Choose your own adventure on this family-friendly bushwalk! The Girrakool Loop Track at Somersby offers an easy trail, beautiful lookouts and sparkling waterfalls. You’ll discover an abundance of local wildlife, such as wallabies, lace monitors and yabbies. Keep an eye out for native birds, too – you might spot a lyre-bird or glossy black cockatoo!
Located in Brisbane Water National Park, the track has a variety of options, so you can easily tailor your adventure to your family’s needs. The main path is short, well marked and easy to navigate, making it a perfect first bushwalk for little explorers. There’s some side trails along the way that are a little more challenging, but well worth the effort.
Which way to go?
To begin, head down the stairs on the eastern side of the car-park. Follow the path down until you come to a large rock platform, where you’ll find an aboriginal engraving site. On the far side of this rock there’s stairs leading down to the next section of the trail.
Follow along until the path splits into two. For a shorter walk, take the right hand path to the Broulla and Illoura Lookouts. Or, for an adventurous detour, head to the left. This will take you on a narrow, muddy path. Follow it carefully across the shallow creek and you’ll discover a tranquil oasis under the trees. Kids will love climbing over the mossy rocks, digging in the sand and making leaf boats to race in the stream.
To get back to the main path you can either head back the way you came, or you can walk along the eastern side of the creek, then carefully cross the rock platforms. This area may be inaccessible after rain, and there are some unfenced drop-offs, so caution is advised. Once you find the concrete stepping stones on the other side of the rocks it’s a hop, skip and a jump to the Illoura Lookout.
Enjoy the views across Piles Creek, then either head up the stairs to finish your walk at the bush picnic area near the carpark, or follow the green fence around the rocks. This takes you along a winding path and across a wooden walkway to the Andamira Lookout and waterfall. Then it’s up a set of stairs to a grassy picnic area and back to the car.
Girrakool Loop, Somersby
Facilities: There are bathrooms, BBQs, water and sheltered picnic tables available.
Accessibility: The track has some staircases and uneven surfaces, so it’s not stroller-friendly. Preschoolers will manage the track with ease, while toddlers will require some help.
Distance: The main track is 2km long, which will take around 45 minutes to walk.
Location: Girrakool Road, Somersby.
Directions: From the Old Pacific Highway at Somersby, turn into Quarry Road. Continue straight ahead onto Girrakool Road, head through the tunnel and on to the carpark at the end of the road. You need to pay for parking (currently $8 per vehicle per day).
Hours: The car-park is open from 9am – 5pm.
More information: For more info, visit the National Parks website.
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Written By: ALISON MCCANN
Alison is a busy local mum who enjoys exploring the Coast’s spectacular natural spaces. You’ll often find her out on a bush trail with her husband and three kids. With a background in media production, communication and marketing, she loves sharing stories about the wonderful region we get to call home.