Kondalilla National Park is in the Blackall Range, west of the Sunshine Coast. It is nestled between Lake Baroon and Mapleton, just west of Montville. It is named after the Kondalilla Falls, an Aboriginal word meaning “rushing waters”.
Kondalilla Falls is the main attraction in the Kondalilla National Park, but there is a southern access at the bottom of the park with a beautiful walk up to the Baroon Lookout. You can then return back to the parking area, close to the Lake Baroon northern recreational area , or continue on for the 10km walk to Kondalilla Falls.
The walk to Baroon Lookout starts at the parking area at the end of Narrows Rd near Montville. It is also the start of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk , a 59km walk along the Blackall Range, which goes passed the Kondalilla Falls.
The walk starts as a fairly easy walk to the start of the first side trail to Obi Obi Creek in the Obi Obi Gorge. The trail to Obi Obi Creek starts to descend quickly, first as a sloped path then eventually becoming tall steps.
The walk down to Obi Obi Creek is 250m one way, and you need to come back to the main trail, so it adds an extra 500m to the walk. We went down on the return from Baroon Lookout, and found the climb back up. We deliberately left it for the return trip, so we could decide if we had the energy after the main walk.
Continuing on the trail still remains fairly easy. An old blackbutt tree along the way is hollowed in the centre of the base of the tree, and a plank wedged into it. The tree’s trunk has grown over the ends of the plank, claiming it as part of itself now, and providing an unexpected seat.
About 700m further along from the Obi Obi Creek junction is another side trail to Narrows Lookout. We continued on to Baroon Lookout to leave it for the return trip for the same reason as Obi Obi Creek.
The trail follows along a creek for a while, with part of it along a boardwalk next to the creek. Upstream the trail starts to become more difficult, where you have to climb up a rocky section and the trail is narrower in places. The trail is also steeper with steps starting to become more common.
A stepping stone crossing over a creek is the start of the constant uphill section, as you start to hope the next bend and rise is the last. The steps stop, and the slopes finally end when you reach the side trail to Baroon Lookout – the main trail continues another 8km to Kondalilla Falls.
Baroon Lookout is on the edge of the Obi Obi Gorge cliffs. Looking back up the gorge to Lake Baroon in the distance you get a sense of how far and high you have gone along the walking trail, that leaves not far from the lake. Look over the edge and you can see Obi Obi Creek about 100m below, and the views continue down the gorge.
On the way back we took the side tracks to Narrows Lookout and Obi Obi Creek. The water was flowing with a waterfall at Narrows Lookout, making the sidetrack well worth heading down. The track is steeply sloped downwards with a few steps, which of course means the return walk is uphill.
The walk down the side track to Obi Obi Creek is much steeper, with tall steps along part of the way. After already walking most of the return trip to Baroon Lookout, the steps felt taller still, going down and back up. It leads into the Obi Obi Gorge, but with the afternoon starting to become late we didn’t explore too much. We will have to allow for more time to explore this part next time we are here.
Back at the parking area, we had some quick refreshments before heading home. There are no picnic tables or seating of any kind to have a rest or for others to socialise while off for the walk. There is a grassed area accessible from the parking area up some stairs where you could throw out a picnic rug and some camp chairs. Otherwise, you are better off going to the northern recreation area of Lake Baroon which is only a few hundred metres away and have picnic tables, BBQs, toilets and a playground.
To get there:
From Steve Irwin Way in Landsborough, turn into Railway St, and after 300m turn left into Maleny St and cross over the railway line. In 800m, continue straight ahead, through the roundabout into Landsborough Maleny Rd. The climb is steep for a few kilometres, and after 9.7km, turn right into Maleny-Montville Rd. Continue for another 10.1km, which becomes Balmoral Rd, and turn left into Western Ave with the brown sign for Lake Baroon shortly before it. Follow Western Ave for 3.3km, and turn left into Narrows Rd. Continue for 2.3km, and turn left into the northern recreation area for Lake Baroon.
Wheelchair accessible: No