Off the beaten track
There are many ways to experience Queensland’s parks and forests. Whether it’s in hiking boots, on two wheels or from the comfort of your four-wheel drive, get into parks.
Take your four-wheel drive to the places it was intended for. Photo: Maxime Coquard, Queensland Government
From cool, shady forest trails to dusty outback adventures, you can enjoy four-wheel driving in Queensland’s national parks.
In the Sunshine Coast hinterland, explore gorges and magnificent forests in Conondale National Park. Enjoy stunning views from one of several lookouts as you traverse Booloumba Creek Road. From here, take a short walk to picturesque waterways such as Artists Cascades. Extend your stay by camping with your four-wheel drive at Charlie Moreland or Booloumba Creek camping areas.
Discover amazing geological formations, fascinating history and Indigenous culture at Mount Moffatt in Carnarvon Gorge National Park. On the circuit drive you’ll see spectacular sights, from sandstone formations like Marlong Arch, to Kookaburra Cave with its Aboriginal rock art.
With waterholes, wetlands and river channels, Diamantina National Park is an oasis in an arid landscape. When you get there, check out the 87 km self-guided Warracoota circuit drive. See reminders of Queensland's pastoral heritage and discover the significance of the area to the local Aboriginal people. Strap a canoe to the roof racks or pack the fishing rods; these are great ways to explore Diamantina’s peaceful waterholes and seasonal lakes.
What seasoned four-wheel driver could resist the challenge of crossing the Simpson Desert? Visit Queensland’s largest national park, Munga-Thirri National Park (formerly known as Simpson Desert National Park), with its red sand dunes, ironstone pebbles, grey-green spinifex and clear blue skies. Spend a night under the stars before making the return trip, or continue on to South Australia.
If you’re heading out west why not do a round trip of the parks of Central West Queensland? Whether you're interested in birdwatching, bushwalking, canoeing, camping, mountain-bike riding or cultural history, there’s something for everyone in the central west.
The Cape York Peninsula features landscapes of unsurpassed beauty and immense diversity, rich with Aboriginal traditions and customs. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is a must to visit ‘The Cape’, so pack up the family for a four-wheel-driving adventure. See picturesque lakes carpeted in colourful lilies at Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL), try fishing at Oyala Thumotang National Park (CYPAL), go wildlife watching at Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) and on your way up to the tip stop and camp at Eliot Falls in Heathlands Regional Park. The best time to visit is during the dry season (May to October) and remember to be croc wise in croc country.
Enjoy an island holiday. Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland.
Sun, surf and sand—the quintessential Queensland holiday. If it’s an island escape you’re after, visit Moreton and Fraser islands. A four-wheel drive is a must if you plan to take on the sandy inland roads and miles of beautiful beaches. Whether it’s a day trip to Fraser Island, or a week of camping on Moreton with the kids, our islands provide the perfect getaway.
Less than an hour north of Brisbane and connected to the mainland by road bridge, you couldn’t ask for a more accessible island than Bribie. Head up the sandy Northern access track, then stop and enjoy the Fort Bribie walk. You’ll discover coastal heath, fort remnants and gun emplacements, and learn about the men and women who served here in World War II.
For a sand-driving experience on the mainland, check out Cape Palmerston National Park, Byfield National Park, Regional Park and State Forest and the Cooloola section of Great Sandy National Park.
Take off on your trail bike. Photo courtesy of Andrew Lowe.
Rev your engines and take off on two wheels! From purpose-built tracks to kilometres of State forest and public roads, Queensland’s parks and forests have trail-bike riding opportunities for every licensed rider with a fully registered bike.
Enjoy an easy ride along the Mount Mee forest drive or a more challenging ride along the A Break in the Mount Mee section of D’Aguilar National Park.
Explore the large network of roads (beware of logging trucks) through Barakula State Forest, the largest State forest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Lockyer National Park is a popular area for four-wheel drive and motorbike touring. Vehicles are only permitted on certain roads so make sure you check the Lockyer National Park web page for details before your trip.
Formed roads crisscross through Beerburrum State Forest, Benarkin State Forest and Yarraman State Forest and are great for trail-bike riding. These roads are multi-use so remember to give way to horses and walkers and be aware of bicycles and other vehicles.
Enjoy 26km of trail-bike only circuit track at the Gheerulla trail-bike area in Mapleton National Park. After a day of riding stay overnight at the Gheerulla camping area—limited facilities are provided and a camping permit is required.
Tuan State Forest is great for trail-bike riders who also enjoy camping and fishing. Riders can explore the forest on formed roads and then camp at The Log dump (a camping permit is required and fees apply). While you’re there throw a fishing line into the adjacent creeks or Great Sandy Strait.
Byfield State Forest provides extensive trail-bike riding opportunities from beginner to advanced. Or explore the network of roads through Cathu State Forest and Mia Mia State Forest. These roads are multi-use so remember to give way to horses and walkers and be aware of bicycles and other vehicles.
Please note: to ride in Queensland’s parks and forests you must have a valid license and your bike must be fully registered.
Find out more about trail-bike riding in Queensland’s parks and forests.
You can also find out about trail-bike riding by visiting trail-bike riding in Queensland.
Remember to ride smart, ride safe and ride in the right place!
Hiking options are plentiful in Queensland's national parks. Photo: Queensland Government.
Strap on your hiking boots and step into the wild. Discover hidden wonders along Queensland’s Great Walks and other challenging trails.
- Conondale Range Great Walk
- Cooloola Great Walk
- Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk
- Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk
- Carnarvon Great Walk
- Misty mountains wilderness walking tracks
- Mount Sorrow ridge trail, Daintree National Park
- Manjal Jimalji trail, Daintree National Park
- Bartle Frere trail, Wooroonooran National Park
- Goldfield trail, Wooroonooran National Park
- Wet Tropics Great Walk
- Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island National Park
- Dalrymple Gap walking track, Girringun National Park
Remember to walk safely and softly.