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About Mapleton National Park

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Getting there and getting around

Point Glorious Road, Mapleton National Park. Always drive cautiously on forest roads. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Point Glorious Road, Mapleton National Park. Always drive cautiously on forest roads. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Access to Gheerulla camping area is four-wheel-drive only in dry conditions. Photo: Mark Lythall, Queensland Government

Access to Gheerulla camping area is four-wheel-drive only in dry conditions. Photo: Mark Lythall, Queensland Government

Flood waters in this area rise and fall quickly and are a hazard to life and property. Plan to visit the park in dry weather. Photo: Queensland Government.

Flood waters in this area rise and fall quickly and are a hazard to life and property. Plan to visit the park in dry weather. Photo: Queensland Government.

From Brisbane, travel 105km north along the Bruce Highway to Nambour, then travel 11km west to Mapleton.

Roads in Mapleton National Park are unsealed. As a result of flood damage, most roads require four-wheel-drive vehicles for safe access and visiting in dry weather conditions is recommended.

Conventional vehicle accessible areas

Delicia Road is an all-weather road accessible by conventional vehicles and provides access to a Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk entrance point and short walks.

The Mapleton day-use area and eastern entrance to the Gheerulla Trail Bike Area is accessible by conventional vehicles in dry conditions only, via Delicia Road and a short section of Mapleton Forest Road. This road becomes very slippery in wet conditions.

Four-wheel-drive accessible areas

Point Glorious Lookout is accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicle in dry conditions. From Mapleton township travel north on Mapleton Forest Road, Buckby Road and Point Glorious Road. Alternatively, travel west from Yandina via Cooloolabin, Buckby and Point Glorious Roads.

To reach the Gheerulla camping area and northern access to the trail bike area from Mapleton, continue through Mapleton on Obi Obi Road for 19km and turn right into the Eumundi–Kenilworth Road. After 5km turn right into Sam Kelly Road. The camping area is 2km down the road.

To reach the Gheerulla camping area and trail bike area from the north, take the Eumundi–Kenilworth Road turnoff from the Bruce Highway and travel 24km, turn left into Sam Kelly Road and continue 2km to the camping area.

Roads may be closed due to weather conditions, road maintenance or high fire danger. For your safety, do not enter the park when closure signs are displayed.

Drive safely

Unsealed forest roads can be steep, rough and winding:

  • Slow down. Allow time to react to unexpected situations and changed conditions. You may encounter other drivers, cyclists, walkers, horse riders, cattle and wildlife.
  • Be courteous. Pull over to the left to allow vehicles to pass. Do not stop in the middle of the roadway for photography and enjoying the scenery. Find a safe place to pull over or turn around.
  • Watch out for corners and steep slopes. Drive carefully around corners, especially after rain. Stay on your side of the road and avoid sudden slowing. Shift down a gear when roads are steep.
  • All road rules apply. Obey speed limits. Always wear a seat belt. Never carry passengers outside the vehicle cabin.
  • Avoid using forest roads during and immediately after wet weather to reduce damage to road surfaces and for your own safety. Do not attempt to cross flooded creeks.
  • Roads may be rough. Forest roads are often rough, with potholes and wash-outs. Driving too fast may be dangerous or cause damage to your vehicle. Drive slowly.

Warning! Heavy rain can flood creek crossings and cause wash outs on forest roads.

For your safety please observe the following:

  • Obey all road closures—roads may be closed due to deep water levels at creek crossings or wet and slippery conditions.
  • Flood waters in this area rise and fall quickly and are a hazard to life and property.
  • Avoid flooded crossings. Submerged obstacles may pose a hazard. Traffic ahead may have created hidden hazards, such as deep holes.

Before you visit, check current conditions:

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair-accessible tracks or facilities in Mapleton National Park. Nearby, Mapleton Falls National Park has a wheelchair-accessible lookout with views of the waterfall and rainforest valley below.

Park features

In the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Mapleton National Park protects diverse forest types and offers a range of recreational opportunities including sections of the 58km Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, a scenic forest drive and a popular trail bike area.

Camping and accommodation

Gheerulla Creek flows beside the small camping area. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Gheerulla Creek flows beside the small camping area. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Camping

Mapleton National Park has a small camping area at Gheerulla Creek beside the entrance to the Gheerulla trail bike track.

Gheerulla camping area is close to the creek. Facilities include picnic tables, toilets and fire rings. This small camping area is not suitable for caravans.

If you plan to use the fire rings, bring your own milled firewood, as it is illegal to collect wood from the park. Preferably bring and use a fuel stove.

Camping permits are required and fees apply.

For walkers on the 58km Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, there are walkers' camps at Thilba Thalba and Ubajee in Mapleton National Park. Please see the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk for more information.

Other accommodation

There is a wide range of holiday accommodation in and around Montville, Mapleton, Maleny and other towns in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

Lush forest on the Linda Garrett Circuit, Mapleton National Park. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Lush forest on the Linda Garrett Circuit, Mapleton National Park. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Piluaris Walk is an easy forest walk with a beautiful fern understorey. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Piluaris Walk is an easy forest walk with a beautiful fern understorey. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

View from Point Glorious Lookout, Mapleton National Park. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

View from Point Glorious Lookout, Mapleton National Park. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Scribbly gums and grass trees grow at Point Glorious Lookout. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Scribbly gums and grass trees grow at Point Glorious Lookout. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Licensed riders using registered motorcycles can ride through bushland on the Gheerulla Trail Bike Track. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Licensed riders using registered motorcycles can ride through bushland on the Gheerulla Trail Bike Track. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Picnic and day-use areas

Two picnic and day-use areas are provided in Mapleton National Park—Mapleton day-use area and Point Glorious day-use area.

  • Mapleton day-use area: Located in tall blackbutt forest (Eucalyptus pilularis) and on the site of an old forest station. Picnic tables, toilets and barbecues are provided. If you plan to use the barbecues, bring your own milled firewood, as it is illegal to collect wood from the forest. Preferably bring and use a fuel stove.
  • Point Glorious day-use area: Point Glorious, approximately 400m above sea level, provides spectacular views of the coast and hinterland. Scribbly gums and grass trees grow around the lookout. Abseiling enthusiasts can apply their skills on the rhyolite bluffs at Point Glorious.

Walking

Several short walking tracks are provided in Mapleton National Park.

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, a 58km Grade 4 walking track with overnight campsites, passes through Mapleton National Park. Walkers can also take shorter day walks along this great walk.

There are also other short walk opportunities nearby in Mapleton Falls National Park and Kondalilla National Park.

Caution: Do not enter the forest in strong wind conditions—blackbutt, flooded gum and other trees growing here are prone to dropping branches. Strong wind increases the risk of branch fall and injury.

Key to track standards

Use the walking track grade listed with each walking track description to choose walks suitable for your group’s abilities and fitness levels.

Walking track grades

 Grade 2 track

  • No bushwalking experience required.
  • The track is a hardened or compacted surface and may have gentle hills sections and occasional steps.

 Grade 3 track

  • Suitable for most ages and fitness levels.
  • Some bushwalking experience recommended.
  • Tracks may have short steep hills, a rough surface and many steps.

 Grade 4 track

  • Bushwalking experience recommended.
  • Tracks may be long, rough and very steep.
  • Directional signs may be limited.

Walking tracks

 Linda Garrett Circuit (Grade 2)

Distance: 700m return

Time: allow 20mins

Details: This circuit leads through rainforest, a palm grove and tall wet eucalypt forest dominated by blackbutt, turpentine, brush box and flooded gum.

 Pilularis Walk (Grade 2)

Distance: 400m

Time: allow 20mins

Details: This walk leads through tall open forest with an understorey of ferns and rainforest shrubs.

 Bonyee Walk (Grade 3)

Distance: 400m

Time: allow 10mins

Details: This track is named using local Kabi Kabi language for bunya. The walk features a very large bunya pine, rainforest and a piccabeen palm grove.

Shared trails and mountain bike trails

Walkers, cyclists and horse riders can explore the park on shared trails.

Mountain-bike riding is permitted on shared trails and dedicated mountain bike trails.

Bicycles are not permitted on designated walking tracks and Gheerulla Trail Bike Track.

Caution: Do not enter the forest in strong wind conditions—blackbutt, flooded gum and other trees growing here are prone to dropping branches. Strong wind increases the risk of branch fall and injury.

   Mountain bike trail and shared trails are intermediate grade:

  • Wide trail, natural surfaces, moderate slope, some obstacles. Some trails include steep sections.
  • Suitable for experienced horse riders and horses with moderate skills and fitness; skilled mountain bikers; fit walkers with bushwalking experience.

Follow the give-way code:

  • Be careful and courteous.
  • Cyclists must give-way to walkers and horse riders, and alert others when approaching them.
  • Walkers must give-way to horses.
   Turpentine Trail (Class 4)

Distance: 7.8km return
Details: Surround yourself in forest on this narrow, undulating two-way trail through wet eucalypt forest and scribbly gum forest with a heath understorey.

   Piccabeen Circuit (Class 4)

Distance: 6.7km return
Details: Discover tall blackbutt forest and rainforest communities. Enjoy several crossings of Gheerulla Creek.

   Kureelpa Falls Circuit (Class 4)

Distance: 8.5km
Details: The first half of this trail descends 200m in elevation. Halfway along the circuit, take a short walk (400m return) down to view Kureelpa Falls on the South Maroochy River.

 Oaky Creek Lookout Mountain Bike Trail (intermediate)

Distance: 19km return
Details: Explore different forest communities as you travel along this trail. Wet eucalypt forest gives way to drier woodland with a grassy understorey along the ridge. From the Oaky Creek Lookout enjoy spectacular views of the Conondale Range and Mary Valley.
Bike riders beware:

  • Gheerulla Trail Bike Track runs next to and crosses the Oaky Creek Lookout Trail. Give way to motorbikes at all times.
  • Blackbutt and other trees growing here are prone to dropping branches that can get caught in bike spokes and chains. Strong wind increases the risk of branch fall and injury.

Horse riding

Horse riders can explore parts of the park on shared trails and the South East Queensland horse riding trail network.

A horse float parking area is provided on Mapleton Forest Road, approximately 2.5km north-west of Mapleton.

Horses are not permitted on designated walking tracks.

A special permit is not required unless it is a commercial activity, an organised event activity or a competitive event. Contact us for further information.

Read and view maps about the horse trail networks in this region.

Trail bike riding

Gheerulla trail bike track provides licensed riders using registered motorcycles with about 26km of forest trail riding experience. A special permit is not required.

Ride responsibly

  • Stay on the defined trail bike tracks.
  • Observe and obey safety and advisory signs.
  • Most of the track is one way to maximise rider safety. Follow directional signs.
  • Ride cautiously on the two-way trail sections.
  • Be aware that a separate mountain bike trail runs between the trail bike track loop. For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, stay on the trail bike track.
  • Always expect to find someone or something on the track around the next corner. You may encounter other riders, wildlife, cattle and natural obstacles such as fallen trees and water-eroded tracks.
  • Trail bikes are not permitted on trails for walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders.
  • Do not enter the forest in strong wind conditions—blackbutt, flooded gum and other trees growing here are prone to dropping branches. Strong wind increases the risk of branch fall and injury.
  • Avoid spinning your rear tyre excessively as this leads to erosion problems. Ride sensibly so this recreational facility can be available for future use.

Follow the link for more information on other trail bike riding opportunities.

Driving

The Mapleton Forest Road starts just north of Mapleton and leads to spectacular views of the coast and hinterland from Point Glorious. Scribbly gums and grass trees grow around the lookout. This forest road is suitable for four-wheel-drive vehicles only. It is unsealed and varies in condition depending on weather impacts and maintenance.

Forest roads—expect the unexpected!

Unsealed forest roads can be steep and winding.

  • Slow down. Allow time to react to unexpected situations and changed conditions. You may encounter other drivers, cyclists, walkers, horse riders, cattle and wildlife.
  • Be courteous. Pull over to the left to allow vehicles to pass. Do not stop in the middle of the roadway for photography and enjoying the scenery. Find a safe place to pull over or turn around.
  • Watch out for corners and steep slopes. Drive carefully around corners, especially after rain. Stay on your side of the road and avoid sudden slowing. Shift down a gear when roads are steep.
  • All road rules apply. Obey speed limits. Always wear a seat belt. Never carry passengers outside the vehicle cabin.
  • Avoid using forest roads during and immediately after wet weather to reduce damage to road surfaces and for your own safety. Do not attempt to cross flooded creeks.
  • Roads may be rough. Forest roads are often rough, with potholes and wash-outs. Driving too fast may be dangerous or cause damage to your vehicle. Drive slowly.

Roped sports—abseiling and rockclimbing

At Point Glorious, abseiling and rockclimbing enthusiasts can apply their skills on the rhyolite bluffs. NPSR approved anchor points are provided near the lookout. Do not interfere with fixed equipment on the cliff or anchor to trees or the lookout platform.

For your safety:

  • Assess the site for hazards and suitability for your experience and skill level.
  • Check weather conditions and wear appropriate clothing.
  • Use anchor points provided. Do not interfere with fixed equipment on the cliff or anchor to trees.
  • Wear a helmet, harness and footwear and use ropes and protective equipment (karabiners, slings and chocks) designed for abseiling and follow manufacturer's specifications.
  • Carry emergency communication equipment and a first-aid kit. Tell a responsible person where and when you plan to abseil.
  • Never abseil under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Minimise vegetation disturbance to protect the area from erosion and the introduction of pest plant species.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

  • Bring insect repellent to discourage mosquitoes, leeches and ticks.
  • Bring your own drinking water—this is not provided. Creek water is unsuitable for drinking as it may contain organisms that can cause illness.
  • Wear sturdy shoes, a hat, protective clothing and sunscreen.
  • No bins are provided. Bring rubbish bags to remove your rubbish and recyclables from the park.

Opening hours

The park is open 24 hours a day, but for your safety, walk and ride in daylight hours only.

Permits and fees

Camping permits are required and fees apply.

Follow this link for Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk walker's camps.

Climate and weather

Local temperatures can rise above 30°C in summer and drop to freezing point overnight in winter. Nights can be cool at any time of the year.

Always check weather conditions before your visit. Be aware that forest areas are hazardous during strong winds, as tree branches may fall.

During severe wet weather, which occurs mostly in spring and summer, some tracks flood and are closed for public safety. Check park alerts for current warnings or park closures.

For more information see the Bureau of Meteorology website and tourism information links below.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available in Mapleton and other nearby towns. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Staying safe

  • Sheer cliffs and slippery rocks can be hazardous. Always supervise children, keep to the walking tracks, stay behind safety fences and follow all warning signs to avoid tragedy.
  • Stay on track. Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you should return. Wear sturdy shoes. Carry adequate clothing, water and snack food.
  • Supervise children. Natural areas have hazards that children are unfamiliar with, including creeks, cliff edges, stinging plants and wildlife.
  • Water hazards—never dive into creeks or rock pools. They contain submerged rocks and logs. Water depth is variable and unpredictable. Rock surfaces can be slippery.
  • Carry a first-aid kit—and know how to use it. Use repellent on exposed skin and shoes to discourage mosquitoes, leeches and ticks. Remove ticks immediately.
  • Carry fresh water. Drinking water is not provided. Creek water is unsuitable for drinking as it may contain organisms that can cause illness.
  • Human food is not for wildlife—it can cause overpopulation, illness and aggressive behaviour.
  • Check park alerts for current warnings or closures. Closures can occur during severe wet weather, during high winds and for fire management. For your safety, do not enter the park when closure signs are displayed.
  • Do not attempt to cross flooded creeks. If you are caught out on the tracks when creek crossings flood, wait until the water no longer covers the track. Water rises and falls in a short period of time.
  • For all emergencies call Triple Zero (000). Be aware that mobile phone reception is poor in these areas. Consider taking a satellite phone to areas without mobile phone coverage.

For more information about staying safe while visiting national parks, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Help protect natural resources by being a minimal impact visitor.

  • Take all your rubbish out of the park. Remove excess food packaging at home before your visit to the forest, and pack strong sealable bags or containers to store food and rubbish.
  • Keep creeks clean—they provide valuable habitat for wildlife including rare frogs. Detergents, soaps, sunscreen lotions, insect repellents and toothpastes pollute water and harm aquatic life. Wash yourself and your dishes 100m away from watercourses and lakes. Apply sunscreen after your swim.
  • Leave your domestic animals at home. They are not allowed in Mapleton National Park. Domestic animals can distress or kill native animals that live here.

See the guidelines on caring for parks and forests for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Mapleton National Park is part of a network of parks and forests that protect the Blackall Range's remnant forest communities, provide essential wildlife habitat and scenic places for nature-based recreation.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) is responsible for managing Mapleton National Park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. A special management area (controlled action) has been declared over parts of Mapleton National Park to allow for the continuation of foliage harvesting activities until 2024. These areas are carefully monitored to ensure the maintenance of natural and cultural values.

See natural environment, culture and history for more information about the history and values of Mapleton National Park.

Tourism information links

Visit Sunshine Coast
www.visitsunshinecoast.com
ph 1300 847 481 (within Australia)
email

  • Bulcock Street Visitor Information Centre, 77 Bulcock Street, Caloundra.
  • Caloundra Road Visitor Information Centre, 7 Caloundra Road, Caloundra.
  • Coolum Visitor Information Centre, Tickle Park, David Low Way, Coolum Beach.
  • Glass House Mountains Visitor and Interpretive Centre, Bruce Parade, corner of Reed Street, Settler's Rotary Park, Glass House Mountains.
  • Maroochydore Visitor Information Centre, Melrose Parade, corner of Sixth Avenue, Maroochydore.
  • Montville Visitor Information Centre, 198 Main Street, Montville.
  • Mooloolaba Visitor Information Centre, Brisbane Road, corner of First Avenue, Mooloolaba.
  • Sunshine Coast Airport Visitor Information Centre, Friendship Drive, Mudjimba.

Maleny Visitor Information Centre
www.hinterlandtourism.com.au
23 Maple St
Maleny Qld 4552
ph (07) 5499 9033
fax (07) 5499 9033
email

Mapleton Visitor Information Centre
Old School House
Obi Obi Road, Mapleton
Phone: (07) 5478 6381
Email:

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
28 September 2017