Out & About with Kids - - QLD NATIONAL PARKS -

From the Gold Coast to Bris­bane and the Sun­shine Coast, in­land to the out­back, east to the is­lands, and as far north as Cape York Penin­sula, fam­i­lies will find abun­dant and di­verse land­scapes and fun ad­ven­tures in a vast num­ber of stun­ning Queens­land na­tional parks.

More­ton Is­land Na­tional Park

Where: 40km by ferry from Bris­bane About: More­ton Is­land is the home of the Quan­damooka peo­ple, and the park’s tall sand dunes, long stretches of sandy beaches, crys­tal clear creeks and la­goons, coastal heath, rocky head­lands and abun­dant wild­flow­ers make for an ideal More­ton Bay fam­ily ad­ven­ture. Camp­ing: YES

D’Aguilar Na­tional Park

Where: Bris­bane About: The former Bris­bane For­est Park is a great day trip get­away – within easy reach of the CBD. Dis­cover a world away from city life with re­mote gorges, sub­trop­i­cal rain­for­est, ex­panses of eu­ca­lypt wood­land and spec­tac­u­lar views. Camp­ing: YES

Dain­tree Na­tional Park

Where: Trop­i­cal Far North Queens­land About: The fa­mous ‘Dain­trees’ is made up of two spec­tac­u­lar ar­eas - Moss­man Gorge and Cape Tribu­la­tion. The World Her­itage-Listed Dain­tree Rain­for­est is ac­tu­ally the old­est rain­for­est in the world! See the crys­tal-clear wa­ters of the Moss­man River cas­cade over gran­ite boul­ders in Moss­man Gorge, while Cape Tribu­la­tion features rain­for­est-clad moun­tains that sweep down to long sandy beaches. The East­ern Kuku Yalanji Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple are the Tra­di­tional Own­ers of Dain­tree Na­tional Park.

Camp­ing: YES

Noosa Na­tional Park

Where: Sun­shine Coast About: An im­por­tant con­ser­va­tion area, Noosa Na­tional Park pro­vides a refuge for na­tive wildlife in­clud­ing the koala, glossy black-cock­a­too, ground par­rot and wal­lum froglet. Fab­u­lous and gen­tle coastal walks for the whole fam­ily start at the board­walk from the end of Noosa Main Beach, past lovely Lit­tle Cove beach to­wards the park’s main en­trance.

Camp­ing: NO

Conon­dale Na­tional Park

Where: West from the Sun­shine Coast About: The park’s rain­for­est, wa­ter­falls, crys­tal clear creeks and moun­tain streams sus­tain a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of rare and threat­ened plants and an­i­mals. Take in spec­tac­u­lar views, en­joy walk­ing tracks and scenic drives and have fun ex­plor­ing. Camp­ing: YES

Burleigh Head Na­tional Park

Where: Gold Coast About: This wild, nat­u­ral head­land in the heart of the Gold Coast, where sea ea­gles soar along the coast, of­fers walks along the rocky fore­shore and through rain­for­est, and even the chance to spot whales in spring. Camp­ing: NO

Lam­ing­ton Na­tional Park

Where: Near the Gold Coast About: Part of the Gond­wana Rain­forests of Aus­tralia World Her­itage Area (the most ex­ten­sive sub­trop­i­cal rain­for­est in the world), Lam­ing­ton is made up of two sec­tions – Green Moun­tains and Binna Burra. Renowned for its beau­ti­ful wa­ter­falls and more than 160km of walk­ing trails, take the fam­ily on O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk, the first of its kind in Aus­tralia, of­fer­ing vis­i­tors a unique per­spec­tive on the an­cient rain­for­est canopy.

Camp­ing: YES

Spring­bok Na­tional Park

Where: Near the Gold Coast About: Also part of the Gond­wana Rain­for­est, Spring­bok Na­tional Park’s lush sub­trop­i­cal rain­for­est and open eu­ca­lypt wood­land are per­fect for walk­ing and dis­cov­er­ing wildlife, like swamp wal­la­bies, po­toroos and bower­birds, that roam the for­est. In rocky es­carp­ments and caves look for ‘glow­worms’, and spot bril­liant blue spiny crays, frogs and long-finned eels in the moun­tain streams.

Camp­ing: YES

Munga-Thirri (Simp­son Desert) Na­tional Park

Where: West of Birdsville About: This iconic out­back park is only ac­ces­si­ble by 4WD and only in the dry sea­son. It is Queens­land’s largest na­tional park (1 mil­lion ha) and is in Aus­tralia’s dri­est place - the Simp­son Desert. Some of the park’s spec­tac­u­lar sculp­tured red sand dunes ex­tend 200km and reach 90m high! A real ad­ven­turer’s land­scape, ex­pe­ri­ence gib­ber peb­ble plains and clay­pans, and camp un­der a canopy of stars.

Camp­ing: YES

Por­cu­pine Gorge Na­tional Park

Where: North of Hugh­en­den About: In the mid­dle of Queens­land’s out­back, Por­cu­pine Gorge Na­tional Park’s big draw­card is the unique ‘pyra­mid’ at Por­cu­pine Creek . Na­ture has cre­ated a deep chasm through lay­ers of sand­stone, span­ning hun­dreds of mil­lions of years, to cre­ate a gorge, with a ‘pyra­mid’ shaped mono­lith ris­ing from its floor. En­joy strolling the Pyra­mid track, ex­plor­ing the sculpted sand­stone pools of Por­cu­pine Creek, as it me­an­ders through this im­pres­sive ‘lit­tle grand canyon’.

Camp­ing: YES

Whit­sun­day Na­tional Park Is­lands

Where: Whit­sun­day Is­lands About: Many sites through­out the Whit­sun­days hold spe­cial mean­ing for the de­scen­dants of the Ngaro peo­ple for whom this area was home for at least the past 9,000 years. The ‘Park’ also en­com­passes the world­fa­mous Great Bar­rier Reef World Her­itage area – cer­tainly a Na­tional Park with a dif­fer­ence! The is­lands ‘Park’ ex­pe­ri­ence also of­fers se­cluded beaches, coral reefs and tow­er­ing hoop pines, and the Whit­sun­day Ngaro Sea Trail, a unique blend of sea­ways and pic­turesque walks.

Camp­ing: YES

Fraser Is­land, Great Sandy Na­tional Park

Where: Off the coast of Her­vey Bay About: The World Her­itage-listed Fraser Is­land is the largest sand is­land in the world and stretches for 123km, across 166,000 ha. Cool tow­er­ing rain­forests, over 100 fresh­wa­ter swim­ming lakes, in­clud­ing the iconic Lake McKen­zie and Lake Wabby, huge sand blows and an amaz­ing 120km beach high­way, com­plete with a ship­wreck and cliffs of stun­ning coloured sands. In­dulge in a wide range of eco-ad­ven­tures on foot or by 4WD self-guided and guided tours.

Camp­ing: YES

© iS­tock

Above: Chil­dren at Beach in Noosa Na­tional Park, Sun­shine Coast QLD

ck to S i Simp­son Desert Dune ©

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