Top 10 things to do and see in Queensland’s national parks this summer

QUEENSLANDERS are being urged to get out and enjoy the sunshine state’s national parks these summer holidays.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch is encouraging families to find time to get outdoors and make the most of some of Australia’s most exquisite national parks.

“We live next to some of Australia’s most magnificent outdoor spaces,” Ms Enoch said. “Use your time off to do something new and different.”


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“Queensland offers so many opportunities, whether it’s catching some waves, exploring ruins or trekking through a rainforest – our national parks have any adventure covered.”

Here are the top 10 things you can get up to in Queensland’s parks and forests this summer:

1) See nesting turtles at Mon Repos near Bundaberg

The largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland happens at Mon Repos Conservation Park, about half an hour’s drive from Bundaberg. The park is home to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre, a hub for visitors and marine turtle conservation. This summer, researchers and rangers are celebrating 50 years of the research program. From November to March, visitors can book a tour to see nesting and hatching turtles on the beach at night. Details: npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/mon-repos

And while you’re down that way, remember to take a look at the ex-HMAS Tobruk at Bundaberg Port, where she is being prepared for scuttling as a world-class dive wreck around mid-2018. Check out the information panels and interactive video displays presenting her history.

2) Pitch a tent or pop up your trailer

Camping is a great way to experience the Australian bush and see native wildlife. Take your pick from around 470 camping areas in Queensland’s parks and forests. You may find yourself enjoying sea views, listening to the sounds of the rainforest, or gazing at the stars. Details: qld.gov.au/camping

3) Explore the Whitsundays

The Whitsunday Ngaro Sea Trail is one of Queensland’s Great Walks and adds another dimension to the Whitsunday experience. This area was the traditional home of the Ngaro Aboriginal people, who inhabited the islands for the past 9000 years, and the walks showcase the islands’ scenery, history and ecosystems. You will visit iconic destinations and experience the extensive walking tracks across Whitsunday, South Molle and Hook Islands. To get from one track to the next, island-hoppers can expect a short boat ride or spend a few hours kayaking. Details: npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/whitsunday-ngaro-sea-trail

4) Go birdwatching

Take the binoculars and experience the serenity of birdwatching in the bush. In the lush rainforests of Lamington National Park you’ll be captivated by the birdlife, from brightly coloured parrots and bowerbirds to the fascinating Albert’s lyrebird with its ability to mimic other birds. For more places to go birdwatching, visit npsr.qld.gov.au/experiences/wildlife-encounters

5) Take a cave tour

Enter the eerie depths of echoing caves with shadowy corners and looming stalagmites. Spectacular caverns, limestone formations and ancient marine fossils are just some of the wonders you’ll discover at Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park west of Cairns. Choose from ranger-led tours or self-guided cave walks. Further south-west, Undara Volcanic National Park is home to one of the longest lava tube cave systems in the world. Join a guide for an underground tour of the lava tubes, or get a bird’s-eye view of the volcanic landscape from a chartered scenic flight. Near Rockhampton, experience the rush of thousands of tiny bats flashing past you on an evening Bat Cleft cave tour at Mount Etna Caves National Park. Details: npsr.qld.gov.au/experiences/adventure-recreation

6) Get on your bike or saddle up

Ride through world heritage-listed rainforests, tackle trails that challenge world champions, follow valleys and ridges cloaked in sun-dappled forests, or take a leisurely pedal alongside clear creeks and sandy beaches. Whether you are advanced competitors, a family group or beginners, you’ll find trails to match, with purpose-built mountain bike parks and forest trails offering an ever-growing range of riding experiences. Details: npsr.qld.gov.au/experiences/mountain-biking

Horse riding is also a great way to enjoy physical activity in a beautiful environment. Horse trails on Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service estate provide a range of challenges, from gentle, well-graded trails to rough and difficult terrain for experienced riders. Horses are not permitted in all parks, forests and reserves in Queensland. Check first where you can ride at npsr.qld.gov.au/experiences/horse_riding_and_cycling

7) Fishing

Recreational fishing is permitted in some national parks and marine park zones, but can be restricted to specific areas within a park. For zoning maps and information, see npsr.qld.gov.au/experiences/fishing

8) Canoeing and kayaking

Test your paddling prowess on scenic waterways. Along the Upper Noosa River, you’ll find camp sites accessible by canoe and a variety of bushwalks in Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park. Or check out Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre in Brisbane’s backyard where you can paddle in Enoggera Reservoir after enjoying a wildlife show. For other popular locations visit npsr.qld.gov.au/experiences/adventure-recreation

9) Rock climbing and abseiling

Set your heart racing and see the world from a unique perspective. Abseil down the rhyolite bluffs of Point Glorious in Mapleton Forest Reserve, or climb the vertical cliff-face of Mount Tinbeerwah in Tewantin National Park until you reach the 360 degree panoramic views at the top. Discover more places to rock-climb or abseil at Moogerah Peaks National Park, Brooyar State Forest, and Glass House Mountains National Park. Details at npsr.qld.gov.au/experiences/adventure-recreation

10) Visit Wally the platypus and friends at David Fleay Wildlife Park on the Gold Coast

David Fleay Wildlife Park at West Burleigh is home to crocodiles, koalas, emus, brolgas, dingoes, dunnarts, bilbies, kangaroos, platypus and many more creatures. Take in a Creatures of the Night or Fleay’s In Flight show.Details: npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/david-fleay

Need more top ideas for summer fun in the outdoors? Visit qld.gov.au/nationalparks

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