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Height: 836m

Location: Accessed via Waterfall Creek Reserve Camping Ground, Maroon

Mt May is part of Mt Barney National Park, a Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area known for its rugged ridges, remote peaks and spectacular wilderness.

The rocky trail, which sits at about 836m, is is recommended for experienced bush walkers with sound navigational skills and a high level of fitness.

Access is via Waterfall Creek Reserve Camping Ground, and hikers on Aussie Bushwalking.com evaluated the climb as ‘hard’ and recommended allowing at least four hours to complete it.

Mt May by @jhk801 via Instagram.

Experienced hikers on Aussie Bushwalking.com reported difficulty finding the start of the Mt May track, and strongly recommend downloading the free GPS track shared by another walker to the site.

They recommended ascending by the northern ridge from the campsite, descending via the southwest ridge and then walking the 4WD road back to the Mt May reserve.

Views from Mt May by @sons_ofadventure via Instagram.

Local Scenic Rim hiker Kate Bennie, wrote about her experience hiking Mt May with her family.

In her piece, published in the Queensland Times, Kate described Mt May as an off the beaten track hike, and a trail less travelled.

Mt May views by @kusiabanda via Instagram.

Kate reported stunning views over Lake Maroon, Mt Maroon and Mt Barney – just rewards for a steep and tricky hike.

“Mt May has two summits, and to start we headed straight up out of Waterfall Gully up the northern ridge to the north summit. It’s heart-pumpingly steep and there are no signs or defined track so it can be a bit tricky to find the way at times. The views overlooking Lake Maroon and beyond are stunning as you gain altitude,” she wrote.

“Descending into the saddle involved some rock scrambling and navigation, followed by a steep climb to the second summit. Once on the south summit we could enjoy amazing views from a couple of different positions on the peak. To the north, we looked over the south peak which was framed by Lake Maroon on one side and Mt Maroon the other. To the south we looked to Mt Barney and could appreciate that awe-inspiring mountain from a new vantage point.”

On Run Hike Laugh, one keen, solo hiker described Mt May as an “under-rated” peak and considered it one of the best climbs in south-east Queensland.

In her detailed account, that hiker also reported difficulty finding the start of the track, and urged fellow walkers to bring their navigational skills, a map and compass and plenty of water.

Mt May North Peak by @fotosizigia via Instagram.

Did you Know?

  • Mount May was formed from underground cooling of a molten rock called 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.
  • Mount Barney National Park covers 17,659ha of rugged terrain.

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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. Read more