The Northbrook River Trail (Northbrook Gorges)

Brisbane Forest park D'Aguilar National Park
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  • turn back if it looks like the track is too busy when you get there

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.

GPS Tracks

  • No GPS available for this walk yet.

Comments

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

Absolutely beautiful place to visit. The walk is not strenuous but it is slow going as you have to constantly watch where you are walking. I highly recommend a mid week walk if you can manage it as it was really quiet with only two other groups on the day and we managed to have the track to ourselves most of the morning.

Bobbe on 2 Feb, 2021

It is a beautiful walk and the gorges at the end are absolutely worth the effort. Be prepared to get your shoes wet. Often there is no accessible trail next to the creek and your only option is to walk the creek itself. We were prepared for a swim at the end, but were not expecting to be wading so often. So bring comfi sturdy shoes you are willing to get wet and a waterproof bag/container for your electronic stuff.

On the return, the path back up to the parking area is well hidden. Use the high bridge as a pointer and keep a sharp eye on pathways going up from there.

Marc Wingelaar on 24 Jan, 2021

I tried this walk a couple of years ago but think I may have parked at the wrong bridge. Boys and I walked up river for an hour or two with no gorges in sight. Thunder storm started as we were waking back to the car so was a little nerve wracking walking in a creek for that. Hoping to try again at some stage but would definitely prefer to start in the right spot.

NikkiL on 31 Dec, 2020

Nice walk with good breezes through the gorge. Water was a bit stirred up, lots of visitors being a Sunday. Would be a top spot when it's quieter midweek.

Pendinghiker on 15 Nov, 2020

Beautiful but cold! Water 2 metres deep in parts that you will need to go through. Definitely doing this again. Not sure if there will be leeches when it warms up. Lots of gramable spots! Bring sealable bags for phones etc... we parked at the hairpin bend and then walked across the road then over the guard rail then there is a well defined dirt path down to the bottom. Once you reach there travel upstream to find the gorges.

Chesspeople on 1 Sep, 2020

Fantastic walk! Swimming and some light scrambling will be required.

Recommended skipping the first little part of the walk and parking at https://maps.app.goo.gl/5S4FyNRHg68Dyntv7 (Google maps link, Street view clearly shows the car park). From the car park, walk across the street and follow the path along behind the guard rail down to the start of the trail, a steep downhill path. Can't miss it! At the bottom, follow the creek to the left.

There's no choice but to wade and swim through a lot of this trail, so make sure to bring some waterproof bagging if you have anything you don't want to get wet.

Leeches are present, but between two of us I only got one bite...

James on 17 May, 2020

Fantastic walk, was a little busier than expected but enjoyable none the less.

BearVSL on 21 Mar, 2020

Amazing.

Juiced Pixels on 16 Feb, 2020

FAILURE!

We followed google maps to get started. This showed us to park at Lawton Rd (WAY before WIvenhoe lookout - d'oh!!)
Had only two car parks - so matches description.
Was a fire trail all the way down, so we know something didn't match below.

It COULD get you to the Gorges from the southside, so we thought we were on track.

Better luck next time.

Stephen Kress on 26 May, 2019

👍🏼 Great first walk down stream in fresh cool
Water . Teens had a blast too . Definitely expect to get wet but it’s very refreshing. Well worth it !

Frantek on 9 Apr, 2019

The walk was a little harder than anticipated. We decided to wear Aqua shoes to walk through the creek/rough path, these were great for the most part but would definitely recommend studier shoes or cheap sneakers you don't mind getting completely soaked. The 'carpark area' wasn't hard to find nor was the rough path down to the creek (as mentioned above). When you get to the creek from the car park, someone has made a marker with a large stick and a rock spray painted pink.

Parts of the walk were pretty slippery from the moss on the rocks. Would recommend taking a small waterproofed bag if you're bringing a bag at all as some parts require a little swim and rock scrambling to get to the next part. Be careful in some of the swim/scramble parts as there a few hidden rocks that are really slippery. For the most part, the water is really clear but If someone has gone through just before you (this happened to us) then the water gets a little murky from it being stirred and this makes it a little hard to find your footing to climb out of the gorges.

Overall it's a fun hike and the gorges are absolutely fun to swim in (the water was pretty cold though).

wilde.tash on 9 Mar, 2019

Great walk! Made it to the end:) it can be done from the car park after the bridge going upstream or from the larger top car park going downstream

Ella on 9 Mar, 2019

Beautiful little walk! Did it on a Tuesday morning and we had it all to ourselves.

We walked through the water a lot of the time, but there are actually little tracks that people have made up the sides for most of the way.

emma on 5 Mar, 2019

I went here today, was such a delight! A beautiful scenic drive through Mt Glorious to the hike start bend. Definitely take a waterproof bag if you want to climb up the rocks and keep going at the last big swimming part. It's very deep and a little tricky to get up but I had to leave my bag and went a little further without it. If I went again i'd be taking reef shoes for the rock hopping and goggles. Very very slippery rocks submerged under water be careful. This place is amazing, definitely on par with Mt Barney Lower Portals just a smaller hike and smaller pools.

Rhino351 on 26 Feb, 2019

A great walk along the creek, some swimming and scrambling but nothing too hard. will take a water proof bag next time maybe.. we parked at the top carpark and about 200m down the road is a shortcut to the creek if there's no parks at the bottom.

Dean on 16 Feb, 2019

This place is amazing and so beautiful.
We will definitely be back.
Oh, and don't expect to stay dry on this walk 😁

Glam78 on 21 Jan, 2019

Where

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