Sure Queensland is a vast state, a diverse destination and if you were to walk its length, you'd wear out more than a few pairs of shoes. But break down this beauty into bite-size chunks and there's some sensational short walks to discover. In Southern Queensland Country alone, you'll find some of the prettiest places to take you through your paces. Stretch your body, your mind and most of all, your soul.
Queen Mary Falls Circuit
You'll feel a little like royalty yourself meandering along the Queen Mary Falls Circuit in this section of Main Range National Park, 64km south-west of Boonah. This Class 3 walk is 2km long and takes about 40 mins. In that time, you'll encounter changing flora from eucalypt to rainforest. The Queen Mary Falls lookout affords views of the 40m plunging Spring Creek which eventually joins the Condamine River and is the perfect place from to snatch some holiday snaps.
Scenic Circuit, Bunya Mountains
There's good reason they call this route the Scenic Circuit. This 4km trek, which takes about 1hr 20min, is one of the most popular on the Bunya Mountains due to the diversity and views it offers. The start is conveniently situated at the Dandabah picnic area from where you'll walk through a forest of Bunya pines. Make sure you stop for a photograph as you pass through the giant strangler fig, before continuing on to some pretty rock pools and Tim Shea falls. Pause at Pine Gorge lookout to survey the South Burnett below.
The Pyramid, Girraween National Park
There's 11 different walks from which to choose in Girraween National Park, but one of the most popular is The Pyramid, a 3.6km, two-hour trek incorporating eucalypt forests, rocky outcrops and grassy flats. In the end, it's all about the view from the top – of Balancing Rock, the Second Pyramid and out over the national park itself. www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/girraween/about.html##the_pyramid
Governor's Chair Lookout, Spicers Gap
It all sounds a bit posh really, and in fact, if you track back the history, it is. Situated in Main Range National Park, this is not a long walk, just 300m return, but it's one of importance. There's a huge rock called Governor's Chair, which affords views over the Fassifern Valley, and is reportedly where early Governors themselves would take a rest when travelling through Spicers Gap. www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/main-range/about.html##governors_chair
Bicentennial National Trail
Australia's Bicentennial Trail runs some 5000km from Victoria to Queensland but you don't have to walk all of that. In Kilkivan, you can saunter along a section known for Queensland's first gold discovery in 1852. Sure, this part is 107km long, but you can elect to do a section, then connect with the old coach and stock routes, plus varied flora and fauna.
Queensland's garden city is home to more than 150 public parks, but there's three deserving of special mention for walking. Queens Park is considered the city's centrepiece, with large, shady trees, expansive lawns and bright gardens for flower lovers, while the Newton Park State Rose Garden boasts more than 1500 roses, which are well worth wandering around. At the peaceful, four and a half hectare Japanese Gardens in south Toowoomba there's 3km of paths, 230 species of Japanese and Australian native trees and a central lake and waterfall.
Russell Street Self-Guided Walk, Toowoomba
Not a nature trek in any sense, but one of history, you'll find plenty of interesting landmarks and architecture along Toowoomba's Russell Street. It will take you a lazy hour or so to wander past the Railway Station, through Kensington Street and in to the city centre to explore stately shop fronts which hark back to yesteryear.
Bald Rock Creek Circuit
Situated within Girraween National Park, this 2km trek takes one hour and is considered a snapshot of this park's finest features. You'll see plenty of feathered, furry and the odd scaly animal or two along the way, but don't be scared, we can assure you they're more frightened of you. Girraween itself means “place of flowers”, so you'll see plenty of them as well.
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Author: Tourism and Events Queensland
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