Girraween National Park_The Sphinx_7 short hiking trails in Southern Queensland Country_

7 short hiking trails in Southern Queensland Country 

Towering gums, the unmistakable call of a whip bird, a stream gently running nearby – there’s something about hiking in Queensland’s National Parks that helps shred stress and leave you feeling better than when you started. Get set for granite-strewn landscapes, rolling green hills and waterfalls as we take you on a walk through seven of the best hiking trails in Southern Queensland Country – guaranteed to help you switch off and relax, even if you’re short on time.

Scenic Circuit

Bunya Mountains

Bunya Mountains | Photo by @jrmcgregorjr via IG

Bunya Mountains
4kms (allow 1.5 hours)

An easy walk combining nature’s finest – rolling mountains, rainforest, rock pools, waterfalls and an epic fig tree. It’s no wonder this 4km trek is one of the most popular routes in Bunya Mountains National Park; which is also home to the world’s largest remaining stand of bunya pine rainforest.

The park is Queensland’s second oldest national park (opened in 1908) and the Scenic Circuit takes hikers past some of the best spots, including Festoon Falls and Tim Shea Falls.

The Pyramid

Sunset from Girraween_7 short hiking trails in Southern Queensland Country

Girraween National Park
3.6km (allow 3 hours)

The Granite Belt in the south-east corner of Queensland is littered with rocky outcrops and Girraween National Park combines three of the best small walks that you can tackle individually, or combine into a sensational day of walking.

The Pyramid isn’t for those with a fear of heights as it culminates in a scramble up a sheer granite rock face. It’s steep and you’ll want sturdy shoes with a decent grip to take on this climb, but the final destination is worth the effort.

On the summit, make your way to the north-face to check out Balancing Rock – a huge granite boulder balancing precariously and itching to have its picture taken.

Granite Arch

Girraween National Park
1.6km (allow 30 minutes)

A much easier walk, perfect for the family or those with limited time. Granite Arch is a straightforward 1.6km circuit that loops through open blackbutt and stringybark forests and passes right through a natural granite arch.

Hot tip: Time your visit for spring to see the beautiful wildflowers, or pack dinner to enjoy under the thick blanket of stars.

The Sphinx and Turtle Rock

Girraween National Park_7 short hiking trails in Southern Queensland Country

Girraween National Park
7.4km (allow 3-4 hours)

The longest of the walks, but less physically demanding than the Pyramid, is the Sphinx and Turtle Rock track.

The Eucalyptus forest is dotted with granite boulders and intriguing rock formations that culminate in an area of rocky slabs, sheer walls, balancing boulders several metres tall, and the Sphinx, a granite pinnacle with a large balancing boulder on top.

Along the walk you may spot echidnas, lizards and red-neck wallabies. If you stay for sunset, be sure to bring a torch for your walk back to the car park and keep a lookout for common brushtail possums, tiny sugar gliders and feather gliders.

Queen Mary Falls Circuit

Queen Mary Falls_7 short hiking trails in Southern Queensland Country

Main Range National Park
2km (allow 50 minutes)

We all love waterfalls, and the Queen Mary Falls Circuit has to be one of the easiest waterfalls to access from Brisbane. Don’t believe us? Check out our day trip to Queen Mary Falls guide.

The 2km walk is a favourite with families and budding photographers who are keen to snap a photo and enjoy a picnic. There’s a lookout at the top of the falls, but for the best photos hit the stairs, make your way to the base and take in the 40-metre plunging screen of water.

Hot tip: Keep an eye out for koalas at the start and end of the walking circuit.

Mount Cordeaux

Mt Cordeaux_7 short hiking trails in Southern Queensland Country

Main Range National Park
6.8km (allow 2.5 hours)

This is a lovely 6.8km walk, and one of the best hiking trails in Southern Queensland Country to hear and see wildlife. Mount Cordeaux (Niamboyoo in the local Aboriginal language), located in Main Range National Park, is a well-defined track that zigzags through rainforests to a lookout on the southern side that takes in fantastic views.

Hot tip: Time your hike for spring when giant spear lilies are in flower on the face of Mount Cordeaux.

Crows Nest Falls via Kauyoo loop

Crows Nest National Park

Crows Nest National Park
(includes The Cascades, Kauyoo Pool and Bottlebrush Pool)
2.7km (allow 1 hour)

Who doesn’t love a swim after a day of walking? A popular picnic spot for families, the Crows Nest Falls via Kauyoo Loop is a relaxed 2.7km circuit that offers not one but two swimming holes: Kauyoo Pool and Bottlebrush Pool.

Keep your eyes peeled for the endangered brush-tailed rock-wallabies – they can often be seen in the nearby granite hills and boulders. If you’re here in summer make sure you spend some time at The Cascades where you can hear the ‘tock tock’ call of striped march frogs.

*Please note the temporary closure of all Queensland campgrounds in national parks, state forests and state-managed recreation and protected areas, in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.