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Published June 12th 2021
Exploring The Steamers in Main Range National Park
The Steamers is considered one of the most iconic hike in South East Queensland. It is a great classic and beautiful hike and it is famous, especially for the stunning views from the Stern Lookout.
The iconic view from the Stern Lookout over the Steamers. Photo by Author.
The Steamers are the remnants of lava erupted from the Main Range Volcano. They are located in a remote area of the Main Range National Park and their name is due to the fact they look like an old steamship - the Prow, Funnel, Mast and Stern.
On Emu Creek Road there are three creek crossings, approachable with a 4WD or vehicle with high clearance. Photo by Author.
The hike is classified hard for the steepness, ruggedness, loose rocks, scrambling and exposed sections. The length is about 10 km return, allowed 8 hours walking time. The hike requires a good level of fitness and bushwalking experience. Wear hiking boots and carry with your a backpack with all the equipment. A tracker can help to navigate, especially in the bush.
There are a few trails to the Steamers and the head of the trails are at the end of Emu Creek Road and at the end of Old Mill Road.
All the trails to The Steamers are not contemplated by the Main Range National Park, meaning they are not official trails and there is not an official classification of the trails. Also, the trails are not maintained but they subsist because of continuous walking of the hikers.
In the grassy section before approaching the lava pinnacles, the trail is not clear and there are only a few sparse pink ribbons. Once at the base of the Funnel, the trail just continues along the side of the Mast and Stern.
Along Emu Creek Road is all farmland, making it a scenic drive. Photo by Author.
The trail is recommended for experienced and well-prepared hikers equipped with a compass, maps and a tracker. I explored The Steamers with my family starting at the end of Old Mill Road. There are three creeks to cross on Emu Creek Road, therefore a 4WD or a vehicle with high clearance is strongly recommended.
The gate marks the start of the hike. Please don't park in front of the gate to allow the passage of the emergency vehicles. Photo by Author.
When we arrived at Yangan Township, we travelled on Yangan Killarney Rd, then turned left into Emu Creek Road and Old Mill Road was on our left. When we arrived at the turn, the sign indicating Old Mill Road was missing.
The trail runs on the grassy hill and often is not clear. Some ribbons on trees mark the track. Photo by Author.
After hiking, the steep grassy section, we arrived at the base of the Funnel. The rock of the pinnacle is very red and there is a trail going onto the narrow razorback ridge. The views from the razorback are great, including awesome views of the Prow.
Walking on the razorback ridge. Very thrilling and great views. Photo by Author.
The evening brings a beautiful sunset. We went through Warwick and we stopped to have dinner at Warwick RSL Services & Citizens Club. The food was nice and the service was very good. We celebrate the hike to The Steamers.
Hiking gear: a hiking medium backpack, long trousers and shirt with long sleeve, light raincoat, very recommended hiking ankle supportive boots, first aid kit, insect repellent (it works for leeches; give preference to cream or roll-on that are more environmentally friendly than the spray), sunscreen, gloves, walking poles if you like to use them; socks protectors or gaiters.
Consider packing some extra clothes and leave them in the car. Pack some clean footwear and socks.
For this hike, consider carrying a map or download a good app on your smartphone that can help you to navigate in the bush.
Bring a medium day backpack with lots of water, especially if it's a hot day, 4.0 litres of water and snacks. During summer, you can bring electrolytes to dissolve in water to compensate for the loss through perspiration.
You may consider packing sandwiches, fresh fruit, dry fruit, energy bars and small meals.
Walk with family, friends or in a group. Never alone!
From Brisbane, take the Cunningham Hwy and head to Yangan. From here, drive onto Yangan Killarney Rd towards Emu Vale and then left into Emu Creek Road. Follow Emu Creek Rd and then turn left into Old Mill Road.
There are a few creek crossings and 4 WD is recommended or a vehicle with high clearance.