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Family and friends

Whether you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, an outing for the school holidays, somewhere special to take visitors or a scenic place to exchange your wedding vows, Queensland's parks and forests are a great place for you to relax and reconnect with family and friends.

Places to go

David Fleay Wildlife Park's platypus breeding program is world-renowned. Photo: Queensland Government.

David Fleay Wildlife Park's platypus breeding program is world-renowned. Photo: Queensland Government.

The kids will love Daisy Hill. Photo: Queensland Government.

The kids will love Daisy Hill. Photo: Queensland Government.

Who's game to climb the observation tower? Photo: Queensland Government.

Who's game to climb the observation tower? Photo: Queensland Government.

Parks offer far more than just picnic grounds and camp sites. These local attractions are perfect for a day trip.

David Fleay Wildlife Park

Whether you drop in for a few hours in an action-packed day of Gold Coast sightseeing, or take your time and stay all day, David Fleay Wildlife Park is a must see.

Known for its impressive nocturnal house, don’t miss the playful antics of the platypus as they forage and feed and even use their waterfall as a water slide!

Daisy Hill

For a day out that’s absolutely free, visit Daisy Hill Regional Park. Check out the Koala Centre, where adults and children alike can see and learn about Australia’s most iconic native animal. Afterwards, enjoy a picnic under the gum trees, or head out on a short walk to see if you can spot one of the wild koalas that call Daisy Hill home.

Walkabout Creek

Brisbane’s best kept secret, the South East Queensland Wildlife Centre at Walkabout Creek, is a showcase of local wildlife. Just 12 km from Brisbane’s CBD, you’ll find cute native mammals like the spotted-tailed quoll, a walk-through bird aviary, scaly snakes, native fish aquaria and much more.

Follow your visit with lunch or a coffee at the Green Tree Frog café, then take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Enoggera Reservoir.

Mamu

The elevated walkways of the Mamu Tropical Skywalk, south of Cairns, provide spectacular panoramic views of World Heritage rainforest landscapes.

With a 10 m long cantilever and a 37 m high observation tower with two viewing decks, Mamu is a unique way to experience the rainforest from the comfort of an award-winning facility.

Parks for all

The walking tracks and elevated walkways at the Mamu Tropical Skywalk are wheelchair accessible. Photo: Queensland Government.

The walking tracks and elevated walkways at the Mamu Tropical Skywalk are wheelchair accessible. Photo: Queensland Government.

The wheelchair-accessible Wyberba walk in Girraween National Park. Photo: Jo McLellan, Queensland Government.

The wheelchair-accessible Wyberba walk in Girraween National Park. Photo: Jo McLellan, Queensland Government.

A beach-going wheelchair is available at the Turtle Encounters at Mon Repos Regional Park. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

A beach-going wheelchair is available at the Turtle Encounters at Mon Repos Regional Park. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

The ground floor of the bird hide at Hasties Swamp National Park, Queensland, is wheelchair-accessible. Photo: Tourism Queensland.

The ground floor of the bird hide at Hasties Swamp National Park, Queensland, is wheelchair-accessible. Photo: Tourism Queensland.

The tracks at Wongabel State Forest are designed for walkers who are vision impaired. Photo: Tamara Vallance, Queensland Government.

The tracks at Wongabel State Forest are designed for walkers who are vision impaired. Photo: Tamara Vallance, Queensland Government.

From the bush to the beach, Queensland’s parks, forests and reserves showcase the state’s unique and irreplaceable natural and cultural values. Queensland Parks and Wildlife service is continually working to improve access to parks, forests and reserves for everyone, including visitors with reduced mobility and vision impairment.

Easy access parks

In an ever-increasing number of parks, facilities are provided for visitors who use wheelchairs or have some other mobility difficulty, including elderly visitors; and for families with prams and strollers. These wheelchair-accessible features include toilets, camping areas, picnic areas, walking tracks, boardwalks and lookouts. While not all facilities meet Australian standards, many are suitable for wheelchairs with assistance. Every effort is made to provide detailed information about the level and type of facilities offered to help visitors make an informed choice about suitable sites to visit. Browse parks, reserves and forests by activity.

Explore the tropical rainforest of North Queensland from the floor to the canopy on walking tracks and elevated walkways at the Mamu Tropical Skywalk. Enjoy the peaceful waters of Bald Rock Creek and spring wildflowers displays along the Wyberba walk in Girraween National Park. Land a big one at the Burrum Coast National Park wheelchair-accessible fishing platform or enjoy the historical displays at Cape Pallarenda National Park. See some of the state’s most fascinating creatures at Daisy Hill Koala Centre, Walkabout Creek Visitor Centre and David Fleay Wildlife Park. Immerse yourself in tropical Green Island National Park, join the 95 million year old stampede of panicked dinosaurs at Lark Quarry Regional Park or head underground on a guided tour of Road Cave in Undara Volcanic National Park. If experiencing wildlife is more your style, why not try a ranger-guided turtle encounter at Mon Repos Regional Park or a stop at the birdhides at Hasties Swamp National Park and Townsville Town Common Regional Park?

See parks and prams for information on pram and stroller friendly parks.

Showing the way

Visitors with vision-impairment can experience nature in parks, forests and reserves with varying degrees of independence. In many parks, new and improved facilities are being provided to allow visitors to achieve independence through access and mobility.

Visitors with guide dogs and other mobility aids, such as canes, are welcome in all parks, forests and reserves. Increasingly, information signs on parks are designed to be accessible for visitors with low vision.

In North Queensland, blind and visually-impaired visitors can explore the tropical rainforest with relative independence. Tap rails, hand rails and tactile directional signs are along all tracks and walkways at the Mamu Tropical Skywalk, and Braille and large print guides are available from the ticket office. Interpretive signs are designed for easy reading by elderly and vision-impaired visitors. The two walking tracks at Wongabel State Forest are lined and have tactile indicators. Braille booklets, tactile maps and audio headsets are also available.

Facilities of the future

As the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service upgrades its facilities, consideration is given to making parks, forests and reserves accessible for all visitors. All new and replacement toilet facilities will meet Australian standards for accessibility; and other new and replacement facilities will cater for a variety of disabilities, where practical.

Parks for kids

The Mon Repos information centre has stories to delight all ages. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

The Mon Repos information centre has stories to delight all ages. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Play in the rainforest at Lake Eacham. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Play in the rainforest at Lake Eacham. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Kids connect with nature in Queensland national parks. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

Kids connect with nature in Queensland national parks. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

Families love Girraween National Park. Photo: Jo McLellan.

Families love Girraween National Park. Photo: Jo McLellan.

Hunt for cassowary 'eggs' at Djiru National Park. Photo: Julie Swartz.

Hunt for cassowary 'eggs' at Djiru National Park. Photo: Julie Swartz.

Queensland's parks, reserves and forests offer a range of experiences that appeal to visitors, young and not so young. From swimming to fishing, birdwatching to biking, there are activities to keep everyone happy.

Several parks have activities and facilities designed specifically for children.

At Lake Eacham, kids (and adults) can wriggle like a snake, stamp on pests and hunt for dragons on a fun 1.4 km return Children’s walk. In the beautiful fan palm forests of Djiru National Park near Mission Beach, families can discover and follow ‘cassowary footprints’ to a ‘nest’.

The interpretive centre at Mon Repos Regional Park has displays and activity sheets for kids, Junior Turtle ranger activities, a kids’ corner and, from November to March, the nightly turtle encounter.

The kids will love the displays at Noosa National Park, Girraween National Park and Glass House Mountains National Park.

At Fort Lytton National Park, holiday activities are part of the Go Back in Time program. This program offers exciting and innovative ways for kids to experience heritage sites in the national park.

Before visiting Main Range National Park, parents can print the kids’ activity sheet (PDF, 340K) for the Dalrymple circuit at Goomburra. The sheet—for children nine years and older—encourages children to use observation skills to find answers in the self-guiding signs.

The Mamu Tropical Skywalk has activity booklets for children of various ages. Children 3–6 years use all their senses to become ‘Rainforest Explorers’ and experience the shapes, colours, textures, sounds and smells of the rainforest. Children 6–10 years become ‘Rainforest Detectives’, tracing animal and plant clues and investigating different features of the rainforest. Children over 10 years require perseverance and courage to become ‘Rainforest Challengers’ and unravel the mysteries of the ecology of the rainforest.

Go to South East Queensland’s wildlife parks where kids can get up close to incredible native animals. Koalas, platypus, crocodiles, gliders and an amazing variety of birds, reptiles and aquatic animals await. Admission fees may apply.

Connect with Nature events and activities inspire park visitors across Queensland. The sessions offer a wide range of activities for adults, children and families in parks and forests and other locations. There’s something for everyone—join a ranger-guided tour, learn to birdwatch like a pro, spotlight for possums or just discover the wonders of the natural world.

Parks for schools

David Fleay Wildlife Park features a variety of ranger-guided environmental education programs for schools that provide discovery-based experiences for students (Queensland grades Prep–12). The curriculum-based programs explore threatened species, life cycles, biodiversity and many other themes.

The Mamu Tropical Skywalk has an environmental education program for schools (Queensland grades 4–7), designed to be led by the class teacher. The activities are curriculum-based and complement Rainforest Explorer, an education program produced by the Wet Tropic Management Authority. For more information, see Mamu schools information.

The Go Back in Time—school program at Fort Lytton National Park has a strong educational focus with many activities using theatre-in-education techniques designed to engage students’ imagination.

The Connect with Nature schools program features environmental education activities offered in South East Queensland parks and forests. Students experience the natural environment and cultural heritage through ranger-guided activities. Some activities may attract a small fee.

Parks and prams

Tracks suitable for prams strollers are available in many popular parks. Get close to the animals at David Fleay Wildlife Park—home to cassowaries, crocodiles, wombats and a host of other animals. Brunch with the birds at Walkabout Creek or enjoy a ranger-guided wildlife tour and feeding session. Take in the gorge, waterfalls and rock pools on the Cedar Creek Falls track in Tamborine National Park. Join the kids in marvelling at the majesty of the giant twin kauri pine trees at Lake Barrine or enjoy the coastal scenery at historic Joseph Banks Regional Park.

Short walks

Everyone likes a bushwalk. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

Everyone likes a bushwalk. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

Take a walk on the wild side. The options for short walks through Queensland’s parks are virtually endless. Discover native wildlife, towering trees and spectacular views, all on easy trails the whole family can enjoy.

Southern Queensland

Explore cool rainforests at Tamborine, Ravensbourne and Bunya Mountains national parks. Check out Springbrook National Park for waterfalls and spectacular hinterland views, or head to Noosa or Burleigh Head national parks where you will find beautiful coastal scenery. At Girraween and Crows Nest there's striking granite landscapes, but if you want a peaceful bushwalk close to the city visit D’Aguilar National Park or Daisy Hill Regional Park.

Central Queensland

Central Queensland’s parks are a haven of rainforest-clad mountains, rocky headlands, secluded beaches and sweeping views of islands and distant ranges. From mangrove walks to panoramic outlooks, you’ll enjoy the short walks at:

North Queensland

The tropical parks and forests of North Queensland are a virtual smorgasboard of spectacular sights. For short walks to stunning waterfalls, try Girringun, Millstream Falls and Barron Gorge national parks, or enjoy lakeside views at Crater Lakes National Park and Keatings Lagoon (Mulbabidgee) Regional Park.

From volcanic craters to rare mabi forest, you’ll experience even more wonders on short walks at Danbulla National Park, Daintree National Park, Green Island National Park and Wongabel State Forest.

Get married in parks

Queensland's parks and forests offer natural surroundings for your special day. Photo courtesy of Jane Hobbs.

Queensland's parks and forests offer natural surroundings for your special day. Photo courtesy of Jane Hobbs.

Exchange your vows on a scenic beach. Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland.

Exchange your vows on a scenic beach. Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland.

From white sandy beaches on tropical islands to crystal clear lakes with serene surroundings, or from rugged mountain tops with spectacular views to lush rainforest and cascading waterfalls—Queensland’s parks and forests can provide the perfect location for your special day.

What couple wouldn’t enjoy exchanging vows on the white sandy beach of a tropical island with the aquamarine ocean lapping in the background? If that sounds like your ideal wedding location then an island national park might be the place for you. The Whitsunday national park islands are not only beautiful but offer the convenience of a number of nearby resorts. Heron Island, in the Capricornia Cays National Park, also has a resort and is a perfect location for nature loving couples. A northern island location may be more to your liking, perhaps magnificent Magnetic Island just off the coast of Townsville, rugged Fitzroy Island, or the popular Green Island. Fraser and Moreton are larger, southern islands close to the mainland. Fraser Island features long beaches, dramatic coloured sand cliffs and pristine freshwater lakes, while Moreton Island has beautiful coastal scenery and an historic lighthouse.

A beach wedding on the mainland might be more your style so try Cape Hillsborough or Noosa national parks, Joseph Banks Regional Park, or Cooloola or Inskip Peninsula recreation areas. Cape Hillsborough National Park is one of the most ruggedly beautiful parks on the Central Queensland coast. Here you can enjoy a beach wedding with a backdrop featuring rocky headlands and forest-clad hillsides. Picturesque Noosa National Park includes the popular scenic headland at Noosa Heads and has a picnic area overlooking beautiful Laguna Bay with sweeping views from Noosa to Cooloola. Joseph Banks Regional Park’s rocky headland is bounded by ocean on the east and estuary to the west and provides magnificent views north to Bustard Head and Rodds Peninsula. Cooloola Recreation Area features stunning coastal scenery, especially from the Carlo Sandblow, just outside Rainbow Beach and the start of the fantastic Cooloola Great Walk—a wonderful idea for a get-away-from-it-all camping honeymoon. Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area, with the backdrop of gorgeous Fraser Island across the blue ocean waters, is close to Rainbow Beach and a range of accommodation options for wedding guests and honeymooners.

If your idea of the perfect day includes tying the knot on a mountain top surrounded by memorable vistas why not consider McLellands Lookout. This lookout is nestled in the tropical rainforest of the Mount Spec section of Paluma Range National Park and offers extensive views of Halifax Bay and the Palm Islands. Or maybe the mist-shrouded, forest-clad mountain refuge of Eungella National Park is more your style. The Cammoo section of Mount Etna Caves National Park with its remnant dry rainforest and network of protruding limestone karst creates a dramatic background, best visited in the cooler months of late autumn to early spring. Another great location is Bunya Mountains National Park with its cool mountains, rainforests and waterfalls, unique range-top grasslands, panoramic views and the largest stand of ancient bunya pines in the world.

Imagine saying ‘I do’ in the lush surrounds of a world heritage-listed rainforest. You and your guests will be swept away by Lamington National Park with its beautiful rainforest and stunning mountain scenery. Or for a magical rainforest wedding close to Brisbane try Walkabout Creek in D’Aguilar National Park.

Walk down the aisle in open forest surrounded by the sounds of the bush at Daisy Hill Regional Park. This park has two venues that can be hired out for your special day.

Maybe you'd like to include some native wildlife in your wedding day celebrations. David Fleay Wildlife Park on the Gold Coast, offers a unique venue surrounded by wildlife and photograph opportunities on the Tallebudgera Creek Mangrove Boardwalk.

Contact us for more information about bookings.

Last updated
17 July 2014