Mountains to climb around Brisbane

Step after step, hour after hour – climbing a mountain is no easy feat, but when you reach the summit the gain makes the pain all worthwhile.
That is unless you get to the top and it’s covered in cloud. Oh nature!

Regardless, climbing to the top of these mountain summits and peaks needs to be ticked off your bucket list.

Urban climbs

Mt Coot-tha

Mt Coot-tha

We’ll start you off easy, the return climb from the bottom of Mt Coot-tha to the lookout takes just one hour. Find the trail map here. Alternatively, you can simply drive to the top to soak up the glorious views.

Mt Gravatt

Mt Gravatt Lookout

Another super easy one, the trek from the bottom of Mt Gravatt to the lookout and back takes just one hour. You can also drive to the top of this one.

Moreton Island National Park

Mt Tempest

It is considered the highest coastal sand dune in the world at 285m above sea level. While it doesn’t sound tough compared to the many much-higher rocky inland mountains, climbing on sand comes with its own challenges. There are lots of steps on this 2.5km return journey, which should take about two hours. The 360-degree views from the top stretch from the Sunshine Coast to the north, all the way to the Gold Coast in the south. Take plenty of water. To reach Moreton Island, take the 70-minute MICAT ferry over to the island.

Discover 34 other things to do on Moreton Island here.

D’Aguilar National Park

Aquila Loop, Northbrook Mountain

Beginning at the Maiala day-use area, the 24km Aquila Loop follows the Westside track, passing through England Creek bush camp, and peaks at the top of Northbrook Mountain. Allow six to seven hours for the trek and pick up a topographic map at the Walkabout Creek Visitor Centre. 

Brisbane Forest Park

Mermaid Mountain

Hiking in Brisbane Forest Park

Trek from the town of Mt Crosby up Mermaid Mountain on this 18km hike. About halfway, you’ll be treated to a great view of Lake Manchester and surrounding hills. Overall it takes about five hours.

Moogerah Peaks National Park

The volcanic peaks of this park are located approximately 70km south-west of Brisbane and climbing is popular with experienced hikers. There are three mountain summits that can be reached within the park. Check out this map for reference.

Mt Greville

Allow five hours return to reach the summit of Mt Greville. The 12km walk includes a part circuit. Once you reach a junction, go left following the sign to Palm Gorge, and on return choose the left-opposite track that nears Waterfall Gorge. The two deep, narrow gorges outline either side of this trail to the 767m high summit that passes through palm-dominated rainforest. 

Mt Edwards

Easier than Greville, the summit trek to Mt Edwards takes about 3.5 hours from the Lake Moogerah picnic area. From here, walk across the dam wall to the park entrance and follow a well-worn trail. There are no signs, so research is required before heading off as the worn track becomes less obvious. Be aware that the dam wall access gate is locked from 6pm to 6am each day.

Mt Moon

If those two aren’t hard enough, ardent bushwalkers can contact the Queensland National Parks service (call 13 74 68) to coordinate access to the 784m-high Mt Moon, recognised by its two rocky mountain peaks. Travel across private property requires special permission. The very tough eight-hour trek includes scree slopes and steep cliffs.

Mount Barney National Park

Mt Barney National Park

It’s a big park, and the peaks are high. In fact 10 of the 24 highest peaks in South East Queensland sit within the park. Its steep, unformed trails involve some rockclimbing and are best navigated with a map and compass.

West Barney Peak

The trail up the West Peak off the Rum Jungle clearing is a goat track at best with a piece or tape or two helping navigate. Make sure you carry a compass, as white -outs are common too. The West Peak is a whole 4m higher than the East Peak, and it also takes about nine hours return.

East Barney Peak

Now this one ain’t so easy. Mt Barney’s rugged peaks rise high above the surrounding Gondwana Rainforests of the Australian World Heritage Area. Steep unformed trails involving rock climbing require a map and compass to navigate.

Mt Barney Peak

Heading up and down the South Ridge, this very steep, very hard 16km hike will take about nine hours to reach the 1351m-high peak. The hike itself can be split up by spending a night at Rum Jungle camp. It takes about 3.5 hours to reach this saddle between the East and West peaks, and then a further 1.5 hours to scramble up the East summit. 

Mt May

Ascend the 836m-high Mt May via the northern ridge from the campsite at Waterfall Creek Reserve. It takes about two-to-three hours to reach the peak, where you’ll see excellent and unusual views of Mt Barney. Descend via the south-west ridge to Graces Hut and follow the 4WD road back to the Mt May Reserve. Overall, the 6.4km route should take about four hours. 

Mt Maroon

Maroon Dam
Maroon Dam

Experience 360-degree views over Lamington National Park through Mt Barney, Main Range and Moogerah Peaks from the top of Mt Maroon. The Cotswold Track up the 967m-high summit leaves from the end of Cotswold Rd east of the Maroon township and takes about four to five hours. Follow a reasonably clear track over the open hill south-west of the dam and into a gully with some spectacular cliffs off to the right. Climbing up the 300m gully leads to the base of the main, bald peak. A few orange triangles mark the way, but navigation skills are required. Read about a local’s journey climbing Mt Maroon

Other Mt Barney National Park peaks

Within Mt Barney National Park there are plenty more peaks to conquer including North Peak (two-day hike via Rocky Creek Circuit), Mt Lindesay (scene of Australia's first climbing death), Mount Ernest (need to acquire permission for private property access), and the Ballow Range (can do a three-day circuit). 

Main Range National Park

Mt Cordeaux 

Known to Aboriginal people as Niamboyoo, the 6.8km return trip up Mt Cordeaux will take about 2.5 hours. The trail branches off the Rainforest Circuit and zigzags past exposed upper slopes, ending at a lookout on the southern side. Spring is the best time to visit when the stunning red giant spear lilies Doryanthes palmeri are in flower.

Mt Mitchell

Pass twin peaks on this 10.2km return walk. Starting on the southern side of the Cunningham Highway, the track starts climbing through rainforest before turning into open eucalypt. It ends on a knife-edge ridge above a sheer cliff at the east peak. This 1175m-high peak is known as Cooyinnirra to the Aboriginal people. The return journey takes about three hours.

Spicers Peak

It is just a 6km hike, but it will take you six to seven hours. This is very rough peak climb with loose dirt and rocks and scrambling. From Governor’s Chair car park, walk to the lookout and then head south to a fenceline. It’s not easy, but once at the top of the 1222m-high summit, soak up the views before descending again.

Mt Matheson

Start opposite the Pioneer Picnic Area and follow a rough track through eucalypt and rainforest on this 8.1km circuit. Look for koalas in the trees near the summit before returning to the main trail that loops round via the Heritage Trail and Spicers Gap Rd. You should arrive back to the start in about three hours.

Mt Alphen

This is an easy, short 2.5km circuit that also starts at Pioneer Picnic Area, the entrance being south of the pioneers' graves. From here, continue south along the ridge on the western side of a gully. About 15 minutes in, veer left and walk east towards a deep gully. Cross the gully and find the vantage point with views beyond Governer’s Chair to Spicers Peak and more. The trail should only take 1.5 hours.

Glass House Mountains National Park

The Glass House Mountains fall primarily within the greater Sunshine Coast region, and more information can be found on the National Parks website. One mountain falls within the Moreton Bay Region.

Mt Beerburum

Mt Beerburum

Close to the township of Beerburum, this 1.4km return walk takes just an hour to return from the top of the 280m-high peak. Don’t be fooled, your legs will certainly feel the burn on this tough 700m uphill walk. At the summit, you’ll find a fire tower (used to detect and manage fires in the surrounding forests) and 360-degree views of the Glass House Mountains.

Lamington National Park

Mount Merino

Located halfway between Binna Burra and Green Mountains, the 1160m summit can be reached on a day walk from either location. Allow eight hours to complete the 22km return journey. From Binna Burra, follow the Border Track for 10km until you hit the Mt Merino junction.

Neglected Mountain

It’s not all sad news for Mt Neglected, and the views from the summit are worth your attention. From Gap Creek Rd it should take about five hours to complete the 10km return journey to the 798m-high peak.

Other mountains to climb

If you can find a trail and have done all of the above, try climbing these mountains also within Lamington National Park – Mt Wagawn, Mt Hobwee and Mt Bithongabel.

Mt Joyce Escape Recreation Park

Mt Joyce

Mt Joyce

Mt Joyce is next to Wyaralong Dam and owned by SEQ Water. Start at the Meebun recreation area and walk a scenic 8km around the dam to the Ngumbi base camp. Camping here is free of charge. From here, the hike to the Mt Joyce summit is only about 1km, but it is steep so allow one hour.

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