This National Park is only 250 km from Brisbane. Not quite a daytrip, but more like a fabulous weekend one. There are lots of places to stay in and around Stanthorpe which is probably the most convenient location and then it is a short 30-minute car journey to the entrance of the Park. For those more organised for a natural adventure, there is a camp site right by the park.
There is a very good information centre at the entrance to the park. Some very willing and passionate wildlife enthusiasts will ask you what you are interested in and what you would like to see and then channel you in the right direction. There is enough variety in just this park to satisfy many desires and expectations and I suspect that you won't be disappointed on any level.
We chose to do some of the longer hikes which I would recommend, but it is best to check each one with your group and measure it up against their fitness ability. Mount Norman is a long hike requiring some fitness and The Pyramid, which is slightly shorter, is also challenging as the climb is fairly steep up granite boulders with sheer faces. This is best done on clear dry days and it is not recommended to climb when the ground is wet. The sense of achievement and the wow factor once you get to the top are well worth the effort to get to there.
There are eucalyptus forests to walk through and orchids to spot, there are birds perched on trees, singing away, there are massive granite boulders which are truly awe-inspiring and some lovely cool waterways to soak tired feet or mop a wet brow.
The Granite Arch is a short walk and great for families with young children. It is mainly on level paths through the eucalyptus and the short undergrowth, but it is quite spectacular when you reach it.
The Junction offers a walk through thick vegetation but with a clear path leading to Bald Rock Creek and then the junction in the creek, where it meets Ramsay Creek. The slabs of rock are good for sunbathing and the creek is wonderfully refreshing. I also loved the colour of the rocks and the soft undulations caused from years of the water channelling through them.
We also explored Dr Roberts Waterhole and the Underground Creek. The former is reached by an easy flat path and forms a tranquil setting of still water where you can enjoy a drink or a picnic. The latter is a little more exciting. There are sculpted rocks to admire and history to absorb as you learn how the rocks were pushed up and the creek disappears underground. However, you can walk among the big boulders and get to where the water gushes out and you can even walk around and behind it to where the creek flows over ground again.
Some of the sculpted rocks near the Underground Creek.