Girraween National Park is a little bit special. Only a 2.5hr drive south-west of Brisbane, it literally feels worlds away, and you should DEFINITELY make the time to go out and visit. Located in the Granite Belt, the National Park is made up of giant boulders which make for an epic weekend playground.
When it comes to hiking, there are plenty of great day walks for all levels of fitness. Here are some of the best hikes in Girraween National Park…
Best Hikes in Girraween National Park
The most iconic hike in Girraween – and with good reason – is the Pyramids. It’s not a long walk to the summit (1.7km one way), but be warned, it is steep! The walk starts from the Bald Rock Creek camping area and car park, and starts really gradually. Then all of a sudden, you’re facing a wall of rock. It’s not dangerous (last time I climbed it, there was a 3 year old in pijamas going up – no joke), nor does it require any kind of technical climbing skills, but it WILL leave you breathless.
From the top you get incredible 360 degree views of the national park. Don’t forget to take that cliche (but seriously cool) photo of the “balancing rock” near the summit.
On the way back down, detour via the Granite Arch, which is another great place to get some photos and admire the awesome rock formations.
Pro Tip: Head up either early in the morning or late in the afternoon to try and avoid the crowds.
The Sphinx & Turtle Rock
This hike is a little longer than the Pyramids, but isn’t as steep. It’s actually a really pleasant walk, and you’re rewarded with some pretty views.
The hike starts from near the Castle Rock Campground (on the other side of the road from the information centre) and is 7.4km return (allow 2 – 3 hours). Allow some time to explore once you get to the end of the track – there are plenty of amazing viewpoints if you’re prepared to climb a little!
The Underground Creek
A very easy, short walk (2.6km return), the Underground Creek is still worth checking out. The walk is flat and doesn’t take long (allow an hour, max). The track starts from the Dr Roberts carpark (about 9kms from the National Park information centre).
The walk ends at an underground river (surprise), which has carved out some pretty amazing rock formations, including what looks like a giant wave. There’s a little cave you can climb through at the end, but it gets super slippery if it’s been raining, so take care.
There’s a beautiful swimming hole (Dr Roberts Waterhole) nearby, so if you’re feeling warm on the way back to your car – check it out for a lovely dip in summer.
For more walks and information, including park maps, check out the QLD Parks website.
Girraween National Park is just south of Stanthorpe, on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. The National Park is accessible with any vehicle, but be aware that the road leading into the park is dirt.
Where to Stay
There are two campgrounds in the national park – Bald Rock Creek and Castle Rock. Both are lovely and easily accessible, however at the time of writing (May 2019) they are both closed due to water restrictions and the drought.
If you want to camp, Sommerville Valley Tourist Park is a great option, just on the edge of the park (about 25 minutes drive from the information centre). Prices start from $30 per night (for two people unpowered), but they also offer cabins and lakeside accommodation.
If camping isn’t your thing, there is plenty of great accommodation options for all budgets in Stanthorpe.
Sick of Hiking?
If you’ve had enough of the great outdoors and are ready for some creature comforts, fear not. The Granite Belt is home to the best wineries in QLD, and with over 50 cellar doors in the area, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re looking to plan the perfect weekend away from Brisbane – I’ve got you covered!