Great Moderate Hikes in South East Queensland
The South East Queensland region has a lot of hikes, but often the casual hiker with some level of fitness is looking for medium length hikes. These are around 10 to 12 kms and usually represent a good 3 to 4 hours of walking without too much challenge. Here are the best moderate level hikes in South East Queensland.
There are lots of medium length hikes in South East Queensland
Many people turn to the Australian walking track grading standards when looking for a hike. While generally speaking, the standard will let you know how difficult a hike is. However remember that the standard is actually based on more than the difficulty of the walking, but also on the quality of the path, the total length of the path, and the safety of the path. For example, a track could be graded as 4 because the track has lots of exposed rocks and tree roots, or there are exposed cliffs that could be a danger to the walker, even though the walk is less effort than some grade 3 walks. So usually look at both the grade of the hike and the length to determine how hard the walk might be.
Daves Creek Circuit at Binna Burra
There are lots of great medium length hikes that take you to great views
If you are up at Binna Burra
in Lamington National Park, then there is one essential hike with everything. Daves Creek Circuit
is a 12 km hike and is a straightforward walk that passes through a range of different vegetation and terrain. It includes valley views and a waterfall.
Going through the tunnel of trees on Dave's Creek Circuit at Binna Burra
The most standout feature of this walk is Surprise Rock. It is an easy scramble up the boulders behind the Rock and it is good to time your walk to sit here for lunch or a snack.
Box Forest Circuit at O'Reilly's
Surprise, it's a rock
If you are in the Green Mountains
section of Lamington National Park, which is usually called O'Reilly's, then the most popular walk is the Box Forest Circuit
(don't confuse this with the Box Forest Track in the Main Range National Park). This is a 10.9 km walk and the first time we did this walk it took 5 hours to do because we stopped at every one of the many waterfalls and cascades on this walk to enjoy the view and of course take photos.
One of many falls on the Box Forest Circuit at O'Reilly's
It is worth taking snacks or lunch to enjoy at one of the great places to sit and eat, such as Tullerigumai Falls (Box Log) or Picnic Rock. Alternatively, stop for a swim at the Cascades.
Kondalilla Falls Circuit
The Cascades on the Box Forest Circuit at O'Reilly's
Only around 6.5 kms in length, the Kondalilla Falls Circuit includes the short 1.7 walk to the Rock Pools above the falls and a popular place to swim, and 300 stairs going down and up from the base of the falls.
The Kondalilla Falls looks great when the water is flowing
If this isn't far enough for you, then you can push from the low point of the Kondalilla Circuit to Flat Rock
and back, making the walk a total of around 12 kms. This additional section of the walk follows the creek and is flat and easy, so extending the walk requires little effort.
Mount Mitchell at Cunningham's Gap
You can push on to Flat Rock if you want a longer hike
This 10.2 km walk at Cunningham's Gap
is uphill all the way with some exposed sections of track over sheer cliffs. Yet it is a lovely walk through the rainforest to the peak and can be done by anyone with a moderate level of fitness.
The sharp peak of Mt Mitchell
The peak itself is a narrow wedge with steep cliffs on both sides. The walk is really a must-do in the area for the views and a great place to sit up at the top and enjoy lunch or a snack. I have added a photo of the peak below. The photo always looks like something went wrong with a panorama photo, but that is actually how it looks. This is a special little walk for anyone who isn't scared of heights.
Mt Cordeaux & Bare Rock at Cunningham's Gap
On the peak of Mt Mitchell
It is only a 6.8 km return walk at Cunningham's Gap
to Mt Cordeaux
, but, the walk up to the Mt Cordeaux lookout is uphill all the way. But it is not steep and if you are not in a hurry, it is easy. Mt Cordeaux is a nice place to enjoy views, and last time we did this walk, it was a place to stop for lunch while driving over the range.
Mt Cordeaux is a nice walk to great views
Fitter walkers can do another 6.8 kms to Bare Rock
, making the total distance 13.6 kms. Well worth the effort for the great views of the cliff arc that form that part of the Main Range National Park.
Mt Mathieson Trail at Spicer's Gap
Enjoying the view from Bare Rock at Cunningham's Gap
I don't actually know how long this walk is. The Mt Mathieson
Trail is 8.1 km return walk, but it makes no sense to do this walk this way, as it is better to do it as a circuit, returning via the Spicer's Gap Road. But I think that the total walk that includes Mt Mathieson, Heritage Trail, Governors Chair and return via Spicers Gap Road
is about 8 kms.
The view on the Mt Mathieson Trail
You will see some historic items on the trail, including an old cart, a well and settler's graves, as well varied terrain, views along the trail, views at Governors Chair, where a former Queensland Governor used to rest for lunch on the way out west, and a short easy scramble in one section. It certainly packs a lot into 8 kms.
Cronan Creek Falls at Mt Barney
The view from Governors Chair Lookout
This 12 km walk is a lovely walk along mostly an old logging trail following Cronan Creek
. While only a medium length hike, there are a number of challenges, including numerous creek crossings, where you can keep your feet dry with a bit of rock hopping, and the steep optional path to the Yellow Pinch Lookout.
The view from the Yellow Pinch Lookout on the Cronan Creek Falls Track
The highlight of the walk is Cronan Creek Falls. It used to be secret location, but now there is a sign and a path that leads to the falls. But the path ends at the creek below the falls, and you need to rock hop and scramble to the falls, or wade through the creek, to get to one the best waterfall swimming holes in South East Queensland.
Somerset Trail at Mt Mee
The last rock hopping section to the falls at Cronan Creek
This 13 km walk in North D'Aguilar National Park is often one of people's favourites. The walk is fairly straightforward, starting at The Gantry and making its way up to the Somerset Lookout with great views.
Walking the Somerset Trail
Personally, I find this walk boring but the views at the end are worth the walk. If you don't want to walk though, you can just drive to the lookout instead.
Sections of the Gheerulla Valley
Somerset Lookout at Mt Mee
The Gheerulla Valley
has a 21 km hike that goes from the valley up to the ridge and down again twice. But if you don't want to do such a long hike, there are 2 sections of the hike you can do as return hikes, one on the ridge with views down the valley and one in the valley itself.
Enjoying the view of Gheerulla Valley from the ridge
For views do the walk that goes from Delicia Road access point along the ridge to the Thilba Thalba Viewpoint. This is about 12 kms return, and you can make it a circuit by walking back via Delicia Road. Alternatively, you can walk in the valley starting at the end of Sam Kelly Road at the Gheerulla Camping area. If you don't head up the ridge to Falls, then it is about 11 kms return, making it a nice medium length walk.
Lower Bellbird Circuit at Binna Burra
Rainforest surrounded creek in the Gheerulla Valley
This walk at Binna Burra
includes both great views down into Numinbah Valley, where you can see features such as Turtle Rock, 'Kurraragin' (Egg Rock) and Ships Stern, and then heads down to Lower Ballanjui Falls. Heading down is the easy bit, but remember you have to walk back up again.
Great views on the Lower Bellbird Circuit
This information on this walk is a little confusing as the national parks website focuses on doing the track as a return walk, which is 10 kms, but you can also do it as a circuit where you start at one trailhead and return via another, completing the walk along the road for a short distance, which makes the walk about 12 kms.
Trachyte and Tibrogargan Circuits in the Glass House Mountains
It is worth adding in a side walk to the Lower Ballanjui Falls
The Glass House Mountains is one of the unique attractions in the South East Queensland region. If you don't want to tackle any of the peaks, you can walk around the bases. For an 8 km walk, combine the Trachyte and Tibrogargan Circuits
. Just so that people are clear, the Tibrogargan Circuit goes around the base of Tibrogargan, and is not the shorter but much much harder track to the peak of that hill.
Walk the base, not up, these hills in Glass House Mountains
The two circuits can be done independently and overlap in the middle section. To combine the walks, stick to the outer track to form a greater circuit. The walk features two nice lookouts for views of the hills and is well worth doing.
Enoggera Reservoir Circuit
If you are looking for a great 12 km walk without having to leave the Brisbane area, then walking the circuit around Lake Enoggera
is one of the most beautiful options. Officially the walk includes walking one section along the road, however locals just walk around the SEQWater fences closing off one area, not that I would encourage such sort of behaviour.
Hiking the forest trails around Lake Enoggera
As the walk follows fire trails, some areas are a little steep, so it is a little more difficult than many of the other walks on this list. But as it is a beautiful walk close to the lake, public transport accessible and actually in Brisbane, the effort is well worth it.
Barker Creek Circuit in the Bunya Mountains
Lake Enoggera is one of the nicest walks without leaving Brisbane
The Bunya Mountains National Park
is one of the few places in the region that still has a large number of bunya pines and are part of the traditional lands of the Wakka Wakka people, though the area was also used by first nations peoples as a central gathering point. The National Park has a lot of hikes, but for a nice medium length walk, then consider the 10 km Barker Creek Circuit starting from Dandabah .You can also combine it with the Scenic Circuit for a slightly longer 12 or 13 km walk.
Hiking in the Bunya Mountains
This walk includes views of bunya pine and hoop pine covered mountains, a couple of small waterfalls, as well as grassy areas, the exact origins of remain a mystery. While there, you will get up close and personal with the bunya pines, and you can see notches carved in the trunks from when Aboriginal people from various groups would gather together to celebrate during bunya pine nut season.
Baxter Falls & Beyond
Bunya Mountains View
An interesting walk is the Baxter Falls
section of the Sunshine Coast Great Walk. If you start at Flaxton Road entrance, walk down to the falls and then back up on the other side and then walk along the road to Mapleton Falls, then return, it is a total distance of 12 kms.
Baxter Falls in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland
The two falls of this walk make it interesting, but the steep walk down and up from the valley makes it a more difficult walk. Of course many people will just walk down to Baxter Falls and back up again, then drive to Mapleton Falls.
Baxter Falls is part of the Sunshine Coast HInterland Great Walk
provides plenty of opportunity for hiking, with many interinked paths of different levels and difficulty that can be combined together to do the hike of your choice, with options with lookouts, waterfalls, Aboriginal art and history. If you are new to hiking or just want to rebuild your fitness, then Mt Coo-that is the place to start. There are also multiple places to get coffee, ice cream and a meal while walking on the mountain.
Walking the trails in Mt Coot-tha
The most basic medium length walk is the 6 km Super Summit Circuit
that is best started at the Summit as there is a cafe to visit at the end of the end of the walk on your return. You can extend this in two ways. One is adding the Eugenia Circuit to the walk and taking in places like Simpson's Falls., and the other is starting at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and walking the 4 kms via the Spotted Gum Trail
, then returning along the road to the Botanic Gardens after doing the Super Summit Circuit to make walk of around 12 kms. Of course, there are lots of other variations and trails that can be combined.
Enjoying the view from The Summit on Mt Coot-tha