Mountains Near Brisbane to Climb

Queensland's Glass House Mountains

Whether you do it to de-stress, exercise or spend some quality time with the whole family, going on a mountain climb near Brisbane is a wonderful way to spend a day. Not only are you getting outside and immersing yourself in our beautiful, natural environment but, regardless of its size or the pace you set to reach the top, it’s also a wonderful way to see the land we call home from a whole new vantage point, with many local climbs boasting beautiful vistas and lookouts as a reward for your journey up.

Just to be clear. The following climbs are along walking trails and not rock climbing scenarios. That said, not all these climbs are for little ones or older kids who aren’t up for a challenge. Pay attention to the level of difficulty and also the safety tips at the bottom of this resource. 

Mountains Near Brisbane to Climb

The next thing to do is to check out what mountains you would love to explore! Below is a list of mountains near Brisbane that you can climb on your next family adventure.

Not all these climbs are child friendly. Pay attention to the level of difficulty and also the safety tips at the bottom of this resource. 

Mt Coot-tha Summit Walk

Mt Coot-tha Forest, located just five kilometres from the heart of the city, is Brisbane’s largest conservation reserve with more than 1500 hectares of open eucalyptus forest. The mountain offers numerous bike trails and walking tracks that vary in length and difficulty. From top to bottom, the Summit Circuit takes about one hour to climb and the breathtaking views at the top over the surrounding city make the short journey well worth the trek. 

The Summit Circuit trail is about 5km long and is a combination of both the Summit Track and the Mahogany Trail. The Summit Track is a mostly easy grade paved walk of around 2km with clusters of stairs along the way and the Mahogany Trail is an easy grade dirt track of approximately 3km. At the summit you will be graced with panoramic views and a restaurant, meaning you can stop here for a bite to eat and rest before heading back down.

Mt Coot-tha Track Map

Walking distance: 5km Summit Circuit 

Difficulty: Low to moderate – due to the stairs. No pram or wheelchair access.

Highlights: After rain, the waterfalls are spectacular, panoramic views at the top, JC Slaughter Falls, dogs-on-leash allowed

Facilities: 9 picnic areas with facilities which may include picnic tables, BBQs, toilets, water taps and access to walking tracks.

Mt Gravatt Summit, Toohey Forest

Much like Mt Coot-tha, the climb from the base of this local mountain to the lookout at the top and back is only one hour long. Whilst Toohey Forest offers numerous trails and tracks, the walk from the base of Mt Gravatt Mountain to its summit is hugely popular. Even so, the track is a steady incline and at some points steeper than others so be prepared to work those legs. When you reach the summit fabulous views of Brisbane City, the Glasshouse Mountains and Mt Coot-tha will be your reward. A delightful cafe and small play area are also located at its peak.

Toohey Forest Track Map

Walking distance: 2km – Mt Gravatt Summit walk from Gertrude Petty Place to the outlook

Difficulty: Moderate due to incline

Highlights: Panoramic views at the top, cafe, dogs-on-leash allowed

Facilities: Toilets, playground and cafe at the summit, cafe open 6am-3pm daily.

Mt Tempest, Moreton Island National Park

If you are planning a trip to Moreton Island and you are a keen hiker then you may want to look into the hike up Mt Tempest. A very different landscape to the other mountains on this list, Mt Tempest is considered the highest coastal sand dune in the world at 285m above sea level. While it may not sound as tough as some of the higher, rocky inland mountains, don’t be fooled into thinking this sandy climb will be a walk on the beach. Climbing on sand is a challenge unto itself and there are also many steps to contend with on the 2.5km return journey. 

The climb can be a hot one too so plan for cooler periods / seasons and make sure you take plenty of water. For your effort, you will be graced with 360-degree views from the top stretch from the Sunshine Coast to the north, all the way to the Gold Coast in the south. 

Mt Tempest Map

Walking distance: 2.5km

Difficulty: High due to steps and sand.  Definitely for experienced walkers and one to save for winter as it can can get hot underfoot.

Highlights: 360-degree views of the island, Moreton Bay Marine Park and, on a clear day, the Glass House Mountains. Read about Moreton Island’s indigenous people—the Dolphin clans.

Facilities: Seats provided along the track

Glass House Mountains

mt ngungun queensland australia

Image of Mt Ngungen thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

From Brisbane, follow the Bruce Highway north, take the Glass House Mountains tourist drive turn-off and follow the signs to the Glass House Mountains. Within the national park there are separate entrance points to each of the recreation nodes around the mountain peaks—Beerburrum trailhead, Mount Beerwah, Mount Ngungun, Tibrogargan trailhead.

Glass House Mountains Tracks

Mt Ngungun

Of all the Glass House Mountains, Mt Ngungun Summit climb is one of the most popular. It is easy to get to, takes about 2 hours to complete and has a fantastic 360 panoramic view of the coast and hinterland, especially at sunrise, once you reach the top. The Mount Ngungun summit walking track is a 2.8 kilometre trail that begins in open forest and offers great views of Mount Tibrogargan, Mount Coonowrin and Mount Beerwah from the summit. Most of the hike is just a gently sloping path and not that challenging. The path is distinct, well sign posted and well maintained.

Mt Ngungun Map

Caution: This track passes close to cliff edges so please supervise children closely. Take extra care around the summit area in wet weather as rocks can become very slippery.

Walking distance: 2.8km summit track

Difficulty: Grade 4 – Moderate

Highlights: Open forest with a fern understorey; woodlands; a small rock overhang; spectacular 360 degree views from the top of Mount Ngungun

Facilities: Parking and drinking water available at the start of the track.

Mt Beerburrum

Close to the township of Beerburrum, the Summit Walk to the 280m-high peak of Mt Beerburrum is 3.5km return and takes just under an hour to complete. Access to the track is from the Beerburrum trailhead, adjacent to the Beerburrum State School car park. This track winds through wet Eucalyptus forest and then up into drier forest. Near the Yul-yan-man trailhead the track becomes a very steep, paved pathway that leads to the summit. There you will find a fire tower (used to detect and manage fires in the surrounding forests) and 360-degree views of the Glass House Mountains. 

Mt Beeburrum Map

Walking distance: Beerburrum Summit Walk via Beerburrum trailhead – 3.5km return

Difficulty: Grade 3 – Moderate

Highlights: Mount Beerburrum’s fire tower and 360 degree views at the Summit of the Glass House Mountains.

Facilities: Parking available at the start of the track.

Mt Tibrogargan

Mt Tibrogargan is considered the father of the mountains and is one that involves just as much scrambling as climbing to reach the top. The 364m track is no “walk in the park”, even if it is technically in national park land. This is a climb; you will need your hands, some good leg muscles and a decent level of fitness to make it to the top. 

Start on the Tibrogargan circuit walk and eventually you’ll get to a sign pointing to the summit. It goes up pretty steeply until you get to the base of a cliff. From this point follow obvious wear marks to scramble up and up and up. Eventually, it levels off with more bush and you’re at the 364 metre summit! A good one to use with an adventure group to help build up their skills, beware there are a few parts that can make some people a little squeamish with the exposure.  

Mt Tiborgargan map

Walking distance: 4.1km return (1km to the Mountain View lookout)

Difficulty: Grade 3

Highlights: Mountain View lookout with views over Mount Beerwah, Mount Coonowrin, Mount Tibberoowuccum and Mount Tunbubudla.

Facilities:Picnic facilities and toilets.

Main Range National Park

Mt Mitchell Main Range National Park

Image of Mt Mitchell thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

The Main Range National Park is located about 90 minutes south west of Brisbane. It’s spread across 30,000 hectares and features a variety of hikes up to mountain summits, waterfalls and along winding forest tracks.

Mt Cordeaux

Mt Cordeaux is one of several mountains located within Main Range National Park.  The views from the peak look out over the Scenic Rim and down the length of Main Range National Park. Known to Aboriginal people as Niamboyoo, the 6.8km return trip up Mt Cordeaux will take about 2.5 hours. The Mt Cordeaux walking track, accessed from the top of the Gap, is really well-marked and defined. The trail branches off the Rainforest Circuit and zigzags past exposed upper slopes, ending at a lookout on the southern side.  

Please be aware this walk is along sheer cliff edges. Remain on the track, stay behind fences, away from cliff edges and supervise children at all times.

Mt Cordeaux Map

Walking distance: 6.8km round trip to to the peak.

Difficulty: Grade 4

Highlights: You can take an extended walk by another 5.6kms to Bare Rock, which looks out over the fertile valleys of Tarome towards Brisbane.

Facilities: Picnic, toilet and camping facilities are available in the Main Range National Park

Mt Mitchell

Across the Cunningham Highway is the track leading up to Mt Mitchell. The trail initially winds up a slight incline through rainforest before levelling out as you walk around the sides of the mountain, into open Eucalypt. The last kilometre of the trail feels like it goes on for a while as it corkscrews up to the narrow rocky summit. On this 10.2km return walk you will pass twin peaks before 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.

Mt Mitchell Track Map

Walking distance: 10.2km round trip

Difficulty: Grade 4

Highlights: The views from the top, twin peaks, wild flowers

Facilities: Picnic, toilet and camping facilities are available in the Main Range National Park

Spicers Peak

Spicers Peak sits in the middle of the Main Range National Park, about 120km from Brisbane and is one of Queensland’s highest mountains. It is just a 6km hike, but it will take you six to seven hours. Allow several hours for the journey between east and west peaks as it is largely rainforest and there are a number of rocky obstacles. From Governor’s Chair car park, walk to the lookout and then head south to a fence line. It’s not easy, but once at the top of the 1222m-high summit, soak up the views before descending again. There’s an easy walk to the Spicer’s Gap lookout and it’s accessed about 150m from the Spicer’s Gap carpark. It offers views over the Fassifern Valley.

Spicers Peak Track Map

Walking distance: 6km

Difficulty: Grade 3 – 4

Highlights: Wildflowers, trekking between the two peaks.

Facilities: Picnic, toilet and camping facilities are available in the Main Range National Park

Mt Mathieson

Mt Mathieson trail is a must-do walk, offering fantastic views of Mt. Cordeaux and Mitchell and when at the governor’s chair the views are endless. Start opposite the Pioneer Picnic Area and follow a rough track through eucalypt and rainforest on this 8.1km circuit. Make sure to make the short detour to the fantastic Governors Chair lookout. 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 at the start in about three hours.

Mt Mathieson Track Map

Walking distance: 8.1km circuit

Difficulty: Grade 4

Highlights: Summit views

Facilities: Picnic, toilet and camping facilities are available in the Main Range National Park

D’Aguilar Forest Park

D’Aguilar National Park lies on the doorstep of Brisbane, Queensland’s capital city. The park is divided into two distinct sections—South D’Aguilar section (formerly Brisbane Forest Park) and Mount Mee section (formerly Mount Mee State Forest and Forest Reserve).

Mermaid Mountain

Trek from the town of Mt Crosby up Mermaid Mountain on this 18km hike and you will be treated to a great view of Lake Manchester and surrounding hills. Mermaid Mountain is one of those little known walks in Brisbane that can be hiked by a number of different routes. The many interconnecting trails and lack of trail markers mean that, while not difficult, it is best done by prepared bushwalkers. Some hills on the walk are steep, and some surfaces are loose gravel and small rock surface, so be careful on the hills, especially descending. There is also no signage, so a GPS or compass is essential. The climb features beautiful wildflowers, with the trail primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching. 

Mermaid Mountain Track Map

Walking distance: 18km round trip

Difficulty: Moderate

Highlights: view of Lake Manchester and surrounding hills, wild flowers.

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. The ancient, volcanic peaks of mounts French, Greville, Moon and Edwards are recognised not only for their unique shapes and as favourite bushwalking destinations, they are also remnant habitats of key conservation value within South East Queensland. The peaks are mostly covered in open eucalypt forest with montane heath on the exposed rock faces and rainforest in some sheltered areas.

Check out this map for reference of all the walks below

Mt French

mt french lookout

Take a short drive back towards the town of Boonah and you’ll see a sign marking the Mount French turn off. Follow this road, past paddocks of cows and horses, and you’ll come to Mount French in the Moogerah Peaks National Park. From the car park, there are two bushwalking tracks to choose from. The North Cliff track is 720m return. The track leads to Logan’s Lookout, a fenced platform offering panoramic views over the Fassifern Valley, with the Main Range escarpment to the west and Flinders Peak to the east. The Mee-bor-rum circuit is 840m and leads to the East cliff lookout with views of Tamborine, Lamington and Mount Barney. Extra care with children must be taken here as there is no viewing platform or handrails. 

Walking distance: 720m return (North Track), 840m return (Mee-bor-rum Track)

Difficulty: North Track – Grade 1, Mee-bor-rum Track – Grade 3

Highlights: Views of Fassifern Valley, Tamborine, Lamington and Mount Barney

Facilities: Picnic and toilet facilities are available at Lake Moogerah.

Mt Greville

With its rocky faces and forested ridges, this mountain creates an attractive landmark. Two deep, narrow, steep-sided gorges, known as Palm Gorge and Waterfall Gorge, cut into its south-eastern side.  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. With its rocky faces and forested ridges, this mountain creates an attractive landmark. Two deep, narrow, steep-sided gorges, known as Palm Gorge and Waterfall Gorge, cut into its south-eastern side. Mount Greville section is surrounded by private property except for the car park and designated route.

Beware: Be very prepared for this climb as it is known for its loose rock debris, steep, rocky sections and very slippery rocks in wet conditions.

Walking distance: 12km

Difficulty: Grade 4

Highlights: Waterfall gorge

Facilities: Picnic and toilet facilities are available at Lake Moogerah.

Mt Edwards

Easier than Mt Greville, the summit trek to Mt Edwards is a 2.2km return trip and 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.

As the start of the hike is on the shores of Lake Moogerah, it is a perfect place to sit and relax afterwards. Just a short walk across the car park is the Lake Moogerah Cafe for some well deserved cold drinks and cake.

Walking distance: 2.2km return track.

Difficulty: Grade 5

Special Features: View across the dam wall at the end.

Facilities: Picnic and toilet facilities are available at Lake Moogerah.

Mt Barney National Park

Rugged mountain peaks rise above the surrounding landscape in this wild, beautiful Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area that is home to many rare animals, plant species and communities. 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 rock climbing and are best navigated with a map and compass.  

Mt Barney National Park Map

Mt Barney

mt barney summit in the morning

Image of Mt Barney thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Mt Barney is often viewed as the pinnacle of bushwalking in South-East Queensland and there are so many different ways to ascend the mountain. It is also a very difficult climb and should not be attempted without substantial bushwalking, scrambling and navigation experience. Any climb must start early in the morning and make sure to follow the warnings and guidelines provided by the National Park authorities. 

Mt Barney with its two peaks (Mount Barney East at 1,351m and Mount Barney West at 1,354m) is the highest peak in Mount Barney National Park.

West Peak

The trail up the West Peak off the Rum Jungle clearing is a goat track at best with a piece of 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

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. 

Mount Barney Summit Routes

Walking Distance: 17.5km circuit to the summit

Difficulty: Grade 5

Highlights: Views from the second highest peak in South East Queensland.

Facilities: Toilets and picnic facilities are found at Yellow Pinch trail entrance.

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 May Track Map

Walking distance: 6.4km

Difficulty: Grade 4

Highlights: Views over Lake Maroon, Mt Maroon and Mt Barney

Mt Maroon

The walk to the Mt Maroon summit is difficult and should only be tackled by experienced walkers. Even so, once you reach the summit you will be able to experience 360-degree views over Lamington National Park through Mt Barney, Main Range and Moogerah Peaks. 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. 

Mt Maroon Track Map

Walking distance: 5.6km

Difficulty: Grade 5

Highlights: 360-degree views over Lamington National Park through Mt Barney, Main Range and Moogerah Peaks.

Facilities: Picnic facilities are located at Yellowpinch at the base of Mt Barney.

Lamington National Park

Lush rainforests, ancient trees, spectacular views, extensive walking tracks, exceptional ecological importance and natural beauty make this Gondwana rainforest of Australia World Heritage Area an outstanding place to visit.

Mount Merino

This long trek rewards walkers with the best views of Mount Warning, McPherson and Beechmont ranges and the Gold Coast. Located halfway between Binna Burra and Green Mountains, the 1160m Mount Merino summit can be reached on a day walk from either location. Stop for a breather at the Beereebano lookout where amazing views of the Beechmont Range and Gold Coast are laid out before you. From here, the track climbs to the Antarctic beech-clad Mount Merino summit. The views of the Mount Warning caldera and McPherson Ranges are better here than anywhere else in the park. Allow eight hours to complete the 22km return journey. 

Mt Merino Track Map

Walking distance: 22km return

Difficulty: Grade 4

Highlights: Spectacular views from the different lookouts and summit

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 Neglected, Mt Wagawn, Mt Hobwee and Mt Bithongabel. For something toward the Sunshine Coast, consider climbing Mount Coolum

Some Safety Tips 

Before you head out to conquer your mountain, below are a number of things that would be useful to consider to help keep your climb as safe and enjoyable as possible. 

Read what levels of difficulty means according to National Parks and Wildlife and consider this before your decision: read more

Research your climb – Make sure you have researched the mountain you are climbing before you start. Know your limits and check whether the pathways, terrain and height/length of the climb are all suitable to your abilities. Our recommendation is to go to the National Parks and Wildlife Website which will give you the latest information on not only the terrain you can expect but any track closures that might impact your plans. 

Check the weather forecast – Weather is unpredictable at the best of times and what looks like a clear, sunny morning can deteriorate to much worse conditions as the day goes on. You don’t want to get caught in a bad storm or heatwave when you are halfway up a climb that could take a few hours.

Emergency Contact – Be sure to let someone who is not going with you know your plans. Give them a rough timeframe as to when you will go, how long it should take and when you will be back. Mobile phone reception is not always possible and if you get into any trouble on your hike it would be good if someone on the ground knows your whereabouts if you are late returning home.

Get an early start – Unless you are doing a very small climb or planning for a particular time of day (sunset) it is usually advisable to plan an early morning start for a climb. The reason? It can take a lot longer than you think to get up and back again and no one wants to be stuck on a mountain as the light fades.  

Pack Smart – Although you may want to keep your backpack light for the walk there are definitely some essentials you should have on you whenever you plan a mountain climb.

Below is a list of recommended items to take with you:

  • Suitable footwear
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit
  • Insect Repellent
  • Area Map 
  • Mobile phone and portable charger
  • Torch
  • 2-3L of water and Hydralyte sachets
  • Snacks (fruit and sweets) and maybe lunch incase it takes a little longer
  • Camera
  • A hiking buddy 
  • Long pants (useful if you find you need to slide down any sloped areas)

Happy climbing!!!

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