The Scenic Rim is home to six National Parks. In December 1994 the UNESCO World Heritage Committee officially extended the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves Australian World Heritage Area over the Scenic Rim, including the Main Range, Lamington and Springbrook National Parks, and most of Mt Barney National Park. These National Parks, with their abundant natural beauty and steep and rugged mountain ranges, put the scenic into the Scenic Rim.
To avoid damage to the Scenic Rim’s National Parks, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has imposed camping restrictions for most parks. To enquire about the requirements and to make a campsite booking contact the Smart Service Queensland Integrated Contact Centre.
Easy level track, suitable for all fitness levels. No previous bushwalking experience necessary. All junctions signposted.
Class 3 Track:
Well-defined distinct tracks, variable in width. All junctions signposted. Reasonable level of fitness required and ankle-supporting footwear recommended.
Class 4 Track:
Distinct tracks, surface likely to be rough. All junctions signposted. Moderate fitness level and ankle-supporting footwear strongly recommended.
Class 5 Track:
These tracks are not constructed or maintained by the QPWS and no signs or markers are provided. High fitness level and extensive ‘off-track’ experience is essential.
Fishing & Boating
The Scenic Rim is a popular destination for fishing and boating. It’s home to three dams – Maroon Dam in the south, Moogerah Dam in the west and the new Wyaralong Dam, which is located between Boonah and Beaudesert.
The Maroon and Moogerah Dams are open to powered craft, however the Wyaralong Dam is not.
The Scenic Rim is a birdwatcher’s paradise and offers visitors the chance to sight a great variety of birds. Most of the native Australian bird families can be found here and our National Parks are the best place to see them.
Some of the birds you may see include the Wedge-tailed Eagle, the Glossy Black Cockatoo, the Pale-headed Rosella, the Regent Bowerbird, the Albert’s Lyrebird and the Noisy Pitta. Bird watching PDF
Lamington National Park NOTE: closed as at 8/9/2019 due to bushfire damage
The Lamington National Park is home to the Scenic Rim’s most diverse and accessible natural habitat. It is made up of two sections, Green Mountains and Binna Burra. Green Mountains is located on the western side of the Lamington Plateau in an area called O’Reilly, after the O’Reilly family who first settled the land in the early 1900s. Binna Burra is located on the eastern side of the plateau, closest to the Gold Coast.
The Lamington National Park was declared in 1915 and covers 20,590 hectares of land. It features many walking tracks along the McPherson Range, and dramatic lookouts which offer sweeping views over the Gold Coast, south-east Queensland and as far as northern NSW.
Lamington National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area, and includes the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world, most of the world’s warm temperate rainforest and nearly all of the Antarctic beech cool temperature rainforest.
From Broadbeach, drive 40km to Canungra via Nerang. From the north, take the Pacific Motorway exit 34 to Beenleigh, route 92 to Tamborine, and route 90 to Canungra. The 36km winding and often narrow bitumen road from Canungra requires care and takes at least 50 minutes. This road is unsuitable for caravans.
Allow 70 minutes from Broadbeach. Drive 38km to Beechmont via Nerang. From the north take Pacific Motorway exit 34 and route 92 to Tamborine, and route 90 to Canungra then 18km to Beechmont. The final section of the 10km drive is very narrow.
Camping and Accommodation
The national park campground is located at the Green Mountains section, 200m from the park’s information centre. Camping permits must be booked in advance for all weekends and school holidays. Water, toilets and hot showers are provided. Campers should supply all of their own drinking water as water quality cannot be guaranteed. No open fires allowed. No powered sites available. As at 8/9/2019 the Binna Burra Mountain Lodge accommodation adjacent to the Binna Burra section of the Lamington National Park was closed due to damages and losses caused by bushfires.
The Lamington National Park offers a good range of walking opportunities, ranging from 1.2km to 54km. The Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk can either start or finish at the Green Mountains campground. For more information on Lamington National Parks walks, click here.
Tamborine Mountain National Park
The Mount Tamborine National Park is a green oasis consisting of 14 parcels of land, including Witches Falls, which in 1908 became Queensland’s first national park.
The mountain features basalt columns, cliffs, rocky outcrops, numerous waterfalls and lush forests. It is home to the rare Albert’s lyrebird and a host of other fascinating wildlife.
Nine walking tracks throughout the park lead to excellent views, beautiful waterfalls and forests of piccabeen palms. Sit quietly at Curtis Falls, or enjoy a picnic at Witches Falls.
Tamborine National Park is about 80km south of Brisbane and about 36km north-west of the Gold Coast. From the Pacific highway turn off at Beenleigh, or take the Oxenford-Tamborine Road, or the Nerang-Tamborine Rd. Four sealed roads lead to the plateau. The steep narrow roads from Nerang and Canungra are unsuitable for buses, trailers and caravans.
The park’s visitor information centre is located at Doughty Park, corner of Geissman Dr and Main Western Rd, North Tamborine. It is open from 10am to 3pm daily.
Since the Witches Falls National Park was first declared, many other parcels of land have also been declared and added to the National Park. Many of these parcels were donated to the Environmental Protection Agency by their private owners to ensure their future protection and preservation. Some of these donated sections include:
Zamia Grove: donated by Edwin Franklin and Frank Salisbury. This section on the plateau edge preserves a grove of cycads, an ancient plant dating back almost 300million years.
Pirralilla Section: donated by Kath Dobbie. This park is located opposite the fig tree roundabout at Long Road. It is an important area of remnant rainforest, containing rare and threatened plant species.
Mt Barney National Park
Mt Barney National Park takes its name from the distinctive and rugged Mt Barney, but it is also home to the spectacular peaks of Mounts Maroon, May, Lindesay, Ernest, Ballow and Clunie.
Mt Barney National Park has a special significance to Aboriginal people who have legends to explain their connection with the mountains. On a frosty morning in 1828, the commandant of the Brisbane settlement, Captain Patrick Logan and botanists Allan Cunningham and assistant Charles Fraser set out from their camp to climb Mt Barney. Fraser’s journal graphically recounts the climb, describing the perils they encountered. Logan was the only one to complete the ascent, the others turned back because they found it too difficult.
Mt Barney is composed of granophyre, a granite-like rock, which formed below the earth’s surface as a dome-shaped intrusive mass. This intrusion and the overlying sandstone of carboniferous period (350 million years ago) were both later pushed up 2000m. Erosion has stripped away the softer overlying sedimentary rocks, leaving the mountain as it stands today. The nearby peaks of Mount May, Mount Maroon and Mount Ernest also began from underground cooling of molten rock, but are composed of rhyolite, which is similar to granite.
Mount Barney National Park and Mount Lindesay National Park were gazetted as separate parks on September 6, 1947. Mount Barney National Park was extended to include Mount May and Mount Maroon in 1950. Thirty years later, in 1980, the two parks were amalgamated to form the current Mount Barney National Park, named after the park’s highest peak. The park covers 17,659ha of rugged terrain.
Mt Barney can be accessed from Brisbane via Beaudesert, Boonah or Woodenbong. From Brisbane follow the Mt Lindesay Highway via Beaudesert to 1km past Rathdowney, then turn right on to the Boonah-Rathdowney Rd. Travel 8km to the Barney View-Upper Logan Rd turnoff. Follow the signs to Yellow Pinch and Lower Portals a further 12km.
From Boonah: Follow the Boonah-Rathdowney Rd south for 39km. Turn right onto the Barney View-Upper Logan Rd where signs direct you to Yellow Pinch and Lower Portals.
From Woodenbong:take the Mt Lindesay Highway north for 31km. Turn left into Mt Barney Rd and follow the signs to Yellow Pinch and Lower Portals.
Walks in the Park
The Mount Barney National Park features a number of walking tracks. These have been rated as Class 4 and 5 tracks by the Environmental Protection Agency.
These tracks take walkers through a range of habitat, past gorges, natural pools, rainforest and up to the Mount Maroon summit.
The Main Range National Park is located on the western part of the Scenic Rim. The park covers 29,730ha and features five very diverse sections, Mt Mistake, Goomburra, Cunningham’s Gap (including Spicer’s Gap), Mt Roberts and Queen Mary Falls.
The park features a range of natural habitat, including rainforest, open eucalypt forest, rocky ridges and drier slopes. These habitats shelter much wildlife, including the seldom seen Albert’s lyrebird, the eastern bristlebird and the black breasted button quail. A restricted plant species, the giant spear lily Doryanthes palmeri also occurs in the park.
These diverse habitats are home to much wildlife, spectacular views and popular walking trails.
The dramatic escarpment of the Main Range is a remnant of a volcano that was active some 24million years ago. The Main Range shield volcano once spread across the Fassifern Valley, probably as far as Mount Maroon, Boonah, and even Ipswich, and west to Warwick.
Main Range National Park is 116km south-west of Brisbane and 50km east of Warwick. The Cunningham Highway crosses the park at Cunningham’s Gap.
The eastern approach to Spicers Gap is suitable for conventional vehicles and is reached via Lake Moogerah Road, which leaves the Cunningham Highway 5km west of Aratula. Spicer’s Gap Road ends at Governor’s Chair carpark where the closed road is now accessible as a 1.6km walking and horse trail through Spicer’s Gap conservation park.
Queen Mary Falls section
Queen Mary Falls is 11km east of Killarney on the Killarney-Boonah Rd, a scenic and winding road offering attractive views of the southern Darling Downs. The route to the park is well signposted. The approach from Boonah is very steep and should be travelled with care. Not suitable for caravans.
Mount Roberts section
Mt Roberts is a remote bushwalking area reached only on foot from the Killarney-Boonah Rd, 50km south-west of Boonah. Bushwalking experience and navigational skills are essential.
Mount Mistake section
Access is via the Goomburra section. Mt Mistake is quite remote and visitors require bushwalking experience and navigational skills.
Located about 175km south-west of Brisbane, Goomburra section can be reached from both the New England and Cunningham Highways. Turn off the New England Highway 3km south of Allora onto the Inverramsay Rd. Follow this road then Forestry Reserve Rd east about 35km to the park boundary. From Cunningham Highway at Gladfield, 25km west of Cunningham’s Gap, or 13km east of the Cunningham and New England Highway junction, turn north and travel 8km to join Inverramsay Rd. Follow it and then the Forestry Reserve Rd to park boundary. The last 6km of road is unsealed. Goomburra is a special area for frogs. Please do not disturb, handle or remove frogs, their eggs or tadpoles. Do not discard soap, detergent or shampoo in the creek or along the banks.
These peaks are all near Moogerah Dam and are accessible from the Cunningham Highway, about 100km west of Brisbane.
Mt French is 9km west of the signposted turnoff just south of Boonah. Mount Edwards is east of the Cunningham Highway, 9km south of Aratula. Mount Greville is 25km southwest of Boonah, via the Mt Alford Rd, or 11km south of Lake Moogerah. Mount Moon is surrounded by private property and access must be arranged with the respective landholders.
The Mt French section of the National Park provides the only facilities within the Moogerah Peaks Park. Picnic facilities, toilets, barbecues and short walking tracks are provided at the summit of this section. The Moogerah Dam caters for water-based recreational activities and has picnic facilities with toilets.
A number of walking tracks of varying degrees of difficulty are located in the Moogerah Peaks National Parks. The easiest walks are located in the Mt French section of the park