Sunshine Coast Walks | Mary River Lungfish

Quest to find the Mary River lung fish

Sunshine Coast Walks | Mary River Lungfish

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sunshine coast walks
Fig Tree Walk. Photos: Irene Isaacson

Between Kenilworth and Conondale on the Kenilworth/Maleny Road is a hidden gem in the hinterland of Southeast Queensland. The area is not only a nature lover’s deligh but it has a history of gold prospecting (still practiced today by a few local old timers). Here, you’ll also find relatively unknown Sunshine Coast walks that will surprise you. 

Fig tree walk
Soul of the Hinterland

In this soul of the hinterland, south of Kenilworth, is Fig Tree Walk. This is a nature trail that explores a small pocket of rainforest adjacent to Little Yabba Creek.

About 4km out of the quaint rural town of Kenilworth, the road crosses the creek. There is ample parking on either side of the creek where overnight camping is free (for one night only).


gardener falls
Huge Moreton Bay Fig Tree

Fig tree walk

Completed in 1994, Fig Tree Walk is well sign posted as you head back across the bridge, with the entrance boardwalk on the right hand side of the road.

A 1.1km round trip, it is a wheelchair friendly trail for all ages.  A number of excellent interpretive signs have been erected around the boardwalk and moss-ridden paths.

If you are quiet you may hear the call of the wompoo dove or green cat bird, or see brush turkeys and small birds foraging amongst leaf litter.


A small seasonal creek passes through the forest, changing the scenery to she-oaks, silky oaks or flooded gum trees with stunning smooth white trunks.

There are a few huge and very impressive Moreton Bay Fig trees towering over the forest canopy. But watch out for the Giant Stinging Tree whose leaves have fine stinging hairs which can inflict pain lasting weeks after.


Little Yabba Creek is part of the Mary River, and as such is home to the endangered Mary River Lungfish and Mary River Turtle.  

The creek is a popular swimming hole on a hot humid summer day.

gardener falls
Swim the Little Yabba Creek
gardener falls
Creek butterfly

Intent on searching for the endangered river species, Tony set out in full scuba gear whilst I walked the walk, so to speak!

Unfortunately technology frustrated him with both GoPro batteries failing only a short distance from his starting point. But that didn’t stop him capturing a few glimpses of a rare Murray Cod, a small school of large mullet, tiny fish and an endangered Mary River Turtle.



Fig tree walk
Bellcreek Cafe quirky decor

After all that exercise, we just had to stop off at the Bellbird Creek Café for a welcome afternoon carb hit.

A quirky café on the road back into Kenilworth, it is very popular with locals and out of town bikers.

Fig tree walk

And don’t think that you need to check your squeaky suspension when you pull over (like we did!). The sound is in fact the distinctive sweet call of the bellbirds.

The food is wholesome, the coffee organically grown and the café décor, well…you gotta see it to believe it.

The car parking sign is a classic-just love the comment on the motorbike area: “The last car that parked here is still missing”.

And as for the rainwater tank-come-pizza oven, now THAT’s an innovation worth marketing!

Photos and video by Irene and Tony Isaacson, who explored the environs in the heat of a hot Easter weekend at their own expense.

Discover Queensland

Here are the top things to do while visiting Maleny. While visiting the Sunshine Coast hinterland, you may want to explore Kondalilla Falls, which is a delightful forest hideaway.

For more things to do on the Sunshine Coast have you thought of going paragliding?

The Sunshine Coast is famous for its surf beaches and other aquatic attractions, such as humpback whales.

Thinking of doing a driving holiday around the Sunshine Coast? Kondalilla National Park is a beautiful escape in the hinterland..

Sunshine Coast Walks


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