The Sphinx and Turtle Rock

Girraween National Park

The Sphinx is a granite pinnacle bearing a large balancing tor, while Turtle Rock is a large granite monolith resembling a turtle's back.

Picnic Facilities
No Dogs Permitted
Camping Permitted
Eucalypt Forest
Maximum Elevation
Total Climb

Getting there:

Girraween NP is situated approximately 260km by road south-west of Brisbane. To reach the park, turn off the New England Highway 26km south of Stanthorpe or 30km north of Tenterfield onto Pyramids Road. The winding bitumen road continues a further 9km east through the Wyberba Valley to the park's Information Centre and day use picnic area.

An alternative road from Stanthorpe to Girraween via Eukey and Storm King Dam has some gravel sections.


Girraween National Park

Route/Trail notes:

The walk starts from the southern end of the Castle Rock campground following the same track as Castle Rock and Mt Norman. Branch off before Castle Rock and take an easy walk along a ridge top with some facinating granite slabs.

Return by the same route.



Other References/Comments:

With so many bushwalking options in the park, why not take advantage of the excellent camping facilities at Castle Rock.

This walk is often in conjunction with Castle Rock which adds an extra 1.3km to your walk.


An easier trek following the hairy scramble to the top of Castle Rock. Views of Turtle Rock are best from back at The Sphinx although reckoned it resembled an elephant lying on its side more than a turtle.

F.A.B. on 1 Jun, 2023

Allow some time to explore the rocks around The Sphinx.

Wanderlust on 1 May, 2023

The sphinx was awesome! The massive rocks are spectacular, but very slippery when wet.

Jose on 1 Jul, 2022

This walk is very different to the Northern Circuit with very little water flow but granite abounds on this largely uphill walk on the way out and it was picturesque in a different way. Largely downhill on the way back and we took the side trip to Castle Rock.

Bobbe on 11 Feb, 2022

Very nice walk

Olwyn on 30 Oct, 2021

A lovely easy walk. Walked along the front base of Turtle rock and climbed up the granite slab at the back. Awesome view of both Turtle Rock and the Sphinx.
Castle rock on the way back was spectacular and a must to go right to the top for 360 degrees views of Girraween NP

JulesD on 16 May, 2021

Combined this one with Castle Rock. Great hike. Vegetation has recover quite OK after the bushfire. A 1.5 m carpet python slithered across the path into the bushes not ten metres from the very top of Castle Rock. Stunning views from the top. Probably took 3.5 hours including a fika break under the looming Sphinx. Turtle Rock was not much to see, there is no real vantage point from where you can actually see it resembling a turtle. Saw what might be a wombat furball on the trail (brown hair).

Owie on 3 May, 2021

Completely baked ourselves during this walk ☀️
Combined with the Castle Rock track. We weren't as impressed with these two. Didn't know you could climb up Turtle Rock as there was no information on the national park website, but we'd probs be too tired anyway. Definitely did not take enough water lmao

rb on 19 Jan, 2021

Did this walk in conjunction with Castle rock. The hike from the main area of the park is quite gentle and it’s family friendly e.g. young kids can do it. At the back of turtle rock, there is a crevice that you can climb up (it’s not that hard) and get on top of turtle rock, which has really good views of the Sphinx and Nt Norman. Would definitely recommend taking lots of water and a hat especially during the hotter months of the year!!

0zzyDave1234 on 30 Sep, 2020

Completed this after completing The Pyramid and the Junction. A little bit of scrambling to get a good photo of Turtle Rock. Enjoyed the hike!

wheres_wally on Sep, 2020

Day trip to Girraween to complete some hikes with Danielle. Completed Mt Norman first, followed by Castle Rock then Sphinx and Turtle. Awesome geology and a great walk with some steep inclines. 17.8km in total with a stop for lunch at the top of Mt Norman. Castle rock was my fave.

Sarah on 14 Aug, 2020

We missed the turn off for mount Norman (I don't know how - it was pretty obvious coming back) so we found ourselves here. Relatively easy walk with a few hill climbs that the legs will remember. Enjoyed scrambling around the rocks at the sphinx and finding different angles on the view. A good walk on a lovely winter's day.

Wattshappenin on 30 Jun, 2020

One of my favourites!!

Mackamcb on Jan, 2019

Pretty and easy meander. The view of Turtle rock wasn’t as dramatic as I was expecting or had seen in the brochure photos, which was bit disappointing. We couldn’t venture far and explore the rocks as it was drizzling making the rocks very slippery.

Syd on 12 Oct, 2018

Very nice walk, take lots of water and sunscreen it gets really hot out there. Take first aid kit too because snakes love that environment in the heat. Nice views from the The Sphinx

The Bush Bandits on 22 Sep, 2018

sooooo many steps but everyone worth it . good work out loved that there is a sign to say you have reached the end

wendy on 30 Sep, 2017

Great walk - was a hot day so glad we had plenty of water as we did Mount Norman too.

HippyDonna on 31 Oct, 2016

Not a hard walk by any means and not too long either. In saying that, it did get the heart rate going in sections on the way up. It took us about 3 hours return from memory. The Sphinx isn't overly impressive close up. It actually looks better from a distance - much like an ugly person. Overall, a good workout, but only a medium level of difficulty.
Dec, 2014

tbate54 on Dec, 2014

After climbing the Pyramids in Girraween, hiking to The Sphinx / Turtle Rock straight after was quite a stretch. The hike is full of great scenery along the way. The Sphinx provides some good photo oppotunities.

DrummerJeff on 29 Mar, 2014

a nice day out from the camp ground, a bit windy on top, take a jacket

B_T on Jul, 2012


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