Trying to plan your visit to the Granite Belt Region and looking for the best Girraween National Park walk to do? Girraween National Park is so unique, I doubt you’ll find another national park that offers similar landscapes. With its unique granite formations, and diverse flora and fauna, there’s no wonder why it’s called the “Place of Flowers” in the local Aboriginal language.
From short walks suitable for families to challenging hikes that reward you with breathtaking views, Girraween National Park walks have something for everyone. In this guide, I’m sharing the park’s most iconic walks, practical tips, and how there’s much more to Stanthorpe than you probably even considered, with other walks and hidden gems to consider nearby when visiting Girraween National Park!
Where is Girraween National Park?
The Pyramid Girraween National Park is located near Stanthorpe which is Queensland’s premiere wine country. The unique giant granite rock formations in this park are so unique, I doubt you’ll see anything else like it in Australia.
Girraween National Park is located 35 minute drive from Stanthorpe. It’s a 3 hour drive from Brisbane and 3h30m from Gold Coast, making it an acceptable day trip or weekend getaway.
Why Visit Girraween National Park?
Girraween National Park is renowned for having huge granite boulders believed to be over 200 million years old. While the national park is quite small, it packs a punch for having some of the most iconic walks in Australia. The famous Granite Arch and Balancing Rock on The Pyramid trail is what brings a lot of people here, but the walk itself is a challenge and not for the faint hearted. I would recommend reading our The Pyramid Walk Guide before you do this walk.
With fantastic camp grounds in Girraween National Park, you could easily make a weekend of it and tick off pretty much all of the walks here. What surprised me is the amount of things to do around the area, not just in the national park. So, read until the end to find out why we love Stanthorpe so much and would come back again for sure.
Wildlife to look out for in Girraween National Park
As you explore the park, keep an eye out for the over 150 different bird species that call Girraween National Park home, such as turquoise parrots, yellow-tufted honeyeaters, and superb fairy-wrens.
You’ll also find wallabies, kangaroos and a lot of snakes in this park. I kept one eye fully on the lookout for snakes during our visit. We did come across a massive python on the main road when we were leaving the park at night time. If you’re wondering if there are koalas in Girraween National Park, there is a sign on the road to be careful of them, but spotting them is rare.
Practical Tips for Exploring Girraween National Park Walks
Spring and autumn offer the most pleasant temperatures and conditions for exploring the park, with vibrant wildflowers and comfortable weather. Although saying that, we visited at the very end of September and even though it was only 25C, it felt more like 35C because of the dry heat.
For your Girraween National Park walks, here are some tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:
Dress appropriately and wear long pants and hiking boots (you’ll especially need them for climbing up The Pyramid trail).
Pack sufficient water – you’ll need more than you think you will (2litres each for The Sphinx walk didn’t feel enough).
Remember that granite rocks can become extremely slippery when wet – do not hike The Pyramid trail if it’s raining.
If you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a short hike, Girraween National Park offers several options that cater to all ages and fitness levels. These shorter walks provide picturesque views, fascinating rock formations, and opportunities to spot native wildlife, perfect for families looking to see a slice of this unique national park.
1. Wyberba Walk
280m, 15 minutes return
The Wyberba Walk is a gentle stroll along Bald Rock Creek, perfect for families and birdwatchers. Bring your swimmers for a swim in the rock pools in the creek and enjoy the opportunity to spot a variety of bird species in their natural habitat. The walk is easy to access, with a carpark and picnic area located at the start.
2. Dr Roberts Waterhole
1.2km, 30 minutes return
Take a peaceful walk to Dr Roberts Waterhole, a tranquil spot located in the eastern part of Girraween National Park. This serene location is perfect for a relaxing picnic, and you may even encounter wallabies, kangaroos, and other native wildlife during your visit.
3. Granite Arch
1.6km, 30 minutes return
For a unique experience, venture along the Granite Arch track, which leads to a natural stone archway in Girraween National Park. This easy walk is less than 2 km long, starting at the Bald Rock Creek day-use area and crossing the creek before veering left towards the instagram famous Granite Arch. The arch is a jaw-dropping sight, standing at 8 metres tall and spanning 15 metres across.
This walk is also on the same track as where The Pyramid trail starts, so you can do both together if needed. You just turn off for 300 metres to see the famous Granite Arch before returning back onto The Pyramid track.
4. Bald Rock Creek Circuit
2.2km, 1hr return
The Bald Rock Creek Circuit is a scenic loop that showcases diverse landscapes and offers the option to climb The Pyramid. Starting and ending at the Bald Rock Creek day-use area, this circuit passes the Bald Rock Creek campground and provides a picturesque journey through the park.
The Pyramid is a popular destination for hikers, offering stunning views of the surrounding area.
5. The Junction
5.2km, 2hr return
For a truly picturesque walk, explore The Junction, a 5.2 km trail that follows Bald Rock Creek and features an abundance of wildflowers and diverse birdlife. Enjoy the vibrant colors and soothing sounds of nature as you meander along this charming trail.
6. Underground Creek
2.8km, 1hr-1h30m return
Discover the hidden gem of Girraween National Park – Underground Creek, a unique 2.8 km trail where the creek disappears beneath massive granite boulders. This fascinating walk offers a glimpse into the park’s geological wonders and provides a memorable experience for hikers. This is a hike we would have done if we had time.
Longer Walks in Girraween National Park
Although you won’t find particularly long walks in Girraween National Park like you may see in Lamington National Park, it still packs a punch for some incredible hikes you must put on your list to visit. The longer hikes showcase its most iconic landmarks and breathtaking views. These trails are perfect for experienced hikers, offering diverse landscapes and a chance to conquer some of the park’s highest peaks.
7. The Pyramid
3.6km, 1.5-2hr return
The Pyramid is the most famous Girraween National Park walk, and is a steep and challenging climb that rewards hikers with stunning views of the park and the famous Balancing Rock. This 3.4 km return hike requires a good level of fitness and some rock scrambling skills, but the breathtaking panorama from the summit makes the effort worthwhile.
Experience panoramic views from the summit of Castle Rock, a challenging 5 km return hike that offers a rewarding climb for those with a sense of adventure. The Castle Rock track leads you through diverse landscapes, including open exposed areas and steep inclines, before reaching the breathtaking summit. After a long day of hiking, unwind and relax at the Castle Rock camping area.
9. The Sphinx and Turtle Rock
7.4km, 3-4hr return
We did the 7.4 km return hike to The Sphinx and Turtle Rock, which is home to jaw-dropping a rock formations that resemble their namesakes. This captivating walk offers stunning vistas and a chance to marvel at the unique geological features that make Girraween National Park so remarkable. The Sphinx in particular is worth the walk for it’s incredible uniqueness. Along the way, you’ll cover the turtle rock distance, adding to the adventure of exploring this incredible national park. Read our Tips For Doing The Sphinx And Turtle Rock Walk before you go.
10. Mount Norman
11km, 4-5hr return
Conquer the highest peak in Girraween National Park with the challenging Mount Norman hike, an 11km round-trip journey to the summit from the Mount Norman day-use area.
This rewarding climb offers spectacular views and a chance to experience the park from its highest point. You’ll continue the walk from Castle Rock track to climb the summit here.
Shared Mounting Biking Trails: Creek Trail and Peak Trail
Girraween National Park also offers shared trails for walking and cycling, providing options for longer adventures and varied terrain. Creek Trail and Peak Trail are popular choices for those looking to explore the park on two wheels, providing unique opportunities to experience the park’s beauty from a different perspective.
11. Creek Trail
Creek Trail is a picturesque shared trail that follows Bald Rock Creek, suitable for both walkers and cyclists. This trail offers:
Mostly flat terrain
Peaceful journey along the creek
Some slight inclines
Open exposed areas
Occasional opportunities to cross Bald Rock Creek
The trail along the New England Highway is well-maintained and easy to navigate, with plenty of signage and maps.
12. Peak Trail
For experienced riders seeking a challenge, the Peak Trail offers:
A 10.6km return trail
Requires a good level of fitness and technical skills
Traverses steep inclines and rugged terrain
Provides a truly exhilarating ride through Girraween National Park.
Other walks nearby to consider
Find the secret Sentimental Rocks
If you’re short on time and don’t have enough time to visit Girraween, I recommend checking out Sentimental Rocks instead. While you can’t compare the two, Sentimental Rocks will give you a taster of Girraween with giant granite boulders to take some Insta worthy photos next to them.
Just park your car in Jardine Street where we’ll see a walking path and a sign. Simply walk into the bush for about 1 minute and you’ll come to the granite rock formations.
Check out the hidden gem of Undercliffe Falls
Sometimes when you see a waterfall online, it can be a little deceiving. We didn’t know if there would be any water or how long it would take to get to. When we arrived down a dirt road to an empty carpark, we were unsure what was ahead of us. But I have to say Undercliffe Falls really is the type of waterfall you can see is truly a hidden gem.
The swimming hole at the bottom looks so inviting, I would have loved to have tried to get to the bottom, but we ran out of time to have attempted it. I did notice a few walking paths, but I don’t know how you get to the bottom unfortunately. If you do attempt it, please be very careful as it’s not the type of waterfall you’ll see many people if any at.
Swim at Boonoo Boonoo Falls
If you drive an hour from Stanthorpe to Tenterfield, you’ll come to Boonoo Boonoo National Park. Here the big ticket item is Boonoo Boonoo Falls. I’ve wanted to come here for a while but we were pretty exhausted after everything else we got to see on this trip. The falls are massive with fantastic swimming holes and the best part is, it’s only a 1km round trip. The 9km off road driving will be the exhausting part to get there.
Don’t miss Queen Mary Falls and the three others nearby!
If you’re heading back to Brisbane or Gold Coast via the Mount Lindesay Road, then you’ll basically entering The Falls Drive which will bring you to plenty of waterfalls in the Scenic Rim to visit. The main one is Queen Mary Falls which is one of the most impressive waterfalls in South East Queensland.
Find loads of things to do in Stanthorpe during your visit
Originally we were only going to go to Girraween National Park and that was it until we could only get accommodation in Stanthorpe. We had no idea how much fun we would have in Stanthorpe until we stayed there. You’ll find plenty to do including strawberry picking, an incredible Christmas farm you need to see, fantastic places to eat, wineries to do some wine tasting and so much more. Make sure you check out our 50 Best Things To Do In Stanthorpe guide to help you plan your trip!
Read our Stanthorpe and Girraween national park guides
We loved our visit to the Southern Downs region. The Granite Belt and Stanthorpe area really did leave a lasting impression on us because we had so much fun here. From finding hidden waterfalls, eating so many delicious cheese boards and apple based foods, we loved every minute of our experience here.
Check out our travel guides to help you make the most of your trip here to the Granite Belt region.
Camping and Accommodation Options Near Girraween National Park
For those looking to extend their Girraween National Park adventure, there are several camping options within the park, as well as nearby accommodation choices for a comfortable stay. The park offers camping areas with amenities such as bathrooms, showers, and picnic tables, providing a convenient and enjoyable experience for campers.
If you prefer a more comfortable stay, the surrounding Granite Belt region offers a range of accommodation options. Here’s our top picks:
Luxury – Seventh Wines is a modern winery with luxe accommodation and a bar & bistro onsite.
Mid-range – Wisteria Cottage is a stunning one bedroom chalet complete with beautiful views and a gorgeous fire burner to keep you warm if visiting in the colder months.
Budget – Granite Belt Motel is where we stayed in Stanthorpe and we’d 100% recommend this place as it’s centrally located, clean and fab for a couple of nights stay.