Conondale NP: the Best Rock Pools in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands?

Conondale National ParkThe rock pools in Conondale National Park were maybe the best ones I’ve seen near Brisbane, without the crowd. We spend a lovely day hiking there.

Conondale National Park is a great option if you’re looking for a lesser-known National Park to explore near Brisbane. It wouldn’t come to me as a first choice as this National Park a bit further from the city than the usual ones (almost 3 hours drive) and mostly accessible by 4WD only. However, after you leave the motorway, the drive in the Hinterland is a real pleasure.

If you want to spend the weekend in the area, there are many camping options in the park. We wished we came prepared for a longer stay!


Booloumba Falls and Artists Cascades (12km return)

We started the walk at Booloumba Falls car park. If you’re traveling with two cars, you may consider parking one of them at the Booloumba Creek Day Use area and do the 11km leg of the Great Walk.

We didn’t have this option as we left the 2WD car at the entrance before the first creek crossing. From Booloumba Falls car park, we walked to Booloumba Falls (1.5km) and to Artists Cascades (+4.5km), for a total of 12km return. With long breaks to enjoy the pools and our lunch, it took us just under 4 hours.

The hike is very charming. You’ll walk through a beautiful and lively forest between the two beautiful pools. The transparent water was very appealing, but no one was brave enough to dip more than a toe as it was still quite cold in these first days of Spring.


Conondale National Park

Conondale National Park


Conondale National Park
Conondale National Park

Mount Allan (9km return)

Mount Allan - Conondale National ParkWe planned this second hike for sunset. Mount Allan is 593m high and there is a fire tower at the top to get a 360° view of the area. As far as we could see, it’s covered by a beautiful forest.

There are two tracks going up to Mount Allan. One leaves from Booloumba Creek Day Use Area. We chose the second one, leaving from Charlie Moreland camping. The camping is accessible by 2WD and it was easier to drive back at night from there. There are two creeks to cross to access the Booloumba Creek day area, which is not the best thing to do at night. Also, we were planning to hike back in the dark and, as the track is a large fire management track, starting at Charlie Moreland Camping appeared as the easiest option.

When you go up, don’t forget to look behind you for the views. It’s a great excuse to catch your breath as it’s steep!

The website we read indicated a 2-hour walk return. We had the surprise to see the Information sign there indicated 4 hours. We only had 1 hour before the sunset, so we took the challenge. With a very good pace and no break, we made it just in time to enjoy the beautiful colours of the end of the day. If 4 hours seems exaggerated, it will be challenging for most people to achieve the 2-hour mark.



Have you been to Conondale National Park? What did you do there? Share your experience in the comments below!

Where is Conondale National Park?


Conondale National Park is in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, 130km north of Brisbane. It took us around three hours to get there, with a short breakfast break in Maleny on the way. You’ll need a 4WD to access most of the park as there are a few creeks to cross. You may want to check the conditions if it has recently rained.

We did it as a day trip from Brisbane, but it took us longer than expected to go up there. Be prepared not to entirely rely on Google Maps as the itinerary it indicated was wrong and we had no network during our entire time in the park.

Click here to download the National Park topographic map (pdf)


I am a part-time traveler: I combine a full-time job with a passion for traveling. I love to share my trips and tips to inspire others to explore what’s around them. Before moving to Australia, I lived in France, England and Turkey. I’ve finally found my balance in Brisbane.

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