Short walks for the family around south east Queensland
Issued: 3 Sep 2020

Walking in Queensland National Parks is a fun way to be healthier and happier, and to share special times with family and friends.

Fort Lytton National Park. Photo credit: Ellie Jamieson © Queensland Government

Walking in Queensland National Parks with your family is a fun way to be healthier and happier, and to share special times!

Bushwalking is great for your health and wellbeing, necessary even! No matter your age, you need time in nature—to breathe in fresh air, soak up some sunshine, gaze at the greenery and be enveloped by birdsong and other sounds of nature.

And bushwalking is for everyone—from bubs in baby-carriers, toddlers in strollers, to children and teens who can stride out, and even family members who need assistance with mobility. In parks and forests around south east Queensland you’ll find an exciting variety of short walks that are family-friendly and suitable for all ages and abilities.

Here’s a few of our best, hand-picked by our Park Rangers, to get you started.

Sylvesters lookout, Goomburra, Main Range National Park

Two people stand on lookout gazing over mountainous landscape.
Sylvesters lookout, Goomburra, Main Range National Park | Maxime Coquard © Queensland Government

Connect with nature on this rainforest ramble that leads to a lookout with stunning views across the Fassifern Valley to the rugged peaks of the Scenic Rim. Challenge the kids to look for new flowers and insects along the way. In spring, spot the stunning red flowers of giant spear lilies.

After your stroll, head to the nearby Kurrajong picnic area for a barbecue beside Dalrymple Creek. Listen to the symphony of bird calls from the canopy and the delightful ‘ok-ok-ok’ calls of Fleay’s barred frogs in the creek.

Find out more about Main Range.

The Palms circuit, The Palms National Park

Child walks on boardwalk surrounded by tall forest.
The Palms circuit, The Palms National Park | © Karen Smith

Get moving and keep active as you join the hustle and bustle of this tiny patch of palm-filled rainforest, packed full of nature’s sights and sounds.

The Palms might be small, but that makes it even better for seeing rainforest plants and animals up close and personal! Explore the short track that encircles the palm forest—how many different birds can you identify? The park is home to more than 90 different species! And red necked pademelons, grey-headed flying foxes, frogs … so much to discover!

Find out more about The Palms National Park.

Tunnel track, Dularcha National Park

A family is silhouetted as they walk through a large tunnel with forest in background.
Tunnel track, Dularcha National Park | © Ross Naumann (QPWS volunteer)

Spending ‘slow-down’ time in nature allows children to satisfy their natural curiosity to explore and understand the world around them. Where better than a bushwalk that includes a refreshing stroll through open forest and exciting exploration of a disused rail tunnel?

Once your eyes adjust to the darkness (take torches with you!), look for colourful moths and bats. Large-footed myotis bats roost in the tunnel seasonally—make sure not to disturb them. Let your imaginations roam to days gone by when steam trains chugged through this heritage-listed tunnel between Brisbane and Gympie.

Find out more about Dularcha.

Fort Lytton National Park

Green grass surrounds ruins of the fort built into the hill slope.
Fort Lytton National Park | © Tourism and Events Queensland

To find space, freedom and a dash of history, you don’t have to go too far—even near the centre of the city, you’ll find places where you can feel closer to nature. Fort Lytton is one of those parks! Hidden by grassy hills and a watery moat, and boasting river views, you’ll find it hard to believe you’re in the middle of a vibrant city.

Ramble around at your own pace or join a guided tour to learn more about this fascinating fort, exploring grassy ramparts and underground passages. Which kid (small or big) isn’t captivated by forts and cannons? A dose of nature with a serving of history thrown in!

Find out more about Fort Lytton.

Carlo Sandblow, Cooloola, Great Sandy National Park

Pieces of wood are rising out of a huge sandmass looking out toward the ocean, where the sun is setting on the horizon.
Carlo Sandblow, Cooloola, Great Sandy National Park | © Tomek Z Genek

Real-life is so much more interesting than the screen! Expand your kid’s horizons with a sandy trek through woodlands to a unique ‘moonscape’ sand mass. Stand at the top awhile and gaze around this amazing coastal landscape, built entirely by the power of the wind!

To the east, can you spot Double Island Point and K’gari? To the west, can you see the Great Sandy Straits? Walk to the end of the sandblow. Then watch the spectacle of the sun sinking slowly below the horizon before traipsing back down again, tired and sandy but happy.

Find out more about Cooloola.

Wait, there’s more!

Children walking on boardwalk surrounded by forest.
Boardwalk in Noosa National Park | Greg Cartwright © Queensland Government

Short walks in the parks and forests of south east Queensland offer so many kinds of nature experiences—there’s something for everyone, no matter your age or ability.

This is just a small taste of the opportunities that await! For more ideas for short walks, see our walking page for inspiration next time you need a nature dose.

And always remember to check park alerts before you head off.