Mt. Mathieson Circuit

Main Range National Park
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  • check the walk's official website to confirm if the track is open
  • turn back if it looks like the track is too busy when you get there

This track was built by volunteers in 1986 from the National Parks Assoc of Qld. The mountain is named after the chief commissioner of railways from 1880s to 1912

Scrambling or Climbing
Eucalypt Forest
Maximum Elevation
Total Climb

Getting there

From Brisbane follow the Cunningham Highway through Aratula towards Cunninghams Gap. 5.4km after Aratula turn left onto Lake Moogerah Rd (signposted Lake Moogerah and Spicers Peak). 5.8km later turn right onto Spicers Gap Rd. Follow this road another 6.5km into the National Park and park on the left at the Pioneer Graves Picnic Area, just past the campground.

From the Pioneer graves carpark go towards the Mango orchard and where the Spicers gravel road starts to go up. there are signs on the right to the beginning of the track.


Main Range

Route/Trail notes

This is a must-do walk, fantastic views of Mt. Cordeaux and Mitchell and when at the governors chair the views are endless. The track is well marked and starts next to the orchard on the opposite side of the road to the car park.

I would start from the track entrance then walk to the top of Mt. Mathieson. While walking across the top towards Spicers gap be careful of several large rock falls then traverse an break in the canopy across

 to an old timber jinker. From here keep following the track to the carpark then turn left and follow the historic road to the Governors Chair. Make sure to make the short detour to the amazing Governors Chair lookout.

After finishing at the lookout return to the road and follow it for the final leg downhill through bell birds and whip birds to Moss's Well (a 60m side track) and then continuing back to the campgrounds.

The gravel road is extremely difficult after rain so wait a few days after rain before driving on this gravel road. 4 wheel drive vehicles will have no problem on this road.

There are toilets and non-potable water there. If you have some type of water filtration you could have an extended stay at the campgrounds.


Only if you are camping there is a self registration site.

Other References

Call local NPWS Main Range

GPS Tracks


Took 2.5 hours walking but 5 hours in total with all the little stops we did to look at stuff. Rock scrambling was a bit more intense than we anticipated but easily done. Some areas are very overgrown. Our tracker recorded that the track is 10.5km in total

KLEEWDO on 11 Apr, 2021

Today we hiked the picturesque Mt Matheisen circuit 🥾

You will find this hike about 5km out of Aratula, turn left onto Lake Moogerah Road for another 6km then turn right onto Spicers Gap Road and the National Park entrance is about another 6km up this dirt road. It is suitable for all cars, just be careful in a low clearance vehicle 🚗

Mt Matheisen is a part of the Spicers Gap section of Main Range National Park and is a part of the Gondwana Rainforest's of Australia World Heritage Area.

We parked at Pioneer Graves Picnic Area and the start of the hike is directly across the road.

This circuit includes Mt Matheisen, across the ridge to the heritage trail, over to Governor's Chair and then back down to the picnic area 🦋

Today we hiked just over 9km and took around 2 hours and 20 minutes ⏰

This hike was such a pleasant surprise 🌿🦋🌻⛰

You will encounter scrub, magnificent views of Mt Mitchell and Mt Cordeaux, rainforest, a little rock scrambling and some inclines to get the old heart pumping and leg and bum burn happening 🍑🔥

At the moment this hike is VERY overgrown and we did lose the track at certain points and nearly stood on one snake 🪱 We would personally say that signage is quite poor.

In saying this it made the day a real adventure and who doesn't love an adventure ❣

Overall this hike was such an enjoyable day and definitely recommended

Enjoy 🙏💕

Instagram:- misslissy79

Mel on 18 Feb, 2021

Didn't expect much from this hike but was pleasantly surprised. The track is a bit overgrown since after all the rain but still very easy to follow. Although the view from the top of the mountain is a bit obstructed the other views along the way make up for it. The walk has a lot of variety and even some very light scrambling.

Vonsnrub on 5 Feb, 2021

Lots and lots of weeds. Disheartening. The walk is a great loop though,

Anonymous on 9 Jan, 2021

I did this walk about 10 years ago. It was heart breaking to see the trees and bush that had died due to drought and fire since my last walk here. The bush is very dry and badly needs rain. That said, it was still an enjoyable walk. I walked the walk counter clockwise finishing at the Governors chair and then follow the road back to the day park area. The views from the Chair are spectacular.

Brian on 2 Oct, 2020

So many birds on this walk. Felt a bit disappointed by the large amounts of weeds on this trail post fires. Lots of different vegetation and good views of Cunningham's Gap and Main Range.

Jimcar on 29 Sep, 2020

Walked this circuit this morning. Fantastic views of Cunningham's Gap and Mt Mitchell. A couple of steep sections just after Mt Mathieson but generally pretty easy. Completed in about 3 and a half hours with plenty of photo stops. Very interesting history of the area.

Foxy on 23 Sep, 2020

Took 2.5 hrs. We went while its cloudy and I wouldn't recommend doing that as all of the views suffered. Bird life was impressive. Governors chair lookout was very nice and you can drive there. This walk wasn't very stimulating for me.

Chesspeople on 11 Sep, 2020

This is a really nice walk for those that are building up to challenge the grade 5 difficulty walks. The walk is well worn and its hard to miss the track. The birdlife as others have said is abundant and a joy to the senses. Read the other comments - its all there. Enjoy!

Mark Whitford on 25 Jul, 2020

This was a nice walk. not very challenging, but some fun views of mountains. Governers chair lookout was very beautiful

Emmalea on 8 Jul, 2020

This is a great little half-day walk, with fantastic views along the ridge line over to Mt Mitchell and Cordeaux. Also goes through a number of different vegetation areas to keep things interesting on the relatively flat part back from the ridge line to Governor's Chair. Some small sections of steep scrambling, but there are plenty of rocks and trees to hang onto so most people should manage fine. I would recommend parking at the lookout and doing the walk down the road section first, as it's the least interesting part of the walk.

Sophie P on 20 Jun, 2020

This is an interesting walk. Abundant bird life from the start. Stunning views. A number of prominent vegetation changes. Some clambering over boulders and steep ascents. Colonial relics/points of interest. We checked out Governor's Chair and Moss's Well on the return leg. Both very worthwhile. If you sat at Moss's Well for a period you would be treated with a variety of birds. It is obvious where bushfires ravaged sections in 2019 but this doesn't detract from the beauty of the walk.

BalticAussie on 18 May, 2020

This was a pleasant walk although not challenging/exciting. The historical aspect was interesting. At times the path split off and was overgrown but we managed to stay on track.

Whicheverway on 17 May, 2020

Fantastic walk that has a little bit of everything.
Whilst the track is easy to find, there are a few sections where the weeds have overgrown the track a bit.
Loved the ridge walk and rock scrambling involved.
This track will become a favourite that we come back to

Wandering Brauns on 16 May, 2020

I concur with mjorn's comments. Fires had affected large areas, but there were encouraging signs of forest regrowth. However, the grasses and shrubs growing back meant I spent half an hour picking seeds out of my (and my children's) socks when we got back to Brisbane! They also made finding the track difficult as we approached the summit of Mt Mathieson. Overall, enjoyable with some nice variety. We particularly enjoyed walking along the ridge south from Mt Mathieson.

Michael D on 15 Apr, 2020

I did this one for the first time yesterday since the November/ December bushfires in 2019. It’s still a beautiful walk, but the track is a little hard to follow in areas due to the undergrowth being burned. If you haven’t done this walk before, I’d recommend taking someone who knows the track, or following along on an app like Wikiloc.

Walking this track after/during heavy rain is incredible. Tiny streams and waterfalls everywhere.

mjorn_ on 9 Feb, 2020

Some rock scrambling required. Some areas have been burnt from the recent fires. Loved the section through the Gondwana rainforest. Lots of views along the way.

Mittens83 on Feb, 2020

Lovely Hike and not too difficult at all with beautiful views towards Cunningham's Gap and Lake Moogerah. Recommend driving all the way up (along the dirt road can be done in a 2WD as long as it hasn't rained otherwise 4WD is recommended) and then walking all the way back to the start of the hike at the lower car park (which is clearly signposted) that way you can cover off the pioneer graves and moss'es well) Lots of history to read about on the way things to see. Views from the Governors chair lookout are amazing .

Ashwin on 17 Aug, 2019

Did the walk from Pioneer Graves Camping Area. Up to Mathieson's lookout, the track is clear and easy to follow. There's a view at the lookout, but it's obstructed by trees and branches. Keep following the track for a bit past the lookout and you'll get some better open views of Mitchell and Cordeaux. There's a section beyond this in which some navigational care is required:
1) There's a narrow gap between a large rock and a tree. Go through the gap, not around.
2) Soon after you'll come across a bunch of boulders. The track is visible beyond, so go over the boulders. If you try navigating a patch which looks like the track around the boulders, it'll send you steeply off the track and down into the bush between Mathieson and Mitchell.
Afterwards you'll be generally alright up to a large rockwall. If you find it, you are going the right way. Go up and around, and just follow the ridgeline the rest of the way till you pass an orange arrow indicating the path direction. Everything beyond that point should be quite easy. There's some obstacles (from fallen trees mainly) which you'll either clamber over or navigate around, but otherwise you're in the clear.

Himalayan Pack Yak on 8 Aug, 2019

Did the entire loop, including Heritage Walk and Gov's Armchair. Loved the views through trees atop Mt Mathieson and did not get leeched despite comments below. Plenty of rocky outcrops to take in surrounds and pix from between 1.7 - 2 kilometres in. Few minor obstacles on track but easy to circumnavigate.

Bing Vandergraaf on 13 Jun, 2019


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