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Why don’t you go take a hike!


Why don’t you go take a hike!

The Sunshine Coast has a host of scenic trails to suit all fitness levels and time limitations. WORDS: Lahnee Pavlovich.

No one can deny the Sunshine Coast is a mecca for outdoor adventures. You have the beaches, the mountains, views to die for, the rivers and waterfalls, swimming holes and lakes, plus the weather to make being outdoors feel like an absolute necessity and never a chore.

And then of course, you have the tracks and trails that surround the almost 40,000 hectares of national parks, state forests and reserves.

And with spring right around the corner (and winter feeling almost non-existent anyway), we thought we would share a few of our favourite walks.


Noosa Trail Network

Noosa has long been a favourite for its natural landscape. So, it makes sense that this stunning seaside town would be home to an incredible trail network. Located in the Noosa hinterland and passing through a delightful array of fauna, these trails are popular with walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders. The network is made up of eight trails ranging from an easy 5km circuit to 26km tracks that can be spilt into two days. Get ready for scenery that includes working dairy farms, timber plantations, lush rainforest and lakes, macadamia groves, horse studs, mango farms and, of course, so many incredible views.


Kondalilla Falls

If you haven’t taken a hike to Kondalilla Falls yet, let this be your sign to do so. Located in Kondalilla National Park near Montville, this 90-metre waterfall is home to a great swimming hole and epic views out to the rolling hills. There are plenty of options for getting to the falls, too. The entire circuit is 4.6km and takes you to the top of the falls before winding down to the bottom and back up. It is considered a moderate walk but can be steep with a lot of stairs. It’s worth the exercise, though, with landscape created by volcanoes and carved out about 28 million years ago, not to mention remnants of subtropical rainforest and open eucalypt forest. For something a little shorter, Picnic Creek Circuit is a 1.7km easy walk offering valley views from a lookout point. Either way, be sure to take a dip and swim up under the waterfall. It is spectacular.


Buderim Forest Park

Starting at either Harry’s Lane or Quorn Close is the Buderim Forest Walk. This is a staple when it comes to a nice Sunshine Coast stroll and perhaps one of the easiest, and prettiest, tracks – especially if you want to venture out with the family. No matter which starting point you choose, both paths will take you on a spectacular journey through Buderim Mountain’s tranquil bushland to Buderim Falls where you can take a dip in the deliciously icy water. The track is only 0.8km and classed as easy, so it is suitable
for most people.


Mount Ngungun

You can’t create a list of popular walking tracks without a mention of the Glass House Mountains. You can see the distinctive craggy peaks towering above the landscape as you drive by, formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago. Stunning. And the view from the top of the mountains is even better. One of our favourite walks is up Mount Ngungun. This beauty has 360-degree, uninterrupted views of the neighbouring mountains and is about 2.8km in distance. But remember, it is a climb. So, you will need at least a moderate level of fitness for this track.


Fig Tree Walk

Situated 6km south of Kenilworth, Fig Tree Walk is about 1.1km long and easily accessed from the carpark. But don’t worry: within a minute, you will leave the car sounds behind and find yourself engulfed in beautiful rainforest. The stars of this show are the 150-year-old Moreton Bay fig trees, with their strong roots spreading along the earth. Walking under a canopy of these is out of this world. You can learn about these beauties as you wander the signs along the boardwalk which is also wheelchair accessible. Keep an eye peeled for industrious bush turkeys, skinks and butterflies. Keep your ears open for the call of green catbirds or the long whip-cracking call of
eastern whipbirds.


Mapleton Falls Lookout

The Mapleton Falls Lookout is another of our favourite hinterland walks that will tick all your boxes: lush and scenic bushland,120-metre waterfall, and views of Obi Obi valley below. This 1.8km track has it all. And if you don’t want to do the full track, you can access the lookout from the carpark, too. Although you can’t get to the base of the waterhole, you will have breathtaking views of the cascading waterfall that flows from Pencil Creek to a dramatic slate rock from the lookout.


Gheerulla Falls

Another gem in the Mapleton National Park is a lesser-known but equally beautiful walk that leads to Gheerulla Falls. It will take you along an easy 2.7km track to a secret waterfall (so shhh, don’t tell anyone).

And finally…

Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk

A bucket-list walk if you will, and not for the faint hearted, this 58.8km trek takes four days to complete with three walkers’ camps set up for a sleep under the stars. You’ll be surrounded by subtropical rainforests, beautiful waterfalls and eucalypt forests, cross the Blackall Range, Maleny and Mapleton Plateau, Mapleton National Park, bunya pines, Kondalilla National Park, plus some stunning creeks and waterfalls along the way. You can access the walk via Baroon Pocket Dam on Western Avenue and Narrows Road, the Montville–Mapleton Road, or Mapleton Falls Road, plus some other minor access points.

Well, there you have it. Your next weekend adventure awaits.

And the Sunshine Coast trails are calling your name.


Before you go on any walk, ensure you have the correct footwear, a water bottle, adequate sun safety and a mobile phone or beacon in case of emergencies. Consider walking with a friend or group, especially if you are attempting a more-challenging climb, and avoid walking at dawn and dusk or soon after rain. Always stay on designated tracks and know your fitness level and experience. Make sure to do your research before you set off to ensure it is the right walk for you. We also wish to acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of this area, the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara People, and respect the spiritual significance of these sites.

For the latest safety information on walking tracks and national parks in the region, visit

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