Are you suffering from a case of cabin fever?
Our prognosis is you need a dose of fresh country air, some light cardio and a few mountains to climb to prevent that feeling of the four walls around you closing in.
If it’s time to swap computer screens for country scenes, why not tackle one of these 10 best mountains to climb in Southern Queensland Country?
1. Table Top Mountain
This extinct former volcano, Table Top Mountain, is a scrambler and rock hopper’s paradise thanks to millions of years of erosion, which has left behind a landscape of awkwardly shaped rocks, deep ravines and steep rockfaces.
Lace up your boots and tackle the 2km return hike, which rewards climbers with an unusually flat peak and incredible views over the Lockyer Valley.
2. Mount Kingsthorpe Park
Make a day out of a climb through Mount Kingsthorpe Park, which sits beside the Warrego Highway near Toowoomba.
You don’t want to walk for miles to find views, just 480m into the walk, you’ll be offered vast views of the rainforest that once covered the whole region.
Top and tail this 35-minute hike with a picnic at the recreation areas, including playgrounds, barbecues and toilet facilities.
3. Mount Peel Bushland Park
Calling all nature lovers, we’ve got the trail for you.
The 6.1km loop trail of Mount Peel Bushland Park just outside of Toowoomba is a Mecca for tree-huggers.
Pick your pace while exploring what feels like a never-ending greenspace, with an array of bushwalking trails to choose from – starting from 15-minute strolls to longer three and a half hour hikes.
According to locals, the South Summit is the most challenging, but offers the most rewarding 360° views of the whole region.
4. Glen Rock State Forest
In need of a country escape? A visit to the signature red volcanic outcrop, known as Glen Rock State Forest, will deliver.
Take the scenic route to Christies Loop via an old-fashioned windy country road, before giving the moderate 5.2km trail a go.
If your breath hasn’t already been taken away by the steep and rocky climb, the views overlooking the signature red rock and Blackfellow Creek Valley will do the honours.
South Burnett & Western Downs
5. Bunya Mountains National Park
Whether you choose to trek along the shorter circuits or walk through the longer loops, you’ll almost forget you’re working the glutes and tightening the abdomen while exploring this ancient landscape.
6. Barakula State Forest
Find your best walking shoes because the largest state forest in the Southern Hemisphere, Barakula State Forest, has the trails to put them to the test.
Spanning 283,000 hectares of land and straddling the Great Dividing Range, the Barakula State Forest surrounds two prominent peaks, Turkey Mountain and Round Mountain (Tangoonda).
For a climb that offers a real uphill kick to get the blood pumping, Turkey Mountain (492m) is the tallest, offering extensive views as you go.
However, be sure to follow the signs on the tracks, as it can be easy to get lost and there’s limited phone reception.
Southern Downs & Granite Belt
7. Main Range National Park
If you like chasing waterfalls, Main Range National Park is home to some of the most popular mountain walks in Queensland. The aptly named waterfall circuit is a great place to do just that.
Part of the Gondwana Rainforest and one of the five World Heritage listed parks in Queensland, the trails within the vast park are an absolute must for waterfall lovers.
To fully immerse yourself in the power of nature, take the hike towards a 40-metre Spring Creek plunge known as Queen Mary Falls.
Climb through dappled forests, make your way across rugged rock faces, and gaze out across views stretching over deep secluded valleys and gushing waterfalls from different viewing points dotted throughout the walking trails.
The circuit is a snappy 2km return hike, which should take about 45 minutes, but that depends on how long you linger at the lookouts.
8. Allora Mountain Flora and Fauna Reserve
For those here for the scenery, Allora Mountain Flora and Fauna Reserve, just off the New England Highway is an underrated natural beauty waiting to be explored.
You’ll be treated to exquisite native wildflowers, dominating the eucalyptus forest, as you make your way up paths perfectly lined with long grass towards unparalleled views of the small town famous as the birthplace of PL Travers, author of the much-loved Mary Poppins book series, Allora.
You’ll likely make a few new friends on your journey too, with koalas, nesting wedgetail eagles and wallabies calling this Reserve home.
9. Girraween National Park
You’ve probably seen the bizarre rock formations of Girraween National Park on your social media feed, so get ready to marvel at these surreal granite boulders in person.
Girraween National Park is home to the Insta-famous Balancing Rock, which can be found on the Pyramid trail, a moderate 3.6km (two hours return) hike that will get your calves burning and upper brow sweaty.
We promise the Instagram shots will be worth the shortness of breath after working your body into precarious positions around the granite formation. Make a night out of it, checking into one of these places to stay near Girraween.
10. The Beacon Lookout
The flat agricultural plains of the Goondiwindi region might be the last place you’d expect to find elevation, so you’ll need to drive to Texas to find this lookout.
From The Beacon Lookout, you can gaze out across the deep Dumaresq River Valley.
Good news if you’re looking to tick off this list of things to do in the Goondiwindi region, there’s not much of a physical climb involved to this lookout point so you can spend more time sightseeing than hiking to see the sights.
Looking for more mountains to climb?
Consider lacing up your hiking boots for:
- Mount Mistake, Lockyer Valley
- Mount Marlay, Stanthorpe
- Donnelleys Castle, Stanthorpe
- Sundown National Park, west of Girraween
- Mount Basalt Reserve, Millmerran
- Jubilee Park, Toowoomba