Hiking is one of the best outdoor activities in Brisbane! If you are ready to enjoy some fantastic views and get some exercise at the same time, then get ready – we’re about to run you through the best hikes near Brisbane!
Brisbane is best known for its unique position – close to both incredible coastline and sandy beaches, yet also a short drive from lush green rainforests and 12 national parks! The rainforest is home to some incredible animal species and unique plants to observe on your hikes.
Hikes in the Brisbane area range from leisurely walks on wooden paths to challenging 10 hour mountain top climbs. Waterfall hikes around Brisbane are especially popular, and you won’t even miss the beach as you jump into these picturesque streams.
To ensure you have a great hiking experience in Brisbane, be sure to get the AllTrails app before you go. The app has an extensive list of the best trails for hiking in Brisbane, with reviews from other hikers to keep you up to date on the latest trail conditions. You can filter by trail difficulty, length, and suitability and download trail maps to help keep you on track even when you’re offline.
Without further ado, here are the best hikes around Brisbane for your next adventure!
Summit Track, Mt. Coot-tha
The Summit Track at Mt Coot-tha is the most iconic Brisbane hike. Just 15 minutes from the city centre, it is located within Brisbane and easy to reach. Hiking the Summit Track is a great way to get some steps in and enjoy the fresh air without travelling far from the city.
The highlight of this hike is definitely the view over Brisbane. Once you reach the summit, you get an incredible birds-eye view over the city. The hike is especially popular at sunrise and sunset.
There are many trails to reach the Summit Lookout, so you can hike again and again without getting bored. The most popular one, starting from J.C. Slaughter Falls, is relatively easy. It is about 2 km long and takes 30 minutes to an hour to complete.
Box Forest Circuit, Lamington National Park
The Box Forest Circuit within Lamington National Park is one of the most scenic hiking trails around Brisbane, featuring 4 waterfalls in total.
You’ll hike through the lush rainforest and pass by several waterfalls along the way – Elabana Falls, Boxlog Falls, Darragumai Falls and Nugurin Falls. It’s recommended to walk this trail in a clockwise direction, so you reach the waterfalls towards the end of the hike.
There is a popular picnic spot along the trail, conveniently named Picnic Rock. The trail is well-marked, so there’s no risk of getting lost.
The whole circuit is about 10km long and takes around 4 hours to complete. Allow some time to swim in the waterfalls, you’ll be tempted by the time you reach them! The hike is moderately challenging, due to the length.
Wild Horse Mountain Lookout
Wild Horse Mountain Lookout is the perfect hike for those who want to enjoy the stunning mountain-top views without hiking for hours.
The trail leading to the lookout is very steep and not shaded at all. If you’re planning on tackling this walk in summer, avoid midday!
As it is a quite short and straightforward hike, it is a great place to enjoy sunset views over the mountains. On a clear day, you can even see Brisbane city in the distance!
This is a short 1.4km circuit hike, and it will take you about 30 minutes to complete. But don’t let the short distance fool you, it is straight uphill making it slightly more challenging than you might think!
Mount Tempest, Moreton Island
Unlike other hikes on this list that are all on the mainland, the Mount Tempest hike is on an island!
What makes this hike unique is that you’re actually climbing a sand dune! Mount Tempest is noted as the world’s highest naturally formed sand dune at 285 metres above sea level.
The peak offers 360° views of the area. On a clear day, you can see all the way from the Gold Coast to Sunshine Coast.
Hiking on Moreton Island is a great idea if you’re used to hiking in the rainforest. You’ll get to see some unique plants and a completely different ecosystem on the island.
Mount Tempest walking trek is just about a 2km return. However, you’re climbing the stairs all the way uphill, making it a short but tough walk.
Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park
Springbrook National Park is home to some of the best waterfall hikes around Brisbane, with the Natural Bridge hike being the most unique.
Natural Bridge is a picturesque rock formation formed by the force of the waterfall that created a hole in the ceiling of the cave. It has ethereal vibes and looks like a scene from a storybook.
You’ll hike through the ancient trees, and see many protected and rare animals living in this park. It is forbidden to swim in this waterfall, so if you want to take a dip, either make your way to the nearby Twin Falls or save it for your landscaped pool at home.
The true magic begins when the sun goes down, and the cave starts to sparkle. This little cave is home to thousands of glow worms. These unusual and fragile animals can only be found in Australia and New Zealand, and this is Australia’s largest population of glow worms in their natural habitat.
The Natural Bridge hike is relatively easy, and the short circuit is only 1km long.
Mt Barney, Mt Barney National Park
Climbing Mt Barney is not a hike for beginners. In fact, it is the most challenging hike in the Brisbane area. So, if you’re an experienced hiker ready for a challenge, it should be on your list. The views from the top are incredible!
The trail starts through dense bushes and takes you through hard-to-make-out, unmarked trails to the top. Once you reach the summit, you’ll see why people come here. The view is out of this world beautiful, and you feel like you can see the whole state!
Mt Barney is a challenging hike, suitable for those with a high level of fitness, experience and skills in rock scrambling. The trail is about 12km long and takes 8-10 hours to complete, so make sure you fill your hydration pack before setting off.
Come prepared, as rapid changes in temperature and weather are common.
Boondall Wetlands Bikeway
Finally, we have Boondall Wetlands Reserve, a compromise between a hike and a nature walk. It is an option for those who want to hike without actually having to climb a mountain. This trail is almost completely flat!
The hiking trail is a 13km long wooden boardwalk taking you through mangroves, forest and dry bushland. As you walk through the wetlands, you’ll get to observe different birds living in the reserve and other animals.
This is also a bike trail if you’re looking for a fun cycling opportunity close to the city.
Boondall Wetlands is a flat and easy hiking trail. The longer route is about 13km long, but you can opt for a shorter 2km trail. The trail is dog friendly, as long as you keep your dog on a leash.
Summary: Best Hikes Near Brisbane
And there you have it! A list of the best hikes near Brisbane whether you’re on holiday, exploring for the weekend, or backpacking in Australia.
Lush green rainforests will protect you from the sun on most hikes, so you can enjoy a day out in nature, even on a hot summer day. You don’t need to choose whether you want to hike or swim in a waterfall with hikes like the Box Forest Circuit.
From leisurely nature walks in Boondall Wetlands to climbing steep mountain peaks like Mt Barney, there is something for everyone!