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Castle Rock

Southern Downs

Girraween National Park


Distance (kms):

5.0 kms

Time (hrs):

Allow 2 hrs

Elevation gain (m):

187 m

Max. elevation (m):

1,106 m

Difficulty (Grade):

Hard (Grade 3/4)

Route type:





2WD Sufficient

Click to see full image.

A spectacular mountaintop with 360 degree views of Girraween National Park, including First and Second Pyramids, Mount Norman, the Sphinx and Turtle Rock.

This moderately trafficked walk starts from the trailhead on Pyramids Road, across from the information centre.

The walk begins with a gradual ascent through open eucalypt forest, punctuated by granite boulders. There are a number of wooden and rocky steps along the path.

A particularly interesting rock formation, that looks somewhat like a peach on top of a row of teeth, marks where the track becomes steeper and rockier, and arguably even more beautiful.

The rock formations become more and more interesting, including mammoth stones with their own garden beds, and spherical boulders that have been shaved in half.

As you climb the stairs and approach the summit, you will pass through an incredible rock cleft some 20 m high, with large boulders perched precariously above.

Once through the cleft, walk across the open slab of granite, basking in the views across the park. Follow the white markings as you trek below the cliff line just under the true summit.

A final scramble (unexposed) brings you to the summit of Castle Rock (named due to its supposed resemblance to a castle).

From the summit, there are uninterrupted 360 degree views across the entire national park, including First and Second Pyramids to the north, the Sphinx and Turtle Rock to the south, and the sprawling summit of Mount Norman to the south-east.

The views are particularly amazing at sunrise and sunset, when the golden light shines on the park.

A tip for those wanting to view sunset from Castle Rock but uncertain about coming down in low-light – head to the slabby section near the rock cleft and watch sunset from here – it is still a beautiful view.

Track: Graded paths and white paint markings on slabby sections, the track is well-signed and easy to follow.

Difficulty: Although steep in parts, with a large number of steps, the track is suitable for most fitness levels with sufficient time. The slabby section after the rock cleft is not overly exposed but may test those less confident with heights or with balance issues. Sturdy shoes with good grip are highly recommended.

From the summit, and various locations along the track, there are sheer drops, so caution must be exercised.

Direction: This is an out-and-back track that returns the way it came.

getting there

The trailhead is located on Pyramids Road in Girraween, across from information centre, 3.25 hours drive south-west of Brisbane. The trail can also be started from the trailhead in the Castle Rock camping Area.

Parking is ample for how trafficked the walk is.

best time to go

The walk can be completed year-round, however the track, in particular the summit, is very exposed to the sun and should be avoided during the hottest part of the day during warmer months.

Always check the Queensland Parks website for updates on track closures.

Click title on the map above to view larger map
in new window [on the Garmin website]

Remember, whenever venturing into the outdoors, practice the Leave No Trace principles and be considerate of others. This means: dispose of your waste properly, don't remove things or move things from their natural position and respect all wildlife. Also be sure to plan ahead and adequately prepare for any adventure. 

I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which all activities listed on this website are found, as well as Elders past, present and emerging. I strive to not promote sites where requests have been made for people not to explore due to the cultural significance of the site to Indigenous peoples, or note how to respectfully visit a site. If I have a promoted a site with cultural significance, please send me a message and let me know.   

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