Microadventures: Northbrook Gorges
Looking for something off the beaten track? Here's a unique bushwalking escape located in the mountains of Brisbane Forest Park. Expect stunning rock pools, fun rock-hopping and lush surrounds in Brisbane semi-secret oasis.
South D'Aguilar National Park, Northbrook Parkway, Dundas Queensland
How to Get There:
Roughly 50km North West of Brisbane, head towards Samford Valley and follow the signs towards Mount Glorious Road (allow 1hr travel time)
There are a few ways to enter the Gorges:
Longer Adventure ~ Park at Wivenhoe Outlook past Maiala National park. Trail starts nearby the toilets where a faint trail to the right can be identified and begins with a steep gully *Option Recommended for experienced hikers only*
Shorter Adventure ~ Continue driving along past Wivenhoe Outlook for roughly 2km until you spot dirt road car parking on the right (Keep an eye out for a hairpin turn and a '20km/hr' speed sign) Turn back if you get to White Cedar picnic area as you've gone too far. Take caution - as the trail starts between 4th-5th arrow signs behind the barrier fence on the opposite side of the road, you will then see a path that heads toward the creek. Turn left once you hit the creek (Note that there is a cairn that marks the entry/exit point)
Allow 2.5-5hrs return - this time is based on a steady pace and a good level of fitness is required due to the variety of terrain (Extra time allocated for hikers selecting the longer adventure) *Please note: this track is not maintained by Queensland National Parks so please take caution when entering the trail and exploring the area*
The Northbrook Gorges is roughly 6km in total. As the name suggests there are gorges, so there are sections where swimming through water is required in order to reach all the rock pools. Even though the water is crystal clear be prepared for high water levels and assess each section before entering as it can be deceiving! There are sections of hiking between each rock pool that require rock hoping skills. This is not a circuit, so you need to return the way you came.
What to Pack:
Sun protection, Healthy snacks, minimum 1 Litre of Water, dry bag to protect your gear, sturdy boots with good grip, change of clothes to leave in the car or take with you (also throw a towel and disposable bag for your wet items into your car boot - you'll thank me later for that one :) Swimwear or clothing you don't mind getting wet and of course a sense of adventure!
There's plenty to enjoy on this hike - stunning clear water, awesome rock formations and variety of wildlife (keep an eye out for snakes as they enjoy this place too) The best spot is the rock pool with the waterfall where you can enjoy a bite to eat and swim. This is freshwater so water temp is always much cooler (great for summer and invigorating in winter) and even a resident Eel has been spotted here! Please respect the area by keeping it clean and ensure that no rubbish is left behind.