After publishing my last list of easy hikes in and around Brisbane people have been reminding me of some of the great hikes that I left off the list. Most of the hikes on this list are close to civilisation as well.
All these hikes are suitable for almost any level hiker and takes you out into nature without too much effort. So they are great for people who want to get their kids out into nature.
Burliegh Heads National Park
Until recently I have visited ever part of the Gold Coast except Burleigh Heads which was unfortunate as it has now become one of the most interesting parts of the Gold Coast with a great dining scene and plenty of places for surfers to catch a wave.
For the nature lover, a walk through the Burleigh Heads National Park is well worth it. The Ocean View Walk takes you through 1.2 km along the shore and is a very easy walk. You have the option of returning via the Tumgun track which takes you to the Lookout where, in the right season, you can spot whales off the coast. While this track is a little steep, it is well worth the effort.
If you want to focus on your fitness, join the main locals doing the whole 2.3 km rainforest circuit as a nice workout. Then cool off with a dip in the ocean and a cup of coffee and cake in one of the great Burleigh Heads Cafes.
Mapleton Falls National Park
Mapleton Falls can be visited just as a lookout, with the falls lookout only 50 metres down a wheel chair accessible track. You can also do the 1.5 km Wompoo Circuit to the Peregrine Lookout for spectacular views of the Obi Obi Valley.
Mapleton Falls (Attribution: Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing - Ross Naumann)
This is a great addition to a day trip to the area while include stops at Mapleton for coffee with views or Maleny for a little bit of shopping.
Bird Watching at Tinchi Tamba
Brisbane is a stopping point for many migratory birds and there are a number of wetland walks around Brisbane. Boondall is the best resourced with free guides on weekends, Nudgee Beach is really lovely and there is a nearby cafe as well. However my favourite is Tinchi Tamba.
There are two well maintained tracks, one on board walks over wetlands and the other to a bird watching hide on the river. However you can get off these main tracks and wander the wetlands along dirt tracks for about a 6 km walk. Not only will you pass through fabulous wetlands terrain but also have a opportunity to spot the mob of kangaroos that make Tinchi Tamba their home.
Tinchi Tamba also has a boat ramp, numerous barbecue areas and is a great fishing spot. So a wonderful day out for a family.
While Daisy Hill Reserve is more famous, an often more interesting place to hike and spot Australian wildlife is the Koala bushlands. Located 15 km south of the Brisbane CBD this quite bushland reserve is perfect for a short stroll or a longer hike.
The Appleton Road Visitor node includes interactive guides to spotting wildlife in the area and the 1.4 kilometer Stockyard Creek Walking Track gives young visitors an easy opportunity to learn about nature.
The Stockyard Creek Circuit is an easy walk and you might even see a Koala
If you are looking for a longer hike, the 10.8 km return Horse Trail takes you past creeks and ponds. The best time to visit this area is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when there is more wildlife around.
The Koala Bushlands is a very pleasant place to go for a walk
We have spotted numerous birds, water dragons, wallabies and turtles on the track. An American friend claimed to have spotted a large mob of kangaroos off the track, but he may not have known the difference between wallabies and kangaroos.
I have never spotted koalas in this area, and the locals I have talked to say they have never seen any either. The inside information I heard is that in reality there are only about 50 koalas specifically living in the Koala Bushlands itself. If you are lucky you may find some.
It is also a great place for a barbecue as there are 2 electric barbecues, toilets and rain water. But you need to bring your own drinking water.
How could I have left the South Bank Rainforest Walk off my last list. On a hot summers day you can escape both the heat and the glare by walking through this artificially constructed rainforest right in the heart of the city. My favourite part is it takes you to a Nepalese Pagoda. Something no other rainforest walk will let you do in Australia.