These Mount Glorious walking tracks are as child friendly as they are beautiful, and this area presents a stunning nature escape that can be obtained within a couple of hours (or more if you’d like to prolong the experience!). You will find it hard to believe such a magical rainforest exists so close to Brisbane, with its majestic strangler figs and exquisite sounding whip birds.
Table of Contents
The Perfect Rainforest Walk For Kids
Located north-west of Brisbane city in South D’Aguilar National Park (formerly Brisbane Forest Park), Mount Glorious is located within the heart of 28,500 hectares of lush vegetation. All plants are protected in this park, and there are over 800 species to discover (some of which are rare, threatened varieties).
There is a range of Mount Glorious walking tracks to suit all fitness and age levels, with the most popular track being just over 4km in length.
Pack a picnic to fuel the kids up, and enjoy one of the many picnic areas available before or after embarking on your chosen adventure.
Maiala Walking Tracks
Maiala means “quiet place” in the local Aboriginal dialect and, from the moment you walk into the rainforest, all will go silent to make way for the sounds of the forest. You will notice the temperature drop, the air will crispen, and the daily grind is left far behind. Maiala perfectly sums up this group of walking tracks of varying lengths that all begin at the Maiala Day Use Area.
NOTE: The Maiala walking tracks are not pram or wheelchair friendly and can get quite muddy post-rain (although arguably this is one of the best times to visit a rainforest). Some parts of the Maiala Day Use Area are more accessible, and there’s plenty of space and grassy, shaded areas for those not wanting to hike to stay behind and take in the serenity.
Shorter Mount Glorious Walking Tracks For Toddlers
The Rainforest Circuit
Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
One of the most accessible tracks for little legs at Maiala is the Rainforest Circuit, which covers a 2km round circuit. The circuit can be travelled in either direction from the starting point, bringing you back to the same point at the end. As with many circuit walks, you can expect to walk downhill slightly at the beginning, then uphill again at the end (regardless of the direction you take). There is a section of stairs to climbing up or walk down and in most steep areas there are handrails, though there were a few sections where we felt the need to hold hands with our toddler as we walked on steep edges (but we have been on this track with a 3 year old who managed it quite well).
Longer Mount Glorious Walking Tracks For Kids
Cypress Grove Circuit
Time: 1 to 1.5 hours
Just slightly longer than the Rainforest Circuit, the Cypress Grove Circuit is another circuit (accessed from a point around halfway along the Rainforest Circuit) that takes walkers through a cypress pine grove. Though of around the same level of difficulty as the Rainforest Circuit, this track is a 2.5km return (on top of the section of the Rainforest Circuit that you take to get there) that requires a bit longer to complete.
Greenes Falls Track
Time: 1.5 to 2 hours
Perfect after lots of rain, but a wonderful walk any time of year, The Greenes Falls Track extends the Rainforest Circuit with an additional 3.2km return walk to a rocky waterfall (4.3km total return from the Maiala Day Use Area). It is probably a little bit far for young toddlers to walk and the return is predominantly uphill, with some stairs. We have (more than once) carried a toddler on the return journey, and, while it’s only 30 minutes longer than the Cypress Grove Circuit, it is a lot steeper and more challenging for little legs.
At the end of the Greenes Falls Track there is a small viewing platform over the falls. Even after some rain, we found the falls to be just a trickle (you will get a good indication of how much water to expect along the way, as the track winds alongside the creek leading down to the falls). There are several spots to stop along the way and places to pause to read the informative signs, and even a timber bench seat to take a short break at.
Mount Glorious Wildlife
Mount Glorious is home to a range of animal life and, the quieter you are, the more likely you are to make their acquaintance. Many of the animals in this area are nocturnal, but, if you head up to Mount Glorious for a picnic breakfast, you might just be lucky enough to catch some of the resident nocturnal creatures before they head off to bed.
Animals to look and listen out for:
- Pademelons (mainly first thing in the morning, though we spotted a mother with a joey in her pouch around lunchtime in late winter)
- Huge snails
- An incredible range of birds (several that dwell and move on the ground). This is a helpful list to help you as you try to spot them https://www.mountglorious.com.au/wildlife/bird-life/
If you’re wanting to spot some Mount Glorious wildlife at night, camping is available in certain areas along the Mount Glorious Range (for a fee), and at more remote places (though not in the actual Maiala are). Why not pack your camping gear and treat your family to an awe-inspiring view of these active Australian critters on their home turf? Head to the link at the bottom of this page that will help you find a camping spot in the area.
Things To Know Before You Go
- There are no bins along the walking tracks at Maiala or within the park, to prevent the native wildlife from tucking into human scraps. We recommend bringing a rubbish bag and taking the opportunity to teach your kids a valuable lesson about preserving the wildlife we are so fortunate to have.
- There are 3 cafes on Mount Glorious, but no shops so pack for what you will need.
- It is colder up on the mountain, so dress warmly and take another layer just in case.
- If it even looks like it could rain, take an umbrella.
- Don’t wear your best shoes, especially post-rain, and check for leeches (fun!) upon your exit from the park.
- The Maiala Day Use Area features picnic areas with BBQs, modern toilets and lots of lush green grass and shade for family get-togethers.
How To Get To The Mount Glorious Walking Tracks
It takes about 45 minutes to get to Mount Glorious via Mount Nebo from The Gap, or around 25 minutes from Eatons Hill through Samford (or you can again come via Ferny Grove and then through Samford).
The Maiala Day Use Area is located along Mount Glorious Road, on the right-hand side coming from Brisbane. It is well signed. The road up the mountain is steep and can be slippery if it is raining, so just take it easy as you go up. All roads are sealed.
If you look at the map below, you will see the Maiala Car Park. There is ample room for dozens of cars here, although it can fill quickly on weekends and holidays. There is also parking a little further up Mount Glorious Road, on the left-hand side (known as the Western Window Trailhead).
For further information, we encourage you to head to www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/daguilar/about.html, where you can also find information on the other walking tracks in D’Aguilar National Park.