Never heard of the Noosa Trail Network before? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Work on the trails began in 2000 (and further upgrades are currently in the works), but this series of trails in the Noosa countryside has managed to stay blissfully under the radar, even for the savviest of hikers.
The trails are shared use, which means they can be tackled on foot, bike, or horseback and link up Noosa Country townships including Cooroy, Cooran, Pomona and Kin Kin.
Which Noosa Trail is for me?
There’s no right or wrong way to tackle the Noosa Trail Network. You might set out to walk the entire loop over a week, or simply drive to the trailhead of one section and do a short walk in and out.
Here’s the full breakdown of trail options:
Trail one: Kin Kin Countryside Loop Trail, 14km
Set aside a morning to pass through mango farms and wave to herds of goats and dairy cows as you take in the circumference of Kin Kin. Allow approx. four hours to complete it on foot.
Trail two: The Scenic Trail, 26km one-way
Starting in Cooran, this chunky hike features steep climbs to reach the trail’s four lookouts. You can break it up by camping overnight at either Middle Lookout or Cootharaba Views Lookout. If you’re really up for an adventure and want to hike the full circuit, grab a bed at the pub or treat yourself to a night at Mayan Luxe Villas in Kin Kin and return to Cooran via Trail Three.
Trail three: The Kin Kin to Cooran Trail via Western Branch Road, 22km one-way
Get an early start for this 22km trek – there’s no camping allowed in this section so you’ll need to be fit to knock it over in one day and arrange a pick-up at the end. But it’s a stunner of a walk, passing through lush rainforest and eucalypt forest before a steep climb – we’re talking 400m elevation – up to James McKane Memorial Lookout.
For a shorter burst, walk the 2km section from Kin Kin Arboretum to Johnstons Lookout for bucolic vistas and return for lunch at Black Ant Gourmet at the Kin Kin General Store.
Trail four: Kin Kin to Lake MacDonald, 26km one-way
Setting off again from Kin Kin, preferably after a strong Noosa Black coffee from Kin Kin General Store, this trail passes through open grassy paddocks to woodland forest. Expect a few lookouts along the way, ending with an amble through rural residential developments at Lake Macdonald.
Just want a preview? You can easily hike the 1km section from Kookaburra Park to Mary River Cod Park in one hour.
Trail five: Pomona to Cooran, 10km one way
Taking you through the belly of Tuchekoi National Park, this friendly trail dishes up some great views of Mt Cooroora and Mt Cooran. Up the ante by including a climb to the top of Mount Cooroora – the site of the annual King of the Mountain Race – and end you day at one of the cafes in Cooran.
Trail six: Cudgerie Countryside Loop, 5km
If you just want to dip your toe into the Noosa Trail Network, park at Cudgerie Common on Blueberry Drive to walk this easy circuit through Cudgerie rural residential estate.
Trail seven: Mac’n’Back trail, 15km one way
Crossing Six Mile Creek through Yurol State Forest, this relatively flat trail dishes up gorgeous scenery and can easily be completed as a day hike.
Trail eight: Cooroy Wanderer, 11km one way
*Please note Trails 4, 7 and 8 are currently closed due to harvesting, which is expected to be completed in Oct 2021, weather pending. Then, revegetation works will continue to help populations of koalas to recover and bring the land back to what it used to be before it was cleared for timber.