Gheerulla Valley Circuit

Mapleton National Park

A pleasant day walk in the spectacular Gheerulla Valley including some steep sections from the river up and some great lookouts at the top.

No Dogs Permitted
Camping 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.


No costs for walking.

Bookings required and camping fees must be paid if staying at Thilba Thalba Walkers Camp -

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.


The walk took us 6 hrs 10 min. This included a 20 min lunch break and short stops at the lookouts. The walk is well trodden and clearly marked. The Gheerulla Falls are reached quite quickly. The track then follows the creek for about 2hours. There are 5 or so creek crossings, incuding 2 bridges. We were able to rock hop over the creek crossings without getting our feet wet. After 1 hr 40 min we reached the Little Gheerulla Hump. At 2 hours we reached the beginning of the climb, and a turn off to Sam Kelly Rd. The climb up the mountain is fairly gradual. There are steps further up the mountain usually one or two every couple of metres, sometimes more. This proved to be the most difficult part of the hike. Thilba Thalba campsite, where we had lunch, was reached after 4 hours. It took us just under 2 hours to get back to the cars.

Jeff on 9 Jun, 2024

Started walk from leafy land trailhead. Walked circuit clockwise, over two days. Camping at thilba Thalia walkers camp. Easy to follow trails, with a good diversity of views from the ridge-line lookouts to rainforest in the gully. Facility's at the campsites where great. When we visited the tank water was full and clean.

Callum on 23 Sep, 2023

Good day to walk, the creek hadn't seen much water but its still a lovely walk. Plenty of areas to take a swim on a hot day.Climb up out of the valley is a workout, going anti-clockwise on the circuit.Great veiws from Thilba-Thalba.

Bribie 61 on 13 Apr, 2023

Did it as part of a Scout hike, staying at Thilba Thalba and Ubajee. Beautiful as always. Stopped for a dip in the creek as well over lunch.

Richard Mason on 10 Dec, 2022

Beautiful walk. We did it as an overnighter, sleeping at Thilba Thalba. Had previously done it clockwise, but prefer anti-clockwise going from the carpark past the falls and down the valley before the short and sharp climb up to Mt Thilba Thalba and then across to the campsite.

Richard Mason on 17 Apr, 2022

Having walked from flaxton we camped at Thilba Thalba. From Gheerulla falls, via delicia road track, to the campsite is a hard slog of about 8km constant steep climb. Views from near the top are fantastic and a good point to catch your breath. From views to the camp is about 2km of easier climb.

Good camp with great view. Toilet and tank water. Can get busy as groups drive up for the 200m walk to campsite. The circuit walk from Thilba back to Gheerulla is my favourite by a long way. Different vegetation to other parts of the walk with concrete river crossings as well as a couple that can easily get your feel wet. Whenever you get close to the river take your time and if you hear a waterfall go off the track to try and look for a swimming hole. There's the most beautiful little swimming holes with little falls to sit in and cool you down. Gutted I was going too fast this time and missed it.

S.C Hiker on 4 Jan, 2022

I have done this several times over the last 12 months. I really enjoy seeing the changing seasons in the vegetation, and the drastic changes in environments.

EchidnaScout on 24 Oct, 2021

Easy walk. Completed in 4 hours.

saltybream on 11 Sep, 2021

I did the smaller 10km circuit starting at Sam Kelly Road using old forestry tracks then re-intercepting the main track around Thilba Thalba campsite. The mountain is a bit of a plateau with a relatively steep ascent and descent . There are a couple of nice viewing points, one at the summit of Mt Thilba Thalba and the other near the campsite.

Vonsnrub on 14 Mar, 2021

Did as a 2 nighter: walked in to Ubajee, which is a basic scrub camp with plenty of campsites. A nice walk, although climbing the bluff Day 2 on a hot Feb afternoon with 15kg packs was probably not a wise choice.. Terrific views at Thilba Thalba, had the place to ourselves, would consider it for a shorter overnite hike in from Delicia Rd.

Pendinghiker on 21 Feb, 2021

Tough walk in summer with high humidity making the climb up the bluff a bit of a killer. We camped overnight at Thilba Thalba which meant we were carrying tents, food, cooking equipment etc. Decent facilities with plenty of water in the tank next to the composting toilet and knockout views from the site. Really enjoyed the variety of ecosystems. Trail is well marked and easy to navigate. Creek crossings were easy, even after rain earlier in the week.

gabbawocky on 20 Dec, 2020

Started this walk at 0840hrs parking the car at Linda Garret circuit carpark on Delica Road. This added an extra 6.8km walk just to get to Gheerulla circuit. The walk is well signed posted except when you get to Ubajee walkers camp, but it was easy to figure out just needs an extra sign post to indicate the walk to Gheerulla circuit. Once getting to the Gheerulla circuit we decided to do the walk anticlockwise. There was plenty of water in the creek that follows the walk. About 2.5 hrs into the walk at the end of the valley, we came across the hard part of the walk, a steep ascent zig zagging up the mountain. Would have been a much easier walk done clockwise around the circuit but it was a good challenge. The day was pleasant giving lots of cool breezes, this made the walk a pleasure. Carried only three water bottles to share with my wife, total amount of water was 2 ltrs but also had a Sawyer mini water filter in the day pack just incase we needed more water. Would not recommend starting the walk where we did, it made for an eight hour walk totalling 38kms. Got back to the carpark after 5pm, this was with a quick 20-30min lunch break, eating a small mandarine, apple and bush hiking nuts lol. We stopped on top of the peak adding great views of the landscape. Starting the walk at Gheerulla circuit would have been only a 5-6 hrs walk so I would recommend this walk, only difficult part would be the walk up the mountain and that would only be if your unfit and not used to walking. Did the walk on a Monday and only came across two other couples.

Jamie Mitchell on 10 Aug, 2020

I’m a 12 year old boy who is writing a review on the Gherula bluff hike, hope this info is useful. My family and I did this walk in around 6 hours and 29mins including 2 snack stops, one morning tea snack at Thilba-Thalba walkers camp and lunch at Gherula falls. We did this walk in winter and it was perfect temperature not to hot not to cold. We have also done it in summer too, and it was really hot and humid, from my perspective I prefer doing it in winter only because it is cool and on a 23KM walk you would want to be cool. The walk goes through lots of different terrains says as deep rainforest to dry bush land and some really steep bits too! We started at the bluff end of the walk, but some people start at the Gherula falls end. BTW, the bluff is a side of a cliff where there is a lot of switch backs all the way up. We prefer to start at the bluff end because when you climb the bluff you want to have really fresh legs but if you start at the falls you will have walked around 11KM before you get to the bluff. If you start at the bluff it’s only a 700m walk till you get to it. Over all I really enjoyed this tough walk through lots of different terrains. What makes me do it is that we get a pie at the Kenilworth bakery at the end of the hike! XD

TheN8tureBoy on 3 Jun, 2020

Did it clockwise in 5 and a half hours from the Thilba Thalba walkers camp (parked on Delicia road a couple mins walk from the camp). Beautiful hike, would definitely recommend the trail instead of the road along the top bit as it’s a nice path with a great lookout.

Wiggy on 7 Apr, 2020

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


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