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Day Trip to Crows Nest National Park

Home > Brisbane > Walks | Picnic Spots | Escape the City | Day Trips | Weekend Escapes
by Anna (subscribe)
I'm Anna - a full time worker and keen adventurer who loves to explore and make the most of what life has to offer. My partner and I enjoy spending our weekends in the great outdoors and getting off the beaten track.
Published October 9th 2018
Waterholes, granite rocks, scenic lookouts and much more
Looking to treat yourself to a spontaneous day trip? Look no further than Crows Nest National Park.

Crows Nest National Park, Darling Downs, Toowoomba, Daytrip, Bushwalking, Nature,
One of the many waterholes along the Kauyoo Loop


Crows Nest National Park is situated on the edge of the Great Dividing Range approximately 6kms east of Crows Nest and 56kms north of Toowoomba. From Brisbane it is approximately a 2 hour drive. The quickest route is actually quite a scenic one as you drive past Lake Wivenhoe and pass through the sleepy town of Esk on your way towards Crows Nest.

Crows Nest National Park is a dry sclerophyll forest and is home to unique granite formations, breathtaking scenery and a series of waterholes which are ideal for cooling off in summer (perhaps in winter too - if you're brave enough to try!) Crows Nest National Park also provides camping facilities, a well maintained picnic ground and a small selection of bushwalks for you to choose from.

Crows Nest National Park, Darling Downs, bushwalking, nature, relax, Toowoomba, photography,
Granite formations


The beauty of Crows Nest National Park is that you can explore all that it has to offer in a day. If you're a fitness freak looking for a 10km walk then this is probably not the place for you. If you're after a more laid back walk with some of the best water reflection scenery around (make sure you have your camera handy!) then you won't be disappointed.

There are two walking tracks to choose from. These are the Crows Nest Falls Lookout via Kauyoo Loop (2.1km return) and the Koonin Lookout (4.5km return). The tracks adjoin onto each other so it's easy to walk both tracks.

The Kauyoo Loop starts off with a short walk before arriving at a small, shallow waterhole with easy access via a sandy beach. This first swimming hole is ideal for young children.

Crows Nest National Park, Darling Downs, bushwalking, nature, relax, Toowoomba, photography,
The first waterhole


Continue onwards over some steep crevices and slippery rocks before arriving at the Cascades. Again, the Cascades scenery over the gorge and Kauyoo Pool is amazing and will give you some great photo opportunities.

Crows Nest National Park, Cascades, Darling Downs, bushwalking, nature, relax, Toowoomba, photography,
A crevice along the cascades


You can opt to follow the track down to Kauyoo Pool. This is another swimming hole with a shallow, sandy beach but the walk to get down there is reasonably challenging.

A little further and you will reach Bottlebrush Pool. This is a deep swimming hole with some of the prettiest landscape mirror scenery around. Because it was the middle of winter, there was no one swimming so we got some lovely photos of the still waters and reflections of the bottlebrush trees and the surrounding granite boulders.

Crows Nest National Park, Cascades, Darling Downs, bushwalking, nature, relax, Toowoomba, photography,
Mirror scenery doesn't get better than this.


Not long after Bottlebrush Pool, the track will loop back to the carpark. If you wish to continue onto the Crows Nest Falls track you can do so here. We did and unfortunately there was very little water to see.

Crows Nest National Park, Cascades, Darling Downs, bushwalking, nature, relax, Toowoomba, photography,
Climbing these stairs is a real adventure!


The final stretch of the walk up to Koonin Lookout is the longest but you'll be rewarded at the end with a bird's eye view of the 'Valley of Diamonds' and to distant hills around Ravensbourne.

Crows Nest National Park, Kooning Lookout, Cascades, Darling Downs, bushwalking, nature, relax, Toowoomba, photography,
Views from Koonin Lookout


For further information on Crows Nest National Park, refer to the NPSR Website.

Tips:
If you're looking for somewhere to eat along the way, Nash Gallery and Café in Esk is definitely worth stopping by. This quaint, old queenslander style café offers an array of dishes with locally sourced ingredients and it's reasonably priced ($20 upwards) given how large the dishes are.

Nash Gallery Cafe, Esk, Food, Art, Birds,
There are a lot of colourful birds to see at Nash Gallery & Cafe


If you wish to take a different route home, you can head through Toowoomba and down the range. Sunset views over the Lockyer Valley are nothing short of extraordinary!

Sunset, Lockyer Valley, Darling Downs, Toowoomba, Gatton, farming, produce,
Sunset views as you drive home
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Why? Treat yourself to a spontaneous day trip
Where: Crows Nest National Park
Cost: Free
Your Comment
I am really quite amazed at Anna's writing abilities, her photography and the accuracy of her descriptions. Everything to see there was as beautiful as we expected.
by johg (score: 0|2) 478 days ago
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