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A walk along the border fence line to the twin summits of Mt Cougal. There are excellent views from the top!
It is hard for beginners. Make sure you check weather. Finding location is a little hard. When arrive see steel gate that states ‘please keep gate clear ta’ On side of gate you can enter, when pass the gate look to your left and see sign with with instructions. Don’t be discouraged when you start, it is a little scary, but it gets easier, but still lots of hill. Follow the barbed wired fence on your left the whole way. The track will go from very narrow to comfortable in some places. Once you reach the last 700 metres or so... it becomes much harder. You will see a thin rope to guide you - do not use this to pull you up as it will break!! You will come to a spot where the track will seem to end. Look for a tree that has arrows etched into it to guide you where to go. There’s also a small pink ribbon tied to a tree branch Up further. You have to go up! It’s hard but worth it.

Scrambling or Climbing

Getting there

Turn into Stewart Road, exit 95 from the M1. Turn left into Currumbin Creek Rd after about 1km. After about another 7km turn left into Tomewin Mountain Rd. after about another 10km pass through the Border Gate. Turn right into Garden of Eden Rd, about 1km from gate. Drive for about 4km to a gate with a few carspaces. Park Here. 


Sunmaps Springbrook 25000 

Route/Trail notes

Hop the locked gate (actually, you can walk around it) and follow the path immediately on the left uphill. The barbed wire fence commences here on your left, lantana on your right and sugarcane on your left in patches further up. Do not follow the obvious track straight ahead of the gate! If you see a bunch of abandoned shacks you have gone the wrong way!! After fighting through some serious folage (the path is majorly overgrown for the first hour) at the top of this hill you are rewarded with views of the Tweed Valley and the coast. In fact, garters, long pants and ideally a machette should take care of the basic requirements to continue on this walk. :) The high folage is wet in the mornings requiring hiking boots to avoid soaked feet. On the return (if you choose that option), once the sun hits it, it becomes sticky with a billion small pricles finding every piece of exposed skin! Nonetheless, if you can get past the folage, after the first hour, the track becomes well worn, shady without the high grass. You will be walking on a relatively easy rainforset track for a while.

The track winds its way through the rainforest, heading up and downhill along the border fence. You will enter a cleared area with a large tree in it this which was marked by the surveyor Roberts in the 1860's. Keep following the fenceline which will eventually start to become a relatively steep uphill scramble. Walking poles (or some stray sticks) to assist with both the up and decend would be great here if you don't have the fancy onces, pick up a stick early on in the rainforest path before it gets steep (they are usually gone when you start looking on the steep bit). The track is marked in some places with pink ribbons and arrows carved into the timber where it gets a little confusing. After a long uphil climb (notably without further head high grass) veer right and look for a path to a narrow cave. You can Squeeze through the Cave and there is a book to sign on the other side in the opening in the cliff-face - but note that you have to return through the Cave.  Keep veering right after a visit to the cave untill you find a steep rocky gully where you need to scramble up the cliff. If you look closely, someone has been kind enough to carve an arrow into a tree trunk to point out where to start climbing. The very first few steps are the hardest. After that it's pretty easy going for the final 5 minutes to the peak / lookout. At the top, on the left of the track is a lookout twoard the west. To the right goes to Boyd's Butt and finally to the sawmill at Cougal Cascades. Turn left and walk to the Summit of East Cougal.

To climb West Cougal locate the track that heads downhill steeply, descend a 3m cliff  to the right and a tree to the left. When you reach the saddle. Follow a narrow ridge take the track to the RIGHT. As you climb uphill steeply locate a track that goes to the left. I marked this point for the return. Follow this track uphill to the small clearing at the top. There is a lot of vegetation to push through. there are limited views here.

To return simply retrace your steps.  


Spring brook Camping $5 in National Parks.

Other References

Rankin: Secrets of the Scenic Rim, Daly:Take a walk in South east Queenslnd. 


Very good hike, but also quite slippery and uphill ! Not really for beginners I guess. We did only one peak because we didn't know how far away was the other but it was really worth it. Most of the hike is in the rainforest which is really beautiful. We got lost on the way to the hike though : we went on the wrong side of the mountain thinking there was a road passing through but when we didn't find the road we figured google maps was wrong and that it was a private road we couldn't take. So we had to go around the mountain for another 20 min before reaching garden of eden road. But anyway, it's wet in the morning but the light is beautiful and we loved it!

Pia Monnier on 30 Jun, 2019

Great views, took about 3hrs 45mins but did spend a bit of time at the top. The caves are interesting too, but bit too tight if you are tall.

Bec on 14 Jun, 2019

Really enjoyed this one, great effort:reward ratio! Track is pretty overgrown for the first half, but still easy to follow. Long pants were an advantage for the first few Ks as the grass is grown over the path to just above your knees. Fantastic 360 views at the summit!

ChrisK on 12 May, 2019

Ive climbed Cougal east peak twice now, it was seriously overgrown last time. The track has completely disappeared

Jesse on 14 Apr, 2019

1st big walk with son and family!!Fantastic day but sore and sorry next day!👌

Looking forward to the next challenge.

karen pares on 29 Mar, 2019

An absolutely stunning track the whole way through. Plenty of steep sections which are a tonne of fun. The cave was really nice, too small for 7 of us to make it through although 3 of us did though aha. Found a red belly black snake on the way back that was fairly docile but you should always keep your eyes out in the long grass and bamboo type plant fields. I recommend that long pants and a long sleeve shirt are a must as there are plenty of very sharp plants along the track. We did did both peaks and it took us about 5.5 hrs in total with plenty of photography at the peaks and about 20 minutes around the caves.

Aaron Gannaway on 17 Feb, 2019

Great walk lots of variety

Kobi Wickens on 17 Feb, 2019

One of my favourite mountains so far! Starts with a steep uphill section then flattens out for the majority of the walk...that is until you reach the summit climb which was reasonably steep. Following the track away from the border fence you will see the massive rock face ahead of you and hidden behind some boulders you will find the cave. We went pretty far in, found some little bats in there too. If we were a little more ambitious we may have been able to squeeze through the little hole at the end which looks to lead to a nice window in the side of the mountain.

Continuing on the walk it maintains its steepness until the summit of the East Peak. Excellent views, I wasn't quite fulfilled so I made a quick diversion over to the west peak. Decent track marked by ribbons, was pretty easy to follow. Took 20 minutes to get from one peak to the other. At the top there is a little campsite if you walk off to the right, if you walk to the left you get an AMAZING view of the Gold Coast hinterland. Don't know what people are talking about, the west peak was way better! Only thing is be very careful, there is a very real chance of falling if you're not and it's a looong drop to the bottom. Getting back to the east peak was a bit trickier, lost the track and had to bush bash (don't know how I screwed it up, it seemed so instinctive on the way up).

Track back down from the east peak was pleasant with some nice views along the way. Saw a couple of people there but for the most part it was just us.

Vonsnrub on 5 Jan, 2019

We had picked this as our first walk(lol)
It was very challenging at the top, but we had made it thanks to some great placement with the pink ribbons.
As for the cave, you will not fit if you have some extra sexy kilos on board. Next time I attempt this walk i shall place a book at the opening of the cave for the extra sexy kilo persons to sign.(lol)

Mick on 29 Dec, 2018

Certainly some tough parts on this track, steep start and steep climb to the summit but well worth it for the views!

Tara on 29 Dec, 2018

Little difficult at the start but definitely worth it for the views and scramble

Hannah on 17 Nov, 2018

Great walk with BWH's. Beautiful day and the view was stunning.

Jaded Jewlz on 3 Nov, 2018

Not really much to say the trail is very well marked and relatively straightforward until the last section before the first peak where you need to scramble up a steep rocky section. When you get to the cave in the cliff, just contour around the cliff to the right for 5mins or so. As per the other comments, just follow the pink tape when things get difficult.

The scramble to the second peak is a bit more challenging but not too difficult and very pretty. Worthwhile walk for sure.

Took me about 3.5 hours from the car and back including breaks and all the rest.

Dan456 on 24 Sep, 2018

Did east and west today. Also squeezed through the cave but couldn't locate the book.

rexi3 on 19 May, 2018

Did this a week ago. Once you park your car, there are two dirt roads that split. one through a fence, one non-fenced, dont walk up either... there is a sign that says 'Walk' with an arrow, but that means to follow the very hidden track hidden right of the fence, not the new freshly graded road on the left.. You need to pop yourself over (or around) that fence and hug the barbed wire fence.
The Barbed wire fence should be within a few metres to your left the entire walk up, going through a sugar cane mess that is kind of like a tunnel, some standard rainforest tail and a steep uphill with fallen trees, until you hit a rocky face (thats where the cave is, scramble up the rocks, its a bit hidden but its obvious when you see it- definetley worth a look if your not caustrophophic or afraid of spiders) to continue to the summit, follow the pink ribbon tied to trees and then you will come to a slight right but very upwards scramble. Summit is only 3-4min from here. great views of Mt Warning and West Cougal Peak.
Beware the fence coming back down, dont grab onto and protect your gear as its tight and can puncture, scratch your gear.
Fun, lots to see, different terrain and the cave is interesting. A one day mission.
I highly recommend

Simon Hutchen on 15 May, 2018

Enjoyable hike. Instructions easy to follow - did both East and West peak. As mentioned, East has better views but I enjoyed the track to West more - especially the giant spear lily tunnel you crawl/climb through. Still very overgrown at the start - lots of ticks - check yourself. Lots of lawyer vine/wait a while which are quite aggressive and can rip your hair out as I found. We found it hard to find start of track as we were first to start and drove past the gate to find a large ditch in the road - don’t go that far! On return about 20 cars parked. Keen to head back at some point to check out Boyd’s Butte

Juiced Pixels on 6 May, 2018

Walked it on 13th April 2018 with Jade, to check it out before taking the hike group there. Track was good, just that long grass section at the start was tall, but track was very easy to find and follow the whole way up.. From start point at gate, up to East Pk and back to gate 3.5 hours.. Love it, great walk

Barry White on 13 Apr, 2018

Did this one today..went a group called the fit, fast and furious.. did it in 3 hours all up, however no breaks other than the occasional one to catch your breath and spent 15 minutes at the top....Amazing walk very overgrown in a lot of places and it is a continous ascent from the get go. Flattens out a bit when your crossing the ridge before climbing again.. you pretty much keep the barbed fence(which is the border of QLD/NSW) to your left and go all the way up at times u gotta go across the fence which has been damaged due to fallen trees .. all in all quite exhausting but a great workout..Views absolutely worth it.. Recommend wearing long pants, ankle support boots and a full sleeve shirt to avoid leeches and cuts.. bit of scrambling to get to the top of the first peak...Would not recommend taking kids on this one.. and watch out for the occasional snake..

Ashwin on 23 Dec, 2017

We had the whole track to ourselves and took it in turns in breaking the spider webs with our faces!

The first 30 minutes was very overgrown. Some of the rocks and earth from the new road which is being constructed on the left hand side of the track have been pushed on to the path, so we had to climb over these mounds to find the track. Looks like walkers may be using the new road as an alternative route to avoid the overgrown section as it does follow the track for a while.

If you keep the border fence on your left the whole way up you can't go wrong. A fabulous day walk that has it all. 5 hours was spot on for us including a 30 minute break.

Helen Winter on 18 Dec, 2017

• Initial steep dozer track - muddy and boggy from recent rain
• Path along the rabbit fence - fairly clear with some lawyer vines here and there. It is very tempting to keep reaching out to grab the barbed wire fence for support but it is a tetanus shot waiting to happen.
• Jungle, and tree root staircase - wet and slippery
• Ascent of the East summit - no real dramas. Some thick foliage.

Views obscured by low clouds settling in. When we arrived at the peak we could see the West peak above the clouds clearly. Five minutes later it was hidden.

• Razorback - dense foliage
• Ascent - I found it fairly easy to get lost despite the regular pink tape. There were one or two false (perhaps alternate) tracks that can lead you away and areas of very thick foliage.
• Two or three scrambles up small rock faces, which were made awkward by being wet
• No great viewing opportunities at the top, which is covered in bush and small trees
• On the descent, we got lost and descended a much harder rock face and spent 30 minutes wandering around till we found the pink tape again.
• Started to rain and everything was very wet, slippery and muddy, making it more arduous.

• Highly recommend at least long pants and gloves, and possibly long-sleeved shirt and gaiters, due to lawyer vines, sharp grass, the possibility of snakes, and the track running next to the rusty old rabbit fence.
There were many instances on the descent where the wet rock offered no grip for shoes or hands. In these cases I often ended up grabbing handfuls of the thick, sharp-edged grass to lower myself down - because I had gloves on.
• Road to the parking area was narrow, unsealed and a few spots were taped off due to erosion or slippage. In the wet it was muddy and rutted.
• Parking area is not very big and a bit tricky to maneuver if there are other cars there.

Overall I'm glad to have done it, but it felt like a slog on this particular day - wet, humid, hot and muddy.
One guy who had done it before said that on a fine winter day it's a doddle, so perhaps that's the best time to give it a go.

We were the only people there and the track didn't seem heavily used.

Left about 7:30am and were back at the car park by 1:30pm. Someone said that was an hour or so quicker than the last time they did it.

Rey Leon on 2 Dec, 2017


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