- Getting there and getting around
- Walk highlights
- Camping and accommodation
- Walking options
- Short walks
- Long walks
- Planning your walk
- Walk safely
- Walk softly
- Tourism information links
- Further information
Relax by the rockpools, Kondalilla National Park. Photo: Queensland Government.
Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk winds through the scenic Blackall Range, approximately 90km north of Brisbane.
Travel on the Bruce Highway (M1) and take the Blackall Range tourist drive (23) turnoff. There are scenic views of mountains and valleys to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east.
Along the top of the range and traversing four reserves, this Great Walk is designed with multiple access points to give visitors the opportunity to walk the entire walk or shorter sections as half-day and full-day walks. If you are walking the whole track (58km), the Barron Pocket entrance, near Montville is recommended as your group’s starting point.
There are four major access points
Refer to Baroon Section Map—this map is an access guide only. Obtain a copy of the detailed Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk topographic map.
Kondalilla National Park – access is via the Montville–Mapleton Road, turn west into Kondalilla Falls Road.
Refer to Baroon Section map—this map is an access guide only. Obtain a copy of the detailed Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk Topographic Map to carry with you on your walk.
Mapleton Falls National Park – from Mapleton township turn west onto Obi Obi road and turn right into Mapleton Falls Road.
Refer to Mapleton Falls Section map—this map is an access guide only. Obtain a copy of the detailed Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk Topographic Map to carry with you on your walk.
Mapleton National Park (Delicia Road entrance)—from Mapleton township take the Obi Obi Road and turn into right into Delicia Road. From here the GW entrance is approximately 2km on the right side of the road.
Refer to Mapleton section (Delicia Road entrance) map—this map is an access guide only. Obtain a copy of the detailed Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk Topographic Map to carry with you on your walk.
Other minor access points: Mapleton Forest Drive and Flaxton Mill Road. These access points have limited car parking and no facilities.
Check conditions before heading off
Always check road conditions and weather forecasts before traveling. Check with RACQ for the latest road conditions and the Bureau of Meteorology for weather conditions and forecasts before setting out.
Check park alerts for current access, closures and conditions before you go. Also check park alerts for:
Travelling by car
If you are walking the whole track (58km), the Baroon Pocket entrance, near Montville is recommended as your group’s starting point and the Delicia Road entrance as your walk’s conclusion point. Park a vehicle at each end of the walk or arrange for a friend or taxi to pick your group up at the end of your walk and return you to the starting point vehicle. Local taxi service contact.
When leaving your parked vehicle make sure you remove valuables, including garage door remotes and house keys, before you depart on your walk. If you are concerned about vehicle security while you walk the entire great walk, consider arranging to be dropped off and collected instead.
Travelling by public transport
Queensland rail to Nambour, Sunshine Coast Regional Council Hinterland Connect bus to Montville (approximately 5.5 km from Baroon Pocket entrance point) or Flaxton Barn part way along Great Walk route. Contact Translink for train and bus details. Local taxi service is available to entrance points.
Forest in Mapleton National Park, Linda Garrett walk. Photo: Queensland Government.
Gorges, waterfalls, rock pools, scenic views, warm subtropical rainforest and tall open eucalypt forest feature on this Great Walk through Kondalilla, Mapleton Falls and Mapleton national parks. Wildlife recorded in this area includes more than 100 species of birds, about 70 reptile species and more than 30 frog species.
The great walk’s multiple access points offer diverse walking opportunities including—58 km walk with overnight bush camps; multiple full day walks (stay in comfortable holiday house accommodation); day walks and half-day walks.
Great walk camp. Photo: Queensland Government.
Walkers' camps are provided at: Flaxton, Ubajee and Thilba Thalba camping areas. Each camp has a toilet, water—treat before drinking—and platform tables. Individual sites are separated into areas suitable for one or two small tents. Each camp has an area for groups. Please remember that visitor numbers are limited in all walkers' camps. Advance bookings are essential and can be made up to 12 months in advance. Camping permits are required and fees apply.
Motel-style accommodation and self-contained cabins are available throughout the Blackall Range. Some holiday accommodation owners provide a Great Walk drop-off and pick-up service for customers staying with them. See tourism information links to find out more.
Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk track near Thilba Thalba walkers' camp. Photo: Ross Naumann.
The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service’s (QPWS) Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk topographic map is essential for planning and undertaking your Great Walk.
Be aware! Distances and times shown for each section of the walk are estimates only. Allow for delays, rest stops, sightseeing and meal breaks. Always plan to reach your destination well before dark.
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is a clearly marked track with a generally firm and stable surface. Some sections include very steep grades and creek crossings.
The Great Walk track width varies from walking track standard to narrow road width where it follows old forest roads.
As this Great Walk traverses reserves that are separated by rural and urban land, some sections follow footpaths and road-sides—take care and be alert to vehicle traffic in these areas.
This area is managed to maintain its rugged condition. Be aware of what to expect and how to deal with problems.
Track conditions may worsen during bad weather conditions (such as high rainfall), making walking slower, harder and more tiring. Walking bridges have been built over some creek crossings, but not all. Do not attempt creek crossings during times of high rainfall—flash floods can occur.
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk includes sections of Class 2, 3 and 4 track based on the Australian Standards track classification system.
Read the track standards below to assist with planning your walk so that it is suitable for your group’s ability and fitness levels. The relevant walking track standards are included with the detailed descriptions of each track section. Always plan to walk at the pace of your group’s slowest walker.
Class 2 track Australian standards
- Easy and level, well-graded track, suitable for all fitness levels.
Class 3 track Australian standards
- Gently sloping, well-defined track with slight inclines or few steps
- Caution needed on loose gravel surfaces and exposed natural lookouts
- Reasonable level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear needed.
Class 4 track Australian standards
- Distinct track usually with steep exposed slopes or many steps
- Caution needed on loose gravel surfaces and exposed natural outlooks
- Moderate level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear needed.
Limit your group size
NPSR recommends that walking group sizes do not exceed 12 people. If you have a larger group, split into smaller groups to have a more pleasurable experience.
View from Narrows Lookout. Photo: Ross Naumann.
Short walks for day visitors
Always walk within a group and choose walks to suit your groups experience and fitness levels. Be aware that mobile phones are not reliable in this area. For information about staying safe while visiting national parks, please read the guidelines: Planning your walk and Walk safely—information specifically provided for this Great Walk, and refer to Safety in parks and forests information.
Half day walks
Baroon Pocket Dam to Baroon Lookout—2.2 km one way (allow 1–2 hrs) Class 3
Starting at the Baroon Pocket Dam the walk passes through open woodland ridges and crosses bridges and boardwalks over palm- and vine-forested streams. The Narrows Lookout provides a unique view over the Narrows Gorge. Further up the track a boardwalk is in place to protect the habitat of the rare hip-pocket frog Assa darlingtoni. The Baroon lookout offers views of Obi Obi Gorge, Baroon Pocket Dam and its catchment.
Mapleton Falls National Park to Mapleton National Park (Delicia Road entrance)—2.1 km one way (allow 1 hr 30 mins) Class 4
From the Mapleton Falls lookout, follow signs through the picnic area to join the Wompoo Circuit. At the circuit's upper end, the Great Walk leads west out of the park onto Daymar Road. Watch for traffic as the track crosses Delicia Road and enters open forest to the Delicia Road entrance.
Delicia Road entrance to Mapleton day-use area—3 km one way (allow 2 hrs) Class 4
The tracks and boardwalks lead through wet eucalypt forest and a palm grove. Walkers share the last 1.2 km section with mountain-bike riders and horse riders.
Mapleton National Park protects a significant tall, wet sclerophyll community, with a canopy dominated by blackbutt, turpentine, brush box and flooded gum. The reserve provides habitat for two endangered frog species, wallabies and diverse bird life.
Flaxton Mill Road to Baxter Creek suspension bridge—6.2 km return (allow 4–5 hrs) Class 4
From Flaxton Mill Road car park the walk leads through open eucalypt forest, past rocky outcrops and down hill to Baxter Creek with its beautiful waterfall. Turn around at the Baxter Creek suspension bridge and return to your car along the same walking track. This walk requires a reasonable level of fitness as the uphill return walk is quite steep in places.
Full day walks (only one-way distances shown)
For these walks you would need to park a car at each end of your walk or organise for a friend or taxi to drop off and/or collect your group.
For detailed track information see relevant sections of ‘The Entire Great Walk’ track information.
Baroon Pocket Dam to Kondalilla National Park
10 km one way (allow 5 hrs walking time)
Mapleton day-use area to Gheerulla camping area (Sam Kelly Road)
11.8 km one way (allow 6 hrs walking time)
Mapleton National Park (Delicia Road entrance) (M4) to Gheerulla Falls
7.3 km one way (allow 4–5 hrs)
Steep climb up Gheerulla Bluff. Photo: Queensland Government.
The entire Great Walk!
Obtain a copy of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk topographic map before embarking on this 58 km Great Walk that takes 4–6 days to complete.
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is identified by four main sections.
Track notes are provided below with some sections further divided to provide information for visitors planning to walk shorter sections of the Great Walk.
Section 1—Baroon Pocket Dam (M1) to Flaxton walkers’ camp—16.5 km one-way (allow 7 hrs walking time)
Baroon Pocket Dam to Baroon Lookout—2.2 km one-way (allow 1–2 hrs walking time)
The track starts at Baroon Pocket Dam and traverses mixed open woodland ridges, with a series of bridges crossing intervening palm and vine-forested tributaries. A short spur track leads to Obi Obi Creek, 265 m from the start. Another spur track (225 m) leads to the Narrows Lookout. The main track continues up a ridge to a large gully. A boardwalk is in place to protect the habitat of the rare hip-pocket frog Assa darlingtoni. The Baroon lookout offers spectacular views of Obi Obi Gorge and Baroon Pocket Dam and its catchment.
Baroon Lookout to Kondalilla National Park picnic area (M2)—9.5 km one-way (allow 5–6 hrs walking time)
This challenging section takes in the rainforests of the deeper valleys and the beauty of Kondalilla Falls. The track leads from Baroon Lookout down a steep slope to the banks of Obi Obi Creek. The natural surface track crosses many feeder gullies as it runs along “the Obi” to the junction with Skene Creek. This section of track ends at the picnic area. This is a good pickup point for day walkers.
Kondalilla National Park (M2) to Flaxton walkers’ camp—4.6 km one-way (allow 2–3 hrs walking time)
This section follows the road system connecting Kondalilla National Park to Flaxton walkers’ camp. Walk east along the footpath on Falls Road to the intersection with Montville–Mapleton Road, the main road across the Blackall Range. Head north along the road to Flaxton Mill Road and follow this road to the Great Walks entrance, then follow the trail 2 km to the Flaxton walkers’ camp.
Section 2—Flaxton walkers’ camp to Ubajee walkers’ camp—13.1 km one-way (allow 7 hrs walking time)
Flaxton walkers’ camp to Mapleton Falls National Park (M3)—5.9 km one-way (allow 2–3 hrs walking time)
From the walkers’ camp, along an operational fire management trail, the track heads north down a very steep slope, with many rocky outcrops. As the walking track verges off the fire management trail and continues down the valley, stay on the track to avoid loose rocks and steep drop-offs. The track passes from open forest to rainforest on the lower slopes, before entering a piccabeen palm forest on Baxter Creek’s banks. Epiphytic vegetation is prolific along the rocky outcrops. The trail leads to the rock-strewn creek, with a short section leading to the waterfall’s base. After crossing the creek via the suspension bridge, the track heads back up the steep slope to join Obi Obi Road. Continue west along the footpath on Obi Obi Road to Mapleton Falls Road, and follow this road to Mapleton Falls National Park. Continue west along roadside footpaths to Mapleton Falls National Park.
Mapleton Falls National Park (M3) to Mapleton National Park (Delicia Road entrance) (M4)—2.1 km one-way (allow 1 hr 30 mins walking time)
From the lookout, follow the Wompoo Circuit. At the upper end of the circuit, the Great Walk leads west out of the park onto Daymar Road. It then crosses Delicia Road as you enter open sclerophyll forest to the Delicia Road entrance (M4).
Mapleton National Park (Delicia Road entrance) (M4) to Ubajee walkers’ camp—5.1 km one-way (allow 2–3 hrs walking time)
Follow the Linda Garrett track along the headwaters of Gheerulla Creek. The track joins the firebreak system and multi-use track network. Be aware that walkers share the first 2.3 km of this trail with mountain-bike riders and horse riders. The Great Walk leaves the multi-use trail to access Ubajee walkers’ camp, situated at the Gheerulla Valley’s edge. From the nearby Ubajee viewpoint, there are impressive views down the Gheerulla Valley.
Section 3—Ubajee walkers’ camp to Thilba Thalba walkers’ camp—13.5 km one-way (allow 7 hrs walking time)
Ubajee walkers’ camp to Gheerulla Bluff—11.2 km one-way (allow 5–6 hrs walking time)
Ubajee walkers’ camp is situated at the edge of the Gheerulla Valley. On this section there are magnificent views across the valley from Ubajee viewpoint. At the base of the slope, the trail joins an old logging track.
The track to Thilba Thalba heads north and traverses several creek crossings where it may be necessary to get your feet wet. Gheerulla Creek is prone to flash flooding. Do not attempt to cross when creeks are in flood or in times of heavy (or expected heavy) rainfall.
The creekside vegetation supports a variety of bird life, while the closed canopy makes for pleasant walking. The disused logging trail gradually leads uphill and over a ridge where the vegetation starts to open out as it enters the drier open woodland of the lower Gheerulla Valley.
Nearing Gheerulla Bluff, the trail leads from the creek to the rocky ridge that begins the steep climb up Gheerulla Bluff.
Gheerulla Bluff to Thilba Thalba walkers’ camp—2.3 km one-way (allow 1–2 hrs walking time)
The walk along the ridge through dry, scribbly gum forest offers views over the Mary Valley to Kenilworth, Conondale Range, Gympie and north to the Cooloola sandblow.
A spur track leads up to Thilba Thalba viewpoint, a knoll with views over the lower Gheerulla Valley to Mapleton National Park’s western section. The track continues on to Thilba Thalba walkers’ camp.
Section 4—Thilba Thalba walkers’ camp to Delicia Road entrance (M4) entrance—16.1 km one-way (allow 9–10 hrs walking time)
Alternative exit point: Thilba Thalba walkers’ camp to Mapleton Forest Drive exit—13.7 km one-way (allow 8 hrs walking time).
Thilba Thalba walkers’ camp to Gheerulla Falls—8.8 km one-way (allow 4 hrs walking time)
The wide natural surface of this track section follows easy grades over dry woodland ridges and moister forests of the valley heads. There are spectacular views of the Gheerulla Valley and beyond. The legacy of logging and land clearing is evident along the track.
Following the ridgeline, the track comes to Delicia Road where it crosses and heads east along the fence line. It then follows the cutting of the original Pioneers’ road (known locally as Hindu track).
The track crosses Delicia Road again at the gate, and continues down through wet sclerophyll forest to a small clearing on the banks of Gheerulla Creek. From here, a short spur track (100 m) leads up to Gheerulla Falls.
Gheerulla Falls to Delicia Road entrance—7.3 km one-way (allow 4–5 hrs walking time)
From the clearing, the main track crosses the creek and leads up the ridge to the junction to Ubajee walkers’ camp, then on to Delicia Road entrance.
Flatrock is a great place to rest enroute to Kondalilla. Photo: Queensland Government.
- Assess your groups’ abilities
- Prepare an emergency plan
- Essentials to bring
- Emergency beacon devices
- Permits and fees
- Climate and weather
- Severe weather
- Fuel and supplies
Thorough planning can be the difference between a safe and memorable adventure and a miserable or dangerous experience. Be aware of what to expect and be prepared to deal with potential problems. The Great Walk is rugged and natural hazards do exist.
To journey on the entire Great Walk you need to be a physically fit, experienced bushwalker who is properly prepared and safety aware. You will need to have at least one other person with bushwalking experience with you. Allow at least four full days to complete the entire walk.
Purchase a copy of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk topographic map before embarking on this 58 km Great Walk that takes 4–6 days to complete.
- Do not walk in remote areas if you are not prepared.
- You'll require a moderate level of navigation skills—using a topographic map and compass.
- Be trained in "remote area" first-aid.
- Be weather-wise and know what to do in storms, floods or fires.
- Pack good communication gear and know how to use it.
Never walk alone. Small groups of four people are ideal. Consider everyone’s bushwalking experience, fitness levels and special needs. Plan to share equipment so everyone packs light and comfortable. Talk through contingencies—bad weather, illness, injury—compile an emergency plan, in case something goes wrong.
You must ensure your emergency plan is up to date, specifies your planned walk route and when you expect to return. Leave a copy with a reliable friend or family member. Tell them about any last minute changes to your walking plans. Ensure you call them when you have completed the walk. If you are overdue from the completion of your walk, your contact person should ring the Queensland Police Service.
Stay informed! Stay safe!
Check park alerts for current access, closures and conditions before you go. Also check park alerts for:
You must be fully self-sufficient. Local facilities are limited. Your camping equipment should include the following:
- navigation equipment, topographic map, compass and whistle
- your camping permit
- water containers—ensure they are big enough to hold water for a full day’s walk. Water treatment tablets or purification kit or a container for boiling water before use
- clothes for all conditions—hot, cold, wet, dry
- strong, lightweight tent—no shelters are provided at walkers’ camps.
- lightweight sleeping bag and sleeping mat
- sturdy enclosed footwear, a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent
- remote area first-aid kit—and know how to use it. At least one person in your group should be first aid trained
- waterproof bags and sealable containers for clothes, bedding, rubbish and food
- nourishing lightweight food and high-energy snacks
- small hand trowel, spade or human waste disposal kit and toilet paper
- torch, extra batteries and pocket knife
- lightweight cooking and eating utensils and a washing up container
- fuel stove and fuel, waterproof matches or lighter—fires are not permitted
- a satellite phone. Mobile phone reception is very limited and, in most sections, non-existent. Remember that phones run on battery power and cannot be recharged at walkers’ camps.
It is recommended that walkers traversing the entire Great Walk carry at least one type of emergency communication device. A hand-held EPRIB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) or PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) is recommended however coverage may be variable. These devices can be hired from various outlets. Before you leave, ensure you register you EPRIB or PLB. For more information on how to obtain and register an EPIRB or PLB contact the Australian Maritime Safety Authority by phone 1800 406 406 (business hours), or email: email@example.com.
Permits are required for camping in all Queensland national parks and reserves. You will be sharing with other camp users and camp sites may be limited so make sure you book early. Bookings can be made up to 12 months in advance.
Weather and time of year should play a big part in deciding when to walk. The best time to walk this Great Walk is between March and October.
Hot days and warm nights grace Blackall Range summers, while winter months bring mild sunny days and cool nights. Temperatures can rise above 30 degrees Celsius in summer and drop to zero degrees Celsius overnight in winter. Storms are more likely to occur from September through to February, especially in the afternoon. Weather conditions can change suddenly.
Expect damp to wet track conditions if walking between December and March—the plateau’s wet season.
Rangers may close walking tracks, roads and walkers camps during extreme weather events. As much notice as possible is given to Great Walkers who have booked their camping. When booking, leave best-contact details. Before you leave home:
Check weather forceasts from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Check park alerts for current access, closures and conditions before you go.
Also check park alerts for:
Fuel and supplies are available in Montville, Mapleton and Maleny. For more information see the tourism information links below.
Expect the best but prepare for the worst—you are responsible for your own safety.
Sections of the Great Walk are remote and isolated. Accidents do happen, even to experienced bushwalkers. Nature can be unpredictable—storms, fires and floods can happen in a flash. Be aware of your surroundings, stay alert, use your senses and exercise sound judgment.
General safety guidelines
While out on the track follow the guidelines below for a safe and enjoyable walk.
Obey all safety and warning signs.
- Never walk alone—small groups of four are ideal.
- Ensure experienced adults accompany children.
- Know your exit points—follow your progress on the map and know your nearest road crossings or track exit points in case you need to get out quickly.
- Avoid walking in extreme heat or high fire danger.
- Avoid creek crossings during floods or after heavy rain.
- Watch your head! High winds can cause branches to fall. In extreme winds, camping is not advisable, and walkers' camps may be closed temporarily.
- Treat all water taken from creeks.
- Plan to complete your walk well before sunset.
- Be surefooted. Wear sturdy, enclosed boots or shoes.
- Stay on marked tracks! Taking shortcuts can cause erosion and you may get lost.
Don’t forget to take the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk topographic map and a compass with you. A GPS (Global Positioning System) device is a useful optional extra however make sure you pack extra batteries. Check your map regularly to mark your progress against features on the track. Plan to reach camp well before dark and before bad weather sets in. Keep your group together. If someone becomes ill or difficult weather sets in, make camp and wait for conditions to improve or help to arrive. Know your group’s limitations and change your plans as necessary.
Tank water is available at all walkers’ camps. For your safety boil, treat or filter all water before drinking to avoid illness. Carry enough water for each day’s walk. It is recommended that each walker carry a minimum of four to six litres of water per day.
Where the wild things are
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk passes through diverse habitats with a wide variety of plants and animals.
Stinging trees including shiny-leaved stinging tree Dendrocnide photinophylla and giant stinging tree Dendrocnide excelsa are common along some sections of the Great Walk. Some vines such as lawyer vine Calamus muelleri have sharp spines and grow rapidly, sometimes overhanging the track. Avoid stings and scratches—wear protective clothing and keep away from stinging leaves and thorned vines along the track.
Animals you encounter are wild and should be treated with respect. You may encounter wild pigs, dogs and dingoes—do not approach, encourage or excite them in any way. For more information see the be dingo-safe web page.
Like most of our national parks snake species occur here. Snakes prefer to avoid humans and are rarely seen. Take action to prevent snake bite—always wear shoes, watch where you walk and at night, use a torch. If you encounter a snake, calmly walk away.
Regularly check yourself for ticks and leeches throughout the day and before you go to sleep. Remove immediately—refer to your first-aid book for instructions.
Do not leave food for native birds and animals. Goannas, possums, kookaburras and butcherbirds have caused serious injuries because people have fed them or encouraged their attention. Native birds and animals need their natural diet to survive. Eating processed foods can cause them to become sick or die.
Bushfires can occur without warning. Early reporting can avoid disaster.
Not every fire is a wildfire. Rangers carry out planned burning—usually in late autumn and winter. Affected tracks are closed and emergency authorities are notified.
Phone 000 to report a bushfire and acts of arson (or try 112 in no/low mobile reception area).
If phones don’t work and the situation is life-threatening, critical or serious—activate your emergency beacon device.
Find an appropriate area for refuge according to the conditions, such as a road, firebreak, waterway or already-cooled, burnt ground. Avoid areas with deep leaf litter. Stay low to the ground if it appears less smoky.
Do not cross creeks during floods or after heavy rain. If caught during a flash flood, stay on higher ground and wait until the waters have receded. Continue your walk only when you can cross the creeks safely.
If you think you are lost
Sit down and stay calm. Use your map and compass or GPS. Do not continue travelling until you know where you are. If you are lost, stay in one place, ration your water and food and try to contact help.
Emergency contact information
- Phone triple zero (000) for critical, serious or life-threatening situations only.
- If you are calling from a mobile phone and 000 does not work, try 112.
- If communication by phone is not possible—activate your emergency beacon device.
Use fuel stoves only. Photo: Queensland Government.
The Great Walk is one of Queensland's natural treasures. Our natural and cultural heritage is under constant threat from growing human pressures. Being aware of potential threats and how to minimise your impact will help you to keep this place special.
Feel privileged—you are visiting an area of high conservation and cultural significance. You can help look after this area by staying on the tracks and practising minimal impact walking. Tread softly and leave no trace!
This area is totally protected. It is an offence to remove anything—living or dead—from the area.
Keep waterways clean
Look after the waterways. Obi Obi Creek flows into the Mary River—the main water source for Kenilworth, Gympie and Maryborough. Soap, detergent, skin creams, repellents, toothpaste, urine and food scraps affect water purity.
Please follow these guidelines:
- Do not use detergents, toothpaste or soap in waterways.
- Use hot water and a scourer to clean dishes instead of detergents. Wash dishes and clothes at least 50 m from waterways.
- Wash away from streams, gullies and watercourses, as all detergents, soaps, sunscreens, insect repellents and toothpastes pollute water and damage aquatic life.
- Toilet at least 100 m from waterways and burying all faecal waste and toilet paper 15 cm deep (carry a small trowel or spade for this purpose), or
- Use a human waste disposal kit. Kits are available from some camping stores. Please follow the manufacturer’s directions and dispose of waste responsibly on completion of your walk.
Minimise your impact—set up camp only at the designated walkers' camps. Do not dig trenches or flatten or break any vegetation. Leave your site in the same or better condition than you found it so others may enjoy the Great Walk. Check your site thoroughly before leaving to ensure nothing is left behind.
Rubbish—carry it out
When packing, remove unnecessary packaging to reduce what you’ll have to carry. Keep a small bag handy for disposing food scraps and rubbish as you walk.
Solid waste and litter is unsightly and can injure or kill wildlife. You must not bury rubbish because this alters nutrient levels in the soil, leaves man-made waste that may take years to decompose and can be dug up by wildlife.
Bins are not provided along the Great Walk—all rubbish must be carried out of the park for appropriate disposal.
- Also see: Rubbish: take it home—a short video.
Cooking—use a fuel stove only
Campfires are prohibited at walkers' camps—use fuel stoves.
Open fires increase the risk of wildfires; collecting firewood tramples plants and removes habitat, and firewood carried in can introduce pathogens, fire ants, toads and other pests. Carry a fuel stove for cooking. Use manufactured fuel appropriate for the appliance. Test your fuel stove before you leave home. Avoid causing a fire—don’t leave fuel stoves unattended and never use them inside your tent.
Bush hygiene—keep it clean!
Hybrid toilets are located at all walkers’ camps. To help the treatment process, please do not place any rubbish or sanitary items into toilets; close lid after use.
Away from toilets, avoid polluting waterways by using a small trowel to bury all faecal waste and toilet paper at least 100 m from creeks and 15 cm deep. Tread carefully to avoid damaging plants and small animals.
Consider using a human waste disposal kit to pack your waste out. Kits are available from camping stores. Take all sanitary items with you—they do not decompose.
Wash away from waterways and use hot water and scourers to clean dishes. Detergent, soap, skin cream, insect repellent, sunscreen and toothpaste pollute water and damage aquatic life.
- Also see: Bush toileting and washing—a short video.
Do the frogs and forest a favour
Soil and detritus can contain fungal spores that are harmful to the frogs and the forest. Be frog-friendly and help to stop the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus and phytophthora:
- Clean and disinfect your footwear and camping equipment before entering the park. Remove soil from your footwear and camping gear before leaving an area.
- Keep to designated roads and tracks and creek crossings.
- Keep waterways clean.
- Avoid disturbing rocks or trampling plants.
- Also see: Stop the spread of weeds and pathogens—a short video.
If you are lucky enough to encounter a frog, do not touch it. If it is unusual, take a photograph; note its approximate size and where you saw it on your map for later identification.
A significant number of frog species depend on this area for survival, including the endangered Fleay’s barred frog, giant barred frog, vulnerable cascade treefrog and tusked frog and near threatened hip-pocket frog. The southern dayfrog and southern gastric brooding frog are thought to be extinct, as despite considerable research, neither species have been sighted since 1981.
Keep wildlife wild
Human food is bad for wildlife—keep food hidden in your pack or tent and leave no rubbish behind. Wildlife can become ill on an unnatural diet and can exhibit aggressive behaviour when seeking food.
Remember, this area is totally protected. It is illegal to remove or damage anything—living or non-living.
See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.
Visit Sunshine Coast manages accredited Visitor Information Centres across the Sunshine Coast that provide a range of local and regional tourist brochures and information, as well as a tour, attraction and accommodation booking service.
- 198 Main Road, Montville
- Settler's Rotary Park, Bruce Parade, corner of Reed Street, Glass House Mountains
- 7 Caloundra Road, Caloundra
- 77 Bulcock Street, Caloundra
- Cnr Melrose Parade and Sixth Avenue, Cotton Tree (Maroochydore)
- Cnr First Ave and Brisbane Rd, Mooloolaba
- Tickle Park, David Low Way, Coolum Beach
- Arrivals Terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport, Friendship Drive, Mudjimba
Mapleton Information Centre
Obi Obi Road
Mapleton Qld 4560
(07) 5478 6381
Kenilworth Information Centre
9 Elizabeth St
Kenilworth Qld 4574
ph (07) 5446 0122
For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.
For information on road conditions contact:
RACQ (The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland) www.racq.com.au (search ‘road conditions’) ph 1300 130 595 for 24-hour road reports.
Great Sandy Information Centre
240 Moorindil Street (PO Box 818)
TEWANTIN, QLD 4565
ph (07) 5449 8320 (for over-the-phone purcahses of all QPWS great walks topographic maps)
Open: 8 am–4 pm daily (except Christmas Day).
Maleny, Mapleton and Kenilworth visitor information centres—for locations see tourism information links.