Girraween National Park
Girraween, ‘meaning place of flowers’, is a park of massive granite outcrops, balancing boulders, clear streams and tumbling cascades. Spectacular wildflower displays are a feature in spring. High on the northern end of the New England Tableland, the 11 700ha park has an average elevation of 900m and is cold in winter, hot in summer. Not far from the Queensland-New South Wales border, it has more in common with cooler southern climes than with most of the Sunshine State.
The park’s eucalypt forests and heathlands support diverse birds, including the rare turquoise parrot and superb lyrebird. Common wombats graze on grassy areas fringing the heath and forest. Just three hours’ drive from Brisbane, Girraween offers great walking and camping, surrounded by the orchards and vineyards of the Granite Belt. It makes an ideal holiday destination or stop-over between Brisbane and Sydney. Bald Rock National Park is next door, just over the New South Wales border.
Things to do
Picnic in grassy picnic area next to information centre. Birdwatch. View wildflowers in spring. Visit the information centre.
Campgrounds, walking tracks. Bald Rock Creek picnic area has fireplaces, picnic tables and toilets. Information centre.
Best Time To Visit
Girraween's climate has tropical and temperate influences. Summer temperatures are not extreme, with maximums seldom above 30deg. Winter is cold, with average daily temperatures 3-15deg. Heavy frosts occur from April to November, when night temperatures can drop as low as -8deg.
Average rainfall at park headquarters is about 850mm. Most rain falls in summer and early autumn, but winter rainfall is relatively high. Wildflowers bloom in September.
Spring is the best time to visit. Bring warm clothing at any time. Girraween is one of few places in Queensland you’ll ever see a common wombat. Snow sometimes falls on Girraween. In any year, it’s always cold in winter.Massive granite outcrops dominate landscape. Eucalypt forest and heath with spring wildflower display. Boulder-strewn creeks. Cold in winter. Granite Arch Discovery Walk. Advance bookings necessary for school holidays, long weekends and large groups.
The two camping areas in Girraween have good facilities including showers.
They can be booked out in school holidays and is advisable to book well ahead. After the peak times the ranger may close a campsite for re-vegetation.
Graded Track Day Walks
The Pyramids The climb up the first Pyramid is relatively easy, and sometimes steep in places. The granite rock offers good grip only in dry weather and is extremely slippery in wet conditions.
The Junction A good creek walk with good swimming.
The Mt Norman track From Castle Rock camping area, the track passes various features such as Castle rock
(good views ), Sphinx and Turtle Rocks, the granite boulders of the Eye of the Needle, and Mt Norman. The Eye of the Needle requires some climbing experience, while Mt Norman has a 20 foot chimney to climb up. Both are not to dangerous to experienced walkers and care should be taken for inexperienced people.
Underground Creek track On the track to Underground Ck you pass the turn off to Dr. Roberts Waterhole, a series of small lakes. Underground Ck was formed when overhanging rock collapsed into the creek forming a series of little caves. Inside the caves water has created interesting weathering patterns in the rock. The whole area is worth exploring especially on top of the falls.
The Second Pyramid To climb the Second Pyramid requires rock climbing skills. The route up is at the back of the granite dome. There is a chimney to climb up and a jump across a deep split in the rock. A belay rope is recommended.
Aztec Temple The Temple has many interesting rock formations with good views of Girraween. The wildflowers and orchids make the trip rewarding.
From Underground Ck, follow the ridge line from the top of Underground Ck up to the top of Aztec Temple.
Wallangarra Ridge The start of Wallangarra Ridge is marked by the Sphinx and Turtle Rock. The ridge has many interesting rock features and has good views over the southern part of Girraween. Once you past Turtle rock, keep basically to the top of the ridge and start exploring. Two interesting features are a cube of rock the size of a small house balanced on it's corner, and the other is a rock weathered in such a way, you can stand up inside it.
South and West Bald Rocks These granite domes are easily climbed on their western sides. Access is from the Mt Norman day use area heading east and requires navigation to find the fire break trail. There is also access from the back of South Bald Rock along the border fence and fire trail. From Wallangarra approximately 3 kms before the day use area there is a turn off to an old house marked by the Stone Gate. Following the trail past the house there is a fire trail (Leading to the Border fence / trail ) leading to the Rocks and to South Bald Rock
The Round House Heading down the Mt Norman Rd towards Racecourse Ck, the track comes near a fence line. The fence would be approximately 1km before Racecourse Ck and 200 meters from one of it's tributaries. Taking a compass bearing, Mt Norman would be due west and Twin peaks would be due north.
There is a track into the Round House, a round, two story stone house in reasonable condition. The entrance to the track has been fenced in and there has been some fire break work done, that also covers the entrance. The Round House is situated on the lower granite slopes, south of Twin Peaks.
Further information and booking
Girraween National Park
PO Box 731 via Ballandean Q 4382
Phone(07)) 4684 5157, Fax (07) 4684 5123