Gheerulla Valley circuit

Mapleton National Park

A pleasant day walk in the spectacular Gheerulla Valley

No Dogs Permitted
Maximum Elevation
Total Climb

Getting there

Drive about 5 km out of Mapleton along Delicia Road. Park at a dip in the road where you see a sign on the right to Gheerulla Falls.


Route/Trail notes

Walk through the gates and follow the track signposted to Gheerulla Falls, which veers left and heads downhill. About 1 km along is a side turning to Gheerulla Falls, which is worth stopping for especially if there has been rain recently (but be careful on wet rocks). Continue downhill, crossing the creek 5 times at various points. Some crossings have rocks and logs to help, others require you to wade and rock-hop and may be impassable after heavy rain.

Follow the creek down the valley as the terrain becomes dryer and the bush changes to eucalypt forest. About 1hr 40m from the start you come to a junction with a sign on the left to Thilba Thaba walker's camp.

Follow this track, which leads through groves of grass trees, some of which have grown to huge sizes. Cicadas are noisy here in summer. The walk leads uphill, gradually becoming steeper but with views to the northwest to keep you going. It's a 300m vertical climb to the top, which typically takes about 50 minutes, but allow longer in hot conditions.

At the top, follow the track to Thilba Thalba campsite. This is usually deserted but is is a good point to stop for lunch or a snack. There is a composting toilet, picnic tables and a lookout point up and down the Gheerulla valley. There is no water available, so bring your own.

At this point there is a choice of return routes.Either follow the track through the forest back towards Gheerulla Falls, or walk a few hundred metres to Delicia Road and follow the road back to your car. Although this is a road walk it's actually very pleasant, with good views over the hills to the southwest, and minimal traffic. The road follows the edge of the forest and then drops sharply for the last 1 km to the starting point.

You can do the walk in the reverse direction, but this involves a long climb out of the valley at the end, which can seem never-ending. I also recommend an early start in summer.



Other References

This route is part of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland 'Great Walk'. A topographic map of the entire walk is available from various outlets - see the EPA website for more details.


Great walk, only saw two other people. It’s well signed. Did it on a hot day but there were some good breezes. Took us 6.5 hours with a few stops.

MattyM on 28 Jan, 2019

Beautiful walk, definitely worth the day out. Saw a snake, 2 goannas, a kookaburra, a brush turkey and plenty of good views. Took me 5 and a half hrs.

Laurance Payne on 31 Oct, 2018

Did this today, weather was cool (around 24 max). I missed the steep walk up to the campsite - couldn’t see an obvious route up so instead followed the main signs to Thilba Thalba I think this added a couple of kilometres but I avoided the vertical climb. The walk itself is mostly ok for someone of moderate fitness, I came back along the road which was a bit miserable after the 18km’s I’d already done. I’m pleased I did it though as this was a long way for me (24km’s on Map my Walk) not sure I would do this in summer though! 6 hours on the dot.

Nick Beal on 18 Jun, 2018

Too hard for summer. It was almost 37c by the time we got to the top of the big climb. This is not for beginners. It took us almost 9hrs all up with breaks. 6L water consumed per person. The lower section of the walk between Delicia Rd and the Great walk entrance is beautiful. Maybe consider going clockwise to skip the killer climb part of this walk

Paul Spencer on 11 Feb, 2018

It's a lot harder when it's hot.

Monte Walker on 23 Jun, 2017

really enjoyed this trek, lots of different contrasts

jayne on 4 Jun, 2017

Started from the M4 Delicia Entry Point via Leafy Lane track , adds another 5.1km to this and also did the full loop made for a great 7 hr hike !

J on 27 May, 2017

Great one to test the fitness levels. Take note of instructions on the site. Allow more than 5 hours if you want to stop a few times. We did it in 6 hours. Take food to keep up the energy and plenty of water of course.

Bec R on 13 Mar, 2016

For a novice like me this was about all I would attempt at once. Some lovely spots along the way but the climb up the buff was a killer!

Take plenty of water, especially in the warmer months. I filled up from the creek opposite the trail bike camping area before the climb.

ShavenWalrus on 26 Jul, 2015

We did the whole 22k's. It took us about 8hrs but was so worth it.

Zara13 on 9 Aug, 2014

Great walk, very beautiful views at the top. take plenty of water and take the time to walk to the look out points.

liteseer on 9 Aug, 2014

Combined this with hiking up at Ubajee viewpoint via the Falls. We had some showers but not really enough....will come back after a downpour. Nice easy walk along dirt track in cool conditions. Peaceful surroundings but do wear decent footwear as some tricky parts and/or slippery/muddy after some rain.

J on 13 Jun, 2014

Part of the Sunshine Coast Great Walk. Did the whole thing with my 10 year old. Fantastic!

Lou on 15 Jul, 2013

it's a must do walk very peaceful and fresh

Anthony Kelly (Anton) on 25 Oct, 2011

Started at Gheerulla creek and headed up to Ubajee walkers camp. Was a lovely walk with a sloping grade up to small lookouts and open bush, with short double backs into mild rainforest before opening up again.

Brendan Wilson on Nov, 2010

A very pretty walk as part of the Great Walk Sunshine Coast!

Laurence Hallam on 6 Jan, 2010


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