Mt Gravatt Caves

Mt Gravatt Caves


Posted 2024-06-07 by Roy Chambersfollow

Finding this secret spot in the Mt Gravatt Outlook Reserve

Looking like the home of a hobbit named Bilbo Bogans, the Mt Gravatt Caves are a little secret spot in the Mt Gravatt Outlook Reserve that is interesting to seek out. While sort of closed off now, many older Brisbanites have memories of going into and exploring the caves. These days of course you are limited to just looking in unless you want to take some risks or find another to get in.

This is not the home of Bilbo Bogans, but the Mt Gravatt Caves

Mt Gravatt Outlook Reserve is a popular spot for people to visit with a summit where there are views of the city and in the evening, views of the sunset. It is also a popular walking spot, with a 3 km hiking circuit that takes you up to the summit and of course back down again.

The view from the top of Mt Gravatt

The Mt Gravatt Caves lies a little way off from the Federation track which is one part of the Mt Gravatt Circuit. Yes, you can access the track to the caves from the suburban streets near the cave, but I would recommend starting on the Federation Track. The path to the caves goes from one spot on the Federation Track to another, with one entrance to the track to the right of the Federation Lookout and the other to the left of it.

Federation Lookout on the Mt Gravatt Federation Track

To help you understand where the caves are, they are essentially at the base of the creek that runs down the hill. When walking the Federation Track you will cross this creek on a little bridge. The creek plays a role in the formation of these false karst caves. Karst caves are formed through the dissolution of limestone by groundwater, while false karst or pseudokarst caves look like this but are not made of limestone.

Bridge over the creek where the caves are

Don't bother trying to rock hop down the creek to the caves as you will just end up running into the path that leads to the caves and a fence that will stop you going any further. Also, it doesn't look like a very easy creekbed to follow.

On the track to the caves

The Federation Lookout is a good place to use as a starting point to find the track of the caves, as it is an easy to spot landmark and because you can drive and park at this lookout. From the look, you go right and down the hill. The track to the caves will be the first one on your left. It is unmarked but easy enough to spot. If you miss it, you will know you have gone too far when the track turns to the right and starts going back up the hill.

Heading down Federation Track from the Federation Lookout

The other way is to start from Gertrude Petty Place where there is a reasonable-sized car park. If you can't find parking, wait 10 minutes for someone who has just finished their walk to leave. From here, head up the Federation Track until you see a path leading off to the left beside a set of stairs. This should be the path to the caves.

When walking from Gertrude Petty Place you will see this path leading off to the left at this spot

As I said, the caves lie on this little path just below a fence. If you are coming from Gertrude Petty Place then the fence will be what indicates you need to get off the track, heading downhill. If coming from the other way, you will have to walk past the fence your get off the track. You will see the caves easily as it is maybe 10 metres off the path. When I was there a cage enclosed the caves, but this had been forced open. There were also big blocks placed in the entrance, but one had been pushed out. I assume at night this is a popular place for teenagers to hang out and drink.

Inside the caves

Yes, you can crawl into the caves, either through a hole in the wall or if you are a rock climber, through the hole in the entrance to the caves. Remember, it is officially closed off, so do so at your own risk both in terms of safety and in terms of breaking any regulations. The caves are reasonably spacious inside and people have told me about going deeper into the caves, but I didn't do this.


There seem to be two types of people. The first wants to stick to the normal tracks and just follow them. The other wants to get off those tracks, explore and discover things. Or maybe we were all once like this but some people have lost the joy in exploration that we had as children. Maybe there aren't too many secrets left in the world around us, but there are little places we can find, sometimes right near places we have walked past many times. The Mt Gravatt Caves is one of those little secrets. It is not spectacular or fantastical, but still, a little place we have to search for to find.

286175 - 2024-05-15 09:21:20


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