7+ Best Girraween National Park Walks: The Pyramid, Granite Arch and More

February 16, 2024 | By

Located on the border of Queensland and New South Wales lies Girraween National Park. Boasting dramatic landscapes and inspiring views, it’s a must-see for all travellers visiting the area.

The Pyramid Track and The Sphinx/Turtle Rock Track are the most iconic trails, but there are plenty of other Girraween National Park walks that take you deep into the stunning forests.

Slow-running rivers. Massive granite outcrops. Bright wildflowers. What more could you want?

After a few days exploring the Granite Belt, I hit the trails to see what all the fuss was about.

Now that I’ve “been there, done that”, I can confidently say that the national park lives up to the high expectations I had.

Here are the best walks in Girraween National Park and other visitor information for planning your trip.

Best Girraween National Park Walks
Balancing Rock sits at the top of The Pyramid track in Best Girraween National Park

Summary of the best Girraween National Park walks

  • Overall best walk: The Pyramid Track paired with Granite Arch
  • Best long walk: Castle Rock paired with The Sphinx and Turtle Rock
  • Best Girraween walk for children: Granite Arch

Where is Girraween National Park

Girraween National Park is 3 hours south of Brisbane and the Gold Coast (Google Maps here).

It’s located within the Granite Belt wine region. The town of Stanthorpe sits in the heart of the wine country and is just a short drive from the park entrance

Girraween National Park map

Girraween National Park Walks Maps
From the above map, you can see The Pyramid and Granite Arch walk go into the northern side of the park while Castle Rock and The Sphinx and Turtle Rock lead in a southerly direction

The above image doesn’t include all the walking trails in the area. You can find a downloadable version of the official Girraween National Park map here.

The best walks in Girraween National Park

With over 17 Girraween National Park walks, it can be overwhelming to decide which is best for you.

All trails start from the visitor’s centre (Google Maps here), and they branch off into different directions. You can easily combine a few trails to make a longer one. But don’t worry; I’ve covered all of that below.

Granite Arch: The best short walk

Granite Arch Girraween National Park
Granite Arch can easily be paired with your walk to The Pyramid
  • Distance: 1.6 km
  • Time needed: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Grade 2 (easy)
  • Best for: Families with small children

Granite Arch is the perfect circuit track for families travelling with kids (or if you’re short on time).

Starting at the Bald Rock Creek day-use area, you’ll cross the creek and veer left toward Granite Arch. The path leads through a beautiful forest before reaching Girraween’s natural stone archway, Granite Arch.

From there, you’ll continue to follow the path until you reach a juncture.

Taking the left route will lead you to The Pyramid, while the trail on the right takes you through a forest, past Bald Rock Creek and back to the rest area.

If you’re travelling with small kids, you may want to skip The Pyramid. But, if you’re up for the challenge, I highly recommend pairing this short walk to Granite Arch with The Pyramid track.

The Pyramid: Overall Best Girraween Hike

The Pyramid Girraween National Park
The steep section on The Pyramid track
  • Distance: 3.6 km
  • Time needed: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Grade 4 (challenging)
  • Best for: Incredible views and a fun yet challenging hike

The Pyramid is the most famous Girraween National Park walk.

If you only have a few hours to explore the park, I highly recommend you choose this one. The iconic Balancing Rock also sits at the top of The Pyramid.

This walk was the highlight of my trip to the Granite Belt – don’t underestimate just how steep the final section is.

You’ll need to come prepared with proper trainers or hiking boots. Don’t attempt to climb the final steep section if it’s been raining, as it will be extremely slippery and dangerous.

The trail starts at the same location as the Granite Arch walk and crosses over Bald Rock Creek.

You can then either follow the Granite Arch track or continue straight along The Pyramid trail. The Granite Arch detour adds 15 minutes to your total walk time, and I encourage you to add this to your walk.

Climbing to The Pyramid

The best walks in Girraween National Park
When you get to this section, be sure to follow the markers on the left

After admiring the views from the Granite Arch, you’ll follow the trail left to The Pyramid. Shortly thereafter, the climbing begins. A natural stairway winds through the forest, and it’s a steep uphill walk for about 15 minutes.

Before you know it, you’re faced with a massive, exposed rock in front of you! Yes, you’ll need to scale these granite boulders and make your way to The Pyramid.

This is the point where many people choose to turn back, and I don’t blame them. It’s scary!

Be sure to follow the markers on the left and use the rocks to support you.

Reaching the summit

Views from Girraween National Park walks
Views of granite rock formations from Balancing Rock

The views from The Pyramid are spectacular.

You can continue climbing higher, where you’ll find many places to sit back and enjoy a well-deserved rest. Don’t miss the Balancing Rock – it’s a fascinating creation of nature!

On your return, you’ll follow the same route, but instead of going back via Granite Arch, you’ll go straight to Bald Rock Creek. If you’re feeling up to it, this is a good place to swim (but you’ll have to brave the cold water).

Other Girraween National Park Walks

Castle Rock

Hiking trails in Queensland
  • Distance: 5.2 km
  • Time needed: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Grade 4 (challenging)
  • Best for: If you’ve already done the Pyramid walk and looking for something similar

The walk to Castle Rock in Girraween National Park follows a completely different track to The Pyramid and Granite Arch.

But it’s equally as impressive (and challenging).

Starting at the Girraween National Park information centre, the track goes south into the park. The rocky trail starts with a gentle incline, but the final stretch to the summit is a steep climb with lots of steps. The sprawling views from the top make it a worthwhile climb.

From Castle Rock, you can continue to The Sphinx and Turtle Rock, which are nearby and add 1 km to your route.

The Sphinx & Turtle Rock

  • Distance: 8.4 km with Castle Rock | 7.4 km without Castle Rock
  • Time needed: 4-5 hours
  • Difficulty: Grade 4 (challenging)
  • Best for: Travellers walking to Castle Rock

Branching off the Castle Rock track is The Sphinx and Turtle Rock trail.

As the name suggested, The Turtle is a giant granite monolith that resembles a turtle’s back, while The Sphinx is a granite pinnacle with a large free-standing rock outcrop.

After the Pyramid trail, this is the next best of all Girraween National Park hikes.

Short walks in Girraween National Park

Bald Rock Creek Circuit

Girraween National Park hiking trail
Bald Rock Creek in Girraween National Park
  • Distance: 2.2 km without Granite Arch and The Pyramid | 6 km with Granite Arch and The Pyramid
  • Time needed: 1 – 3 hours (depending on whether you opt for the short or long route)
  • Difficulty: Grade 4
  • Best for: A longer Girraween walk

If you’re looking for a longer Girraween National Park walk but have your sights set on climbing The Pyramid, then I highly recommend doing the Bald Rock Creek Circuit paired with The Pyramid.

Starting at the Bald Rock Creek day-use area, the Bald Rock Creek Circuit passes the Bald Rock Creek campground and takes a loop back to the Day-use area.

About halfway through the walk, you have the option to turn left to Granite Arch and follow The Pyramid trail. This is what I recommend.

Wyberba Walk

  • Distance: 280 m
  • Time needed: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Grade 2 (Easy)
  • Best for: Children

Wyberba Walk is a gentle walk in Girraween National Park that starts at the Bald Rock Creek day-use area. It follows a slow-moving stream, which is a great place to cool off if you have your swimmers.

This quick walk is best suited for young children and families.

Dr Roberts Waterhole

  • Distance: 1.3 km
  • Time needed: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Grade 2 (Easy)
  • Best for: Children

Dr Roberts Waterhole is one of the shorter Girraween walks that has a lot to offer. It’s an easy track that leads to a large waterhole.

You’ll spot plenty of birdlife along the trail and perhaps even some wallabies.

Girraween National Park campsites

Things to do in Girraween National Park

If you’re planning on doing a few of these walks in Girraween National Park, you may want to consider spending a night or two in the park. Alternatively, you can stay at one of these amazing cabins in Stanthorpe.

Castle Rock Camping Area: With 25 designated campsites (including camper trailer and caravan sites), Castle Rock camping area is a great place to stay in Girraween National Park. Flushing toilets and showers are available here.

Bald Rock Creek Camping Area: This camping area offers more privacy when compared to that of Castle Rock campground. The sites are surrounded by tall trees and flushing toilets and showers are also available.

Girraween National Park FAQ’s

Can you swim at Girraween National Park?

Can you swim at Girraween National Park
If you’re up for an icy swim, you can take a dip in Bald Rock Creek

Yes! There are lots of swimming holes, so I recommend taking a dip after doing one of the many walks in Girraween National Park.

Can you take dogs to Girraween National Park?

No, dogs and other animals are not allowed on any of the Girraween walking tracks.

Other things to know about visiting Girraween National Park

  • No animals allowed
  • There is plenty of parking at the Information Centre and Bald Rock Creek day-use area

Are you planning your trip to the Girraween National Park? Hit me up with any questions in the comments section below.

Looking to explore Australia? Check out my other posts

Carryn Beard Author Bio

About Me

Hi, I'm Carryn. Travel junkie. Nature enthusiast. Adventurer. I'm a South African expat living in Gold Coast, Australia. Join me as I explore the land down under and share stories of the best that Australia has to offer. Find out more about me here.

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