For many travelers and local Australians alike, Queensland’s national parks conjure vivid images. Whether a quick escape or a longer trip, the beautiful scenery of mother nature beckons. With so many national parks in Queensland, everyone has their favourite picks of which unrivaled natural attractions made it to the top list for a perfect holiday venture.
Queensland has a unique and rich ecological environment. For Queensland alone, there are more than 200 national parks where thousands of travelers swarm in the hope of experiencing the natural beauty of Australia. While some of the national parks are accessible from Brisbane, many others are in remote areas where it may require several days of driving. Out of all the national parks in the state of Queensland, we chose seven of the most visited and attractive ones that can satisfy even the most discerning of travelers.
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Carnarvon National Park
Carnarvon National Park boasts magnificent rugged ranges, hidden gorges and caves. There is a section of rainforest consisting of the world’s largest ferns and breathtaking gardens which accentuates the beauty of the Carnarvon Gorge in Carnarvon National Park.
The Queensland’s central highlands rugged ranges are divided into three sections: Ka Ka Mundi where any tourist can experience the sandstone escarpments, Mount Moffat the highest plateau along with discovering Queensland’s Aboriginal rock art, and Salvator Rosa’s crystal-clear springs that produce millions of liters of water to Louisa Creek and Nogoa River.
Carnarvon National Park is a nine hour drive from Brisbane. It is at its best during the months of April to September.
Noosa National Park
This is one of several parks located at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast. It is an easy two-hour drive north of Brisbane. This makes Noosa National Park a perfect day trip from Brisbane. Tourists flock to experience its impressive vibrant coastal scenery and native wildlife, including vulnerable species such as the black cockatoo, wallum froglet, koalas and many more.
You may visit Noosa National Park anytime between 9:15 AM to 4:45 PM. However, should you want to witness the graceful mammals offshore then make sure to head to Hell’s gate during whale migration season which happens between April and November.
Boodjamulla National Park
One of the most remote national parks in the world is Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park. Its location is 340 kilometers northwest of Mount Isa and nearly 2000 kilometers away from the state capital of Brisbane. The park is known for being the state’s most scenic national park, highlighting massive gorges, glistening sandstones and ancient fossils.
If getting away from the cities and visiting the outback is on your agenda, then visiting Boodjamulla is a good choice. You can best enjoy this national park between April and September.
Bunya Mountains National Park
Take a three-hour drive northwest of Brisbane and you will find the second oldest park in Queensland, Bunya Mountains National Park. This is the home of the largest stand of ancient bunya pines around the world. It is considered as one of the best national parks in Queensland. You will not only find range-top grasslands but also a picturesque view of waterfalls and has an abundant species of exotic birdlife.
You can explore all the beauty that this park has to offer through its 35 kilometre walking track or by driving around in the convenience of your car. The great news is there is no entrance fee and the park is open 24 hours.
Great Sandy National Park
From its name, the Great Sandy National Park is where you can find the world’s largest sand island. That is Fraser Island which is also considered as a World Heritage site. A three-hour drive north of Brisbane, will bring you to a popular Australian holiday spot. These 56,000 hectares of land is only a section of the park for the other part extends along the coasts from the Southern part of Noosa Heads to Rainbow Beach, named as the Cooloola Recreation Area. This park houses an incredible coastline of Queensland.
Both sections of the park are mostly accessible through four-wheel drive vehicles. If you are into hiking, then you might consider the Cooloola Great Walk which is a five-day walking track. Fraser Island also offers a 90 kilometre Great Walk. Aside from this, there are a bunch of recreational activities that you can do on the island. A few are whale watching, fishing, diving, bushwalking and camping.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Hervey Bay. Just 15 kilometres off the Fraser Coast, you will arrive on the island in less than an hour. You can simply enjoy a quick day trip adventure or just relax and admire the beautiful sceneries the place has to offer.
If you are planning your Queensland getaway be sure to visit during the Spring season. In the months of September to November.
Daintree National Park
Daintree is located in the far north of Queensland and covering 1,200 square kilometres of ancient rainforest. This wilderness has not been touched by any man-made structures, boasting a very rich biological diversity. The park has two sections. The Southern part is the Mossman Gorge and the other part is the Cape Tribulation found further north.
The Mossman Gorge is one of the most popular tourist places for you to find ancient and rare floras and faunas. It is also known for its granite boulders and clear waters. Cape Tribulation is also a popular destination having vast sandy beaches and rainforests.
Considering that it is just over an hour’s drive from the Cairns, it is a great place for some rest and recreation with nature. If you are looking for an adventure, there are plenty of ways you can explore the park. You can take a cruise along the river or swim in the natural rock pools. You can also zipline through the tall trees or just simply take a walk around the rainforest.
Look out for all the wildlife you can find. Especially the blue Ulysses butterfly, Boyd’s forest dragon, Bennet’s tree kangaroo and cassowary while exploring the park. To fully enjoy your visit, make sure to go there during the months of May to September.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
As the world’s largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an iconic natural wonder.
The marine park offers incredible opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving. You can explore the vibrant coral gardens, swim alongside marine creatures, and witness the beauty and diversity of the underwater world. Numerous diving sites are accessible from different parts of the coast.
Within the marine park, there are numerous islands and cays that provide access to the reef. These include the Whitsunday Islands, Heron Island, and Lady Elliot Island.
The marine park serves as an important site for scientific research and education. Researchers study the reef’s ecosystems, monitor its health, and work towards understanding and mitigating the impacts of climate change. Visitors can also learn about the reef’s importance through interpretive centers, guided tours, and educational programs.
These are just seven out of over 200 national parks found in the Sunshine state. Enjoy the abundant natural wonders in Queensland.