However many people don't have time to spend the whole day hiking on the weekend, so they head off to shorter, quicker hikes that can give you a good workout and still give you enough time to be home for lunch. I previously wrote a list of 5 popular training hikes in the Brisbane area but thanks to suggestions from readers, here are 5 more.
Burleigh Heads National Park
When I first saw Burleigh Heads National Park on the map I wondered to myself why so many people like this area so much. After visiting it for the first time recently I realised that the answer is very simple, Burleigh Heads is a wonderful area and the national park is a little gem right on the beach at the Gold Coast.
There are 3 tracks across Burleigh heads and doing a circuit is not much more that 3 km. However the Tumgun and Rainforest tracks go up over the hump that makes up Burleigh Heads National park. Do as the locals do, and walk or even run the circuit a few times to get into shape.
This is a great way to work your lower body and of course you can follow it a swim or paddle in the surf or estuary afterwards. The only real hazard is the numerous great cafes in the area which entice you to enjoy some cake after your workout.
Shorter hikes in Lamington
There is one great shorter hike in the Binna Burra section of Lamington national park. The Gwongoorool Track is 3 kilometres down to the valley followed by 3 kilometres back up the hill.
Because of the way all the tracks are designed, the slope is rarely more than 1 to 10 ratio. If you are just building up your general hiking fitness this is great, however if you are building fitness for much steeper hikes then you would want to also do some other steeper tracks. However 3 kilometres uphills gives both your legs and your heart a nice workout.
Lesser Known Mt Coot-Tha Trails
Mt Coot-tha is a popular location for training hikes. While tracks such as Honeyeater and Powerful Owl are well known, there are a number of lesser known but more challenging tracks.
This is the steepest track in Mt Coot-tha. Not to be confused with the Summit Track, it actually runs from the base of Mt Coot-tha straight up to the summit. Even walking it is a tough challenge and I know people who run it. The trail starts off Russell Terrace.
This is a rugged track that starts in Bardon at the end of Gordon Road and ends up to Simpsons Falls. You can then take the Eugenia Circuit to extend this hike before returning back down the track. Alternatively, you can take a bus to the start of the hike and then follow other tracks to cross over Mt Coot-tha and take a bus from another location, whether it be The Summit or the Botanical Gardens.
Mt Coot-tha is home to several rocky and mostly dry creek beds. Some hikers use them to practice their rock hopping for other more challenging hikes, such as Larapinta Falls. The two main creeks that are used for this are West Ithaca around Simpson's Falls, and East Ithaca around JC Slaugher Falls.
Be aware of course that rock hopping, especially if the rocks are wet, can be dangerous and you should only do this if you confident and prepared to accept the risks. However it is a great way to determine if you are going to be comfortable undertaking a more challenging rock hopping hike.
White rock could be considered not much more than a pleasant stroll through the Queensland bush. However the eponymous Rock along with another rocky escarpment provides the perfect environment to test and build your scrambling and even climbing skills.
There are three main ways up and down White Rock. The most common path is a little gully to the left of the overhanging main cliff. While not hard, it is an easy way to see if someone would be able to handle a more difficult climb.
The third way up is popular with rock climbers keen to practice or build their bouldering skills. At the back of White Rock you will find a small vertical face that is usually marked with chalk dust from previous climbers. A great and not particularly dangerous location to practice your rock climbing.
Of course you can hike around the area and to White Rock without any scrambling or climbing, however that takes the fun out the experience.
Gold Creek Reservoir
The increasingly popular 5 km walk takes you around the Gold Creek Creek Reservori in Upper Brookfield. The short length of 5 km, a few steep hills and lovely scenery makes this the best half day hike in the Brisbane suburbs.
The only hassle is that the tracks are not well marked and while in theory you should be able to keep the reservoir on one side, it is best if you take topographic maps with you or at least download a map onto your phone. Free topographic maps are available from QTopo.