Queensland has 6 million hectares preserved in 220 National Parks. The largest, Simpson Desert in the far south western corner, the smallest in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Sarabah.
Because of the enormous distances, visitors often fly. The bus trip from Brisbane to Rockhampton (central Queensland) takes around 8 hours, so the distances are huge.
- Bicentennial National Trail begins in Cooktown
- Cooloola Wilderness Trail is 46 km long and stretches from Lake Cootharaba< to just south of Fraser Island.
- Forest Lakes Trail >winds 38.1km through the freshwater lakes on Fraser Island.
- Thorsborne Trail is a 32km trail on the southern part of Hinchinbrook Island.
In the far north at Cape York where the climate is typically tropical, Mt Cook National Park on the outskirts of Cooktown there is an 8km walk to the summit which takes about 3.5 hours.
An hour’s drive north of Cairns in the Daintree National Park the Mossman River Circuit is 3.2km long and takes about an hour through lush tropical vegetation rich with birdlife.
The islands of North Queensland also provide lots of opportunities to explore on foot.
- Dunk Island has about 13km of walking tracks and the island’s dense rainforest is home to a huge variety of wildlife including 150 species of birds and the Ulysses (Mountain) butterfly.
- Hinchinbrook Island, protected as a national park since 1932, it lies within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Thorsborne Trail is a 5 day trek through extraordinarily beautiful terrain.
- Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and despite being primarily a 4WD destination, bushwalking can be enjoyed best in non holiday periods.
Wooroonooran National Park covers 79800 hectares and is the largest rainforest park in the state and contains the highest peak, Mt Bellenden Ker.
Eungella (Land of Cloud) National Park located on the Clark Range between Mackay and Bowen (the town made famous by the movie “Australia”) has some of Queensland’s highest plateaus. There are a number of walks in this Park.
The Cooloola Wilderness Trail is found in the Great Sandy National Park along with a number of other short walks.
Inland, the awe inspiring Carnarvon National Park covering some 314,500 hectares, has spectacular scenery with more than 20km of walking tracks leading to places of interest such as the Aboriginal Art Gallery and Cathedral Cave.
In the south east corner there are some well used parks – this is due to great weather and a growing population
- Bunya Mountains National Park – 150km from the coast
- Lamington National Park – stretching from the Gold Coast Hinterland to Mt Mistake
- Mt Barney National Park – ascending Mt Barney is one of the classic climbs of Australia
- Main Range National Park – extends from Mt Mistake to the Qld-NSW border, 116km south west of Brisbane
- Girraween (Place of flowers) National Park> lies at the northern end of the New England Tablelands on the NSW border. Average elevation is 900m and 17km of walking tracks/