Lodge Southern Walking Tracks
Girraween National Park
Allow 1.5 hrs
Elevation gain (m):
Max. elevation (m):
Very hard (Grade 5)
Click to see full image.
A less trafficked walk reserved for those staying at the Girraween Environmental Lodge, taking in such sights at the Cathedral, Pillow Tor and Giant Marbles.
This lightly trafficked walk starts from the trailhead on the main lodge loop road, near Chalet #3 (signed for Cathedral Arch and Pillow Tor).
The walk combines a number of tracks, each colour-coded. While there are paths in some places, some navigation skills are required as much of the walk involves following tree arrows and rock markings, with a distinguishable path not present.
If uncomfortable with navigating using tree arrows and paint markings, simply complete the Cathedral Arch and Giant Marbles walks separately – see the end of this description for more details.
Follow the yellow markings up the hill to Cathedral Arch. It is roughly 700m and all up hill, with views back towards the Lodge. Marvel at Cathedral Arch, as mammoth granite rocks rest against each other to create a massive walkway.
Prior to the arch, veer right and follow the white markings to Pillows Tor. This is arguably the least visible track, making finding the next marking before moving on imperative (there is a particular point where a rock with a two-way arrow suggests moving straight ahead, but the path actually heads downhill at this point).
Pillows Tor is named due to its resemblance to a stack of pillows. You will also pass through an overgrown small rock cleft on the way to the Tor.
Retrace your steps to Cathedral Arch, and then proceed through the arch and follow the signs and red markings to the Giant Marbles.
Again, there is no distinguishable path in many places. After the small overhang, bare left and follow the rock wall downhill (looking for paint markings on the wall to your left). Then bare right and follow the tree markings across the gully and up the opposite hill.
Pass through Pyramids View, with views to First Pyramid, as you make your way to the Giant Marbles, an expansive slabby section dotted with spherical granite boulders.
To exit, return to the point you entered the slabby section (where the directional sign to Cathedral Arch is) and look for paint markings that head downhill.
A far more defined track then leads back to the service road that connects back to the lodge loop road. Be careful not to exit at the junctions to the Rock Pools Circuit, unless wanting to add an additional 2.5 kms of walking.
Once at the service road, bare left at the junction and follow the road back to the starting point.
TIP: If uncomfortable with navigating using tree arrows and paint markings, I recommend doing the Cathedral Arch and Giant Marbles walks separately. Cathedral Arch is relatively short and straight (albeit steep) and the yellow markings are frequent and bright, making navigation easier.
The Giant Marbles track can be completed by simply walking up the service road to the start of the Giant Marbles trail and following the well-defined path to the Giant Marbles (avoiding the junctions to the Rock Pool Circuit).
Track: Most of the hike does not have distinguishable paths and tree arrows and paint markings are required for navigation. These can be sparse at times and the sections to Pillows Tor and from Cathedral Arch to the Giant Marbles should only be attempted by those with adequate navigation skills.
Difficulty: The difficulty with this combination track is associated with navigation, rather than terrain. The terrain is suitable for most fitness levels with sufficient time.
Direction: While the track can be completed in either direction, anti-clockwise is recommended. The Pillows Tor section is an out-and-back track added to the larger circuit loop.
The trail is located within the Girraween Environmental Lodge and is reserved for guests of the lodge only. The lodge is located just outside of Girraween National Park, 3.25 hours drive south-west of Brisbane.
best time to go
The walk can be completed year-round, however the track is exposed to the sun in places and should be avoided during the hottest part of the day during warmer months.
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.