Mt. Mathieson Circuit

Main Range National Park
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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


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

A little challenging climbing over boulders but I Loved it.

Alexandra on 7 Jun, 2015

Great walk, great views, did this as part of overnighter around Spicers Gap area

drewmac on 5 Jul, 2014

Great views as you walk along the track, you find yourself stopping to taken it all in often. (and maybe snap a few photos).

Ross Cruickshank on 24 May, 2014

Amazing views. Kicking myself that I've taken so long to do this walk. Some of the best views of the Northern end of Main Range National Park and Moogerah Peaks National Park you'll find.

Richard Mason on 24 May, 2014

Rocky and steep in some sections. Wear appropriate footwear. Great panoramic views.

Alexandra on 9 Nov, 2013

A hike worth doing. Govenor's Chair at Sunrise is Breathtaking !

DrummerJeff on 31 Aug, 2013

Highly recommend this walk. Great views and some interesting places to climb over. We really enjoyed ourselves on this walk.

Ian and Sue on 21 Oct, 2012

Great walk, oiutstanding veiws of Mt's Mitchell & Cordeau along the ridge section.

Anthony & Stephanie on 1 Oct, 2012

Great day for this walk, nice breeze, and a clear view all the way out to Mt Flinders, and border ranges, more around to the south was a little hazey due to bush fires/ burning off.

If starting from the 4wd entry (top side of Heritage Trail) I would recommend going the Heritage trail first, then around to Mt Matheson Lookout, just to keep in the sun a little more, as the eastern side becomes rather chilly with a SSW breeze.

Stuey225 on 8 Sep, 2012

This is an easy and interesting walk through rainforest and sclerophyll forest following Spicers Gap road then an easily followed walking track. Highlights, the many mature grass trees and the rainforest itself. Views of Spicers peak and mount Mitchell are limited by tree cover.

exo karpos on 28 Jun, 2011

Not a well used track, but still OK to follow. A lovely walk with great views over Fassifern valley and to Mt Cordeaux, Mt Mitchell and Moogerah Dam. Some open forest and some rainforest. One small steep climb if going anticlockwise.

Sandra Godsell on 27 Mar, 2011

300m from the beginning the track acts like a dam and the whole track becomes totally submerged and can be deep in places. Tie plactic bags around your shoes to give some form of protection then as fast and as carful as you can go through this section of track before water enters plastic bags around your shoes.
Since the rain there has been an explosion of lantana, wait-a-whiles and other bushes with spines to make your life difficult with scratches and stinging. Keep going, it is well worth the effort.
There are many fallen branches across the track all the way along to the top of Mt. Mathieson and from the top of Mt. Mathieson take extreme care along the rocky sections. There are huge landslides and rock falls.
To overcome these rocks just keep heading in the general direction of where the track would be and you'll come across the track again then the track starts to go steeply uphill. Keep looking around and look forward and further along the track.
Doing this will help keep you on track. Once at the top of this rocky section you'll come along an orange marker nailed to a post. You are going in the right direction and about to enter the rainforest just keep going along a gentle left curve.
The rainforest section has many vines and trees across the track but you can still keep going. once out of the rainforest it opens up to a large grassed area 'paddock' while i was walking along i scared a black snake (and myself we both went racing off in different directions!!!) not long and you come acroos the timber jinker.
Just stand there a moment and imagine what it would have been like to transport these huge logs down spicers road. Back then they were built of tuffer stuff. After winding you way along you come to the end of the walk. A carpark/ rest area is there a good time to take a break before continuing on.
Next is the old spicers road approx 1.6km so many interesting signs along this road. It is one of the last examples of 19th century road building techniques in queensland. I came across a carpet snake at the third sign in.
Relief again when you make it to Spicers Gap, this can be used as a campground if you are wanting to get some early morning photos from govenors chair. Walk to this fantastic lookout and soak in the view. Don't forget to take some photos.
Then when you are ready head down spicers road until moss's well. Take the time to stop in it's only 60m then continue down through bellbirds and whipbirds who needs music when these birds sound so amazing. After some time the campground comes back into sight.

Boris Zoubakin on 21 Feb, 2010


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