Tamborine National Park Brisbane | Gold Coast

Photo credit: Maxime Coquard © Queensland Government

Be inspired: 8 family-friendly walks around the Gold Coast

Calling nature enthusiasts of all ages! If you’re looking for nature therapy the whole family can enjoy, there’s no better place than Queensland’s biggest playground—Queensland National Parks! Photo credit: Anna Osetroff © Queensland Government

Be inspired: A magical history tour of Queensland’s earliest national parks

South-East Queensland is the cradle of Queensland National Parks. So let’s take a tour of 4 of our earliest parks to learn the fascinating stories behind their creation and find out how to best enjoy them today. Photo credit: Nick Hill © Queensland Government

Be inspired: Favourite hikes for groups of ‘besties and buddies’ around Brisbane

When it comes to bushwalking with your ‘besties’ (friends or family), in Queensland National Parks near Brisbane, you’re truly spoilt for choice! Photo credit: © Queensland Government

Be inspired: Refresh in the ‘green behind the gold’—5 bushwalks on the Gold Coast

Queensland National Parks in the Gold Coast hinterland offer bushwalks where you can refresh in cool mountain air, immerse your senses in lush green forests and feast your eyes on breathtaking scenery. Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Things to do

    Take in spectacular views from numerous lookouts, such as this one at The Knoll section.

    Take in spectacular views from numerous lookouts, such as this one at The Knoll section.

    Photo credit: Queensland Government

    Curtis Falls track in the Joalah section.

    Enjoy a walk along one of the many walking tracks, such as the Curtis Falls track in the Joalah section.

    Photo credit: Jodie Bray

    Tamborine National Park offers many opportunities for visitors to explore and enjoy the natural surrounds.

    Start your visit at the Tamborine Mountain Visitor Information Centre at Doughty Park, on the corner of Geissmann Drive and Main Western Road, North Tamborine.

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping

    To protect the natural values of this park, camping is not permitted in the national park. There are private campgrounds on Tamborine Mountain.

    See the tourism information links for more information.

    Other accommodation

    There is a wide range of holiday accommodation on Tamborine Mountain, including hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and cabins.

    For more information see the tourism information links.

    Walking

    Walking tracks are provided in six sections of Tamborine National Park. Most walking tracks are short and can be walked within a few hours. The walks are relatively easy although some tracks have short, steep sections. If you are walking with young children, or if you are birdwatching or taking photographs, allow extra time.

    Each walking track is classified according to a system based on Australian Standards, so you can choose a track suitable for your needs.

    Maps

    Walking tracks at a glance

    Matching experience and expectations—to make planning your walk easier, simply match your expectations and experience, and those of your group, with the most suitable track or circuit.

    Accessed from Track nameDistanceDurationClassification
    Cedar Creek sectionCedar Creek Falls track to lookout 500m return 15min

    Grade 1

    Cedar Creek Falls track to rock pools 1.1km return 30min Grade 3
    Joalah sectionEagle Heights Road access track 400m return 10min Grade 3
    Curtis Falls track 1.1km return 30min Grade 3
    Lower creek circuit 2.5km return 1hr Grade 4
    MacDonald sectionMacDonald rainforest circuit 1.4km return 30min Grade 3
    Palm Grove sectionPalm Grove circuit 2.7km circuit 1hr Grade 4
    Jenyns circuit 4.8km circuit 1hr 30min Grade 4
    The Knoll sectionSandy Creek circuit 2.6km circuit 1hr Grade 4
    Witches Falls sectionWitches Falls circuit 3.6km return 1hr Grade 4
    Witches Chase track 2.6km return 1hr Grade 4
    View from Cedar Creek Falls lookout.

    View from Cedar Creek Falls lookout.

    Photo credit: Bernard Hicks, Queensland Government.

    Cedar Creek section walks

    In the interests of safety, access to this section is prohibited at night—see opening hours for more information. Signs onsite inform visitors of the closure details. Please note: the park closure is enforceable under the provisions of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and penalties apply.

    Access to this section is via Cedar Creek Falls Road. Near the start of the track are two large picnic areas surrounded by tall eucalypt forest. There is no access for large buses, caravans and motorhomes at Cedar Creek.

    Cedar Creek Falls track to lookout

    Grade 1

    Distance: 500m return

    Time: Allow about 15min walking time.

    Details: Take a walk to Cedar Creek Falls lookout and admire views of the gorge and waterfalls. The track to the lookout is suitable for strollers and wheelchairs with assistance.

    Caution: For your safety, please observe the restricted access area signs (PDF, 87.1KB) onsite and remain within the fenced walking track as access is not permitted to the area immediately above the waterfall. Access is also not permitted in sections of the gorge, including some of the rock pools—penalties apply.

    Cedar Creek Falls track to rock pools

    Grade 3

    Distance: 1.1km return

    Time: Allow about 30min walking time

    Details: From Cedar Creek Falls lookout, descend through eucalypt forest and dry rainforest to the rock pools below. There are many steps on this walk, so be prepared for an uphill climb on our return. The section of track from the lookout to the rock pools is not suitable for strollers or wheelchairs.

    Caution:

    • For your safety, please observe the restricted access area signs (PDF, 87.1KB) onsite. Access is not permitted to the area immediately above the top waterfall and sections of the gorge, including some of the rock pools—penalties apply.
    • If you are swimming in the permitted rock pools, please be aware that there are many hazards in natural waterways—serious injury or death can result from diving or jumping into pools.
    • Please be aware taking glass containers into the gorge and rock pool area is prohibited—penalties apply.
    Enjoy views of Curtis Falls from the lookout.

    Enjoy views of Curtis Falls from the lookout.

    Photo credit: Jodie Bray

    Joalah section walks

    Joalah is located at the headwaters of Cedar Creek and is accessible from both Eagle Heights Road and Dapsang Drive car park. A toilet block and large vehicle parking is provided at the car park. There are no picnic facilities at this site.

    Eagle Heights Road access track

    Grade 3

    Distance: 400m return

    Time: Allow about 10min walking time

    Details: A short walk through the rainforest on the outer edge of Joalah leads to several cafes and shops.

    Curtis Falls track

    Grade 3

    Distance: 1.1km return

    Time: Allow about 30min walking time

    Details: This enchanting walk begins in wet eucalypt forest beneath towering flooded gums. Notice a drop in temperature as the wet eucalypt forest merges into lush rainforest. Beautiful crows nest and staghorn ferns can be seen in the canopy above. The rock pool and surrounding basalt rock face provide important glow-worm habitat.

    Caution: Access to the Curtis Falls rock pool and surrounding area is not permitted—penalties apply. This is for the safety of visitors and the protection of glow-worm and platypus populations. Observe the restricted access area notice (PDF, 93.7KB) .

    Lower creek circuit

    Grade 4

    Distance: 2.5km return

    Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

    Details: Branching off the Curtis Falls track, the Lower creek circuit crosses Cedar Creek before passing a giant, fallen strangler fig. Beyond the strangler fig the track becomes a typical, more challenging Grade 4 walking track, with creek crossings that involve rock hopping. Notice basalt boulders and columns on this creek-side rainforest walk.

    MacDonald section walks

    This precious tract of subtropical rainforest was named after Miss Jessie MacDonald, who generously donated part of this area to become a national park in 1933. The car park is on Wongawallen Road, off Tamborine–Oxenford Road. There are no barbecues or toilets at this site.

    MacDonald rainforest circuit

    Grade 3

    Distance: 1.4km return

    Time: Allow about 30min walking time

    Details: Experience towering strangler figs and lush groves of piccabeen palms along this short rainforest walk.

    Palm Grove section walks

    Palm Grove is named after the piccabeen palm Archontophoenix cunninghamiana that grows abundantly in this section. The main access point to this section is from Palm Grove Avenue. Parking for buses and caravans is not available. A picnic table is available at this site.

    Palm Grove circuit

    Grade 4

    Distance: 2.7km return

    Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

    Details: Explore the lush and diverse subtropical rainforest on this shady walk. Discover peaceful piccabeen palm groves, rainforest with emergent strangler figs, distinctively-buttressed yellow carabeens and fascinating fungi along the way.

    Jenyns circuit

    Grade 4

    Distance: 4.8km circuit

    Time: Allow about 1hr 30min walking time

    Details: Incorporating the Palm Grove circuit, the Jenyns circuit leads out into drier eucalyptus forest. Here hoop pines, brush box and grey gums abound and you will visit a grove of ancient cycads.

    Caution: Please remain on the track as there are steep cliff edges. Supervise children at all times.

    The Knoll section walks

    Access to this section is via Knoll Road. The parking area is small and not suitable for large vehicles. There are spectacular views to Flinders Peak and Brisbane from the northern edge of the picnic area.

    Sandy Creek circuit

    Grade 4

    Distance: 2.6km circuit

    Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

    Details: This walk features lush rainforest with towering trees emerging through the canopy. A 100m track branches off through open eucalypt forest to Cameron Falls lookout. On a clear day enjoy views across the valley to the southern suburbs of Brisbane and D’Aguilar Range.

    Caution: This track travels close to steep cliff edges. Please remain on the designated track, stay behind fences and supervise children at all times.

    Witches Falls section walks

    Witches Falls is Queensland’s first national park, declared in 1908. Access is via Main Western Road. Parking is suitable for larger vehicles at the southern end of the picnic area.

    Witches Falls circuit

    Grade 4

    Distance: 3.6km return

    Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

    Details: Witches Falls circuit starts just beyond the commemorative shelter. The track zigzags down the mountain side, through an open forest of banksia trees and into rainforest with giant strangler figs. This circuit passes seasonal lagoons surrounded by piccabeen palm groves before reaching the lookout platform beside Witches Falls. After heavy rain the lagoons fill with water and spring to life with a variety of insect and frog species. Witches Falls only flows after recent rain and is best viewed from the lookout platform, accessed via a 200m detour from the main circuit.

    Caution: The track passes a landslip area. Please follow the instructions on the signs—no stopping along the landside section of track as marked by the signs.

    Witches Chase track

    Grade 4

    Distance: 2.6km return

    Time: Allow 1hr walking time

    Details: Branching off the Witches Falls circuit, this track leads to Witches Chase off Beacon Road. Pass Witches Falls lookout and on through rainforest with large red cedar trees and eucalypt forest. Return along the same track to re-join the Witches Falls circuit.

    Have a picnic or barbecue at Cedar Creek or one of the many other day-use areas.

    Have a picnic or barbecue at Cedar Creek or one of the many other day-use areas.

    Photo credit: Mark Patenaude, Queensland Government.

    Picnic and day use areas

    There are several popular picnic and day-use areas in Tamborine National Park. No rubbish bins are provided at any of the areas—please take your rubbish home with you.

    Cedar Creek section facilities

    Access to this section is via Cedar Creek Falls Road. Near the start of the track are two large picnic areas surrounded by tall eucalypt forest. A picnic shelter with assisted wheelchair access to tables, toilets, barbecues and parking for mini buses is provided. There is no access for large buses, motorhomes and caravans at Cedar Creek.

    Joalah section facilities

    Joalah is located at the headwaters of Cedar Creek and is accessible from both Eagle Heights Road and Dapsang Drive car park. A toilet block and large vehicle parking is provided at the Dapsang Drive car park. There are no picnic facilities at this site.

    MacDonald section facilities

    The car park for this section is on Wongawallen Road, off Tamborine–Oxenford Road. There are no barbecues or toilets at this site. Picnic tables and a small covered area are provided at the park entrance.

    Palm Grove section facilities

    The main access point to this section is from Palm Grove Avenue. There is no parking for buses and caravans. Picnic tables are the only facilities at this site.

    The Knoll section facilities

    Access to this section is via Knoll Road. The parking area is small and not suitable for large vehicles. Picnic facilities include a large covered area, picnic tables and gas barbecues nestled among tall open forest. There are spectacular views to Flinders Peak and Brisbane from the northern edge of the picnic area.

    Witches Falls section facilities

    Access to Witches Falls section is via Main Western Road. The picnic area in this section has electric barbecues, wheelchair-accessible picnic tables and toilets. Parking for larger vehicles is available at the southern end of the picnic area.

    Other sections to visit

    Lepidozamia Grove section

    Donated by Edwin Franklin and Frank Salisbury, this section is on the plateau edge and preserves a grove of cycads Lepidozamia peroffskyana, commonly known as shining burrawangs. The cycad grove can be viewed from a small grassy area at the park entrance. Fossil records indicate that this species existed almost 300 million years ago. No facilities are provided at this site.

    Panorama Point

    At Panorama Point a fire management track leads into an area of tall open forest where grey gum, casuarinas, brush box and bloodwoods are common. There are no facilities at this site.

    Pirralilla section

    Donated by Miss Kath Dobbie, this section is located opposite the fig tree roundabout on Long Road. Pirralilla is an important area of remnant rainforest, containing threatened plant species. A community-led revegetation project demonstrates what can be achieved with local native species.

    Horseriding

    Class 2 (intermediate)

    Horses may be ridden on specified forest trails in some sections of Tamborine National Park only. Most trails are classed as intermediate, with some steep sections and natural hazards such as loose gravel.

    Forest trails can be accessed from Beaudesert–Beenleigh Road or Tamborine Mountain Road. Horse float parking is available on road reserves at most access points.

    To help reduce your impact on our natural areas please:

    • Only allow horses to cross natural watercourses at designated crossing points on the trail for the protection of watercourses in the area.
    • Minimise damage to vegetation. Do not allow horses to graze on any vegetation while in the area.
    • Tether horses at hitching posts or resting areas only for short periods to minimise soil erosion and compaction.
    • Avoid spreading weeds—ensure horses’ coats, hooves and equipment are free of seeds before park visits.