Only one hour away from Brisbane, Mount Tamborine is a perfect destination for a day trip or a weekend away from the city. I’ve written before about Mount Tamborine waterfalls and Mount Tamborine wineries. But Mount Tamborine also offers great walking tracks and is one of my favourite destinations near Brisbane for short walks in the rainforest. I’ve listed below all the Mount Tamborine walks and left comments about my favourite ones.
The Witches Falls section in Mount Tamborine National Park was the first national park created in Queensland (1908). Since, they added more sections to grow the national park. Most of the walks in Mount Tamborine National Park are short, so you may want to do more than one during your visit. Keep in mind you’ll have to drive a little bit between two sections; the walks don’t leave from the same car park.
The numbers refer to the map at the end of the post. The indicated times are from the national park signs. We often completed the walks in less time.
Walks in Witches Falls section of Mount Tamborine National Park
1. Witches Falls Circuit
Distance: 3.6 km circuit | Time: 1hr
The Witches Falls Circuit is a great walk in Mount Tamborine National Park to combine inland views with a waterfall experience. But the water will only flow if it’s rained though. It involves a lot of steps but otherwise, it is an easy, pleasant walk in the rainforest.
2. Witches Chase Track
Distance: 2.6 km return | Time: 1hr
This track is a return walk from Beacon Road to Witches Falls. It approaches the falls from the opposite direction. There’s a nice lookout before descending to the falls that you may miss if you only follow the Witches Falls Circuit.
3. Cedar Creek Falls walk in Cedar Creek section of Mount Tamborine National Park
Distance: 1.5km return | Time: 30 minutes
This is the only Mount Tamborine walk that isn’t in the rainforest. A very short walking track will lead you to Cedar Creek Falls in Mount Tamborine. An easy 800-metre walk takes from the car park to the bottom of the falls. But you don’t want to rush it. After 250 metres on a wheelchair-accessible track, you’ll reach a platform with stunning views of the gorge and the top of the waterfall. You can then continue down a bit further (no longer wheelchair-accessible) to reach the first rock pool and Cedar Creek Falls.
It takes about 30 minutes to do this easy return walk, but you’ll want to allow more time to have a dip in the rockpools. They’re the only rock pools in Mt Tamborine where you can swim, and one of the best rock pools near Brisbane. Hence, on a hot day, they get really busy.
If you want to go all the way to the lower rockpools, it involves a bit of scrambling. Signs indicate you shouldn’t scramble your way up to the upper rock pools.
Responsible travel tip: Did you know your sunscreen can pollute the water and harm animals? The best way to protect your body from the sun is to cover it with long sleeves and pants. If you do have to use sunscreen, choose a mineral one (like zinc) to avoid harmful substances (see the full list here) and apply it at least 20 minutes before entering the water.
Walks in Joalah section of Mt Tamborine Nationall Park
4. Curtis Falls
Distance: 1.4 km return | Time: 30 minutes
Curtis Falls is again a very short walking track in Mt Tamborine. After walking for 700 meters in the rainforest, you arrive at a viewing platform at the bottom of the falls. The place is very photogenic. The waterfall isn’t high and doesn’t look very impressive but the lush vegetation around it and the lovely pool at the base look stunning. It’s actually one of my favourite waterfalls near Brisbane.
Unlike at Cedar Creek, it is prohibited to enter the rock pool. They ask visitors to stay on the platform to protect the glow worm colony living around the waterfall. If you’re interested in learning more about glow worms, you can visit the Mount Tamborine glow worm cave nearby.
It took us only 20 minutes to complete this walk.
5. Lower Creek Circuit
Distance: 2.5 km return | Time: 1hr
After visiting Curtis Falls, instead of going back to the car park, you can follow a walking track along Curtis Creek and do a small loop with the Joalah Lowe Creek Circuit. The 3.6km walk is lovely to spend more time in the rainforest and with the short detour to Curtis Falls, it is actually my favourite walk in Mount Tamborine. It took us just over one hour to complete it. It involves a number of steps, crossing the creek and it has some slippery parts (especially after the rain), which some may find challenging. I liked having my waterproof hiking shoes for this one.
We had to do some scrambling to cross the creek and complete the walk as a circuit. It wasn’t too hard using trunks to stay dry and keep our balance. Some may prefer to do the walk as a return walk to avoid crossing the creek where there’s no bridge.
It took us 1hr10 to complete this walk from the carpark. The distance on the national park sign is from the start of the loop after you’re all the way down to the creek near Curtis Falls. From the carpark, this walk is about 3.6km long.
Walks in The Knoll section of Mount Tamborine National Park
6. Sandy Creek Circuit
Distance: 2.6 km circuit | 1hr
After following Sandy Creek, this rainforest walk will take you to the Cameron Falls lookout. The lookout also has views all the way to Brisbane and D’Aguilar National Park, but the trees in front of it stop the wow-effect. The falls are hidden on the left, also obstructed by trees. So keep your expectations low for this lookout, and enjoy the lovely rainforest during the walk. It gets very slippery after the rain so hiking books are recommended.
It took us 45 minutes to complete this walk.
Walks in Palm Grove section of Mt Tamborine National Park
7. Palm Grove Circuit
Distance: 2.7km circuit | Time: 1hr
The Mount Tamborine walking tracks in the Palm Grove section are all about trees and the rainforest. If you’re lucky and quiet, you may encounter pademelons, a very cute and cautious marsupial.
8. Jenyns Circuit
Distance: 4.8km circuit | Time: 1.5 hr
The Jenyns Circuit is the longest Mount Tamborine walks. It starts with the Palm Grove Circuit and continues for a bit longer. It will take you to steep cliff edges, so it’s not for everyone. There used to be a platform to see Jenyns Falls, but it’s now unsafe and closed. Don’t expect to see a waterfall or beautiful views. However, the rainforest is lovely.
9. Rainforest Circuit walk in MacDonald Section of Mount Tamborine National Park
Distance: 1.4 km circuit | Time: 30 minutes
The rainforest Circuit is a short and easy rainforest walk in Mount Tamborine National Park. You will stay away from the crowd on this one, but there isn’t a lot more to see than on the other Mount Tamborine National Park walks. I recommend doing the other walks first.
10. Mount Tamborine Skywalk
Distance: 1.5 km circuit | Time: 20-30 minutes
I kept this one at the bottom of the list because it’s different from the other Mount Tamborine walks. The Mount Tamborine Skywalk is located in a privately owned rainforest and not in Mount Tamborine National Park. You’ll have to pay 19.50 per adult to access the boardwalk over the canopy.
It’s a nice walk to do with family or those with access challenges. It’s rare to be above the canopy like that. But considering all the beautiful walks in South East Queensland, you may want to look for free ones instead if you enjoy hiking. There’s a short free Tree Top Walk in Lamington National Park that you may be interested in, with stunning walking tracks next to it.
Important things to know about Mount Tamborine walks
Make sure you bring enough water for these Mount Tamborine walks, and sun protection. Even if you’re mostly in the rainforest and Mount Tamborine is slightly colder than Brisbane or the Gold Coast, you’re likely to still get hot in summer.
There can be leeches when you walk along a creek in the rainforest and the terrain can be slippery. So I always prefer to have long pants and good enclosed shoes.
Mount Tamborine is a very popular destination just outside Brisbane. Some of these walks are empty, but others are very frequented. It’s important to follow the signs and rules to help preserve the area. We always find rubbish left by groups at Cedar Creek rock pools; so it’s a good idea to go there with a rubbish bag if you want to help the park a little bit!