Earlier this year, we finally got a chance to hike Mt Maroon. When we first visited the Scenic Rim after moving to Brisbane, I had my eyes on this mountain from the moment I saw it. However, it took us over a year to finally get a chance to hike it.
We’d read a lot about it. It looked and sounded challenging, but that’s exactly what I like in a hike! So, I was so excited when we booked a weekend away in Maroon, staying in an Airbnb cottage right at the foot of the mountain.
On our first morning there, the weather was so bad that we couldn’t even see the mountain. But thankfully the following day was a stunner, and off we went for an amazing hike.
Where is Mt Maroon?
Mt Maroon is in the Mount Barney National Park, in the Scenic Rim region of South-East Queensland. It’s about a ninety-minute drive from Brisbane, Queensland’s capital city.
Where to start your Mt Maroon Hike?
The Mt Maroon Trailhead begins at the end of Cotswold Rd which turns South off Boonah-Rathdowney Rd, 2.7km East of the township of Maroon. The track ends at a small dam, about 3.5km from the turnoff.
Click here for the exact location.
Do you need to be an experienced hiker?
This isn’t an easy hike and it’s not one to take lightly. While the hike is only a 5.6 kilometres return trip, it is mostly steep and where it’s not steep, it’s close to vertical. So, if you’re not fit or haven’t hiked many mountains before, I’d recommend starting with easier ones before you attempt Mt Maroon.
The Mt Maroon hike is classified as Class 5 (difficult).
The hiking track to Mt Maroon can be broken into three sections:
The hike starts with a 400-metre gradual rise, becoming steeper as you follow the route up the north-east ridge. Be careful as you encounter some rocky unstable ground. Hiking poles are good for the way down if you have some.
Later, the terrain turns into larger boulders, where you need to scramble slightly, until the path veers right and descends into a steep, narrow, rocky gorge. This is the base of the “no waiting zone”. Be sure to follow all the safety signs, as this next bit is the most dangerous part of the hike.
From the base of the gully to the top, it is a very tough scramble up. You will need to pull yourself up some large boulders that are mostly vertical. At the same time, you will need to be very careful not to dislodge any rocks as this could be very dangerous to anyone following behind you.
I personally loved this section, but not everyone does.
Once at the top of the gully, the route leads through some mountain heath and once again over some rocky pavement to the southern summit of Mt Maroon. The summit stands at 966 metres.
Once at the top, you are rewarded with an amazing 360-degree view of South-East Queensland. On a clear day, you get a perfect view of Mount Barney and the opportunity to spot Mount Warning over the border in New South Wales. You may even see as far as Brisbane. Unfortunately, it had started clouding over by the time we reached the top, so our visibility was limited.
We spent some time enjoying the view and our achievement before heading back down. Scrambling down the mountainside was no easy task either!
How long does it take?
It can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours to hike Mt Maroon, depending on your experience and level of fitness. We took 4 hours in total, including a stop at the top. Allow plenty of time so that you don’t end up heading back down in the dark!
What to know before you start?
- It’s a long hike, so take plenty of water. Take snacks and a packed lunch to enjoy at the top.
- Start as early as possible. Ideally, do not to start this hike after 10 am, especially if it is your first time hiking this mountain or you are not an experienced hiker.
- Wear hiking boots. This is not a hike to do in inappropriate footwear. No flip-flops! If you have hiking poles, it’s a good idea to bring them. I find they really help when navigating uneven paths.
- Bring a compression bandage and a first aid kit. It is not uncommon to encounter snakes while hiking in Queensland, especially in summer. Although they are usually more scared of you than you are of them, if you step on one, they will bite, and some are highly venomous. A compression bandage will stop the spread of venom while you wait for help.
- Download the All Trails App and download the trail map before the hike. Phone signal was however surprisingly good on Mt Maroon. Following the All Trails map is a good way to avoid getting lost as the path is occasionally unclear.
- Wear layers. It can be chilly in the morning, but you’ll warm up quickly as you hike. It gets cold again as you stand at the top, so you’ll want to rug up again before descending.
- Don’t hike alone. It’s always best to bring a hiking buddy. It’s safer and a lot less boring.
- Bring sunscreen lotion, a hat, sunglasses, and a waterproof jacket. You never know when the weather will change!
- Do not attempt this hike in the rain! The rockfaces will be dangerously slippery.
To see more of what you can expect when hiking Mt Maroon, watch our video below:
Where to stay near Mt Maroon?
Mt Maroon Farm House Stay
We stayed at Mt Maroon Farm House Stay which is situated in Maroon. This holiday home has 1 bedroom, a kitchen with a microwave and a fridge, a flat-screen TV, a seating area and 1 bathroom fitted with a shower. It offers spectacular views of Mt Maroon and Mt May from any rooms in the house. There are three outdoor sitting areas perfect to relax after a long hike admiring the view of the mountain you’ve just hiked. The property also has a BBQ, a pizza oven and a firepit. We highly recommend staying there.
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