Featured

6 great walking experiences in the Scenic Rim

03 May 2024
7 mins read
Walking in the Scenic Rim, Lamington National Park

Swap the concrete jungle for a real one, lace up your boots and grab your backpack and water bottle for a weekend of great walking in the Scenic Rim, only an hour from Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

The region’s trails are nothing short of geologically mind-bending, thanks to a landscape that’s over 200 million years young, and laced with clues about the time Australia was connected to Antarctica as part of the Gondwana supercontinent.

Naturally, the best way to explore it is on two feet, with the region’s trails winding through 30,000 hectares of forests, national parks and World-Heritage listed Gondwana rainforests.

On the bushwalking menu, you’ll find everything from short strolls to iconic multi-day adventures – each promising visitors the chance to soak in the scenery, reset circadian rhythms and relish in the cooler summer days and balmy nights.

For those worried about sweating up their Explorer socks, did you know, in the mountain ranges of the Scenic Rim it’s often seven or eight degrees cooler in Summer?

With so many trails for discovery, bypass a day trip and go straight to a weekend of Scenic Rim hiking adventures.

 

Walkers at the top of Morans Falls in Lamington National Park, Scenic Rim

For chasing waterfalls

Immerse yourself in the lush, sub-tropical rainforest of the World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park, taking the 4.4km return, grade four track to the stunning Morans Falls.

This 1.5 hour walk – longer if you’re a keen photographer – will take you over a crystal-clear creek to Morans Clearing lookout where you can take in sweeping vistas over the Albert River valley towards Mount Lindsey and Mount Barney in the distance.

As you wander towards Morans Falls lookout, you’ll come face to fern with the bird’s nest variety, along with booyongs, figs, brush box and twisted vines.

The reward at the end of your walk is a view of Morans Falls which drops 80m into Morans Creek gorge below.

Base yourself for this adventure at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, an ecotourism icon of the Scenic Rim, having welcomed guests for nearly a century to their mountaintop haven.

NOTE: the Morans Falls Track is currently closed to walkers until Friday 28 June 2024. See below for other great walks to do within the Scenic Rim while the national parks team goes about their work to upgrade this track. Before visiting any national park it’s wise to check the relevant park alerts for the latest information on where you can go, along with local park conditions.

 

View from Daves Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Scenic Rim

For epic views

Starting at historic Binna Burra in Lamington National Park, on the 12km, grade four Daves Creek Circuit walk you’ll wind through an amazing variety of forest types; from lush rainforest to towering eucalypts, sparse woodland and colourful montane heath.

As you walk, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of Springbrook, Mount Hobwee, the Araucaria lookout and Numinbah Valley from the Numinbah lookout. Stop for lunch in the cool shade at Picnic Creek or beside a trickling waterfall.

After your walk, reward yourself with a meal at the Binna Burra tea house, have a drink at Groom’s Cottage and relax for the night in one of Binna Burra Lodge’s Sky Lodges or Safari Tents.

Curtis Falls, Tamborine National Park, Scenic Rim

For families

The Curtis Falls Track through Tamborine National Park might take you only 30 minutes to complete, but its memories (and memory space occupied in your camera roll) will last so much longer.

This 1.1km return trail to the falls rewards walkers of all abilities with a spectacle of water tumbling over basalt columns into a pool below.

Little travellers will find the walk to the falls mesmerising, winding through wet eucalypt forest into dense rainforest.

Keep eyes to the sky to see the thick canopy, punctuated by crows nest and staghorn ferns.

Base your hiking adventure at kids’ nirvana, Thunderbird Park, with the choice of camping, caravanning, glamping or check into Cedar Creek Lodge at this 112-hectare prime mountain-top position.

Without needing to rush back home after the walk, you’ll have more time to explore the spoils of the Tamborine Mountain and Thunderbird Park activities like fossicking for ancient thundereggs, the Tree Top Challenge, Laser Skirmish and mini golf to name a few.

Or for another family-friendly experience, try the nearby Tamborine Skywalk for a new perspective of this ancient landscape. The Skywalk takes you to the upper reaches of the canopy, including a cantilever bridge that stands 30 metres above the creek and rainforest floor below.

Mount Barney in the Scenic Rim, seen from Mt Barney Lodge

For a guided evening hike

See the Scenic Rim’s World Heritage-listed national parks from a new perspective, by gathering your besties and joining Mt Barney Lodge for their Moonlit Cronan Creek Night Hike experience, run during the warmer months for group bookings of 6+ people.

They promise the best hiking is done at night at this time of year – and you’ll soon see why – as you head off in time for sunset and return under the light of the moon.

Dinner is served next to the falls by torchlight, followed by a dusk swim at the waterfall – talk about a hiking experience you’ll never forget.

Your sound track? The sounds of the Australian bush and the native wildlife that come out after dark.

Make the most of the experience by staying at Mt Barney Lodge, with a great choice of caravanning, camping, cabins or their homestead to settle into for the night.

ParkTours guide Lisa Groom with a tour group in Lamington National Park

For an immersive guided rainforest experience

Why not take the pain out of the planning and prep-work for an unfamiliar walk, and opt for a guided hiking tour?

 For an unforgettable adventure, join local experts, ParkTours, on a multi-day tour of their home base, Lamington National Park.

Their Alcheringa Escapes package tour takes you to world heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest highlights such as the lower Ballanjui Circuit with views of the eastern side of Lamington National Park, the spectacular Coomera Falls and lookout or Daves Creek circuit.

With all meals and snacks included on this five-night stay at Alcheringa Holiday Houses, you can expect plenty of down time to balance the adventures to be had on two feet.

Guests can expect to cover four to 12 kilometres a day and replenish their weary muscles in the onsite magnesium pool before doing it all again the next day.

Walkers in the Scenic Rim with Spicers Scenic Rim Trail

For walking where adventure meets luxury

Discover one of Australia’s most pristine regions on a Spicers Scenic Rim Trail, through the Main Range National Park.

This is a walking experience where adventure meets luxury. There’s even a four-day summer hiking format, trekking trails at high altitude and under rainforest canopy to help you skip the heat and say goodbye to the summer humidity.

After each day on the trails, you’ll be rewarded with a night at a special Spicers eco camp, complimented by delicious dining and award-winning wines.

Although you might be covering eight to 16 kilometres a day – it’s not all go, go, go with ample time for gourmet wining and dining and catching the sunset from your luxurious accommodation.

Hiker's feet wearing walking boots, looking over Lake Moogerah from Mount Greville

Top tips for safe hiking

  • Wear a hat and sturdy shoes
  • Be prepared! Pack sunblock and insect repellent, a jacket and a small first aid kit
  • Do your research and always choose walks suited to your fitness level
  • Check the trail map before heading out and follow it on a Trail App or downloaded map
  • Use recommended time-frames as a guide for the time needed for your adventure
  • Take more water and snacks than you think you’ll need, even for short walks
  • Tell your family and friends where you are going
  • Check the weather – never plan to walk in or after storms or heavy rainfalls
  • Walk early in the cool of the day. Do not attempt a long walk after midday
  • For long or difficult walks take a compass and a Personal Locator Beacon

For more tips, visit this handy guide