We’re always giving you guys some pretty great tips on how to get your chow on in Brisbane, but we also like to balance that out by giving you some great tips on how to get outdoors and explore too.
If you’re trying to find a great way to spend your weekend that doesn’t involve Netflix and ice cream, we’ve unearthed some of the best hiking trails close to Brisbane. So, whip on your hiking boots, get out there and start exploring.
Lamington National Park
While this one is a little bit of a journey away from our fair city, Lamington National Park is home to a collection of stunning natural splendours that should be at the top of everyone’s Brisbane bucket list. The Morans Falls track easily takes the prize for best bush walk near Brisbane, winding through layers of volcanic lava flows and a subtropical rainforest before ending with killer views over Morans Falls and the surrounding valley. This adventure is one that will definitely make it onto your Instagram feed.
It might be an hour-and-a-half drive away, but the three-hour return walk along a rocky trail to the Lower Portals is well worth it. As well as being a pretty (and calorie burning) hike, the pools at the end are a sight to see, framed on either side by granite boulders. It's a stellar spot for a summer dip, you can also camp nearby, though you will need to score a permit in advance.
If your approach to fitness is of the go hard or go home variety, taking on Mount Warning, located between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay, might be the option for you. The hike takes around an hour up the mountain, culminating in a hardcore vertical rock climb up at the end. The best part? Mavis’s Kitchen, a few minutes from the base of Mount Warning, is a stunning spot for a well-deserved post-hike lunch and glass of wine.
Starting from the Mt Coot-tha lookout and winding down to the JC Slaughter Falls picnic area, Summit Track is one of the most iconic bushwalks in Brisbane for very good reason. This trail, located only a hop, skip and jump from the CBD, features an aboriginal art trail, a gushing waterfall (after a good rain day) and spectacular views over the city from the summit. Sunset is a particular favourite, as the sun paints the sky in the most gorgeous colours, while many locals use the trail purely for exercise. Trust us, those killer views are definitely worth the effort.
Aptly named, ‘the green behind the gold’ Tamborine Mountain has a wealth of incredible walks and hike just begging to be explored by foot. From the moderate walks at Witches Falls and Sandy Creek Circuit, to the just gorgeous Palm Grove Rainforest Circuit, any time of year is a good time to visit. From sub-tropical palms to imposing giant strangler figs and lookout points seemingly on every corner, these walkways are perfectly suited for the more relaxed walker.
D’Aguilar National Park
There are a few different trails you can take in the D’Aguilar National Park, from the moderate to the more advanced, depending on your abilities and experience. The Park offers spectacular views to Moreton Bay and the chance to explore subtropical rainforest, hoop pines, waterfalls, eucalypt forests and remote gorges. If you’re unsure where to start, try the 1.9km Rainforest Circuit.
Springwood Conservation Park
What used to be a quarry site is now a hidden forest paradise set in the middle of suburban Brisbane. The area boasts caves and cliffs, a gorge and rocks precariously balanced atop one another as well as wildlife including koalas and sugar gliders. Try the short Stringybark Lookout track at 570m or the Gorge Discover Circuit at 1.45km which will take you out to the gorge and back. Just be prepared to tackle a deathly set of stairs that will put your buns and legs to the test.
Springbrook National Park
Springbrook National Park in the Gold Coast offers heaps of different trails including the famed Natural Bridge with some of the most stunning waterfalls you’ll ever see. Pack some snacks and go for it.
Kondalilla Falls National Park
This area is abundant with native animals, including wallabies, platypus, goannas and many different species of frogs and birds. A trip to this corner of the Blackall Ranges will see you exploring winding wooden pathways and towering trees, straight out of your Ferngully dreams. Try the 4.7km Kondalilla Falls Circuit which passes through the fresh water rock pools of Skene Creek, perfect for a quick dip to cool down.
How do you get the best views of the Glasshouse Mountains? Climb one of them, of course. While they’ve all got their pros, if there’s one to add to the to-do list this season, it’s Mount Ngungun. With uninterrupted views of the neighbouring mountains, your Ngungun experience is guaranteed to put a spring in your step for the rest of the day. Any time is a good time to climb, but we’re a sucker for a good sunrise.
Also in the Glass House Mountains, Mount Tibrogargan is an adrenaline junkie’s paradise. Standing at 364m tall, Tibrogargan combines challenge, natural beauty and amazing views all in the one package. A word of warning, this one also requires scaling a vertical rock face to get to the summit, so be prepared to work!
Prefer to stay a little closer to home? Find your favourite urban Brisbane walks here.
Image credit: Chris Fuller, Sebastian Hans