Walking the Mt Mitchell trail Walking the Mt Mitchell trail – Image courtesy of @kersplashhh – www.visitscenicrim.com.au

Introducing the Border Ranges

Drive the Scenic Rim Way from Brisbane across the Great Dividing Range to Warwick then continue through the valleys of the Border Ranges into NSW before heading back across the border to the villages of Tamborine Mountain.

Along the way, discover mountain ranges, ancient trees, colourful wildlife, waterfalls and easy rainforest walks with wonderful views.

Picnic at Cunningham's Gap, bushwalk to the Fassifern Valley lookout and zigzag carefully up Mount Cordeaux past lyrebirds and scarlet-flowered giant spear lilies.

The Border Ranges National Park covers an area of 31,729ha (78,400ac) along the border region of Queensland and New South Wales. The park is part of the World Heritage Listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.

Formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia) the region includes the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world, large areas of warm temperate rainforest and Antarctic beech cool temperate rainforest.

The Border Ranges region includes the McPherson Range, Tweed Range, Lamington Plateau and Levers Plateau, which were formed from the erosion of the Tweed Volcano over many years. A number of volcanic plugs remain in the Border Ranges National Park.


What to do and see in the Border Ranges

The Border Ranges' route from Brisbane offers a range of activities, from fishing, sailing, water skiing and canoeing on lakes Maroon and Moogerah, to bushwalking through Main Range National Park, Springbrook National Park, Tamborine National Park and Lamington Park.

Treat yourself to some serious rock climbing at Mount French, considered among the world's most challenging; take your own bike and take a cycle through Boonah's scenic country side; view the Scenic Rim from on high in a glider; or browse galleries and shops for artwork, antiques, crafts and collectibles in Mount Tamborine village.

Must-see sights along the route, include…

Old Ipswich Town Hall, Brisbane Street, Ipswich, QLD

Ipswich

Queensland’s oldest provincial city is renowned for its architectural, cultural and natural heritage.

Admire gracious old buildings such as the Old Ipswich Courthouse with its impressive sandstone facade that was completed in 1859.

Stroll through beautiful parks then check out the shopping precinct, known to locals as the Top of Town. Later, explore more than 5000ha of parkland and conservation estates by foot, bike or on horseback.

Grab a Discover Ipswich Tourism Map and one or more of the several brochures detailing heritage buildings from the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre in Queens Park, and be prepared to spend a day just wandering around this remarkable city.

Top of the Town – This excellent brochure focuses on the buildings that comprise the area known as 'Top of the Town' - the Bostock Chambers, Goleby's Building, Former State Government Offices, Settlers Inn, the Flour Mill, Metropole Hotel, Queensland Times Building, Vogler's, the Lyric Theatre, Big Whites, the Ipswich Hospite, Central Baptist Church and Former Fire Station.

It is detailed and paints a fascinating picture of the evolution of the centre of the city.

Ipswich Heritage Trails – Spend a day exploring streets lined with buildings of historic interest from Cunningham's Knoll on Queen Victoria Parade to Claremont (1857).

Queens Park, Ipswich, QLD

Queens Park – Explore one of the oldest parks in Queensland, dating from 1864.

Queens Park is home to grand trees, a playground, flying fox, cafe and environment centre as well as the Japanese inspired Nerima Gardens and Nature Centre.

Entry to the mini zoo is free and inside you can view wombats, wallabies, emus, quolls, snakes and bilbies plus farm animals and a bird aviary. Behind the scenes paid animal encounter tours run on Saturdays and school holidays for eight or more.

Queens Park Heritage Trail – Explore Queens Park by following a self guided audio tour. Allow one and half hours to two hours for a leisurely walk around the whole park. If this is too long you could break it up into several shorter walks.

Ipswich Antique Centre – Don't miss this antique centre located inside a Heritage-Listed building. Here, you’ll find beautiful and interesting antiques from vases, artworks, lighting, mirrors and collectables.

Discover also a treasure trove of vintage fashion, from Xanadu-style dresses to gorgeous vintage hats, bags and racks of beautiful dresses, skirts and shirts.

Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve – In the Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve you may completely forget that you’re in the middle of Ipswich. A choice of several short walking tracks wind around huge native trees, with owls, kookaburras, wrens, finches and other bird life flitering through the branches above.

Take the five-storey staircase to the top of the water tower for spectacular vistas. Then relax at the picnic area where you may venture into Triassic Park, complete with a Stegosaurus structure protecting the dinosaur footprints and fossil displays that have been found there.

Discover the reserves historical significance by strolling along the Lewis Thomas Historical Trail in Castle Hill Blackstone Reserve. Or enjoy some adrenalin-fuelled downhill mountain biking.

Explore the coal mining history of the reserve as you pass open mine tunnels, hand-dug mine shafts and relics of the imposing three storey 'Castle' which once towered over Blackstone.

Queens Park, Ipswich, QLD

Colleges Crossing Recreation Reserve – Located alongside the Brisbane River, Colleges Crossing is a great place to unwind, with walking tracks, bike and scooter paths and sheltered picnic tables.

Check out the frog sculptures along the way and the lake for fishing and kayaking.

The crossing is a low-lying bridge that crosses the Brisbane River in the suburb of Chuwar. Facilities include a nature-based children's playground covered by shade sails with equipment such as a fort, musical wall, spinning seats, tree log tunnel and frog sculptures.

There's a lake for fishing and kayaking, and while it's advised not to go swimming, you can enjoy paddling in the shallows and skimming stones.

A large, grassed area has plenty of room for sports and there are also bike paths and walking tracks. A café offers views of the river, while sheltered tables are perfect for a picnic or barbecue.

River Heart Parklands, Ipswich, QLD

River Heart Parklands – Enjoy a stroll on the 1.2km (0.74mi) boardwalk along the banks of Bremer River in the heart of Ipswich.

The wheelchair and pram-friendly boardwalk extends from the old rail bridge and Bradfield Pedestrian Bridge, which leads across the river to popular Riverlink shopping centre, through to the aquativity section known as Bob Gamble Park.

Enjoy the river breezes as you stroll through a mini rainforest, and past a cascading waterfall and sculpture pond. Learn about the area's fascinating history courtesy of the information plaques. At night, the parkland lights up with a beautiful lighting display on the river.

The parklands encompasses 1.5he of land along the section of the Bremer River. Car parking is available via Roseberry Parade, Woodend.

Facilities include electric BBQs, viewing platforms, educational boardwalks to river edge and over water, large water features, picnic facilities, public toilets and a light display from 6.30pm to 10.00pm, daily.

Ipswich is located on the Bremer River 45km (28mi) south-west of Brisbane via the M2.

Swamp Tea Trees in Purga Nature Reserve, Ipswich, QLD

Purga Nature Reserve – Take a self-guided walk amid the ghostly, ashen trees of the largest protected area of endangered Swamp Tea Tree in Australia.

These self-guided walks provide visitors a unique opportunity to explore vegetation and watch wildlife only 15 minutes from Ipswich Central.

The reserve offers two tracks for easy level walking, including the 350m return wheelchair-accessible Tea Tree Boardwalk Circuit, raised high enough to keep your feet dry even if the wetlands are flooded. Allow 30 minutes to complete the walk.

The longer Melaleuca Circuit is a 0.5km return walk across flat land, with views across the native herbs, wildflowers and ground cover.

The reserve is an inviting habitat for birds and wildlife, including koalas. Don't miss the reserve’s popular frog pond: depending on the time of year and rainfall, the pond is home to the Green Treefrog, Eastern Sedgefrog and Striped Marshfrog, and you can also see willy wagtails, skinks and rarely, red-bellied black snakes.

With picnic tables, compost toilets and drinking water available, plus the award-winning Ironbard Ridge Vineyard nearby this area offers a great day out.

Purga Nature Reserve is located 8.5km (5.2mi) from Ipswich, a 15-minute drive.

Exploring Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate, Ipswich, QLD

Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate – The conservation estate covers more than 2200ha (5436ac) and supports extensive forests and rugged volcanic peaks and slopes including Flinders Peak, Mt Blaine, Mt Catherine and Mt Goolman.

A range of activities are on offer including bird-watching, hiking, mountain bike and horse riding.

Facilities at the Hardings Paddock and Flinders Plum picnic areas include picnic tables and public toilets.

Sandy Creek Track, Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate, Ipswich, QLD

Sandy Creek Track – This 3.5km (2.17mi) return trail passes through patches of majestic Hoop Pine forests on Sandy Creek.

There are a few water crossings so you may not be able to make it through if it has recently had heavy rainfall. Allow one hour to complete.

Central Ridge Track, Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate, Ipswich, QLD

Central Ridge Track – This longer 12.5km (7.76mi) return trail across the ridgeline provides a different view of Flinders Peak.

The challenging trail has rough surfaces, steep inclines and limited signage. It is more suitable for walkers with bushwalking experience and average fitness levels.

The walk starts at the Flinders Plum picnic area and follows the Sandy Creek track until it joins the Central Ridge track around 1.5km (1mi) from the car park.

This track takes you around to the back of Flinders Peak and eventually ends at a bush car park on Mt Elliot Rd. This is the turn around point from where you return by the same trail.

Allow four hours 30 minutes to complete the return walk.

View from  Flinders Peak, Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate, QLD

Flinders Peak – This challenging 6.5km (4mi) return trail rewards hikers with stunning panoramic views from the summit.

Along the way you can expect rough surfaces, steep inclines, cliff edges, limited signage and no water sources.

The trail starts from Flinders Plum Picnic area. After a few hundred metres, the trail climbs steeply up the northwestern ridge of Flinders Peak crossing several crests with expansive views north to Brisbane, the Fassifern Valley and south west to Lamington plateau.

The final section descends from Little Flinders across a col and then ascends to Flinders Peak. This is the most rugged section of the track, and some rock scrambling skills are essential.

This trail is best suited for fit people who are experienced bushwalkers – the tallest peak in the Greater Brisbane region is rugged and challenging with some steep sections, boulder hopping and rock scramblings.

Allow three hours 30 minutes to complete the return hike.

Flinder’s Peak Circuit – Alternatively, a different way to get to Flinder’s Peak follows fire trails east of the summit then approaches from the south joining the Flinders Peak trail just before the ascent up to the summit.

This 12km (7.4mi) return trail starts from Flinders Plum Picnic area and follows fire trails along Sandy Creek track to the south of the mountain. Most of the climb is done via the fire trails so it's a much slower ascent.

View from Rocky Knoll Lookout trail, Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate, QLD

Rocky Knoll Lookout – This 2.4km !.5mi) return trail through eucalypt woodlands leads to Rocky Knoll lookout.

Catch glimpses of the scenic rim and the surrounding Ipswich area along the way.

To avoid the initial steep climb, take the Gamlen track first, by turning right at the end you reach the lookout.

Entry is from Hardings Paddock Picnic Grounds. Allow 90 minutes to complete the retrun walk.

Goolman Lookout, Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate, QLD

Mt Goolman Lookout track – While this 5.6km (3.4mi) return trail doesn't take you right to the top of Mt Goolman, the trail offers stunning views of Mt Goolman and Ivory’s Rock, as well as the Scenic Rim.

Expect some steep sections and allow two hours to complete the return walk.

Goolman Lookout via Rocky Knoll – This 7.4km (4.6mi) return hike forms part of the Boonah to Ipswich Trail – a multi-user trail that winds its way to Goolman Lookout from where you can enjoy spectacular views of Mt Goolman and Ivory’s Rock, Scenic Rim and Brisbane. On a clear day it is possible to see the Pacific Ocean.

This alternative and slightly longer route to Goolman Lookout skirts around the base of the Rocky Knoll. It's recommended to go via the Goolman Lookout track then return via Rocky Knoll.

This is a shared trail for walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders with some steep sections. The trail starts from the picnic area of Hardings Paddock out towards Peak Crossing.

Allow two hours 30 minutes to complete the return walk.

White Rock Ridge, White Rock & Spring Mountain Conservation Estate, Queensland

White Rock Ridge – This 6.5km (4mi) return trail to White Rock Ridge starts from the Paperbark Flats picnic area and winds through beautiful scenery with large rocks and caves to explore.

The track is narrow and rocky in places. There are no trail markers after the first couple of hundred metres, which involves a moderate climb up onto the ridge.

There are panoramic views in all directions from the summit that sits about 30 metres above the rest area. Allow two hours to complete the walk.

White Rock & Spring Mountain Conservation Estate – Here you can find a wide choice of outdoor activities including hiking, bird-watching, horse riding, mountain bike riding and nature study.

Most of the trails are suitable for hiking and mountain bike riding. If you’re on horseback, then the Yaddamun Trail is perfect.

The entry to the estate is the Paperbark Flats picnic area, at the end of School Road in Redbank Plains. Facilities include toilets, picnic ammenities and horse float parking.


Mount Mitchell, Scenic Rim, Queensland

The Scenic Rim

Explore the Scenic Rim Way through rolling green hills scattered with classic old Queenslander homes in one of South-East Queensland’s most picturesque areas.

Along the way, discover quaint country towns, magnificent scenic lookouts, wineries and breweries, arts and craft boutiques, lakes and national parks, road-side food stalls and some lovely places to stay longer.

Browse galleries in Boonah, check out local history in the Templin Historical Museum – between Boonah and the Cunningham Highway, paddle across Lakes Maroon and Moogerah, bushwalk through Mount Greville or bring your mountain bike to cycle through the region’s scenic countryside.

You might also like to explore the Fassifern Valley and the towns of Kalbar, Harrisville and Peak Crossing.

One of the best ways to explore the Scenic Rim is on foot. The Scenic Rim is home to six National Parks and features numerous walking and hiking opportunities from sedate, well-marked tracks, to challenging mountain scrambles.

Scenic Rim Trail by Spicers, Queensland

Scenic Rim Trail by Spicers – Launched in 2020 and operated by Spicers, this five day, five night 60km (37mi) Scenic Rim Trail adventure starts in the foothills of South East Queensland’s Main Range National Park, an area famous for its stunning mountains, ridges, escarpments, ancient rainforest and volcanic plateaus.

Led by experienced guides, this multi-day guided walk follows paths along ridges, escarpments, through forest. Accommodation and meals are provided by the Spicer’s Group.

Exploring the jaw-dropping scenic mountain ranges, volcanic plateaus and forests of Main Range National Park in the Scenic Rim. Adjoining Spicers’ nature refuge, walkers enjoy a rare opportunity to explore land previously only touched by Indigenous Australians and early pioneers.

The region is a treasure trove of unique plants, animals and distinctive vegetation, most notably the World Heritage Listed Gondwana Rainforest.

It’s also a feast for wildlife watching – wallabies, koalas and two species of rare lyrebird are among the locals you’ll have a chance to see.


Town Hall, Warwick, QLD

Warwick

Known for its large number of elegant buildings, Warwick lays claim to be the first important inland settlement in on the Darling Downs and Queensland.

The commercial centre is also well known as the 'Rose and Rodeo City' given the fame of the Warwick Rodeo which is held each October.

Warwick boasts some of Queensland's finest historical sandstone buildings, which are constant reminders of Australia’s pioneering past, such as the Town Hall which was built in 1888 and the Post Office, built in 1891. Both are located in Palmerin Street.

Enjoy the ambience of this graceful and impressive destination on a stroll around town and through colourful parks and gardens – best in spring for their colourful roses.

Australian Rodeo Heritage Centre – Warwick is rodeo territory, and this attraction expertly captures this slice of local history and culture. Exhibits feature alongside live rodeo demonstrations.

Warwick Historical Society Museum – Feel the pulse of the past through a cluster of old buildings that have been cleverly arranged and house all sorts of interesting antique items.

Warwick Art Gallery – The area’s rich artistic culture is celebrated and showcased through hundreds of works that feature within the gallery’s vibrant spaces. Australian landscapes are prolific.

Glengallan Homestead and Heritage Centre – Wander around this striking sandstone mansion and retrace a past full of colour and interest. Also includes gardens and a café, located 15min north of Warwick.

Mary Poppins House – Explore a heritage-listed structure that was once the home of PL Travers, the author of Mary Poppins. Guided tours are by appointment only. The house is just minutes from Glengallan Homestead.

Nearby, both the Main Range National Park and Cunninghams Gap offers numerous bushwalking trails.

Warwick is located 158km (98mi) south-west of Brisbane and 85km (52mi) south of Toowoomba in the Southern Downs region.


Mount Mitchell, Scenic Rim, Queensland

Main Range National Park

Both a mountain range and national park, the Main Range National Park protects the western part of a semicircle of mountains in South East Queensland known as the Scenic Rim. This includes the largest area of rainforest in South East Queensland.

Covering 29,739he (7,3486ac) of rugged mountain peaks and widely diverse vegetation and rare wildlife, the park extends from Kangaroo Mountain, near Frazerview, south to Wilsons Peak on the New South Wales border and includes Mount Superbus – South East Queensland’s highest peak at 1,375m (4511ft).

Bare Rock, Mount Cordeaux, Mount Mitchell, Spicers Peak, Mount Huntley, Mount Asplenium, Mount Steamer, The Steamer Range, Lizard Point, Mount Roberts, Mount Mistake and Mount Superbus all lie within the Main Range National Park. In total, there are more than 40 peaks higher than 1,000m (3280ft).

Main Range National Park is located in the Southern Downs Region around 85km (53mi) southwest of Brisbane, and 48km (30mi) northeast of Warwick.

The region is home to several camping areas and picnic facilities including at Spicers Gap, Cunninghams Gap and Queen Mary Falls.

Main Range National Park offers some of the most spectacular remote area bushwalking opportunities in southern Queensland. However, the extremely rugged mountain terrain can be hazardous for inexperienced or poorly-prepared walkers. A high level of physical fitness, navigational skills and cliff-scrambling skills are essential.

Hikers should familiarise themselves with the area before attempting an extended walk. Guidebooks covering most walks are available from specialist camping stores and some bookshops.

Remote area bushwalking is only advised in the cooler weather, usually April to September. Walking during summer can be very hazardous due to high temperatures and lack of surface water.

Choose from several walking tracks ranging from short easy strolls, to long physically-demanding hikes through the rainforest in this arc of rugged peaks and ridges in this World Heritage area.

Climb to the sheer cliff face of Mount Mitchell or zigzag up Mount Cordeaux for terrific views.

Cunningham's Gap, Great Dividing Range, Queensland

Cunningham's Gap – Cunninghams Gap lies between the peaks of Mount Cordeaux and Mount Mitchell. The Gap is the major route over the Main Range along the Great Dividing Range, between Warwick and Brisbane.

Prepare yourself for the steep incline to the pass over the Great Dividing Range between the Darling Downs and the Fassifern Valley, then relax and marvel at the views that look back towards Brisbane and Moreton Bay.

Cunninghams Gap is located 47km (29mi) east of Warwick on the Cunningham Highway

Enjoy a break at the Cunningham's Gap picnic area, try the rainforest circuit or stroll to the Fassifern Valley lookout (both are short walks).

Cunninghams Gap features several bushwalking trails, including the Mount Mitchell Track, the Rainforest Circuit, the Gap Creek Falls Track to Gap Creek Falls, the Bare Rock Track, the Palm Grove Circuit and the Mount Cordeaux Track.

Several of the tracks begin at The Crest car park. Other short, easy tracks start at Spicers Gap.

Rainforest Circuit, Main Range National Park, Queensland

Rainforest Circuit – This short 1.6km (1mi) circuit trail passes the Allan Cunningham monument and is the start of an extensive trail system on the northern side of the Gap.

The circuit starts from the eastern end of The Crest car park. Along the way climb the stairs at the first track junction to reach the Fassifern Valley lookout to get a spectacular view over distinctive volcanic peaks, the Fassifern Valley and Lake Moogerah.

For an easier way round the circuit, turn left at the base of the stairs and walk the circuit in a clockwise direction. Allow 25 minutes to complete the circuit.

Palm Grove circuit – This 4.4km (2.7mi) return loop branches off the Rainforest circuit and ends in a 1km circuit of a dense grove of piccabeen palms in rainforest and open eucalypt forest. Allow about two hours walking time.

Mount Cordeaux Track, Main Range National Park, Queensland

Mount Cordeaux Track – If you prefer a more challenging 6.8km (4.2mi) walk, continue along the Mt Cordeaux Track for spectacular views back to Brisbane.

Branching off the Rainforest circuit, the Mt Cordeaux Track zigzags through rainforest to the exposed upper slopes, ending at a lookout on the southern side.

The cliff face of Mount Cordeaux, which sits at 1135m (3723ft) above sea level, is spectacular in spring when the giant spear lilies Doryanthes palmeri are in flower.

This trail features sheer cliff edges. It's recommended walkers remain on the track, stay behind fences, away from cliff edges and supervise children at all times.

Bare Rock Track, Main Range National Park, Queensland

Bare Rock Track – Thus 12.4km (7.7mi) return trail detours to the west of Mount Cordeaux peak.

The track crosses a rocky saddle north of the peak and re-enters rainforest before ending at a rocky outcrop.

From here there are spectacular views over the northern section of the park. Two varieties of tree fern grow near the track and Albert's lyrebirds can be heard in the winter months.

The 350m Morgans Walk track leaves the Bare Rock track 680m before Bare Rock and ends in a grove of montane heath.

Allow about four hours and 30 minutes walking time.

Walking the Mount Mitchell Track, Main Range National Park, Queensland

Mount Mitchell Track – This 10.2km (6.33mi) graded return walking track to the twin peaks of Mt Mitchell begins on the southern side of the highway and passes through rainforest and open eucalypt forest.

It ends on a knife-edge ridge above a sheer cliff on the east peak of Mount Mitchell – around 1175m (3855ft) above sea level.


Queen Mary Falls, QLD

Queen Mary Falls

Discover this impressive waterfall, which plunges 40m (130ft) down a glistening black rock.

Nestled in the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range just a couple of kilometres from the tiny township of Killarney, the falls are the perfect place for a picnic and a stroll along the circuit track.

Queen Mary Falls circuit – This 2km (1.2mi) circuit track offers the change to witness the spectacular 40m (130ft)-high Queen Mary Falls from the lookout as well as from creek level. The walk also reveals changes in vegetation from the eucalypt-covered ridge top to the rainforest gorge.

Care is required on the causeway when the surface is wet. You should not attempt to cross when in flood or if water covers the causeway.

Access gates to the falls are located near the track entrance on the western side of the picnic area and just west of Queen Mary Falls lookout. Allow about 40min walking time.


Mt. Tamborine National Park

Mt. Tamborine National Park

At 525m (1722ft) high and covering 2800ha (6918ac) on a plateau surrounding Tamborine Mountain and its foothills, this reserve offers picturesque bushwalks through lush rainforest, past numerous waterfalls, gorges, cliffs and open woodland.

Stretching along the McPherson Range, Tamborine Mountain is also home to the three heritage communities of Mount Tamborine, North Tamborine and Eagle Heights.

From here, you can discover panoramic views across the valleys below to the impressive man-made high-rises of the Gold Coast.

Don't miss a stroll though Tamborine Village, a haven for talented artists, and browse its eclectic range of galleries and craft shops.

Several trails lead to scenic cascades, forests of red cedars and groves of tall piccabeen palms. Here you may even spot the rare Albert's lyrebird, satin bowerbirds, lorikeets or perhaps even a playful platypus.

Curtis Falls, Mt Tamborine National Park, Queensland

Curtis Falls Track – Located in the Knoll Section of Tamborine National Park this easy 1.5km (1mi) return walk begins in wet eucalypt forest beneath towering flooded gums then descends a steep staircase to a large pool at the base of Curtis Falls.

Allow 30 minutes to complete.

Palm Grove Circuit – Explore the Joalah Section of Tamborine National Park on this 2.6km (1.6mi) walk. You’ll see palm groves and rainforest with emergent strangler figs on this walk.

Allow one hour to complete the walk.

Curtis Falls, Mt Tamborine National Park, Queensland

Witches Falls Circuit – Set in the Witches Falls section of the park, this 3.1km (1.9mi) trail zigzags down the mountain through an open forest of banksia trees and into rainforest with shining burrawang cycads, palm groves and giant strangler figs.

The walk leads to a cascade and passes seasonal lagoons which often fill after heavy rain and spring to life with insect and frog species. The waterfall only flows after recent rain and is best viewed from the lookout platform accessed via a 200m detour from the main circuit.

For a longer hike, you may also wish to try the combined Witches Chase and Witches Falls Circuit walk. Starting at the North Entry of the park and descending to the falls, the 5.8km (3.6mi) trail then follows the main loop of the Witches Falls Circuit.

The trail is largely gentle over its length with some steep sections. There are clear and easy to follow signage at trail junctions along the Witches Falls Circuit, but very limited signage along the Witches Chase trail.

The trail starts at either the main car park on Main Western Road for the circuit or off Beacon Rd to start at the Witches Chase car park. If combining both walks, then the Witches Chase car park is recommended. Allow 90 minutes to complete.

More about Tamborine National Park


Springbrook National Park

Springbrook National Park

This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site offers stunning natural sights including Natural Bridge, a naturally formed rock arch created over millions of years by water tumbling through the roof of a basalt cave.

Arrive after sunset to spot the resident colony of glow-worms.

Elsewhere, spot paradise riflebirds, green catbirds and purple-breasted wompoo fruit doves. On summer nights, look out for fireflies and luminous fungi.

Visit Purlingbrook Falls, see ancient Antarctic beech trees and enjoy one of the most scenic drives of the Gold Coast hinterland along the steep byways of the Numbinbah Valley.

More about Springbrook National Park


Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park

At 1000m (3280ft) above sea level, the drive alone is a great experience as you sweep around tight twists and turns through dense eucalyptus and ferns to reach this 20,200ha (49915ac) reserve, famous for its flora and fauna. Lamington is home to more than 200 bird varieties and 500 waterfalls.

Lamington National Park sits at the centre of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll among Antarctic Beech in one of the largest cool temperate rainforests in the world.

A World Heritage-listed park, Lamington is home to more than 200 bird varieties and 500 waterfalls.

Choose from more than 160km (100mi)-long network of hiking trails, ranging from 1.2km (0.74mi) to 54km (33mi) in length. These trails wind through rugged mountain scenery past tumbling waterfalls, eucalyptus wilderness, wildflower heaths and rainforest.

Experience rainforest canopy from the 16m (52ft)-high O'Reilly's Treetop Walk or choose from several popular trails that start from O'Reilly’s guesthouse at Green Mountains, including the Box Forest Circuit (11km (6.8mi), four hours return), Toolona Creek Circuit (17.4km (10.8mi), six hours return) and the Albert River Circuit (20.6km (12.8mi), seven hours return).

Caves Circuit, Lamington National Park, Queensland

Caves Circuit – Located in the Binna Burra Section of Lamington National Park, this 5km (3mi) circuit track provides excellent views into the Coomera Valley, the Darlington Range and rhyolite cliff line.

The trail track winds up through open forest and rainforest to emerge on the road opposite the ship's Stern track entrance. After Kweebani Cave the trail passes a large red cedar and other species of rainforest trees.

The circuit trail starts and finishes from the Binna Burra Lodge entrance. Allow about 1.5hrs walking time.

Caves Circuit, Lamington National Park, Queensland

Morans Falls – This 4.6km (2.8mi) trail leads you through lush subtropical rainforest to Morans Falls lookout which provides excellent views of Morans Falls and Morans Creek Gorge.

Layers of ancient volcanic lava flows are also visible.

The walk passes through subtropical rainforest featuring booyongs, figs, brush box, twisted vines and bird’s nest ferns.

From the lookout, enjoy spectacular views of Morans Falls tumbling 80m into Morans Creek gorge. Morans Falls fluctuates between a thunderous roar after rain, to a gentle trickle in the drier months.

Follow the track over a creek to Morans Clearing lookout and take in sweeping vistas over the Albert River valley towards Mount Lindsey and Mount Barney in the distance.

The track starts at the Python Rock and Morans Falls trailhead on Lamington National Park Road, around 5km from the park entrance.

Located in the Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park. Allow about one hour 30 minutes walking time.

Box Forest Circuit, Lamington National Park, Queensland

Box Forest Circuit – This 10.9km (6.7mi) circuit track leads through impressive stands of smooth, pink-barked brushbox and on to Darragumai Falls, Picnic Rock and picturesque Elabana Falls.

Allow time to appreciate Darragumai Falls or Picnic Rock and stay for a while at pretty Elabana Falls, where clear mountain water cascades from high in the forest, plunging into deep swirling pools, over rocky faces and down the rainforest valley.

You may return by the same way you came or walk the whole circuit to see other picturesque waterfalls such as Bog Log Falls and Yanbacoochie Falls. If you intend walking this entire circuit, walk in a clockwise direction and exit via Elabana Falls and Picnic Rock.

The Box Forest Circuit starts 3.2km (2mi) along the Border Track from the trailhead at the Green Mountains day-use area.

The Green Mountains day-use area is at the end of Lamington National Park Road, 5.7km (3.5mi) from the park entrance. Allow about 4hrs walking time.

Tree Top Walkway, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Lamington National Park, Queensland

Tree Top Walkway – The Booyung Boardwalk, which features excellent interpretive signage, leads you from O’Reilly’s Retreat to the walkway – a series of suspension bridges taking you up 16m (52ft) into the rainforest canopy for a distance of 1.5km (1mi).

Climb ladders to a crows nest platform 30m above ground.

Ships Stern Circuit, Lamington National Park, Queensland

Ships Stern Circuit – This challenging 21km (13mi) circuit offers endless views, cascading waterfalls, mighty ranges and plunging valleys. It is regarded as one of the top walks in the park.

The trail descends along the Lower Bellbird circuit past Koolanbilba and Yangahla lookouts before branching off onto the Ships Stern circuit track.

Pass through a fine stand of piccabeen palm to the floor of Nixon Valley where red cedar and the majestic flooded gum thrive. From here you can take the short Lower Ballunji Falls side track to the bottom of Ballunjui Falls – an additional 1.2km (0.74mi) return.

Enjoy more panorama views from a number of lookouts as the circuit continues through rainforest and open forest. The Upper Ballunjui side track leads to Guraigumai Rock and Upper Ballunjui Falls – an additional 2.6km (1.6mi) return.

Continue past Nagarigoon Falls to the junction with Daves Creek circuit, turn right to head along the Border Track and complete the circuit back to the Saddle trailhead.

For the very energetic, Daves Creek circuit can be added to this walk, making it a total of 23km (14.29mi).

The Ships Stern circuit is in the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park. The circuit starts at the Saddle trailhead opposite the road entrance to Binna Burra Lodge. It's recommend to walk the circuit clockwise. Allow about 8hrs walking time.

More about Lamington National Park


Mount Warning, NSW

Mount Warning

Located close to the charming township of Murwillumbah, the 1156m (3792ft)-high mountain is the ancient core of the largest extinct shield volcano in the southern hemisphere.

For most of the year this mountain peak is the first on the Australian mainland to catch the sun's morning rays.

Mt Warning Summit Trail – Take this challenging 8.8km (5.4mi) return rainforest walk to the summit of Mt Warning for a beautiful 360 degree view of the Great Dividing Range. Expect lots of steps, which can be slippery.

The trail leads through subtropical and temperate rainforest, wet sclerophyll forest and heath shrubland. The final 10% of the journey involves scrambling up a rock face using chains as an aid. The peak offers established seating.

Note: The track can be slippery and muddy after rain. As of writing Mt Warning trail is currently closed.


Getting There

Trip length from Brisbane 3 days; Total distance 797km (495mi); Road conditions All sealed roads. Segment distance: Brisbane to Warwick – 183km (113mi), 2hrs 30mins; Warwick to Tamborine Mountain – 453km (281mi), 6hrs 15mins; Tamborine Mountain to Brisbane – 161km (100mi), 3hrs. Suggested overnight stops: Warwick and Tamborine Mountain

Alternatively, if you're coming from New South Wales, try the 64km-long Tweed Range Scenic Drive via the Summerland Way north of Kyogle, or the Barkers Vale turn off on the Murwillumbah - Kyogle Road.


How to get to Brisbane

Brisbane is the capital, and most populated city, in Queensland.

The city is located on the Brisbane River, about 15km (9mi) from its mouth at Moreton Bay in southeast Queensland. Brisbane extends in all directions along the Brisbane River Valley between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range.

The most convenient route to Brisbane, from overseas or interstate, is by air to Brisbane Airport (BNE), located about 12km (7.4mi) northeast of the city centre.

More information on How to get to Brisbane


Latest update: Border Ranges: 5 March, 2021


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