Walking Trails by Jenny Brewer
Walking the Queensland Trails
Queensland offers some of the most picturesque and enjoyable bushwalking
experiences in Australia. There is such a diversity of walks to choose
in South East Queensland, with wide coastlines, rainforests, waterfalls,
mountains and vast plains all within easy driving distance from Brisbane.
Take the drive up to Cairns
via Townsville and Rockhampton and you will be on the road to incredible
camping grounds and walking tracks that are hidden treasures just waiting
to be discovered. The benefit of travelling in a rental car is the freedom
to choose when and where you are going to stop and for how long. If you
are an avid bush walker, this is one of the best ways to enjoy getting
from one park to another in comfort and with plenty of flexibility. Plan
a rough itinerary ahead of schedule, with plenty of room to make changes
along the way.
Most national parks in Queensland
are closer to the coastline and run up and down the east coast of Australia.
As the climate is mainly tropical, most times of the year are perfect for
heading out and enjoying some of the most beautiful and hidden treasures
the sunny state has to offer. Be careful in the middle of summer and bring
plenty of water and sunscreen as the temperatures can rise quickly. You
will also need to plan ahead if you are camping, with permits required
in most national parks.
Queensland's highest mountain,
Mount Bartle Frere, is more for the advanced bushwalker but the views are
certainly worthwhile. Located not far from Cairns, you will need to set
aside a few days to reach the summit. Further north there are walks covering
a few days in the famous Daintree rainforest. You need to plan well for
these walks as they take two to three days, but cover some incredible scenery.
Fraser Island and Hinchinbrook
Island are both worth visiting for their long walks and spectacular scenery.
Both large national park islands, they have walks for all levels of fitness,
from one day to five days on Hinchinbrook. Carnarvon Gorge has fantastic
walks for the whole family. With a large and well maintained camping ground,
you can set off straight from your doorstep to see some of the most breathtaking
views and natural rock formations. It takes about nine hours from Brisbane
via Roma, but stay at least a week and enjoy the peace and tranquillity
of a true oasis in the heart of the outback.
Closer to south east Queensland,
there are plenty of national parks in each direction. Mount Barney is popular
to locals and tourists especially as it is the highest mountain in South
Queensland. Set up camp below and then set of for a day or two to experience
a diversity of terrain as you head up the mountain. This is not for beginners,
with steep climbing involved in some sections, however the summit is worth
the trek for a birds eye view of the surrounding park through to the coastline.
We took the family to the lower portals on a day trip, it was still a trek
taking close to two hours, but worth the rest at the rock pools.
If you are looking for a
lot of walks in one area, Lamington National Park, located closer to the
New South Wales border, is one of the best choices as there is so much
available for all fitness levels, there is an abundance of birdlife and
wildlife, and it covers an extensive rainforest area. There are a number
of shorter walks leading to some incredible views, and there are a number
of overnight walks for keener bushwalkers.
The Sunshine Coast offers
some incredible walks in the Great Sandy National Park. The crystal clear
streams running through pristine white sands is something you have to see,
and there are a number of amazing camping grounds available, especially
in Rainbow Beach and across to Fraser Island. The Cooloola Wilderness Trail
is the most popular and from start to finish is a three day walk. It covers
some of the best rainforest and freshwater sections of the park and is
worth the visit. The Hinterland Great Walk in the Sunshine Hinterland starts
in Montville and meanders over some of the most breathtaking mountainous
scenery, including the famous Kondalilla Falls, ending in the Mapleton
forest. You can enjoy this walk in sections or complete the full seven
hour walk over a few days.
This is only a handful of
some incredible walking tracks available in Queensland. Maybe choose a
few and plan your driving holiday around them. There is nothing better
than getting outdoors and enjoying nature at its best in spectacular surroundings,
and there is no better time to start planning your bushwalking holiday