Mt. Mathieson Circuit

Main Range National Park

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. 1880s to 1912

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


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

Followed the circuit from Pioneers graves in an anticlockwise direction towards Governor's Chair. Fairly easy walk with some views of Cunningham's gap area, Mt Mitchell and Mt Cordeaux on the way. Definitely recommend a 4 wheel drive to get up to the parking area as the dirt road was not too kind on my little Mazda.

JayWalker on 5 May, 2019

Excellent circuit!! Loved it, will go back with the kids :)

Sally on 24 Feb, 2019

The track this time of year was perfect, if a little too dry, making it hard to 'stalk' up close to the wildlife for some pics.
Heading Southwest from the peak of Mt Mathieson, the track is somewhat challenging with a couple of steep sections, but well worth the views!

Lachlan on 4 Aug, 2018

Good 4 hour walk with mountain views, plus take binoculars to enjoy a variety of birds.

Philip Burrill on 11 Jul, 2018

Nice walk. No leeches for us today - maybe we were lucky? Came across 2 snakes - one enormous brown sunning himself on the trail and a carpet python resting beside the road. Track was freshly trimmed in most parts, except for a small section in the middle - long pants still recommended if only for this portion. Views from Governors Chair are awesome. Walking in the sounds of the bell birds was most enjoyable.

BGS3 on 13 Apr, 2018

Good view points. Track at parts is quite overgrown. Recommend wearing long pants to avoid cuts and leeches. Great way to spend a morning.

Jaimi on 4 Mar, 2018

The walk is beautiful but quite overgrown. The leeches are prolific. Highly recommend long pants and walking poles and any other kind of leech protection

Rosh on 3 Mar, 2018

The first walk of the year for our little group. Beautiful scenery. The time & difficulty info provided on the Aussie Bushwalking site was about right for us. The track did not appear to have been used much though as the grasses were growing over the track etc. There were lots of leeches in places & we had not been prepared for that. We accessed the site in a 2WD car (following a day or so of rain) but I would recommend getting there with an AWD or 4WD. Overall the walk was a beautiful mix of varied terrain, fantastic views & historic sites. Oh, & the cuppa at Aratula on the way home was perfect too.

Just Jan on 3 Mar, 2018

Lovely walk with varied vegetation and great views along the ridge. Particularly enjoyed reading up on the history of the area and the challenges the early settlers were up against.
The road in is a dirt road and quite rough in spots. Would need to take some care in a 2WD.

Ronnie on Mar, 2018

Great hike. Path hard to find at times, but you can work it out. Very quiet, hardly anyone on this trail when we did it - on a weekend! Definitely pop into Governors Chair..

Michelle on 22 Jul, 2017

Nice walk, 3.5 hr return. Track getting to the start of the track is a bit rough in parts but 2wd car did ok.

Wig on 28 May, 2017

Nice variety of rainforest, views and bush-walking.

courtlalala on 12 May, 2017

Great walk with many different environments. Highlight for me, besides the amazing view at Governor's Chair, was the ridgeline with rainforest on one side and gum forest on the other.

Second bushwalk in Main Range - looking forward to coming back!

scoobasteve on 16 Apr, 2016

Starting from the orchard the first part of the walk up to Mathieson lookout was pretty straight forward and easy, with a fair bit of wildlife to see and bell birds chiming everywhere. The track is pretty clear and easy to follow.

Mathieson's lookout is probably the only disappointment as there is a fair bit of growth and no really clear line of sights.

Continuing on around the circuit there are lots of amazing views and a fair bit of rock scrambling. It can be a little hard to see the track but just keep following the top of the ridge line. keep an eye out for snakes.

Heading down from the ridge you go through a couple of different zones and then find yourself in a large clearing with the wood tiller at the end. Following the track to the heritage road it is hard to image how the got the logs out of there.

The last part back to the carpark opposite the orchard is all downhill with plenty of wildlife to see on the way.

Adam Higgins on 3 Apr, 2016

Great track with a variety of landscapes. Views from the mountain towards Cunningham's Gap are gorgeous, as are those from the Governor's Chair. Really enjoyed walking along the old mining road to the Chair too, ancient eucalypts abound.

mjorn_ on Oct, 2015

I love the history on this walk, google spicers gap and you can read up on it.

Andy_cortina on 5 Sep, 2015

Amazing views at the Governor's Seat! Not a hard walk but a nice long one.

kyles36 on 4 Sep, 2015


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