QLD is littered with national parks, so clearly some escape attention.
Yet with a ton of eye-popping treasure within their boundaries, this is an unfortunate oversight.
It’s time to change that.
We’re featuring a selection of national parks within daytrip distance of various BIG4s that should be on your radar.
What: Birdlife and boulders. Waterfalls and wildflowers in spring. This pretty park offers a solid selection of natural treats sprinkled within eucalypt-dominated surrounds. Various dedicated lookouts allow easy admiration of the park’s many highlights.
Essential attraction: Crows Nest Falls, which cascade into a granite-edged waterhole.
Where: 50km north of Toowoomba.
Nearest BIG4 park: BIG4 Toowoomba Garden City Holiday Park.
What: Occupying a tableland positioning within the Hugh Nelson Range, this small rainforest-clad park centres around a striking volcanic pipe and its associated algae-covered crater lake. A dedicated viewing platform reveals this amazing geological wonder. Elsewhere, Mt Hypipamee is home to a vast assortment of possums as well as tree kangaroos.
Essential attraction: The volcanic pipe aside, dine out on the site of Dinner Falls.
Where: 25km south of Atherton; 110km southwest of Cairns.
Nearest BIG4 park: NRMA Atherton Tablelands Holiday Park.
What: A cluster of funky formations snatches the spotlight here. Imposing granite outcrops, balancing boulders, and other awe-inspiring craggy creations deliver vast visual rewards. An injection of brilliance occurs each spring when seasonal wildflowers carpet the landscape.
Essential attractions: The Sphinx and Turtle Rock are two gigantic granite gems.
Where: 95km south of Warwick.
Explore more of Warwick and surrounds here.
What: Hard to spell, easy to love. Snuggled within the mammoth Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area, Wooroonooran is crammed with astounding natural goodies. This includes waterfalls and swimming holes, gorges, and towering peaks that include the state’s highest, Mt Bartle Frere, all interspersed around sprawling rainforest.
Essential attractions: Mamu Tropical Skywalk, Josephine Falls, Mt Bartle Frere, and Walshs Pyramid are among many.
Where: Variable distances between key attractions. As a guide, Walshs Pyramid is 25km south of Cairns and Mamu Tropical Skywalk 30km southwest of Innisfail.
What: Nestled within the beautiful Blackall Range, Kondalilla has a mix of forested surrounds that attract a rich variety of birdlife and other creatures. The park is headlined by a waterfall of the same name, which creates a magnificent sight from various vantage points as it plunges into a valley setting.
Essential attraction: Kondalilla Falls and it associated rock pools, which suit swimming.
Where: 25km west of Maroochydore; 40km northwest of Caloundra.
What: Part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, Lamington delivers a seemingly endless array of eye candy. Along with the obvious rainforest-dominated landscape, there is a bounty of waterfalls, creeks, ancient trees, and some seriously epic walks and viewing platforms to soak up the immense beauty.
Essential attractions: Take your pick of waterfalls – there is more than 500 of them! Morans, Coomera, Yarrabilgong, and Elabana all please the eyes.
Where: 45km southwest of the Gold Coast.
What: This prized park is regarded as the southern gateway to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, so predictably radiant rainforest abounds. It’s joined by rugged rock features, creeks, falls, and waterholes as well as rare and endangered birds among other highlights.
Essential attractions: Rainforest-cloaked Mt Spec and rainforest-fringed Jourama Falls are two standout features.
Where: 60km north of Townsville (Mt Spec section); 90km north of Townsville (Jourama Falls section).
What: With a setting on and around Lamb Range, these neighbouring national parks showcase many absorbing natural wonders. These include granite boulders, towering trees, flowing falls, and more. Following one of the parks’ purpose-built mountain bike paths is an excellent way to uncover the various highlights.
Essential attractions: Davies Creek Falls and the Clohesy River fig tree.
Where: 55km west of Cairns.