Regional ‘specialties’—ideas for Queensland National Parks adventures!
Issued: 5 Nov 2018

So, you’re planning an adventure to Queensland National Parks? With so many amazing parks and forests across the state, just waiting to be explored, the hardest part is deciding where to go.

Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Are you keen to tick off iconic places like Cape Tribulation, K’gari, (formerly Fraser Island) or Whitehaven Beach? Or perhaps discovering hidden gems is more your thing.

Maybe seeking close encounters of the natural kind with turtles, whales, cassowaries or koalas is your motivation. Adrenalin-pumping adventure or just simply wanting to feel the sand between your toes are always options, too.

Planning your visit is made easy with our regional ‘menus’. Check out each region’s ‘specialties’ below then make your selection and order up an outdoor adventure to suit your taste buds!

Brisbane and Gold Coast

Waterfalls drops vertically down rock face surrounded by green rainforest into a rock pool.Lamington National Park | Nicholas Hill © Queensland Government

Just beyond Queensland’s vibrant capital city, a natural world of adventure and escape awaits. From mountain ranges to pockets of bushland, tothe golden coast and islands of sand –  parks and forests around Brisbane and the Gold Coast are well-worth exploring.

Visit spectacular lookouts, waterfalls and World Heritage rainforest. Relax with a bush picnic or pitch your tent in the great outdoors. Get active by kayaking, boating and snorkelling, or jump on your mountain bike or horse to explore forest trails. Meet native wildlife and learn about our cultural heritage. Discover Brisbane’s backyard and the ‘green behind the gold’ of the coast.

Southern Queensland Country and Outback Queensland

A canoe glides up a creek framed by tall sandstone gorge walls.Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park | © Tourism and Events Queensland

Explore southern Queensland’s picturesque countryside, within ‘coo-ee’ of Brisbane, to discover cool mountain retreats with sweeping views and tumbling waterfalls. Revel in leisurely country drives leading to wild places. Pack a picnic feast, take a challenging hike or explore by mountain bike or horseback.

Venture further into the wide, open spaces and big skies of Outback Queensland. Take a 4WD adventure journey, following the trails blazed by explorers in centuries past. Sleep under a million twinkling stars, discover your own scenic haven, glimpse diverse wildlife and discover our timeless past.

Sunshine and Fraser coasts

Long sandy beach fringed by ocean on one side and sand dunes on the other.K’gari, Great Sandy National Park | © Tourism and Events Queensland

Here, outdoors is a way of life. With balmy weather year-round and incredible natural wonders to explore, you’ll connect with the healing power of nature in the parks and forests of the Sunshine and Fraser coasts.

Wander through cool hinterland rainforests and soak up mountain and coastal scenery. Explore remote waterways by boat or kayak, marvel at giant sand blows and take an adventurous 4WD journey along endless beaches. Explore the world's largest sand island. Head out on the water for an experience of a lifetime—getting up close and personal with some of the largest creatures alive, humpback whales.

Southern Great Barrier Reef

At night a group of people encircle a nesting turtle on the beach illuminated by torchlight held by ranger guide.Mon Repos Conservation Park | © Tourism and Events Queensland

Escape your ‘everyday’ in the parks and forests of Bundaberg, Gladstone and Capricornia regions. Witness an ancient life cycle of the animal kingdom, as sea turtles lay their eggs on the shore, and delight at the sight of their young hatchlings making their perilous journey to sea. Turtle Encounter tours run from November to March.

Unwind on island time and discover the marine wonderland of the Great Barrier Reef, just a few sandy footsteps from the shore. See tiny bats emerge from their cave at dusk, or take a 4WD journey into the sandstone wilderness to gaze at ancient Aboriginal rock art.

Mackay and The Whitsundays

Scenic view from lookout over sand, ocean and distant islands clad in lush vegetation.Whitsunday Islands National Park | © Tourism and Events Queensland

Discover a part of Queensland where, in our parks and forests, adventure is just around the corner! In the Whitsundays, one of the world’s best destinations for sailing, diving and snorkelling, you can explore the brilliantly-coloured underwater world, cruise calm, azure waters and cast away to an idyllic island for secluded camping.

Around Mackay, venture through subtropical mainland forests, on foot or mountain bike, and soak up picture-perfect views of offshore islands. Watch wallabies on a remote stretch of beach or sit quietly waiting for a shy platypus to pop up from a pristine creek in misty rainforests.

Townsville and Tropical North Queensland

A gondola passes high above scenic waterfall surrounded by rainforest. Barron Gorge National Park | © Tourism and Events Queensland

Relax. You’re on tropical time here, and there’s absolutely no rush. Queensland’s parks and forests are studded with clear mountain streams, crater lakes, spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforest-clad ranges, vivid reefs teeming with fish, and wild unspoilt landscapes.

Glimpse rare native wildlife, challenge yourself on an iconic long-distance hike or hop on a mountain bike for an unforgettable ‘scenic route’. Snorkel, dive, kayak or cruise amongst idyllic islands and coral reefs, and stand at the meeting place of two World Heritage areas. Explore vast savannah plains, caves and lava tubes, and take the 4WD adventure of a lifetime to iconic Cape York Peninsula.

Keen to know more?

Search for parks and forests in each region.

Map of Queensland Tourism Regions.Map of Queensland’s regions | © Queensland Government