The best hikes and walks in and around Brisbane

Want to get your blood pumping, while taking in the best views in and around Brisbane? Then this is the list for you. Whether you’re just starting out as a novice hiker or know your way around a mountain, there is something for you.

Don’t forget the essentials: a comfortable and practical backpack, water, plenty of snacks, sunscreen, a hat, good walking shoes, insect repellent, a first aid kit, your camera and a poncho or raincoat.

Do your research and choose a track that works for you. And make sure it suits your skills and fitness levels. You’ll also want to check the weather before you head off. Any chances of bad weather should have you turning around.

Hikes

Springbrook National Park

Springbrook National Park

This national park is 100km south of Brisbane and is full of waterfalls, lush rainforest, ancient trees and spectacular views. It has four sections: Springbrook, Mt Cougal, Natural Bridge and Numinbah.

There are many walks that you can take through this park ranging from 200m to 54km in length. If you’re looking for something super easy, try the Goomoolahra Falls Lookout Track, which is more of a stroll than a walk. Moderate walks include the Natural Bridges Circuit or the Best of All Lookout Track, which has Lord of the Rings vibes. For something more challenging that can end in a swim try the Purling Brook Falls Circuit continuing onto the Warringa Pools, or tackle the Twin Falls Circuit, which has been named the best short walk in southeast Queensland. After a more advanced hike? Warrie Circuit is for you.

Glass House Mountains

The Glass House Mountains are well known and consist of five mountains, each impressive and most offering extensive walking options for those with intermediate to highly advanced bushwalking skills. Only an hour drive north from Brisbane, it is perfect for a day trip.

Head to this national park with a game plan as there are separate entrance points for each mountain peak. For intermediate walks head to the Mt Beerburrum Summit Walk, Mt Beerwah View and Tibrogargan Trailhead. Those who are advanced can tackle the Mt Ngungun Summit Walk. Unless you are a very experienced bushwalker with specialised skills including navigation and emergency first aid, avoid the Yul-yan-man Track.

Tamborine National Park

Woman overlooking rainforest from a viewing platform

Mt Tamborine is within an hour’s drive from both Brisbane and Gold Coast. There are plenty of hike options and they deliver stunning views of the Gold Coast skyline and ocean to the east, and national parks within the Scenic Rim to the west.

You’ll find walking tracks in six sections of this national park. Great for beginners, most of these walks are short and relatively easy, however you are likely to encounter short steep sections at some points. The Cedar Creek Tracks are very popular for swimming and the Curtis Falls Track lets you view the falls from the bottom. For a unique perspective, experience the rainforest from the sky with the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk.

D’Aguilar National Park

A bit closer to home is D’Aguilar National Park, which is between 10km and 35km northwest of Brisbane’s city centre. Here you’ll discover an epic view of Moreton Bay, gorges, subtropical rainforest and eucalypt woodlands.

Within this national park are a variety of walks ranging from moderate to advanced skill level. The Rainforest Circuit is a short 1.9km, and is an easy walk in most sections. For those looking for something more advanced the Morelia Walking Track is great, and is mostly gently-sloping but can get steep in places.

Mt Coot-tha

Hands in love heart over Mt Coot-tha sunriseAnother one close to home is the Mt Coot-tha walking tracks. Only 7km from the Brisbane CBD, there are lots of walking tracks to choose from. You can find the extensive list here, but we recommend you park at the JC Slaughter Falls Picnic Area and for an easy route take the Summit Track up to the Mt Coot-tha Summit Lookout and back for glorious views of the city and surrounding suburbs. If you’re after something more challenging but still relatively easy, take the Summit Track up and return using the Mahogany Trail.

Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park

The Lamington National Park is full of rainforest, waterfalls, creeks, breathtaking views, natural beauty and walking tracks. Located two hours’ drive south of Brisbane, it is well worth the trek. There are two parts to this national park, Green Mountains and Binna Burra, and both offer half- or full-day hikes.

Both sections of the Lamington National Park have options for beginners and also have challenging, more advanced circuits. Some of our half-day favourites include the moderate Centenary Track or Python Rock Track from the Green Mountains and Rainforest Circuit or Caves Circuit (more challenging) from Binna Burra.

Kondalilla National Park

Just behind the Sunshine Coast, you’ll find Kondalilla National Park, 103km north of Brisbane. It’s most famous for the Kondalilla Falls, which drops 90m into a rainforest valley. Kondalilla Falls Circuit is arguably the most popular walk but fair warning, it involves 300 stairs to the bottom, so be prepared to walk back up. For something a little easier try the Picnic Creek Circuit, which will show you valley views from the lookout.

Mt Coolum

If you’re searching for ocean views, this is the spot for you. The view is incredible so get ready to take those happy snaps. Situated halfway between Noosa and Caloundra, you can hike in the morning and be on the beach to cool down straight after.

This one is for fit walkers only as the one track will take you straight to the summit. The Mt Coolum Summit Walk features some of nature’s own rock steps and some sections are steep and rocky with loose gravel.

Mt Barney

Mt Barney is the second highest peak in southeast Queensland and is part of the Mt Barney National Park along with Mt Maroon, Mt May, Mt Lindesay, Mt Ernest, Mt Ballow and Mt Clunie. Out of those mountains, Mt Barney is where you’ll want to go for all your hiking adventures. There are four main tracks you can take, which all recommend bushwalking experience. The Lower Portals Track is quite popular but the Upper Portals Track and Cronan Creek Falls are also great walks. For something shorter opt for the Yellow Pinch Lookout.

Walks

Brisbane Riverwalk

The Brisbane Riverwalk is one of the most iconic and beautiful walks in Brisbane and an absolute must-do in our opinion. Most of its path sits suspended above the river, so you’ll be walking on water (or as close to this as possible). This track runs between New Farm and Howard Smith Wharves, before continuing on to the Brisbane CBD and, if you want to go even further, all the way to Toowong. Added bonus: you can walk to a starting point straight from any Student One residence in a matter of minutes.

John Oxley Riverwalk

If you’re a UQ student then this walk will be the most convenient for you as it winds around the university campus, making it perfect for a study break walk before or after classes. The track is gravel and flat, making it an easy walk. This track takes you past the Eleanor Schonell Bridge, which we recommend checking out for a beautiful view of the river or to extend the length of the walk.

Kangaroo Point

Kangaroo point walk

Kangaroo Point is well known for its views and the dreaded cliff stairs, but it also makes for an epic walk, especially if you plan it for sunset when everything is candy hued and lighting up for the evening. Walk along the top, take on the stairs or head down to the bottom of the cliffs where you’ll find a boardwalk that takes you along the river.

City Botanic Gardens

The City Botanic Gardens are great if you are looking to go for a stroll, or build exercise into your picnic plans.

Bicentennial Bikeway

While technically a bikeway, there is a designated and popular path for walkers on this route. As another great riverwalk, we recommend starting at the QUT Gardens Point campus right under the Goodwill Bridge and following the path all the way to Toowong and back.

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