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Deepwater National Park offers peaceful, vehicle-free beaches, important turtle breeding grounds and varied vegetation. Nature lovers will enjoy the range of animals and plants that call this park home. After dark, between January and April, witness turtle hatchings. Explore rock pools at Wreck Rock and picnic or camp at the shady campsite behind the dunes. Bush camping is allowed at Middle Rock.
This park protects sandy beaches, diverse coastal lowland vegetation and the catchment of near-pristine Deepwater Creek, one of Queensland’s few remaining undisturbed coastal freshwater streams
Lush rainforests, ancient trees, spectacular views, extensive walking tracks, exceptional ecological importance and natural beauty make this World Heritage-listed park an outstanding place to visit.
Discover remote gorges, sheltered pockets of subtropical rainforest, expanses of eucalypt woodland and spectacular views to Moreton Bay, all within an hour and a half's drive of Brisbane.
D'Aguilar National Park (formerly Brisbane Forest Park) totals approximately 36,000 ha, protecting the core of the D'Aguilar Range’s vast bushland area.
Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is one of Queensland's most scenic national parks. Situated within the remote north-west highlands of Queensland, the park features spectacular gorge country, sandstone ranges and World Heritage fossils. Lawn Hill Gorge is formed by Lawn Hill Creek, which is fed by numerous freshwater springs from the limestone plateau to the west. The magnitude of the sandstone cliffs lining the gorge, its emerald waters and lush vegetation make it a visual splendour. Serving as an oasis, the spring water and surrounding vegetation attract an abundance of wildlife. The Waanyi Aboriginal people have strong cultural ties with the park while pastoralists of European descent have more recent historical connections. A partly-shaded walking track leads to the culturally important Wild Dog Dreaming site with ancient rock art and stone engravings. The Waanyi people ask that you respect their culture by not taking photographs at this site. The track continues into the lower gorge where freshwater crocodiles are often spotted basking in the sun. This is a pleasant walk, even in the mid-afternoon. Keep to the walking track at all times. Take note of safety signs and do not touch the rock art or engravings. Carry plenty of drinking water to avoid dehydration and try to walk in the cooler part of the day. Wild Dog Dreaming Grade: easy. Distance: 4.5 kilometres return. Time: allow 1.5 hours walking time.
Binna Burra, Lamington National Park, with beautiful waterfalls and more than 160 kilometres of walking trails, is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, the most extensive subtropical rainforest in the world. Declared in 1915, Lamington was saved from the logging and farming that changed much of the McPherson Range. It protects Antarctic Beech, wildflowers and rare wildlife, such as the spotted-tailed quoll and Albert's lyrebird. There are two sections to Lamington: Binna Burra and Green Mountains. Both offer great bushwalking, birdwatching and camping opportunities. Stay at the Binna Burra resort or in the privately-run campground. Explore the 21.4 kilometre Border track, built in the late 1930s. From Bellbird lookout, see Turtle Rock, Egg Rock and Numinbah Valley, examples of natural erosion. Walk the Caves circuit for views of Coomera Valley. In the picnic area (wheelchair-accessible toilets), look for Richmond birdwing butterflies, orchids and king parrots.
Mount Cougal, Springbrook National Park is a mountainous section of Springbrook National Park, which is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Mount Cougal's twin peaks have a significant place in stories told by the Yugambeh people, who have inhabited the area's mountains and valleys for thousands of years. The park protects valuable wildlife habitat and a diverse range of animals. It is the most easterly known location of the Lamington spiny cray. Enjoy a picnic at the scenic Cougal Cascades. At the display shelter, read about the parks World Heritage values. Take the walking track past cascades and rock pools to the restored remains of a bush sawmill dating from the 1940s. As you walk, watch for the land mullet, the world's largest skink.
A wild, natural headland in the heart of the Gold Coast offers walks along the rocky foreshore and through rainforest, and the chance to see whales in spring and sea-eagles soaring along the coast. At Burleigh Head, where ancient volcanic columns meet the sea, this park features rainforest, eucalypt forest, pandanus groves, tussock grassland, coastal heath and mangroves. Its northern side is one of Australia's most famous surfing point breaks. Walk the Ocean view walk around the rocky headland from Tallebudgera Creek and look at the tumbled masses of six-sided basalt columns. Explore the Rainforest circuit, wandering through a living museum of plants, and watch for humpback whales from Tumgun lookout in winter and spring. See Australian brush-turkey nesting mounds, seabirds and water dragons. Picnic on Burleigh foreshore or relax on Echo Beach.
Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park is a most unusual geological feature created over millions of years by water tumbling through the roof of a basalt cave. Natural Bridge is home to an amazing colony of glow-worms, whose lights can be seen only after sunset. Lookouts and lush rainforest also grace this part of the Gondwna Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, making it one of the most popular parks in Australia. Take the short circuit walk to the natural arch over Cave Creek, and view the unique waterfall and cave. Enjoy a picnic and relax in cool rainforest. Join a nocturnal tour to see delicate glow-worms. (Remember a torch for the walk, but turn it off once in the cave). On summer nights, see luminous fungi and fireflies. During the day, hear the calls of paradise riflebirds, green catbirds and wompoo fruit-doves.
This scenic part of Girramay National Park features lowland rainforest, open eucalypt forest, paperbark woodland, sedge swamps and extensive mangrove forests as well as secluded beaches with island views. The park's swamps are flooded by wet season rains flowing from coastal ranges, and, as the flood waters subside, the swamps become a tranquil setting, the water stained with tannin from the tea-trees. This diverse wetland park is in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Enjoy a relaxing stroll along the beach to the mouth of Wreck Creek (5 kilometre return). Birdwatch and have a picnic at Rockingham Bay day-use area with views of 13 offshore islands. Walk the newly-replaced boardwalk through a mangrove forest still recovering from a cyclone. Visit the Arthur Thorsborne Aboretum near the park entrance for a shady picnic and discover local rainforest plants along the short, wheelchair-accessible loop track.
Conondale National Park forms the heart of an extensive area of unspoilt mountain scenery in the Conondale Range. With magnificent forests, deep gorges and spectacular views, this park and the adjacent State forest offer scenic drives, picnic areas and a choice of four grassy camp sites near rainforests and mountain streams. Walks range from a short stroll beside crystal clear streams, to challenging hikes including to Mount Allan fire tower or along the four-day 56 kilometre Conondale Range Great Walk. It is a picturesque and ecologically important area, protecting the habitats of many rare and threatened animals, including several species of frogs and the seldom-seen yellow-bellied glider. Access is via gravel roads suitable for conventional vehicles with care. In wet weather, roads may be closed. The scenic drive starting on Booloumba Creek Road has several creek crossings that are only accessible by high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles. Allow at least 90 minutes for the scenic drive and extra time for picnics and bushwalks. Birdwatchers will enjoy Little Yabba Creek, while mountain bike and horse riders can explore the park and forest along vehicle tracks.
Craggy volcanic peaks, rhyolite plugs, rise abruptly above the scenic landscape, a rolling green patchwork of pine plantations, bushland and cultivated fields. The Glass House Mountains were named by Lieutenant James Cook as he voyaged up the Queensland coast in 1770. They are spiritually significant to the local Aboriginal people and are listed on the Queensland and National Heritage Registers as a landscape of national significance. In this park, remnants of the open eucalypt woodland and heath vegetation, which once covered the coastal plains, provide a home for an interesting variety of animals and plants. Visit the interpretive centre in the Glass House Mountains township. Drive to the nearby Glass House Mountains lookout in Beerburrum State Forest for views of the multiple peaks. Enjoy a picnic at the base of Mount Beerwah or Mount Tibrogargan. Take the easy Western Boundary walk at Mount Beewah or try a slightly more challenging walk such as the Tibrorgargan circuit or Mount Beeburrum track for great views. If you are a fit, experienced walker with rock climbing skills, tackle the Mount Ngungun summit track. The summit routes on Mounts Ngungun and Tibrogargan are also suitable for roped sports for experienced and well-equipped climbers.
Mount Coolum National Park, especially the green-cloaked dome of Mount Coolum, dominates the skyline of the Sunshine Coast lowlands. After rain, waterfalls cascade down steep craggy cliffs to open eucalypt forest skirting the lower slopes. Towards the summit, rare montane heath grows. The park also protects coastal wallum, paperbark wetlands and rainforest remnants. Climb the steep, rough 800 metre trail up the mountain's eastern side from the carpark to the summit. Carry water and snack food. Be rewarded with 360 degree views - most spectacular at sunrise. Look for peregrine falcons nesting along cliff faces. In winter and spring, photograph wildflowers. See how many different types of banksia you can find!
Distinctively-shaped Mount Tinbeerwah (265 metres) stands out in the Tewantin National Park, which protects ancient flooded gum forests, wallum heaths and cabbage-tree palms. It also offers great views to the popular Noosa coast and lakes. Wooroi day-use area, set among she-oaks and bloodwoods, has picnic tables, barbecues and drinking water. (The butcherbirds and noisy miners are cheeky but please don't feed them). Walk along Wooroi Creek track and cool Palm Grove track. Head towards Cooroy and stop at Mount Tinbeerwah lookout. A 500 metre track leads to a lookout with 360 degree views over the Noosa River system, lakes and surrounding forests. About 130 metres along the walk, a lookout with coastal views is suitable for assisted wheelchair access.
Noosa National Park, a chunk of wild coastline jutting into the ocean, is understandably one of Australia's most visited parks. Wallum heaths, woodlands and pockets of rainforest with hoop and kauri pine are important refuges for wildlife, including koalas and rare glossy black-cockatoos. Explore the picturesque Noosa Headland along a selection of five tracks, ranging from one kilometre to eight kilometres and catering to all fitness levels. Walk past rocky shorelines and spiky pandanus, through woodlands and rainforests with piccabeen palms, to wide beaches or lofty lookouts. In the Peregian section, stroll to the ocean beach. In the Emu Mountain section, on your way to the summit, discover wildflowers. In the East Weyba section, along unmarked vehicle trails, watch for birds - but keep to the trails at all times.
Ancient lava flows, fossilised limestone and the Burdekin River, the largest river in Queensland, are features of this park in the Charters Towers area. Mount Keelbottom rises 130 metres above the surrounding plain and part of the old Dalrymple township site can be found in the park. It was one of the first inland settlements in northern Australia and has links with the discovery of gold in the area in the mid-1800s. Parts of the township are privately owned. Please respect private property signs. In the dry season, bush camp along the sandy edges of the Burdekin River. Explore the undeveloped walking trails that follow the river and Fletcher Creek, and discover basalt flows and a peaceful riverside setting. Longer hikes to Mount Keelbottom should only be undertaken by well-equipped and experienced walkers. Watch waterbirds from the river's edge. Ride trail-bikes and mountain bikes on the internal roads through the park.
Burrum Coast National Park is a showcase of protected coastal lowland vegetation types: paperbark swamps (with cabbage palms - especially in the Woodgate section), wallum heaths and mangroves. The Kinkuna section features a narrow picturesque beach, low coastal dunes, tea-coloured waterways and flat sandy plains. Explore the Woodgate section on a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk across a melaleuca swamp or along walking tracks to viewing and fishing platforms, and a bird hide. Canoe across the river, go birdwatching your try your luck at fishing. Enjoy camping at Burrum Point or behind the dunes at Kinkuna (both four wheel drive access only). In late winter and spring, delight in the wallum heath natural wildflower show.
This park features ancient and recent volcanic flows, open grassy woodland, the headwaters of several creeks, and an island of dry rainforest remnant in a sea of eucalypt woodland. Large bottle trees, along with fig, Burdekin plum and white cedar trees drop their leaves in the dry season but spring to life with summer rain. Break your journey along the Kennedy Highway and have a picnic at the sheltered tables at Forty Mile Scrub. Learn about the plants and animals found in this park on the short, self-guided walk through this unique forest. Listen for the ringing calls of pied currawongs and look for lemon-bellied flycatchers, rufous fantails and other birds in the trees.
In Cooloola, Great Sandy National Park you can experience the majesty of nature's sculpture in sand. Massive dunes, towering cliffs of coloured sands and wide ocean beaches have been etched by wind and water. Tall forests, fragrant wildflower heaths and paperbark swamps decorate the sands. Water features abound, including surf, freshwater lakes and the undisturbed upper Noosa River. Walk one of the scenic tracks to highlights such as the historic Double Island Point lighthouse. Pack a tent for the two to four day Cooloola Wilderness Trail. Drive along the beach or take the Cooloola Way and Freshwater Road through tall open forests and heathlands. You will need a four wheel drive vehicle with high clearance to enjoy driving the sand tracks or the beach at low tide. Canoe the Noosa River. Camp in a variety of areas: from formal campgrounds with facilities to wilderness camps. Visit information centres at Tewantin and Rainbow Beach.
Green Mountains, in the hinterland of the Gold Coast and part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, features lush rainforests, ancient trees and spectacular views. This section of Lamington National Park is located on the western side of the Lamington Plateau. Densely-forested ranges and valleys conceal the area's ancient volcanic origins and dramatic lookouts afford views over the southern edge of the Scenic Rim, a chain of mountains stretching from the Gold Coast hinterland to Mount Mistake. Get away and be at one with nature as you camp at the park's Green Mountain camping area. Choose from the many half-day or full-day walks that explore the park's best attractions. In the picnic area, take photos of crimson rosellas. On the Python Rock track, listen for the masked mountain frog's popping call. Enjoy excellent views of Morans Falls and Morans Creek gorge on the Morans falls track. Spot leaf-tailed geckos on the West Canungra Creek track. Set out on a full day walk along the Border track or Mount Merino track for outstanding views. Look for the regent bowerbird, rufous scrub-bird and Antarctic beech tree, ancient species that have survived since prehistoric times.
A relatively small National Park near Springsure in Central Queensland, Minerva Hills is dominated by Mount Boorambool, rising 600 metres above sea level, and the larger cliff fringed Mount Zamia (560 metres), which offer panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Named after the Minerva Hills Volcanics, these mountains are some of the oldest in a line of volcanoes across the eastern Australian continent - dating back some 20 million years. The rich variety of plants provide habitat for much wildlife. Look for eastern grey kangaroos, wallaroos and several different wallabies throughout the park. Spotlighting at night may reward with a sighting of the elusive sugar-glider or the larger greater-glider. The park is also home to the locally rare fawn-footed melomies and the little known pebble-mound mouse. Fred Gorge picnic area has wood barbecues, toilets, limited drinking water and shelter sheds. Picnic tables are provided at the Springsure and Eclipse lookouts. Camping is not permitted.
Mt Moffatt section of Carnarvon National Park is remote and situated Queensland's highest plateau. Rugged ranges sweep down to sandstone cliffs, with open woodlands and sandy valleys below. From any of the four basic campsites, take a long, scenic four wheel drive to the park's features. Short walks to nature's amazing sculptures at Lot's Wife, Marlong Arch and The Chimneys; and to cultural heritage sites. View Aboriginal rock art from the boardwalks at The Tombs and Kookaburra Cave. Picnic at the Top Shelter Shed. From the Consuelo Tableland, enjoy sweeping views over the park. Go birdwatching for honeyeaters, parrots and raptors by day, and spotlighting for feathertail gliders and sugar gliders at night.
Mapleton Falls National Park marks the point just west of Mapleton where Pencil Creek cascades 120 metres over an escarpment. This small, day-use-only park shelters many bird species, including the peregrine falcon, eastern whipbird and wompoo fruit-dove. From the carpark, enjoy a short walk to Mapleton Falls lookout (wheelchair access to toilet and lookout). The panoramic view takes in the waterfall, rainforest valley and Obi Obi Valley. Look for peregrine falcons soaring above - in early spring they roost on the edges of the falls. From the open, grassy picnic area, the Wompoo circuit winds through eucalypts and rainforest. Listen for the fruit-dove's booming calls, 'wallock-a-woo' and 'book-a-roo'. Near the causeway pool, listen for frogs and look for distinctive hexagonal volcanic rocks.
Mudlo National Park, known locally as Mudlo Gap, protects one of the area's few remaining stands of native hoop pine rainforest. Tall hoop pines once covered much of the coastal ranges. The park is near the site of Queensland's first gold discovery - at Kilkivan township in 1852. Go for the short, scenic drive to Mudlo Gap for excellent views. The Mudlo Gap track is steep with many steps, but the view from the lookout is impressive. Enjoy a picnic beside Scrubby Creek. Part of the one kilometre Scrubby Creek walking track is wheel chair accessible - through dry rainforest, past giant figs and pleasant creeks. On your walks, keep your eyes open for whiptail wallabies and listen for wonga pigeons.
Lake Barrine, in Crater Lakes National Park, is a volcanic maar, surrounded by rainforest. The deep waters of the lake and the pleasant coolness of the Atherton Tableland have combined to make Lake Barrine a popular stop for visitors to the area. The Lake circuit track is a pleasant walk around the crater lake passes through rainforest characteristic of the type found on fertile basalt (red) soils in areas of high rainfall. This track offers secluded forest-fringed views of the lake and excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife, including saw-shelled turtles and eastern water dragons. Lake Barrine circuit track Grade: easy to moderate. Distance: 5 kilometres return. Time: allow 2 hours walking time.
One of the most important wetlands between Ingham and Cairns, Eubenangee Swamp is a birdwatchers' paradise, with over 190 species of birds recorded. Situated in the lowlands east of the Bellenden Ker Range (the wettest part of Australia), much of this park is flooded during the wet season. As well as being a significant habitat for waterbirds, the park also protects some of the last remnants of various lowland vegetation types. Much of the park is swampland, supporting paperbarks, waterbirds and crocodiles. The rest is rainforest and grassland. Stroll along the 1.5 kilometre return walking track that follows the Alice River, through rainforest to the top of a grassy hill and enjoy views of Bartle Frere and Bellenden Ker, Queensland's two highest peaks, as well as the swamp and its many waterbirds. Birdwatching is rewarding, as the different vegetation types attract many birds. Remember to be croc wise.
Summit Track, Fitzroy Island National Park - A very steep service road (concrete wheel tracks) from the north-east end of Welcome Bay climbs through rainforest towards the lighthouse. A lookout on the windy north side of the island offers views of Green Island on a clear day. Follow the road for 1.6 kilometres where the Summit Track branches off to the right. Follow this 600 metre boulder-strewn track upwards through woodland to the summit. At the summit (269 metres) slabs of granite and windswept casuarina trees frame magnificent views over the island, surrounding reefs and mainland. Stay on the track at all times and follow markers and signs carefully. Take care around cliffs, steep slopes and rock faces. Wear sturdy footwear, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved shirt. Always carry water and try to walk in the cooler part of of the day. Grade: moderate. Distance: 4.4 kilometre return. Time: allow three hours walking time.
Barron Gorge National Park extends from the coastal lowlands to the elevated regions of the Atherton Tableland and features rugged mountain scenery, tropical rainforests, diverse wildlife and a fascinating history. The park lies within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Smiths track is one of the major historical route linking the inland Hodgkinson and Palmer goldfields with the coast. In 1876 miner and mule team packer, William Smith, founder of the Cairns suburb of Smithfield, marked this route up the southern side of Stoney Creek valley. Smith mostly followed Bama walking pads and Smiths track was were well used, carrying up to 300 pack-horses at one time. The track features magnificent stands of tall rainforest along with open woodlands and grasslands on the higher more exposed ridges. Tobys lookout provides extensive views of Barron Gorge and the coastal lowlands. Birds, including spotted catbirds, orioles, sulphur-crested cockatoos, pheasant coucals and spangled drongos can be seen or heard as you walk the track. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Stay on the walking track and stay clear of steep rock faces. Take care on uneven, slippery surfaces. Grade: easy to very difficult. Distance: 8.6 kilometres. Time: allow 7-9 hours walking time.
In this section of the Daintree National Park, steep rainforested mountains sweep down to long sandy beaches and turquoise coastal waters. One of the most biologically diverse areas in the world, this park is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and the coastal waters are within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. At Cape Tribulation, rainforest meets reef, and two world heritage areas collide, in spectacular style! This section of the park stretches in a narrow strip from the Daintree River in the south to the Bloomfield River in the north and the dense upland rainforest that cloaks the coastal range contains many ancient plants and animals. Camp at Noah Beach camping area and explore the park on walks ranging from the 650 metre return Jindalba boardwalk through tropical lowland rainforest, to the 1.2 kilometre return Marrja boardwalk through rainforest and mangroves. Experienced and well-prepared bushwalkers can tackle the 7 kilometre return Mount Sorrow ridge trail. Keep an eye out for cassowaries and drive slowly through cassowary territory. Remember to be croc wise around creeks and beaches.
Crystal-clear water cascades over large granite boulders in the Mossman River gorge. Lush rainforests cloak steep mountainsides from the riverbanks up to the rugged eastern slopes of the Main Coast Range. This Rainforest circuit track begins on the far side of Rex Creek bridge. On the left, 80 metres from the bridge, a small lookout provides views of Manjal Dimbi (Mount Demi). A little way past the lookout the track divides to form a circuit that meanders through the rainforest. Seasonal track closures may occur from time-to-time due to localised flooding or track maintenance. Stay on the walking track and boardwalk at all times. It is dangerous to enter Mossman River, due to a combination of strong currents, flash flooding, cold, deep water and slippery rocks. Deaths and injuries have occured here. Grade: moderate to easy. Distance: 2.4 kilometres return. Time: allow 45 minutes walking time.
This small rainforest-clad coral cay is surrounded by coral reefs and is one of the Great Barrier Reef's most popular destinations. A true coral cay, it was formed over thousands of years by the build-up of sand and coral rubble deposited on the calm side of a platform reef. Tropical vine forest covers the island. Palm-fringed sandy beaches slope gently to the clear, blue-green waters of the surrounding reef, which is within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Stroll around the island's boardwalks to explore the rainforest and birdlife and find out about the island's history. Walk around the island's beaches to view seabirds and enjoy views over the reef. Relax on the beach and listen to the birds in the forest behind you. Take a break from the beach and picnic on tables placed in the cool shade of the forest. Swim or snorkel or paddle a kayak in the clear reef waters. Go for a ride in a glass-bottomed boat or join a guided nature walk. Visit Marineland Melanesia Crocodile Habitat.
Mount Spec, Paluma Range National Park is an accessible, scenic section of Paluma Range National Park, the most southerly park in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Straddling the Paluma Range, the upland rainforests are crossed by a maze of streams and cascades. Open eucalypt forests dominate the lower slopes. Casuarinas fringe the creeks. Escape the summer heat by picnicking near the creek. Go birdwatching and look for logrunners, Macleay's honeyeaters and brush turkeys. If you are lucky you might see the golden bowerbird - the male decorates his bower with green and yellow leaves and flowers. For a glimpse of the past, visit Paluma, a village in the rainforest.
This park on the banks of the Mooloolah River, protects one of the few remaining coastal rainforest areas in this region. Also known as Jowarra, this is an important home for wildlife, including the wompoo fruit-dove, eastern yellow robin and the vulnerable Richmond birdwing butterfly. The river is home to platypus, which may be seen at dawn and dusk. Two short, easy walks lead from the rest area: the Mooloolah River circuit and the Melaleuca walk. The tracks are not sealed but in dry weather they are wheelchair accessible. Use insect repellent to deter mosquitoes and leeches.
Named after the spectacular Kondalilla Falls, where Skene Creek drops 90 metres into a rainforest valley, this park is a cool mountain retreat and an important refuge for many native animals and plants. The park takes its name from an Aboriginal word meaning 'rushing waters'. Five rare and threatened frog species as well as the rare bopple nut, a species of macadamia plant, are found here. Birdwatchers and nature photographers love this park, with its views, rainforest and wildlife. Enjoy a picnic at Kondalilla Falls day-use area. Stroll along the easy 1.7 kilometre Picnic Creek circuit or take the more challenging 4.6 kilometre Kondalilla Falls circuit, with about 100 steps and views of the falls. If you are feeling fit, you can enjoy a section of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, starting from Baroon Pocket Dam picnic area (near Lake Baroon) and walking to Kondalilla Falls picnic area (11.7 kilometres one way) or continuing on to Flaxton walkers' camp, a bush camp provided especially for walkers, (a further 4.6 kilometres one way).
Mossman Gorge is a very accessible and scenic section of Daintree National Park, in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Crystal-clear water cascades over large granite boulders in the Mossman River gorge. Lush rainforests cloak steep mountainsides from the river banks up to the rugged eastern slopes of the Main Coast Range. Take an easy 10 minute stroll along the elevated boardwalk that meanders through the lower rainforest canopy and return along the riverside track, enjoying views from several small lookouts along the way. Be amazed by bright butterflies and look closely for well-camouflaged Boyd's forest dragons clinging to tree trunks. More adventurous visitors can cross the Rex Creek suspension bridge and enjoy the 2.4 kilometre Rainforest circuit track through lush rainforest.
The Palmerston section of Wooroonooran National Park is included in the traditional lands of the Ma:Mu Aboriginal people. At the heart of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, it is a place of very high biodiversity, due to the high rainfall and fertile soils derived from basalt rocks. More than 500 rainforest tree species grow here and the area also has a profusion of epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants without harming them) including ferns, mosses and basket ferns. This intermingling of plant species creates a haven for wildlife, such as the little musky rat-kangaroo, the double-eyed fig-parrot and the endemic chowchilla. The Nandroya Falls circuit track is one of several access points along the Palmerston Highway allowing walkers to explore the ancient rainforest of the southern end of Wooroonooran National Park. At Nandroya Falls, Douglas Creek drops in a narrow, uninterrupted, 50 metre fall from a basalt parapet. Cross the footbridge at the west of the Henrietta Creek camping area. From here it is 2.2 kilometres to the falls by the shortest route. After a short distance the track divides. The branch on the left leads directly to Nandroya Falls, a distance from here of 1.7 kilometres. It winds along the upper valley of Douglas Creek, passing the pretty, 10 metre high Silver Creek Falls on the way. The right-hand branch is a longer 3.5 kilometres route to the falls. Those wishing to do a circuit walk can return by the alternative route. Keep to the walking track at all times and wear sturdy, reliable footwear. Grade: moderate. Distance: 6 kilometres return. Time: allow 2-3 hours walking time for the full circuit.
This trail climbs from the coastal lowlands of Cape Tribulation, up the rainforest-clad ridge of Mount Sorrow to a lookout offering views of the beautiful Daintree coastline, Snapper Island and beyond. The trail starts in a lowland rainforest valley, featuring trees with large buttress roots and a canopy woven with large woody vines. As the ridge ascends, the trail moves into upland rainforest and the slow-growing orania palm becomes common. Look for Boyd's forest dragons perching on trees quite close to the trail. On the ridge the vegetation is dominated by acacias (wattles). The wind-sheared forest canopy becomes lower and more open towards the mountain summit. From the lookout spangled drongos and small flocks of topknot pigeons can be observed in the air, while a variety of butterflies drift around on the wind. On a clear day, the beautiful Daintree coastline can be seen stretching southwards to Snapper Island and beyond, and the shadows of the individual reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef can be glimpsed in the ocean. The Mount Sorrow ridge trail is not for everyone. Although marked, walkers have been lost in this area. You must be prepared for a very steep and difficult trail with log scrambling required in some places. Only experienced bushwalkers with above average fitness should attempt this trail. Walk times are approximate only and based on travel in good weather conditions. You will need to adjust these times to suit your group's level of experience and fitness. The times are for walking only. Remember to allow plenty of extra time for rest stops, meal breaks and sightseeing. Distance markers have been placed at one kilometre intervals along the walk to help monitor your progress. Set off well before 10.00 am, to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and to allow time to return. Return via the same route. Leave the lookout before 2.00 pm to allow at least three hours of daylight for the return journey. Grade: difficult. Distance: 7 kilometres return. T
For many years, Ravensbourne National Park was a traditional stop over for Aboriginal people on their way to and from bunya festivals in the Bunya Mountains. Today, visitors come to admire rainforest remnants, majestic Sydney blue gums and more than 80 bird species, including green catbirds and vulnerable black-breasted button-quail. Under the rainforest's dense canopy, orchids and elkhorns thrive. Picnic at either Blackbean or Cedar Block day-use area and explore the park's five short tracks (the longest is two hours). Near Cedar Block's self-guiding walk, Gus Beutel lookout gives panoramic views of the Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim. On other tracks, watch for red-tailed black-cockatoos in the she-oaks and listen for the ringing calls of paradise riflebirds. Lorikeets and fairy-wrens are also often seen. Bring wood to enjoy a barbecue at either picnic area. Stay at nearby Crows Nest National Park, at Cressbrook Dam or in nearby towns.
Within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, nestled below the rugged Bellenden Ker Range, Goldsborough Valley features lush lowland rainforest and the clear flowing waters and deep pools of the picturesque Mulgrave River. This section of Wooroonooran National Park is home to a variety of birds and butterflies, and many kinds of freshwater fish can be seen in the river. Enjoy a relaxing picnic by the river or set up camp in the spacious grassy camping area. Take a short walk through the rainforest to Kearneys Falls or embark on the 19 kilometre one-way Goldfield trail which passes between Queensland's two highest peaks (Bartle Frere and Bellenden Ker) and leads to the Boulders Scenic Reserve near Babinda. Canoe on the river (canoeing conditions are best between March and May) or ride a mountain bike along the Goldfield Trail for eight kilometres to the East Mulgrave causeway.
This island national park, located close to the mainland, is rugged with diverse landscapes featuring granite outcrops, open woodlands, rainforest, mangroves and coral beaches. The island and its surrounding waters form part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Fitzroy Island, named by Lieutenant James Cook, has an interesting history as a quarantine station for the Palmer River Goldfields in the late 1800s, and later as part of an Aboriginal mission growing fruit and vegetables. Explore the rainforested Secret Garden track (one kilometre return) or walk to Nudey Beach (1.2 kilometres return) to relax in the shade, swim and snorkel. Tackle the 3.6 kilometre return Lighthouse track to the lighthouse, which offers spectacular views of the ocean and, in winter, migrating humpback whales. Look for birds such as rose-crowned fruit-doves and metallic starlings and large goannas. Challenge yourself on the 3.6 kilometre return boulder-strewn Summit track which climbs through woodland to the island's summit (269 metres) where slabs of granite and windswept casuarina trees frame magnificent views over the island, surrounding reefs and mainland.
This high continental island, close to Port Douglas, boasts lush vine forests, dense eucalypt forest, mangroves and white sandy beaches. The islands and surrounding waters and fringing reefs are within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Snapper Island is within easy reach of the coast by kayak or small boat, and is popular for camping, birdwatching and small boat fishing. Join a guided kayaking trip with a commercial tour operator to paddle around the island and land on seemingly-remote beaches. Explore the short walking track to a rocky ridge to the northern side of the island. Spend the night bush camping and have the island all to yourself. Drop in a line and try your luck fishing for mackerel and other reef fish in this popular angling spot for small boats.