Scale these Scenic summits

So, you want to climb a mountain but you don’t know where to start?

Well, the Scenic Rim is just the place to find your feet, given it’s home to more than 70 summits.

A perfect spot to start is in the World Heritage Listed Lamington National Park up on the McPherson Range outside Canungra.

CoomeraCircuit.NeerigomindalalaFalls Okay, so you won’t quite be climbing a mountain – you’ll drive up relatively steep and winding country roads to get to the tracks – but those tracks are great for getting some mileage in the legs.

You’ll get the fresh mountain air into your lungs, but Lamington won’t knock the wind out of your sails like a first-time mountain climb will.

Whether you choose to set out from the Binna Burra section or the O’Reilly’s (Green Mountains) section, you’ll have plenty of well-marked tracks to choose from – about 160km of them, in fact.

There is something for everyone, from the smooth, wheelchair-accessible 1.8km Centenary Track at O’Reilly’s to the rock-hopping, creek-crossing 17.4km Coomera Circuit at Binna Burra.

If you really want to build up the strength in your legs, there aren’t many tracks more pleasant (or picturesque) than the Border Track, which is 21.4km each way and links Binna Burra and O’Reilly’s.

Or if you want someone to guide you, local companies like Horizon Guides or International Park Tours can offer you valuable local wisdom on the tracks of Lamington National Park and beyond.

And, while you’re up there having your first mountain hiking experience in the wilds of Lamington National Park, you’ll be able to treat yourself to tried and tested mountain hospitality at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and Binna Burra Lodge.

MtMaroon.summit.rockcairnOkay, but I just want to climb an actual mountain

If you’ve already done plenty of hiking and you feel ready to climb a proper mountain from the base to the summit, Mt Maroon is an achievable challenge for a fit walker.

Mt Maroon – in Mt Barney National Park between Rathdowney and Boonah – rises to 966 metres above sea level.

It’s not all that big, particularly compared with nearby Mt Barney (which at 1359 metres above sea level is one of the largest peaks in south-east Queensland), but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Mt Maroon is quite steep, there are sections of slippery and loose rock, there are no marked tracks and it’s not uncommon for people to get lost or stuck up there.

The folk at National Parks say to allow at least 8 hours and that it should only be attempted by very fit, well-equipped bushwalkers with sound navigational skills.

So, unless you’ve got a friend who’s done it before and will climb it with you, seriously consider getting in touch with local guides from Mt Barney Lodge or Horizon Guides for your first time.

Mt Maroon is not a mountain you’d want to rush anyway, because there is so much to take in, from spectacular views across Scenic Rim, to vibrant wild flowers on the summit in spring.

 BorderTrackTake it easy & know your limits

If you’re reading something entitled ‘So, you want to climb a mountain but you don’t know where to start?’ the chances are you already suspect there are, naturally, some risks involved with climbing mountains.

Keeping that healthy level of respect for mountains will hold you in good stead as you discover a love of hiking in the Scenic Rim and pursue bigger, more challenging climbs in the region.

So, you want to climb a mountain but you don’t know where to start?

We suggest you start on some well-marked tracks like those at Lamington National Park, or check out these 14 Scenic Rim walks you’ll love, and take your time as you progress to the more rugged mountain climbs.

Other easier, well-marked mountain hikes to try (before you take on Mt Barney):

  • Mt Cordeaux (in Main Range National Park – great views of Moogerah Peaks and Mt Barney)
  • Mt Mitchell (also in Main Range National Park at Cunningham’s Gap)
  • Mt Edwards (in Moogerah Peaks National Park – steep but clear and accessible track)

Who knows, with enough time, training and good guidance you could end up atop Mt Barney.

Don’t just visit the Scenic Rim for the day, stay a while. Check out the region’s accommodation options.

Interested in more than climbing and walking? Check out more things to see and do outdoors in the Scenic Rim


About the Author:
Susie Cunningham lives in the Scenic Rim and loves all the region has on offer. She enjoys sharing stories about people, places and her experiences. She’s an avid walker and just loves exploring on foot, whether that means walking the dogs to her favourite Beaudesert coffee shop early in the morning before work or hitting the bushwalking tracks on the weekends. Some of her other hobbies include taking photos, buying (and eating) local produce and going along to local yoga classes, walking club and arts events. Follow her experiences on Instagram or at