The Northbrook River Trail (Northbrook Gorges)

Brisbane Forest park D'Aguilar National Park

Northbrook Gorge walking and swimming. Beautiful scenery and vegetation. Make sure you pick a nice warm day and bring sturdy shoes your are willing to get wet. the gorges at the end are "gorge-ous", first one you can wade (keep right), second one you definetely in for a swim if you want to cross it.

Waterfalls
Swimming
Scrambling or Climbing
Rainforest
Eucalypt Forest

Getting there

Longer walk: Drive past Maiala Park at Mt Glorious. Follow the road down past Wivenhoe lookout and drive steeply down the road and at the first bridge crossing at the bottom, park near the bridge.

 

Shorter walk:

Park at -27.3075939, 152.7138632 near the hairpin bend, 2wd access to carpark on the right hand side if coming from Brisbane. See the photo of the top of the track facing towards the bend and carpark to help find the start of the trail. 

Many have missed the start of this trail in the past

Maps

Brisbane Forest Park map.

Route/Trail notes

There is a longer version of this walk and a shorter version which is more popular. 

The longer version starts at the carpark just past the first bridge crossing Northbrook Creek as you drive from Brisbane. Follow the path down to the creek and then follow the creek upstream. There is an unmaintained path for most of the journey. Multiple rivercrossings required, wear shoes which can get wet. If you have the time, I highly recommend this longer walk. 

The shorter version is at the carpark located at -27.3075939, 152.7138632 on the right side coming from Brisbane. From the carpark carefully cross the road, gracefully jump over the guard rails on the side of the road  and walk towards the midpoint of the hairpin bend which surrounds the carpark. There is a hard to see track located roughly in the midpoint of the hairpin bend near the carpark which will take you down a steep but manageable descent. 

Once you reach the bottom it is about 10-20 minute walk to the first gorge. (Turn left)

Longer version: From the carpark area, which is small 2 cars only, follow a rough track down into the creek and start walking upstream. Depending on the season and rainfall this will vary but usually it is usually a pleasant 30 min walk to the first gorge. You will usually need to swim through this gorge or follow a steep path on the left up and over. I found swimming easier, so take a surfmat. After swimming through the gorge continue to pick a way up towards the second gorge. When you reach this gorge after about 30 more minutes either swim through or look again for a faint track on the left hand side, which will join up high with a faint steep track that will lead to Wivenhoe lookout.

Once you have enjoyed and explored this area, simply retrace your steps and swims. The path back to the parking lot is well hidden, so on the way back, once you've walked back under the high bridge, look sharply for trails going up, or you will surely miss it. 

great in summer. there seems to be some unofficial campsiteson this walk. 

Permits/Costs

Nil unless camping then $5.

Other References

Nil.

Comments

I did the short walk yesterday, and uploaded my GPX there. But I decided not to return the same path. I reached the gorges, maybe there is a way further upstream, but there were many people and slo i couldn't identify a way how to go further, so i turned back and then decided go downstream. it's not a very difficult walk, a lot of rock hopping, but my shoes were dry (dry season now!). Once you reach the bridge you can return back the same way or do some climbing up under the bridge through the vines and then get back just going along the road. Don't attempt to do the bush bashing if you wear just shorts and a t-shirt :) The vines won't forgive :) otherwise the climb is doable.

ovel on 27 Aug, 2023

Absolutely loved this walk. So refreshing swimming through the gorges. Would recommend bringing a waterproof bag for your personal items as some parts can only be passed by swimming. Rocks are very slippery when wet so take care!

Sianlesley on 5 Mar, 2023

Awesome day out with Hillbrook parents.
Perfect weather. Took my ‘wet water shoes’. Boots and gaiters for the hike

Juliet on 11 Feb, 2023

Busy as expected. We continued after the gorge upstream and we found beautiful rainforest scenery, more wildlife (invertebrates) and a measure of quiet.

Wanderlust on 26 Jan, 2023

Stop after the 4th water swim… there’s nothing beyond that.

Michelle Beck on 25 Jan, 2023

This was a great walk...6km of rock hopping, wading & swimming!

I wore wet shoes, which probably wasn't the best idea, as my feet were a bit tender by the end from all the rock hopping.

There are faint tracks to the sides of the creek in a lot places, however, keep your eye out for snakes. We came across a python that looked like it had just had a feed & it wasn't interested in moving off the track. We also spotted a couple of other snakes that quickly slithered away.

It was quite busy, but that's to be expected in the holiday season. We did the longer walk, which involved a lot more rock hopping up the creek. The wading & swimming didn't really start until after the closer carpark.

The track back up to the carpark can be easy to miss, so make sure you pay attention on your way out.

I would love to go back & start at the closer carpark & continue exploring up past the main gorge sometime.

Suz on 2 Jan, 2023

Went on a lovely sunny day, instructions on All trails is a bit hit & miss, but we followed the creek line & did some rock hopping. Water is nice & cold.

Joanne on 3 Oct, 2022

Beautiful walk. Would recommend wearing some water shoes or shoes that you are comfortable getting wet. We left our shoes at the start of the walk and definitely had tender feet by the end!

Jess&JonM on 3 Apr, 2022

Directions are spot on. Amazing walk with lots of swimming. Went early and had it all to myself. Water was fresh but not cold. Crystal clear.

Linda on 26 Mar, 2022

Great walk. Very helpful directions and tips in the chat. We ended up taking a waterproof bag which came in very handy.

Shannon B on 26 Feb, 2022

Very pretty walk. You will definitely get wet so bring comfortable shoes you can wade in, as it's often easier to walk in the creek. Easy enough to follow the track, no major obstacles. Would do again.

Bianca Gardner on 26 Jan, 2022

Fantastic hike, about an hour's drive from Brisbane through Mt Glorious. Prepare to get wet, but for me that's the funnest part!

Wear some shoes you don't mind getting soaked, and be prepared to swim at parts. The hotter the day the better as you will be in the water most of the time.

At the end there is a stunning swimming hole with a small waterfall, I aim to arrive at the swimming hole around midday to get the most sun in the gorge. In the past I have been able to climb the waterfall, but with the recent high rainfall the pressure was high and seemed too dangerous.

Don't forget to stop at one of the local cafes or pubs on your way home for some well deserved food!

Tom on 23 Jan, 2022

Track is becoming very popular and busy. Great walk, lookout for the tracks on the side of the creek if you want to avoid some sections of rock hopping

Dan on Jan, 2022

Amazing :)

FaMoBR on 21 Dec, 2021

Great hike. Be prepared to get wet, rocks are slippery.

Linda on 7 Nov, 2021

Easy walk-involves mostly scrambling over rocks and wading through shallow pools. Very beautiful. Bring shoes that can get wet.

Lihz on 10 Oct, 2021

Fantastic day for a walk but very cold in the water! Lots of little fish and shrimp in the water.

Sasha Thiedeke on 25 Jul, 2021

Beautiful walk, but a bit cold so would definitely love to do again in summer so my feet don’t go numb in the water.
We did the shorter version from the carpark at the hairpin bend, took us 2hr 44min but only because we stopped a lot to take photos and just enjoy the scenery. We made it to the third gorge but not sure if that was the end as we couldn’t continue without swimming and it possibly climbing a waterfall and it was far too cold. Could have been much quicker as it’s not a strenuous walk, just requires some rock hopping. If you’re experienced you could complete this in an hour I’d say.
Definitely recommend going during the week as we only saw one other couple and they were on their way down.
Not sure about the distance because my Fitbit Versa relies on my phone for GPS and tracking and my reception was patchy. Watch recorded 2.99km distance and 180.44m elevation.

Casuarina Mills on 27 May, 2021

Nice walk

Anthony Gambino on 14 Mar, 2021

A bit tricky to figure out what shoes to wear to the walk. I ended up wearing thongs and walking through the water but on the way back twisted my ankle so wouldn't recommend thongs. The gorge itself is beautiful but a little busy on a Saturday. Will do again in summer months during the week.

Anonymous on 13 Feb, 2021

Where

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