A walk along the border fence line to the twin summits of Mt Cougal. There are excellent views from the top!

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. 

Maps

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.  

Permits/Costs

Spring brook Camping $5 in National Parks.

Other References

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

Comments

Apparently the track up to Cougal has been clearer as of august 23.Thats amazing! Years ago it was always slashed up until the start of the rainforest.but has in recent years been a winding , confusing head high tangle of grass. I Think national parks must have forgotton it existed. So its good to hear tha its clearer as of aug.2017.will think about a day trip soon! For those who havent gone,go! Its a gret walk.the cave is almost straight upslope once you reach east Cougal and kind of hidden down behind some boulders. Beware of a false trail off to the right.the track has been changing alot due to tree false . Traverse to the right after the cave and find the scuffle marks on the rocks and tree roots where people climb the cliff break. Great views at the top of eaxtern peak!A steep track goes straight down to the saddle where there is room for one small tent if youre interested. The route along the cliff face to western peak is rough and you must take great care scrambling up through the foliage and spear lillies.Make sure you have reasonable experience or are with someone who has!Its quite rough but well worth the effort,the top has spectacular views over to mt Warning and its a beautiful campsite;but make sure you bring water! If going to Boyds Butte ,watch the plentiful lawyer vine.There is a wide saddle between Cougal andthe route to Boyds,but if returning thhe same way stick close to the central ridge to regain the Cougal track.Be careful climbi g around the pinnacles near the butte (but do it!).A rough usually taped route leads south from here steeply down to a flat stony area and then down a side spur to Currumbin ck.The spur has a taped route but is easy enough to follow and is well worthwhile checking out!At the bottom, just turn left to the car park at the rockpools .If you still have energy,turn right instead for some fabulous rockpools to cool off in! TREKK ON BABE!!

Geoff Smith on 28 Aug, 2017

Track was quite clear, maybe recently cleared, so no machete needed. I've walked Springrook and Mt Warning a few times recently and always Mt Cougal is in the view, so great to finally get here - views on a clear winter day were superb! Thanks for the track description, no navigational issues to report as a result of your clarity.

glenn mead on 20 Aug, 2017

Great walk, don't think I could fit through the last bit of the cave.

Got a few ticks in the long grass.

samk23 on 15 Jul, 2017

Great walk, still quite overgrown at the start going through the sugar cane area, but really nice once you enter the rainforest. Plenty of markers to follow once you've left the rainforest and start the steeper scramble section. Great views towards Mt Warning at the top. Definitely wear long clothing, or you'll definitely be getting scratched.

B_razzle on 3 Jun, 2017

Such a little adventure this hike, winding through sugar cane, up a calf killer hill to reach the summit. Bush bashed to the other peak, but there was limited views. Great climb!

courtlalala on 26 Apr, 2017

As of early/mid January 2017 some of the track is still majorly overgrown, so if you want to avoid small scratches wear long pants

Brodie R on 11 Jan, 2017

Beautiful walk, unlike any other, but I won't attempt this one again without almost complete body covering. Got shredded to pieces by the foliage (of which there is a LOT). Lots of sugarcane near the start of the track, and a fair few wait-a-while vines in the rainforest sections that are at head height.

Cover up, bring lots of water, and leave this one for a cooler day. You'll love it.

mjorn_ on 1 Jan, 2017

Completed this track in about 4hrs, I didn't go to both peaks as I left a little late. But wow, it is a toigh track, basically vertical towards the end and you're touching foliage about 80% of the trek. The summit views are stunning, however I didn't find the cave? I'll have to go back for another look. Well worth the bush bashing but it is a tough climb.

Chantelle on 7 Oct, 2016

Interesting scenery. Loved the sugar cane! Hated the barb rusted wire but thankfully no-one touched it. Ground can be quite unstable so a walking pole is useful. Went to both peaks (about 6 hours) but I couldn't find the cave :(

agms on 2 Aug, 2016

The 29/05/2016 was my rookie trek for The Bushwalkers Club Official.
It was beyond an honor to get the call up from the prestigious group and trek with the best!
We summited both peaks and returned within a short few hours on the lovely Sunday afternoon, and was an awesome way to finish the weekend. Beautiful views back over the Tweed valley and over the southern Gold Coast.
Jokes a side this walk has sparked a new hobbie and passion. Would recommend and defiantly gets the Ranger McFriendly tick of approval!
Enjoy :)

Ranger McFriendly on 29 May, 2016

I really enjoyed this trek i loved the rainforest and the cave and the tracks on both peaks! The last part with the rope to the top of the summit was fun! Few parts were thin and on the edge of the cliff but amazing still!

Julie on 14 May, 2016

Good fun despite being drenched for almost the entire walk, and being engulfed by cloud up the top (no views). Gorgeous rainforest and some fun bush bashing all the same. Definitely wear long trousers and some sensible footwear.

GackJibs on Feb, 2016

The trail was quite overgrown which certainly adds to the difficulty of this walk, in saying that don't be put off doing the trek it's really really worth while getting to the eastern summit. It's very step getting to the final climb which is also not that easy to find. Thankfully I got some great tips here. So when you get to the base of the eastern peak traverse to the right it's a reasonable way round, keep looking for the tape markers on some roots and branches that lead the way to the summit then climb very carefully. Once again don't get put off but the push for the summit is not for the faint hearted.

Along the way you'll see plenty of snake holes and as well as a few snakes a bit of local wildlife. For most of the walk you are in constant contact with the flora, long sleeves and leg protection will make your life a lot more comfortable in the days following this walk.

I wasn't at any stage concerned about losing the trail it pretty much follows the fence line. That fence is your friend and guide as long as you know where that is you'll be fine. Have fun and be safe

lee~midds on 23 Dec, 2015

JUST BACK FROM MT COUGAL BORDER WALK.THE TRACK SEEMS TO HAVE IMPROVED FROM SEVERAL YEARS AGO SO I FOLLOWED MY NOSE UP TO WESTERN SUMMIT THIS TIME.REGARDING THE EASTERN AND WESTERN PEAK APPROACHES,THE EASTERN SUMMIT IS STEEP AND STRAIGHT FORWARD [NOT EASY]HOWEVER THE FOLLOWING WESTERN SUMMIT PRESENTS A COUPLE OF GENUINE CLIMBING SECTIONS WHERE THERE IS NO ASSISTANCE.WOULD NEVER GO UP THERE IF IT WAS WET AND ALSO COMBING BACK DOWN IS JUST AS BAD IF NOT WORSE, BE CAREFUL OF LOSING THE TRACK ON THE RETURN,IT SEEMS PEOPLE ON THE CLIMB HAVE MARKED UP MANY PATHS THROUGH THE GIANT LILIES .THE HIKE TAKES TIME EG.6 HRS MINIMUM FOR RETURN WALK TO GARDEN OF EDEN GATE UNLESS YOU WANT TO SPRINT UP AND BACK..THE TRACK IS MARKED WITH TAPE/RIBBONS INTERMITTENTLY IN DIFFICULT SECTIONS ...WHAT I FIND CHALLENGING IS THAT THE BORDER TRACK CONTINUES ON FROM WESTERN COUGAL SUMMIT WESTERLY TOWARDS SPRINGBROOK...ANYONE KNOW ABOUT THIS TRACK?

halomansion on 18 Nov, 2015

Completed both peaks 01/11/2015. The track overall is mostly easy to follow all the way up to east peak. Then the small distance to West peak becomes a challenge. Constantly stopping and taking a few seconds to look behind you and remember which way to go on the return will help, along with spotting any ribbons placed around the place. The heavy foliage could easily land you in a dangerous spot.
Incredible fun however, cane fields, cave, old growth rain forest, spectacular views, rock scrambling and bush bashing. Its all there. One of my favourites now. Pro-tip: Wear zip off pants as the grassy/lantana area can be unpleasant when it has grown over..

Zerpy on 1 Nov, 2015

Walked the track this morning, great views it was a perfect day and the track was pretty good. Make sure you wear long pants and shirt as there are lots of burrs and prickles along the way but overall I had a great first walk and hope to complete many more.

Dizzygill on 14 Jul, 2015

Did the East and West peaks in Spring, 2014. Loved the scrambling over to West peak. Total trip was 5hrs return with a half hour lunch break with a group of 5 moderately experienced hikers. The track in was well-worn up until the national park starts. No snakes, easy to navigate and no need for long pants/protection in the track's current state. Scrambling amongst the giant lillies was a highlight, but they're not in flower yet (at the time of writing). Some of the grass trees are magnificent. Going to camp at the top of West peak next time - perfect spot up there!

Andrew Carter on 6 Sep, 2014

Great Climb ! If walking through long stretches of VERY long grass is not your thing .. avoid ! We perservered through this, and glad we did. Seeing the old Surveyors marker was quite special, but the cave was the highlight for me. After the cave, we climbed to the top to capture some great pics of the awesome view. As you approach Mt Cougal, the track indeed becomes quite steep. If you brave the cave ( you should ) look for a smaller cave inside FULL of glow worms.

DrummerJeff on 10 May, 2014

Went only half way today as was very overgrown. As I was walking in the middle of a hot day by my self I thought Id come back when its cooler with few less reptiles. Fine to get through the trail though.... up to where I saw anyways

Ty on 6 Oct, 2013

Went only half way today as was very overgrown. As I was walking in the middle of a hot day by my self I thought Id come back when its cooler with few less reptiles. Fine to get through the trail though.... up to where I saw anyways

Ty on 6 Oct, 2013

Where

Click here to load this map.

Done this walk?

This walk has been ticked 55 times

Aussie Bushwalking can keep track of your bushwalks.

Login/signup to tick this walk off.