Conquer the best climbs
If you’re a nature lover, early riser and are looking for a challenge, then we have the best of the best mountain and hill climbs you need to conquer when visiting Rockhampton.
Each climb has varying grades from moderate to difficult, but as they say the best view comes after the hardest climb! Get ready to tackle these hikes and make sure you have your phone ready to snap the Insta worthy views from the top.
MOUNT ARCHER (NURIM) NATIONAL PARK I Directions
Image: View from the top of the Nurim Circuit Elevated Boardwalk, Mount Archer
If you’re up for a challenge, then this is the climb for you. Starting at the bottom of the mountain on Pilbeam Drive, make the 5km trek uphill and settle in for a steady 10% incline the whole way up. The aim of the game is to reach the top, where you will be rewarded with stunning views looking over Rockhampton from the Nurim Circuit Elevated Boardwalk. Along the way, there are multiple vantage points where you can stop, catch your breath and get a glimpse of the views you will be about to experience at the top of the mountain. Talk about motivation to reach the top!
This mountain is well-known to locals for its challenging feat, and each year an event is held for competitors to walk or cycle (you heard that right, cycle!) their way to the top and be the first to finish. If this sounds like you, time your visit with the annual Challenge the Mountain event.
If you happen to not be exhausted by the time you reach the top, check out the many walking tracks you can do from the top of the mountain before commencing your hike back down.
This walk is recommended for those with moderate fitness levels. We also recommend you walk in the morning or afternoon – especially in summer!
Tip: stretch out those calve muscles before you start and take a bottle of water. The best photo opportunities are at sunrise or sunset, so set that alarm and get there early morning or late afternoon for the best views.
MOUNT ETNA I Directions
Image: View from the top of Mount Etna, Capricorn Caves
Named after Italy’s own volcanic Mount Etna by the Archer Brothers, the Mount Etna Walk is a short climb up and down the mountain offering spectacular views of the surrounding country landscape and nearby mountain ranges.
Along the walk, you will be able to spot the remains of old mine sites – the caves were mined for guano from 1914 to 1939, and for limestone from 1925.
Mount Etna is also home to Australia’s largest breeding population of little bent-wing bats. At the end of the walk, you will be able to see where the bats come to breed, and from December to February each year you can join a ranger-guided Bat Cleft tour and experience the rush of thousands of tiny bats flashing past you.
It may not be the size of Italy’s Mount Etna, but we’re not complaining – the 2.4km return trip is a medium grade walk for those with basic fitness levels. Expect a few stair climbs along the way.
BLUFF POINT, CAPRICORN COAST I Directions
Image: Views from the top of the Bluff Point Circuit, Capricorn Coast National Park
Stunning ocean views? Tick! Sea breeze? Tick! A short hill climb? Tick! If you’re up for a shorter climb with ocean views, then look no further than the Bluff Point circuit in Capricorn Coast National Park.
Just a 30 minute drive from Rockhampton, the Bluff Point circuit is a short, 2.3km walking track through the bushland offering panoramic views of the Capricorn coastline and Keppel Bay islands. There’s a 600 metre climb to get to the top, but along the way you can stop at Turtle Lookout and take a breather while you try spot turtles swimming in the clear, blue water beneath you.
Once you reach the bottom, there are barbeque facilities and toilets just a short walk from the car park so pack a picnic lunch or take it to one of the nearby beaches to enjoy.
This walk is the easiest on the list – basic fitness levels are required.
Written by Explore Rockhampton