As we’ve covered the most memorable hiking hotspots in Moreton Bay Region, it’s now time to look further afield.
Here’s 3 fantastic Glass House Mountains and Brisbane bushwalks which offer something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a long and level trek, a short, but challenging uphill battle, or a long trail run featuring ascents and descents, we have you covered!
Experienced most of the bushwalking Brisbane hotspots? Then escape the city and head north along the Bruce Highway to the gorgeous Glass House Mountains.
Of the many Glass House Mountains National Park tracks, the Wild Horse Mountain Track is the most visible thanks to its location beside the Bruce Highway. This hike requires a decent level of fitness.
The 1.4km Wild Horse Mountain return track offers hikers a quick jaunt up a steep hill to a fire watch tower lookout featuring visitor information placards and 360 sweeping views towards Moreton Bay, Brisbane, the Glass House Mountains, and Caloundra.
Be prepared for a steep uphill lurch on asphalt to an elevation of 123m which will give your gluts a workout and have you breathless by the time you reach the pinnacle.
No Dogs Allowed
Just take a short detour off the Bruce Highway.
If coming from the Sunshine Coast take ‘Exit 171’ out towards the service station and turn left onto Johnston Road which will bring you to the carpark. If coming from Brisbane the turn-off is signed ‘Wild Horse Mountain Scenic Lookout’.
Trachyte may be one of the longest Glass House Mountains walking trails, but it is by no means the toughest, that claim to fame is well-deserved by the summit climbs – 2.6km Mount Tibrogargan Summit Route and 3km Mount Beerwah Summit Route (only to be attempted by experienced rock scramblers).
The 6km Trachyte Circuit offers hikers a fairly level trek through open woodland and heathland linking Mount Tibrogargan and Mount Tibberoowuccum. Make sure to take the quick detour to the Jack Ferris lookout for gorgeous views of the various peaks dotted around the national park.
You can tackle this pleasant walk in about 2 hours. At some point you will end-up at the Tibrogargan Circuit track junction. From there, you can head straight back to the carpark, or choose to veer onto the Tibrogargan Circuit (Grade 4) which extends your walk by a further 2.9km through casuarina groves, open eucalypt and melaleuca forests. This track also takes you past the entrance to the Mount Tibrogargan Summit Route.
Watch for the signs indicating where Trachyte continues as you cross the various fire trails, or you may end up getting turned around.
No Dogs Allowed
From Steve Irwin Way, turn onto Barrs Road crossing the rail tracks. Coming from Brisbane, you’ll find Barrs Rd on your left, not long after the fruit stand and strawberry fields. If coming from the Sunshine Coast, you’ll find it on your right, after the Glasshouse Mountains Township which houses the information centre.
Just follow Barrs Rd as it becomes Marshs Rd, to the carpark at the Tibrogargan Picnic Grounds clearly marked on your left.
Drive back to Brisbane through Woodford and the hinterland, or head back down Steve Irwin Way to stop and pick strawberries at the strawberry fields on your way home. Other attractions nearby include Australia Zoo and The Big Kart Track.
About a 15 minute drive west of Brisbane CBD is the beautiful bushwalking Brisbane hotspot Mount Coot-tha – 1600 hectares of open eucalypt forest, rainforest gullies and creeks, adjoining the south-east section of D’Aguilar National Park.
Popular with Brisbanites for its hiking trails, mountain bike trails, lookout, and mountaintop kiosk, café & restaurant, this nature oasis is the closest, large hiking area to the inner-city and offers arguably one of Brisbane’s best reprieves from the hustle and bustle.
The most popular (and easiest to find) walks on Mount Coot-tha are the Honeyeater Track and Summit Track. These tracks are popular with local dog walkers and are my personal favourites because, when combined, they make for a great hour of trail running (approximately 8kms) outside of peak visitation times (weekends and school holidays).
TRACK 1 - 2.1km One-Way Honeyeater Track (Moderate Grade)
The Honeyeater Track offers a bit of a tougher hike compared to the Summit Track. Beginning from the dirt carpark past the roundabout near the lookout and café, it offers some picturesque views through the trees as it descends steadily down to Fleming Road.
If open, you can pop in for a look through the Environmental Centre at the very end of the trail.
While the walk down is easy and relaxing, the walk back up can be a bit tough depending on your level of fitness. Those wanting a steeper challenge can break right, up the fire trail before the turn-off down another track to the water tank. The fire trail is great for your gluts and will take you back to the carpark.
The Summit Track slopes down gently to the JC Slaughter Falls Picnic Area at the far end. It gives walkers the chance to add more kilometres to their trek thanks to a few other Brisbane bushwalks branching-off the main track – the 925m Aboriginal Art Trail loop brings you to JC Slaughter Falls and shorter trails are found around the picnic area.
If you’re after an easier hike with toilet and picnic amenities then opt for the Summit Track.
The entrance to the trail is found on the right side of the road just past the roundabout when you’re traveling up the mountain.
Please Note: Slaughter Falls only come to life after a heavy downpour, so don’t expect a gushing waterfall unless you visit after a heavy storm.
Mount Coot-tha’s newest bushwalking Brisbane trail – the 2.6km Mahogany Trail – leaves from the JC Slaughter Falls picnic area, offering an alternative route back up to the top.
Take Sir Samuel Griffith Drive up the mountain and head straight through the roundabout to the Honeyeater Track dirt carpark. It’s on your left not long after the roundabout.
Alternatively, turn left at the roundabout to find a curb-side park down from the café, or continue up into the small café carpark.
Please Note: On weekends the carpark fills up quickly so you may prefer to try the dirt carpark first as the café carpark becomes cramped and tricky to manoeuvre back out of, especially if other drivers enter behind you.
Want to get your heart rate up from the get-go, then park at the bottom of the mountain to leg-it uphill along the Honeyeater Track. This alternative parking area is usually far less busy than the mountaintop parking spots and should only add an extra 10 minutes or so onto your driving time.
Continue past the roundabout turn-off to Mount Coot-tha and onto the Western Freeway. Take the first exit on your left and turn left onto Moggill Rd. Then take the first left turn down Russell Terrace. Keep following the road through suburbia, continuing straight through the roundabout onto Chapel Hill Rd. Not long after you will need to turn right onto Fleming Road.
You can either park in the official national park carpark on your right, opposite the small dining and shopping precinct, or follow Fleming Rd right around the corner to park curb-side on the dirt.
The official carpark is home to a small Environmental Centre and will add an extra 100 metres to your bushwalking Brisbane experience.
Want to take your furry best friend for a walk? Here’s a round-up of most of the dog-friendly beaches and parks in our region.
Keen for a bushwalking Brisbane North adventure in our region? Get the low-down on the top 10 hikes in Moreton Bay Region.
Wondering what else the hinterland has to offer? Discover Moreton Bay Region hinterland escapes perfect for day trips and weekend getaways.