You don't need to travel far south of Cairns before your nostrils are flooded with the rich, moist smell of Tropical North Queensland nature. The main highway south of Cairns winds amongst some of the most enjoyable and accessible National Parks in the region. Imagine cool, refreshing rainforest pools, or heart-racing white water rafting, or wetlands rich in birlife. This is home to our country's wettest town, our highest single drop waterfalls, and a little further south... the most spectaularly beautiful group of island National Parks on the face of the planet!
YOU CAN 'DRAG' THE MAP, AND ZOOM IN TO A PARTICULAR LOCATION. WHERE MANY NATIONAL PARKS ARE CLOSE TOGETHER, YOU WILL NEED TO ZOOM IN TO 'SEPARATE' THE MARKERS. ROLL YOUR MOUSE OVER THE MAP TO SEE THE ZOOM CONTROLS.
GREEN ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Green Island is one of the most accessible and popular islands on the Great Barrier Reef, a small rainforest clad coral cay, just 45 minutes cruising time from Cairns. The surrounding reefs are fantastic for diving and snorkelling. The island also features a low-rise resort, an underwater observatory and a marineland. Camping is not allowed. To read more about Green Island, and the other islands close to Cairns, please visit our CAIRNS ISLANDS page. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
BARRON GORGE NATIONAL PARK
Barron Gorge is the traditional home of the Djabaguy people, and two of the more popular walking tracks in the park - the Douglas and Smiths tracks - were traditional pathways for the Djabaguy for thousands of years. At Barron Gorge, the visitor has an opportunity to experience the rainforest in a number of ways; canoeing on the lake, white water rafting on the Barron River, gazing from the window of the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway, or from from above in a gondola on the Skyrail rainforest cableway. Barron Gorge National Park is just near Kuranda. To read more about Kuranda, the Kuranda Scenic Railway, Skyrail Rainforest Experience, and the Djabaguy Tkapukai) Aboriginal Cultural Park, please visit our KURANDA page. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
FITZROY ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Fitzroy Island is rugged and diverse with granite outcrops, open woodlands, rainforest, mangroves and coral beaches. It's a large island with a range of popular walking tracks, and also excellent snorkelling and diving just off the shore. There is a campground on the island, as well as a resort which offers activities such as scuba diving, sea kayaking, fishing, aqua scooters, catamarans, outriggers, paddle skis and glass-bottomed boat tours. There is a daily ferry service from Cairns. To read more about Fitzroy Island, and the other islands close to Cairns, please visit our CAIRNS ISLANDS page. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
MOUNT WHITFIELD CONSERVATION PARK
Just behind the Flecker Botanic Gardens, 5 kilometres from the Cairns City centre, the 300 hectare Mount Whitfield Conservation Park is a great spot for hiking and birdwatching. The forested mountains of the park reach 365 metres above sea level, providing wonderful views There are two major walking tracks - the Red and Blue Arrow circuits. The 1.3 km Red Arrow circuit takes approximately 40 minutes to one hour to complete, and is suitable for everyone, regardless of fitness level. The Blue Arrow walk, on the other hand, is a steep 5.4 kilometre climb to the highest point in the park. Take drinking water with you if you attempt the Blue Arrow walk. Both walks offer spectacular views of Trinity Inlet, the Coral Sea and Cairns city. There is also a short but very interesting Gondwana Evolutionary trail, leading from the car park to MacDonnell Street. Mosquitos and other tropical insects love these parklands as much as we do, so wear insect repellant. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
DINDEN FOREST RESERVE
Dinden Forest Reserve on the Atherton Tablelands contains tropical rainforest, tall eucalypt forest with flooded gum and turpentine, dry open forest and casuarina forest remnants. There are magnificent views from Kahlpahlim Rock, the highest point on the Lamb Range, but this is a steep climb, slippery when wet, and should only be tackled by experienced walkers. The alternative return route along the Ridge trail is less steep and less diverse. Bush camping is possible near Davies Creek. There are Aboriginal rock art paintings along the Bare Hill track. To get permission to visit this cultural site, contact the Kuranda Mantaka Kowrowa Mona Mona Aboriginal Corporation (07) 4093 9296. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
DINDEN STATE FOREST
Picnic tables, wood-fired barbecues and toilets are provided in the day use area near the carpark, set among tall gum trees beside Emerald Creek. From the carpark, there is an easy 2 kilometre walking track, ending at a lookout which provides views, not only of Emerald Creek falls, but also back along the valley and across the northern Atherton Tablelands. You can enjoy a refreshing paddle in the creek, but camping is not permitted. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
DAVIES CREEK NATIONAL PARK
Endangered northern bettongs are found in Davies Creek National Park. These rat-kangaroos, smaller than a rabbit, are found only in very limited areas of north Queensland and nowhere else in the world. Researchers also recently discovered southern brown bandicoots residing in the park — a long way from the nearest known population on the Cape York Peninsula. The Djabugay Aboriginal people traditionally used this area for ceremonies, painting, and tool making. There are a number of campgrounds and walking tracks in Davies Creek National park and the adjoining parks. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
DANBULLA STATE FOREST
Danbulla State Forest surrounds picturesque Lake Tinaroo on the Barron River, and features tropical rainforest and open forest, a crater lake and historic sites. The forest is home to a wonderful variety of animals including the northern bettong, green-eyed treefrog, Lumholtz tree-kangaroo, Herbert River ringtail possum, red goshawk, and many rare plants. This is also where you will find the magnificent Cathedral Fig. Around the lake there are five camping areas, with varying level of facilities. Walking tracks range froma few hundred metres to 5 kilometres in length. Canoeing is popular. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
CURTAIN FIG NATIONAL PARK
Curtain Fig National park is significant in that it protects an endangered type of forest, called mabi forest. But most visitors come here to see one tree in particular; the 50 metre tall, 500 year old 'Curtain Fig'. This particular fig is unique because of its extensive aerial roots which have formed a 15 metre high 'curtain'. Starting from a seed dropped high in the canopy, this strangler fig grew vertical roots, which gradually became thicker and interwoven. Over hundreds of years these roots have strangled the host causing it to fall into a neighbouring tree. Vertical fig roots then formed a curtain-like appearance and the host trees rotted away, leaving the freestanding fig tree, with a trunk circumference of 39m. An elevated boardwalk protects the tree while allowing visitors uninterrupted views of the fig from all angles. There is no camping. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
GOLDSBOROUGH VALLEY STATE FOREST
A beautiful lowland rainforest along the Mulgrave River, this is the traditional home of several groups of Aboriginal people with a living rainforest culture. A short track to the base of Kearneys Falls will explain a little about Aboriginal culture and the rainforest. There are campgrounds in the park. Canoeing is popular between March and May, when the water levels are higher. Be very careful if canoeing in the wet season; hidden obstacles can be a hazzard.
WARNING: Never dive or jump into the river — many pools are shallow. Bullrouts (freshwater stonefish) live in the river. Wear shoes when wading or swimming. If stung, apply hot (not scalding) water to the affected area. Seek medical attention.
For those intrepid explorers among us, you can follow in the footsteps of the prospectors on the historic 18 kilometre Goldfield Trail through Wooroonooran National Park east to The Boulders Scenic Reserve near Babinda. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
HALLORANS HILL CONSERVATION PARK
Hallorans Hill is an extinct volcanic cone on the Atherton Tablelands. There is a short walk to the crater through the rainforest. Picnic tables, gas barbecues, water and toilets are provided. Camping is not permitted. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
CRATER LAKES NATIONAL PARK
Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine are crater lakes surrounded by cool rainforest. At Lake Eacham, picnic tables, toilets, and gas and electric barbecues are provided. It is a popular spot for a refreshing swim. Lake Barrine is not as nice for swimming, but there is the option of taking a boat cruise. Canoes and other non-motorized boats are welcome on both lakes, but fishing is prohibited on both. Each lake has a 'lake cicruit' walking track; Barrine also has a few shorter trails. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
HASTIES SWAMP NATIONAL PARK
Hasties Swamp National Park is a wetland which is a valuable refuge for local and migratory waterbirds. There is a large bird hide at the edge of the swamp, from which you can often view plumed whistling ducks, brolgas and magpie geese. The toilets and bird hide are wheelchair-accessible. Camping is not allowed. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
WONGABEL STATE FOREST
Wongabel is an important wildlife refuge in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The forest also contains hoop pine plantations, other plantations and early plantings of red cedar trees. Visitors can learn about the area's Aboriginal culture and history along the heritage trail, and about rainforest trees from signs along the Wongabel Forest walk.Wheelchair-assisted access is possible to the Heritage trail. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
HERBERTON RANGE STATE FOREST AND FOREST RESERVE
1107 metre high Mount Baldy dominates the park, with views over Atherton and the Tablelands. Only experienced, fit walkers should attempt the walk to the summit of Mount Baldy. The walk is quite strenuous with steep sections and loose rock. There are other fire trails through the forest, which are ideal for hiking or cycling. Camping is not allowed. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
MILLSTREAM FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Millstream Falls is reputedly Australia's widest single-drop waterfall. The park is an open forest of towering bloodwoods and stringybark trees, and is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Toilets, a shelter shed, picnic tables, wood barbecues and tank water are provided. Camping is not allowed in the park. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
MALANDA FALLS CONSERVATION PARK
Have a picnic by the river that runs through this small rainforest remnant. If you're there around dusk, you may be lucky enough to see platypus in the river, or scrub-turkeys and orange-footed scrubfowl building mounds in the rainforest. There is a 'rainforest circuit' walking track, and an environmental centre next to the park where you can learn more about the history, geology, vegetation and wildlife. Toilets, a shelter shed, water, wood barbecues and picnic tables are provided. Camping is not allowed. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
FRANKLAND GROUP NATIONAL PARK
These five continental islands - High, Normanby, Mabel, Round and Russell - feature rocky outcrops, dense rainforest, mangroves and coastal vegetation, making them a haven for a variety of wildlife. they are surrounded by extensive fringing reefs, the traditional sea country of the Mandingalby Yindinji and Gungandji Aboriginal peoples. These days the islands are popular with day trippers, enjoying the snorkelling and diving. Camping is allowed by permit on Russell and High islands only. To read more about the Frankland Islands, and the other islands close to Cairns, please visit our CAIRNS ISLANDS page. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
MOUNT HYPIPAMEE NATIONAL PARK
The park is centred around a deep, cylindrical volcanic pipe with a lake at the bottom. A platform at the end of a 400 metre walking track through the rainforest provides an uninterrupted view of the remaining crater. The crater is less than 70m across with sheer granite walls (the surface rock through which the gas exploded). Fifty-eight metres below the rim is a lake about 82m deep covered with a green layer of native waterweed. There are a couple of other interestiing walks. Picnic tables and toilets are provided. Camping is not allowed. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
EUBENANGEE SWAMP NATIONAL PARK
This is one of the wettest areas in Queensland. Eubenangee Swamp National Park is a seasonal coastal wetland, one of the most important wetlands between Ingham and Cairns, and is an important habitat for waterbirds. Birdwatchers might see jabiru, herons, egrets, spoonbills and ducks feeding in the swamp. Finches flock around the sedgelands and honeyeaters feed on melaleuca blossoms at the swamp edges. Rainforest birds can also be seen. Beware of estuarine crocodiles in the waterways. Never swim or wade through the water and stay on the boardwalks. Camping is not allowed. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
RUSSELL RIVER NATIONAL PARK
This is a small coastal park in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The environment consists of lowland rainforest, paperbark swamps and mangroves near the estuary of the Russell and Mulgrave Rivers. Bush camping is permitted on Russell River, 6 kilometres north of Bramston Beach. Take drinking water, insect repellent and a fuel stove. No facilities are provided. Pay your camping fees on-site. Beware of estuarine crocodiles in the waterways and marine stingers between October and May. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
FORTY MILE SCRUB NATIONAL PARK
This is one of the few inland dry rainforest remnants in north Queensland. Camping is not permitted, but it's a pleasant spot for a picnic or a short walk. Toilet facilities and sheltered picnic tables are provided in the day use area beside the Kennedy Highway. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
UNDARA VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK
The Undara Volcano is just one of over 160 volcanoes, vents and cones within the McBride volcanic province. Undara is significant because of the huge lava flow that formed the largest and longest lava tube system on the planet. The lava field extends 90 kilometres to the north and 160 kilometres to the north-west of the crater! Guided tours of the caves are available, and accommodation is in the nearby Lava Lodge, your choice of luxuriously renovated vintage railway carriages, on-site tents, or campsites. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE. .
KINRARA NATIONAL PARK
Kinrara National Park is adjacent to Undara Volcanic National Park, on the eastern side of Highway 63. This park is listed as 'historic' and public acces is unavailable at the time of writing.
WOOROONOORAN NATIONAL PARK
Wooroonooran National Park is a huge park - almost 800 square kilometres- that encompasses Josephine Falls and Mount Bartle Frere, the highest mountain in Queensland at an elevation of 1622 metres. The climb up to the peak is quite treacherous, largely due to unpredictable weather, and over the years there have been a number of tourist who have not returned from their climb. The park is divided into three different areas; the Palmerston section, the Josephine Falls section, and the Mount Bartle Frere section. There are campsites in various areas of the park, and popular walking tracks. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
BARNARD ISLAND GROUP NATIONAL PARK
The Barnard Island Group consists of seven islands featuring outstanding rock formations and diverse landforms including shallow reefs, sand spits, beaches and dense rainforest-clad slopes. This is the traditional 'sea country' of the local Mamu Aboriginal people, and is home to important seabird rookeries. Access is by private boat or sea kayak from Mourilyan Harbour and Kurrimine Beach. This scenic island group is suited to visitors seeking nature-based experiences such as birdwatching and snorkelling. There are no facilities on the Barnard Islands. Recreational camping is allowed by permit on Stephens and Kent islands. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
TULLY GORGE NATIONAL PARK
The area around Tully is the wettest place in Queensland. There are walking tracks in Tully Gorge and Alcock State Forest, but the park is best known for the world class white water rafting on the Tully River. There are picnic tables and toilets, and a shelter shed, and gas barbecue near the river. Visitors can camp near the river on grassy sites surrounded by rainforest. Tent sites, toilets, a gas barbecue and cold showers are provided. For more information about white water rafting on the Tully River, please visit our ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES page. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
FAMILY ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
Dunk Island, off the coast of Mission Beach, is the largest and most northerly of the Family Islands. It is accessible by commercial flights from Cairns and Townsville, commercial ferries from Clump Point, North Mission Beach, and water taxi from Wongaling and South Mission Beach. A network of walking tracks crisscrosses the island. The smaller islands - Wheeler, Coombe, Smith, Bowden, Hudson and Purtaboi are accessible by sea kayak, private boat or charter vessel from Mission Beach, Cardwell, Hull River or Tully River. Dunk Island Spit near the jetty has facilities for day visitors including picnic tables, toilets and a kiosk. Camping is permitted on Wheeler, Coombe and Dunk Islands, with varying levels of facilities. Dunk Island also has a resort. Fishing and boating are popular, but subject to marine park and fisheries restrictions. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
KIRRAMA CONSERVATION PARK
Kirrama Conservation Park is home to an exceptional array of plants and animals. Rose gums, paperbarks, northern silky oaks, Queensland walnuts and kauri pines are just some of the trees growing on park. These plants entice a myriad of animal species including gliders, possums, honeyeaters, cassowaries, king parrots and musky rat-kangaroos. The drive to the park is quite stunning, with lookouts and views over the Kennedy Valley and Hinchinbrook and Goold islands. There are no facilities at the park, and camping is not permitted. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
MURRAY UPPER STATE FOREST
Murray Falls is a picturesque place where tropical rainforest meets open forest. It is characterized by water-sculpted boulders, cascades and clear mountain rockpools. Visitors can camp or picnic at Murray Falls. Toilets, picnic tables, a cold shower, bins, and a gas barbecue are provided. The camping area's grassy sites in an open forest setting are suitable for tents, caravans and motorhomes. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
HULL RIVER NATIONAL PARK
This park is listed as 'historic' and public acces is unavailable at the time of writing.
EDMUND KENNEDY NATIONAL PARK
Wetlands, mangroves and fine views of Hinchinbrook and nearby islands feature in this coastal park, where you can watch birds, picnic by the sea and walk through forest and mangroves to the beach. There is an easy 5 kilometre forest walk, and picnic tables and toilets are provided at Rockingham Bay. Enjoy the superb view over 13 offshore islands from the beach. Boating and fishing are allowed, but visitors should check zoning restrictions. Camping is not permitted. Saltwater crocodiles are present in the waters, and marine stingers can pose a threat during the summer months. Please visit our SAFE TRAVEL page for more about avoiding any dangers. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
GOOLD ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Goold Island is a hilly continental island off Cardwell. Eucalypt woodland covers most of the island but granite outcrops and sandy beaches are also features. Dugong and turtles feed on seagrass beds in the shallow waters surrounding the island, part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Visitors can picnic or bush camp on the western beach. Toilets, picnic tables, a shelter shed, tank water and gas barbecues are provided. Restrictions apply to fishing and collecting in the surrounding marine park waters. Marine stingers can pose a threat during the summer months. Please visit our SAFE TRAVEL page for more about avoiding any dangers. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
CARDWELL STATE FOREST
The Dalrymple Gap track which passes through the forest was the supply route linking cattle stations to the port of Cardwell in the 19th Century, and hikers can still see remains of stone and wooden bridges, cuttings and stone paving. This is an area of rugged mountain scenery, lush tropical rainforest, dry open forest, pine plantations, creeks and waterfalls. Picnic tables and a gas barbecue are provided on the banks of Five Mile Creek. Camping is not allowed. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
GIRRINGUN NATIONAL PARK
Girringun National Park is home to the highest sheer drop waterfall in Australia, Wallaman Falls. The creeks and rivers are home to platypus, eastern water dragons and saw-shelled turtles. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the reclusive musky rat-kangaroo or the endangered southern cassowary. Wallaman Falls campground is located adjacent to Stony Creek. Gas barbecues, picnic tables, shelter sheds, water and a shower are provided. As the Gateway to the 'Wet Tropics Great Walk', there are over 100 kilometres of walking tracks to choose from. CLICK HERE for more information about the Wet Tropics Great Walk, or for more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
HINCHINBROOK ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
For thousands of years, the Bandyin Aboriginal people lived on lush, rugged Hinchinbrook Island. Middens and fish traps are reminders of their special culture. The island is surrounded by marine park waters where fringing reefs and seagrass beds are home to a variety of marine life including dugong and green turtles. There is a 32 kilometre trail along the island's east coast. Limits apply to the number of walkers allowed on the trail so you must book at least 12 months in advance for holidays. There are a number of campground with facilities. A resort is located on the northern end of the island. Commercial water taxis from Cardwell and Dungeness (Lucinda) transfer campers and walkers to the island. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
ABERGOWRIE STATE FOREST
Abergowrie State Forest is a mix of tropical rainforest, open eucalypt forest and exotic pine plantations. There are two short walking tracks, and a shelter shed, gas and wood barbecues, picnic tables and toilets are provided on the banmks of Broadwater Creek. You can camp in a grassy open forest setting near the creek. The camping area has secluded tent sites, caravan and motorhome sites, toilets, shelter sheds, picnic tables, fireplaces, firewood, drinking water and cold showers. A separate group camping area with large barbecues, tables, a group fire ring and bus parking is available by prior arrangement. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
ORPHEUS ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Orpheus Island is a popular boating destination, with sheltered bays and spectacular fringing reefs. Caves and crevices around the headland and shores provide evidence of the island's geological past. Here, molten rock has intruded into the granite to form ring dykes which have since been eroded. A resort overlooks Hazard Bay. Only guests are welcome there. Bush camping is popssible at Yank's Jetty, South Beach or Little Pioneer Bay, but campers must be self sufficient. Yank's Jetty has toilets, picnic tables, and a gas barbecue. South Beach has picnic tables and Pioneer Bay toilets and picnic tables. Large coral bommies provide great snorkelling and diving at Little Pioneer Bay, Cattle Bay and around Yank's Jetty. Fishing and collecting are not permitted in most of the surrounding waters. Beware of marine stingers between October and May. Please visit our SAFE TRAVEL page for more about avoiding any dangers. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
PALUMA RANGE NATIONAL PARK
Paluma National Park is divided into two sections; Jourama Falls section and the Mount Spec section. Picturesque Jourama Falls are the highlight of this park of rainforest, vine forest and open woodland. There is a pleasant 3 kilometre walking track which leads to a lookout. Camping at Jourama Falls is permitted in a large clearing, beyond the second causeway. Sites are suitable for caravans and tents. In the Mount Spec section of the park, camping is also available at Big Crystal Creek, and there is another - moderate rated- 4 kilometre walk to a lookout. There are waterholes for swimming. Fishing is permitted in Crystal Creek only, and bag and size limits apply. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
PALUMA STATE FOREST
Paluma State Forest is a cool mountain retreat of upland rainforest for a pleasant change from the coastal heat. There are three short walking tracks. The toilets and shelter sheds at McClelland's Lookout and Big Crystal Creek and toilets at Little Crystal Creek are wheelchair-accessible. Camping is not allowed in the forest. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
MAGNETIC ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
The Wulgurukaba people, the "canoe people", lived on the island and nearby mainland for thousands of years. Shell middens, stone tools and art sites are physical reminders of their strong connection with the island. Two thirds of the island's 5000 hectare land mass has been declared national park. But Magnetic Island is much more than just a tourist destination; it is home to over 2000 residents. There is no camping on the island, but there is a range of accommodation, and no end of things to do. Please visit our MAGNETIC ISLAND page for more information about the range of things to see and do - and places to stay- on the island. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
CAPE PALLARENDA CONSERVATION PARK
Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park is the site of an historic Quarantine Station established in 1915 to quarantine passengers on incoming ships. Historic buildings and remains of gun emplacements and searchlight towers still remain.Set in a landscape of open woodland and vine thickets, the park is also home to a variety of animal and plant life. Gas barbecues, picnic tables, and toilets can be found near the parking on the foreshore overlooking Magnetic Island. The gates are open from 6.30am to 6.30pm. Line fishing is allowed from the beach but restrictions apply. Camping is prohibited. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
BOWLING GREEN BAY NATIONAL PARK
Much of Bowling Green Bay National Park is covered by coastal wetlands, saltpans and mangroves, but on the upper slopes of Mount Elliot, the highest peak in the park, tropical rainforest flourishes. There are Aboriginal rock paintings to be found. Alligator Creek is a nice spot to picnic or camp, with picnic tables, a shelter shed, gas barbecues and toilets provided. The camping area has hot showers and wood barbecues and is suitable for caravans and motorhomes. At night, campers may find brushtail possums, sugar gliders and northern brown bandicoots, by the light of a spotlight. Around dawn and dusk, you will see wallabies and rufous bettongs feeding. The camping and picnic area toilets, and a 100m boardwalk along Alligator Creek near the picnic area, are wheelchair-accessible. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
TOWNSVILLE TOWN COMMON CONSERVATION PARK
The Common, as it is locally known, encompasses a variety of vegetation types from tidal estuaries fringed with mangroves through to grasslands and swamps, woodlands and vine thickets. Up to 280 species of birds have been recorded in the area, and it is especially full from December to June, as inland waterways gradually dry out. There are walking tracks, ranging from an easy one hour stroll, to a strenuous all day hike. The track and bird hide at Freshwater Lagoon are wheelchair-accessible. Camping is not permitted. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
DALRYMPLE NATIONAL PARK
Dalrymple National Park is remote and undeveloped. Rough trails follow the Burdekin River and Fletcher Creek, and there are longer hikes for experienced bushwalkers. Vehicle-based bush camping is permitted along the south-western bank of the Burdekin River at several cleared sites under the gum trees. No facilities are provided and campers must be self-sufficient. There is also a free-of-charge camping area at the entrance to the park on Fletcher Creek. Tent and caravan sites are available and facilities include picnic shelters, tables, toilets, cold showers and wood barbecues. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
CAPE UPSTART NATIONAL PARK
There is no vehicle access to Cape Upstart National Park; access is by boat. Flanked by sandy beaches, Cape Upstart is an imposing granite headland, a low-key park for self-sufficient visitors. Campimg is at Coconut Beach or you can bush camp in a secluded campsite on the northern side of the Elliot River. No facilities are provided. Check the marine park zoning plan for advice on activities permitted in the adjacent marine park waters. Beware of marine stingers October to May. Beware of estuarine crocodiles at Coconut Bay. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
GLOUCESTER ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Gloucester Island, the largest of the group, is home to a colony of endangered Proserpine rock-wallabies. This group of islands is a quiet retreat; sandy and coral rubble beaches, rainforest and seclusion are some of this park's main attractions. Camping is possible on a number of the islands, with varying facilities. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
DRYANDER NATIONAL PARK
Overlooking the scenic Whitsunday Islands, Dryander National Park is a large coastal park north of Proserpine, a peaceful retreat. Fringing reefs just offshore are protected in marine parks. Bush camp at Grimstone Point. Pit toilets and picnic tables are provided but visitors should be totally self-sufficient. Check the zoning plan for permitted activities in the adjacent marine park waters. Beware of marine stingers October to May. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
The Whitsundays are a group of hilly islands, with sandy beaches and gin-clear waters. Surrounding reefs have outstanding coral cover and variety. The highlight of Whitsunday Island itself is the 9 kilometre long Whitehaven Beach, a pristine expanse of pure white silica sand. Aboriginal Rock art and middens on Hook Island provide a record of an ancient culture. A variety of campsites are available on Whitsunday, Hook, Cid and Henning Islands. Facilities vary. Please visit our WHITSUNDAYS page for more details about all the popular Islands in the Whitsunday Passage. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
MOLLE ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
The Molle Islands are a wildlife refuge and a scenic retreat for nature lovers. The best walking tracks are on Long Island and South Molle Island. On South Molle Island, visitors can stay at the resort or bush camp at Sandy or Paddle Bays. Camping is also permitted on North Molle, Long, Tancred, Planton and Denman Islands. Facilities are limited. The remains of an ancient Aboriginal stone quarry for making tools and weapons can still be seen on South Molle Island. Please visit our WHITSUNDAYS page for more details about all the popular Islands in the Whitsunday Passage. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
CONWAY STATE FOREST
The steep and thickly forested Conway Range and nearby Mount Dryander are a refuge for up to 20 rainforest plant species that are not found anywhere else in the world. There are four campgrounds in the park, and all lie along the 30 kilometre Whitsunday Great Walk, which ends (or begins) in Airlie Beach. Shorter walks are possible within the park; most are graded moderate or difficult. The forest may be closed during the wet season. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
CONWAY NATIONAL PARK
The rainforest-clad Conway Peninsula offers a range of interesting walking tracks through lowland tropical rainforest, bordered by rugged cliffs. Bush camping is permitted Swamp Bay camping area, a secluded, pebbly beach overlooking Daydream Island. The campground is 2 kilometres from the carpark. The Conway picnic ground and Swamp Bay campground both provide toilets, a shelter shed and picnic tables. Conway picnic area also has electric barbecues. Fishing is permitted from the beach at Swamp Bay and Coral Beach, but regulations apply. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
LINDEMAN ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
The Lindeman group of islands are ideally suited to the nature lover, providing a retreat for snorkelling, hiking, birdwatching and relaxing. Mount Oldfield on Lindeman Island offers a magnificent view over the islands. Camping is available at Boat Port (Lindeman Island) Neck Bay (Shaw Island) or Naked Lady Beach (Thomas Island). Lindeman Island also has a Club Med resort. Please visit our WHITSUNDAYS page for more details about all the popular Islands in the Whitsunday Passage. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
REPULSE ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
The Repulse Islands group is a small group of islands overlooking the Lindeman Group and the rugged Conway Range. There is a small small camping area in a sheltered bay at West Beach, on South Repulse Island. Campers must be self-sufficient. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
SMITH ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
Goldsmith is the largest island in this group of continental islands south of Airlie Beach. Goldsmith has a rocky coastline and is covered in low open forest and woodland with brush box trees and a wattle and grasstree understorey. Visitors may bush camp on Goldsmith Island. Toilets and picnic tables are provided. Bookings are essential in holidays. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
NEWRY ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
Newry, Rabbit, Outer Newry, Acacia, Mausoleum and Rocky Islands are wild places with rocky, exposed headlands and sandstone cliffs. Rabbit, the largest island, has sandy beaches. Bush camping is available on Rabbit and Outer Newry Islands. Picnic tables, shelter sheds and toilets are provided. Rabbit Island has a gas barbecue. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.
BRAMPTON ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
This park consists of Brampton and Carlisle Islands. Brampton Island rises from sea level to 214m at Peak Lookout, and has a 7 kilometre walking circuit... and a tourist resort. Bush camping is on Carlisle Island. Picnic tables, a shelter shed, toilets, and a gas barbecue are provided. Turtles feed in the surrounding marine park waters and the islands are important turtle rookeries. At low tide, you can cross between the two islands. Please visit our WHITSUNDAYS page for more details about all the popular Islands in the Whitsunday Passage. For more information about this park, please CLICK HERE.