tracks that will reward you with pristine air, photo-worthy views and a sense of satisfaction. From sedate, well-marked paths, to challenging mountain scrambles, there's a walk to suit most abilities.

lamington, national, park, lookout, scenic, rim, bushwalk, o'reilly's, retreat
Sunset at O'Relly's (May Cross)


Tree Top Walkway - O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat (1.5km/30min)

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat is one of my favourite places in the Scenic Rim and I visit it frequently. The Booyung Boardwalk, featuring excellent interpretive signage, which leads you from O'Reilly's guesthouse to the walkway, which is a series of suspension bridges taking you up 16metres into the rainforest canopy. If you feel adventurous you can also climb ladders to a crow's nest platform 30 metres above the ground and perfect for taking some pics.

lamington, national, park, lookout, scenic, rim, bushwalk, o'reillys, parrot
Meet the Local Fauna (May Cross)


Lower Portals Track - Mt Barney National Park (7.4km/3hours)

The Lower Portals features a beautiful pool along a gorge on Mount Barney Creek. The walk has moderate to steep gradients. If you like, guide from Mt Barney Lodge can add info to your walk, explaining about the environment and habitats that you pass through, and help you to discover the best waterholes.

Mee-bor-rum Circuit - Moogerah Peaks National Park, Mt French section (720m/15min)

This circuit track passes through heathland and features the East Cliff Lookout with views of Tamborine, Lamington and Mount Barney.

moogerah, dam, scenic, rim, bushwalk
Moogerah Dam (May Cross)


Mt Edwards Summit - Moogerah Peaks National Park, Mt Edwards section (6km/3.5hours)

This walk starts near the picturesque Moogerah Dam wall. It is best suited for experienced walkers and requires a reasonable fitness level. Be careful, there are sheer cliffs and slippery rocks.

Rainforest Circuit and Mount Cordeaux Track - Main Range National Park, Cunningham's Gap (Rainforest Circuit 1.6km/30min; Mt Cordeaux Track 6.8km/2.5hours)

The Rainforest Circuit goes by the Allan Cunningham monument and is the beginning of an extensive track system on the northern side of the Gap. If you're after a harder walk, continue along the Mt Cordeaux Track for spectacular views back to Brisbane.

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Milky Way from the Scenic Rim (May Cross)


Mount Mitchell Track - Main Range National Park, Cunningham's Gap (10.2km/3hours)

This graded walking track to the twin peaks of Mt Mitchell begins on the southern side of the highway and passes through rainforest and open eucalypt forest. It ends on a knife-edge ridge above a sheer cliff on the east side of Mt Mitchell (1168m).

Palm Grove Circuit - Tamborine National Park, Joalah Section (2.6km/1hour)

You'll see palm groves and rainforest with strangler figs on this walk.

Curtis Falls Track - Tamborine National Park, Knoll Section (1.1km/30min)

This is an enchanting walk which begins in wet eucalypt forest beneath towering flooded gums.

lamington, national, park, lookout, scenic, rim, bushwalk
Ancient Wishing Tree (May Cross)


Witches Falls Circuit - Tamborine National Park, Witches Falls section (3.1km/1hour)

This track zigzags down the mountain through an open forest of banksia trees and into the rainforest with giant strangler figs. The circuit passes seasonal lagoons that are all full and home to insect and frog species. When the waterfall is flowing after rain, it is best viewed from a lookout platform accessed via a 200m detour from the main circuit.

Morans Falls - Lamington National Park, Green Mountains Section (4.6km/1.5hours)

This track starts 800m from the information centre. Excellent views of Morans Falls and Morans Creek Gorge can be seen from the constructed lookout located before the creek crossing. Layers of ancient volcanic lava flows are also visible.

lamington, national, park, lookout, scenic, rim, bushwalk
Lamington Lookout Point (May Cross)


Box Forest Circuit - Lamington National Park, Green Mountains Section (10.9km/4hours)

This track leads to Picnic Rock and Elabana Falls and runs through rainforest and impressive stands of smooth, pink-barked brushbox. If you intend on walking the entire circuit, walk in a clockwise direction and exit via the falls and Picnic Rock.

Scenic Rim Trail by Spicers - Mt Mitchell to Spicer's Peak Lodge (34.5km/across four days, with accommodation)

This is a new track and I confess I haven't walked it yet. The walk follows paths along ridges, escarpments, and through forest. Accommodation and meals are provided by the Spicer's Group (check with them direct for prices).

For things to see and do in the majestic Scenic Rim, check out their website.
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Why? to escape the city crowds
Where: Scenic Rim
Cost: FREE
Your Comment
Excellent article, May, love your photos!
by Elaine (score: 3|7590) 19 days ago
This is definitely an area on my bucket list. I'm a keen amateur photograher and the scenic rim is widely recognised as a photographer's oaradise.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8038) 5 days ago
Great walks and great photos May. Neil.
by Neil Follett (score: 2|774) 19 days ago
You’ve inspired me to put on the walking shoes , May !
by May (score: 2|689) 18 days ago
Great article and photos May
by Roz Glazebrook (score: 2|705) 16 days ago
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