The Northbrook River Trail (Northbrook Gorges)

Brisbane Forest park D'Aguilar National Park
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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

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

Great walk! Not too strenuous but would recommend sturdy shoes that can get wet. The gorges are great little swimming spots! It was lovely and cool with heaps of wildlife sightings.

Christina M Forrest on 20 Jan, 2019

Great walk. Water crysal clear and lovely to swim in.

Mackamcb on 11 Jan, 2019

We did this track today with our two daughters age 4 and 6. Awesome walk a little slow going with the girls well wort the time though.

Andrew on 6 Jan, 2019

A great one to do in summer... the water is lovely and cool. Done with 2 kids - 4 & almost 6 and they managed it fine.... and it was lots of fun splashing about cooling off.
The path in and out is steep when parked at the U bend.

Jo on 6 Jan, 2019

It was so refreshing walking up the creek and taking in the surroundings. Great swimming spots! We were lucky with parking, gets busier later in the day. Still quite a secret spot though.

Nickii & Nouri on 5 Jan, 2019

Amazing and incredibly fun. Perfect summer day walk. Don’t be afraid to get wet at the start, you will be soaked before the gorges. 😂

Natalie on 2 Jan, 2019

Don't try and exit at the lookout from the gorge. You'll get lost and spend hours fighting your way through thick lantana. Not fun at the time. Good story afterwards at least

Shmick on 28 Dec, 2018

From the Maiala park to the bridge was around 12k, so further than expected. The walk was amazing and easy enough for kids, providing they can swim a few metres or else be carried through the deeper sections. A great walk for the hot months, short and crystal clear cool water, one to take the grandkids.

jgmansell on 4 Dec, 2018

Some of the best fun you can have with your clothes on. Being so close to Brisbane (about 30 mins north past Samford) absolutely worth checking out. The start is a little tricky to find as you follow Mt Glorious Road for quite a ways, approximately 500 metres past Wivenhoe Outlook.

The car park is not obvious and is on the right hand side (heading away from Mt Glorious), take care when turning into it! There is a lot more space than 2 cars though from my experience.

The trail is as described by others, down the hill from the car park and over the guard rail, be careful of traffic.

A short stint down the hill brings you to the waterway and you head left up the creek where you start to get wet. The scenery is beautiful through the entire creek and the gorges are both brilliant. Swimming in the clear water is a real treat though investing in a $10 pair of aqua duck shoes from Target or Big W is a good idea. However, even with these shoes, some of the rocks can be very slippery so be sure to take care when walking through water shallower than your knees.

The route is fairly easy to navigate with a little patience and there is nothing better on a hot day than swalking (swim walking) up the creek. Once you pass the second gorge the trail levels out. My party followed this for about 1.5km but it continues on for some time and eventually joins up with a track from a lookout back up the hill (I think).

Returning is back the same way so no real issue with getting lost. There is a cairn to mark the path back up to the road which is helpful in this regard though.

In summary: Well worth doing in summer, the water is extremely refreshing, not grueling but care is required on the slippery rocks where shallow, very picturesque and not much like it so close to Brisbane.

Matty Vee on Dec, 2018

This hike should be done a little later in the morning around 10am as the water shouldn’t be too freezing. Great hike though just be sure to keep all your belongings in a ziplock dry bay as you will be in water up to and over your waistline.

HelenR on 25 Nov, 2018

Amazing walk!! Did it with 2 8yold boys. Just prepare to get wet, as most of the walk is in the creek! Probably recommend for the warmer months. Few spots suitable for swimming

Ella on 24 Nov, 2018

did this walk recently and loved it! water gets colder as we continued on. really fun walk but definitely for the warmer days.

My camera did detach itself from my lanyard though so if anyone does this walk and comes across a blue nikon waterproof camera, please send me an email! i know its a long shot but worth a try. wendy-d@live.com.au

wendyd on 14 May, 2018

Fantastic scramble and it was well worth taking along a waterproof bag. Used the large parking area then crossed the road and over the metal Barricade to the path was easy from there. 3hr return with stopping for photos and a swim at the pools.

Beverley Landsberg on 10 Feb, 2018

This was fantastic walk to do while its been warmer. Keep your eye out for snakes, we had a small one swim past us in the shallower areas ;-)

Emmalea on 4 Feb, 2018

A beautiful walk and very refreshing on a hot day.

Angela Giuliani on 13 Jan, 2018

We did this hike from Wivenhoe Lookout, straight down to the creek, then through the gorge and up to a carpark that others have mentioned. Definitely wear shoes that have good grip and that you are happy to get wet. Take a dry bag for your car keys, phone and snacks. On our route, we swam through 4 pools (I think). Lots of rock scrambling along the way. Really fun place for anyone who wants a challenge. It rained whilst we were down there and waterfalls appeared in the gorge sections - simply stunning. I don't recommend going in the rain, but just after rain would be great. It was mid 30's in Brisbane, but through the gorge it was cooler, and there's lots of water to cool you down if you do get hot.

Take a Hike on 1 Jan, 2018

If you're willing to get wet it really is a fun walk. You tend to be out of the sun all day so can even do this walk on really hot days. Can get a bit busy for the small car park on public holidays and over school breaks.

T&B on Jan, 2018

Excellent scramble and swimming walk. Lush and green, refreshing water temperature. Benefited from two days of rain prior and light rain while walking. Took me around 2.5 hours return. Time includes the many photo stops and 15 min lunch break. The carpark is bigger now. At the bottom of the car park there is a little dirt track, cross the road and go over the road barrier, walk a small way downhill to find the beginning of the track - it is quite steep. Note would take waterproof bag next time :)

Samantha on 28 Dec, 2017

Beautiful walk, I was lucky enough to see lots of wildlife, including a python by the creek! I would definitely advise taking a waterproof backpack or bag with you though, as the water pools that you walk through can be very deep!
Its a fantastic walk for families and all ages, so long as you're happy to rock hope and walk through the middle of the creek the whole way there. (and it's mostly ankle to knee deep water)
Only thing, make sure you take shoes with a decent tread (and that you are happy to get soaking wet) as the rocks can be slippery. I broke my finger last time I did this track by slipping on the rocks!

Gillian Plant on 13 Dec, 2017

Where

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