You don’t need to travel far from Brisbane to find a great hiking trail, or 20 – in fact, you don’t even need to leave the city to tackle some top walks. Scattered throughout national parks and other wilderness areas, options range from short bushwalks to strenuous mountain climbs, with plenty of wildlife-watching opportunities, scenic viewpoints, hidden waterfalls and swimming spots among them.
No matter which option you choose, make sure you set out with the appropriate gear including good walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water, particularly if you’re planning to hit the trails during the Queensland capital’s steamy summer months, when dehydration can strike quickly. Here are six fantastic hikes to start you off.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The 1.9km (1.2mi) slog up Mt Coo-tha, on the western fringe of the CBD, is well worth it for the sweeping views of the city, Moreton Bay and North and South Stradbroke Islands from the summit. The trail through Brisbane’s largest conservation reserve begins at JC Slaughter Falls picnic area, and ends at Mt Coot-tha Lookout, where you can grab refreshments at the Summit Cafe or treat yourself to a gourmet lunch at The Summit restaurant.
Extending 36,000ha (89,000 acres) northwest of Mt Coo-tha, the diverse landscapes of D’Aguilar National Park are laced with more than 20 official trails. If you’re a sucker for a good view, make a beeline for the Morelia walking track. Starting from Manorina, this 6km(3.7mi)-return walk meanders through patches of cool rainforest and open eucalypt forest before reaching the Mount Nebo lookout, where you can admire magnificent views over Samford Valley, Mount Tempest and Moreton Bay. On a clear day, the Moreton Island sand dunes appear to hover on the horizon.
How can you get the best views of the Glass House Mountains? By climbing one of them, of course! Mount Beerwah might be the tallest of this collection of 13 volcanic remnants just an hour’s drive north of Brisbane, but the views from the summit of Mt Ngungun (253m/830ft), not to mention the great view of Mt Tibrogargan on the way up, are pretty spectacular. Allow two hours to complete the 2.8km(1.7mi)-return hike, and watch the sheer cliff edges – they can become slippery when wet.
For a classic Aussie bushwalk (with koalas!) just 40 minutes south of the city, it doesn’t get much better than the easy, 7.5km (4.7mi) Venman Circuit in Venman Bushland National Park. Allow around four hours to complete this trail, which follows Tingalpa Creek through melaleuca swampland and eucalypt forest, which is an important habitat for koalas and other wildlife. Add extra time if you’d like to link up this walk with one of the interconnected trails that make up the Koala Bushland Conservation network of parks.
Top off a day trip to Tamborine Mountain, an hour’s drive south of Brisbane, with a short (1.1km(0.7mi)-return) but beautiful hike to the base of Curtis Falls. This enchanting walk, perfect for families, begins in a wet eucalypt forest beneath towering flooded gums, which soon merges into lush subtropical rainforest. Beautiful ferns can be seen in the canopy above, with the rockpool and surrounding basalt rock face at the base of the falls providing an important glow-worm habitat – you’ll need to come back at night to see the spectacle.
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