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Events in national parks

Photos: Qld Govt; Cindy Blacker; Leoni McDonald; Tourism and Events Queensland; SOK Images.Photos: Qld Govt; Cindy Blacker; Leoni McDonald; Tourism and Events Queensland; SOK Images.

From international sporting events to regional food and wine festivals to local community activities, Queensland’s parks play host to many different events. QPWS rangers also offer a unique program of guided walks and holiday programs and nature puts on her own show, sometimes outshining all other events with spectacular seasonal cycles of reproduction and migration. Below is just a taste of what’s on offer. Also check out Tourism and Events Queensland’s 2016 calendar of events.

Season Date Event Details Location(s) Experience
All All year Go Back in Time Program Exciting and innovative program to experience premier heritage sites in Moreton Bay. Around Brisbane Recreational
All All year Ranger guided cave tours Ranger-guided tours of Chillagoe’s spectacular underground limestone caves, every day except Christmas Day. Around Cairns Recreational
All 7am every Saturday Bunyaville Parkrun Social community 5km timed run, just for fun, held every Saturday, 7am.

Around Brisbane

Recreational (weekly)
All Queensland school holidays Connect with Nature Summer, Easter, Winter and Spring programs

Around Brisbane

  • Various parks
Recreational
Spring/
Summer
September–February Beach stone-curlews nesting Beach stone-curlews nest on sandbanks, sandpits or islands in estuaries, coral ridges, among mangroves or in sand surrounded by grasses.

Central Coast; Mackay/Proserpine; Around Townsville; Around Cairns; Cape York Peninsula

  • Coastal and island parks
Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Spring/
Summer
September–March Migratory shorebird viewing Migratory shorebirds (waders) arrive from northern hemisphere to spend the southern summer feeding in wetlands and on off-shore islands before departing around March.

Around Brisbane; Outback Queensland; Central Coast; Around Townsville

  • GBR islands
Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Spring/
Summer
October-March Manta ray viewing Manta rays can be seen regularly from North Stradbroke Island’s rocky headlands.

Around Brisbane

Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Spring/
Summer/
Autumn
October–April Wedge-tailed shearwaters nesting Thousands of wedge-tailed shearwaters arrive at North -West Island in October to nest; fledglings leave their burrows and adult shearwaters leave the islands around April.

Central Coast

Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Spring/
Summer
November–February Rainforest canopy flowering Flame trees, lacebarks, white ash, wonga and bower vines flower pink, red and white, adding colour to the rainforest canopy and carpeting the forest floor.

Around Brisbane; Sunshine Coast

Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Spring/
Summer
November–January Sea turtle nesting Female sea turtles come ashore on beaches and islands to lay eggs in sandy nests.

Central Coast

Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Spring/
Summer
November–February Bat cave tours Ranger-guided tours of Bat Cleft Cave to view thousands of little bent-wing bats during breeding season.

Central Coast

Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Summer December–February Cicadas emerge Cicadas (insects) emerge from their ‘shells’ and sing to attract mates, providing the shrill background drone of the Aussie summer.

Parks throughout north, central and south-east Queensland

Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Summer December–February Richmond birdwing butterflies in flight Vulnerable butterflies may be spotted during flight period, colourful males hover around rainforest creeks and clearings.

Around Brisbane; Sunshine Coast

Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Summer December–March Bunya nuts drop Bunya pines drop cones containing edible seeds known as bunya ‘nuts’. Heavy crops occur about every three years. Aboriginal people gathered for bunya festivals that coincided with this natural event.

Around Brisbane

Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Summer December–March Glow worms A colony of thousands of glow-worms found in the cave's roof at Natural Bridge can only be seen after sunset. The best bioluminescence displays are usually during the warmer, wetter months of the year.

Around Brisbane

Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Summer/
Autumn
December–April Crocodile nesting Estuarine crocodiles lay their eggs and guard their nests on creek/river banks for 90 days until hatchlings emerge.
  • Central Coast; Mackay/Proserpine; Around Townsville; Around Cairns; Cape York Peninsula
  • Coastal and inland parks from Gladstone to Cape York, and offshore islands
Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Summer/
Autumn
January–March Sea turtle hatching Sea turtle hatchlings emerge from nests and clamber across the beach to the sea.

Central Coast

Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Summer/
Autumn
January–March Waterbirds breeding Waterbirds, such as brolgas, magpie geese and jacanas, and ducks, such as Pacific Black ducks and whistling ducks, nest and lay eggs during wet season when food in wetlands is abundant.

Outback Queensland; Around Townsville; Around Cairns; Cape York Peninsula

Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Autumn April 1-2, 2017 Adventurethon Magnetic Island Multisport race—kayak, trail run and mountain bike ride (junior through to elite levels).

Around Townsville

Sporting/competitive
Autumn March–April Easter bilby arrives The bilby, a small endangered mammal, is promoted as the Aussie symbol for Easter to raise awareness of bilby conservation

Outback Queensland

Wildlife celebration (annual)
Autumn May 18–21, 2017 Noosa Food and Wine Festival Celebration of food and wine in and around Noosa, including sunset concert and Italian feast in Noosa National Park.

Sunshine Coast

Recreational
Spring/
Summer/
Autumn
Various Gold Coast Trail Running Series A four event series comprising short (5–8km) and long (10–15km) course trail running events.

Gold Coast

Sporting/competitive
Spring/
Summer
Various Brisbane Trail Running series 500 participants. The Brisbane Trail Running Series is a four event series comprising short (5–10km) and long (10–25km) course trail running events.

Around Brisbane:

Sporting/competitive (annual)
Winter June 5–13, 2017 Cairns Airport Adventure Festival Ironman Triathlon; Coral Coast Triathlon; RRR Mountain Bike Challenge; Great barrier Reef Ocean Challenge; Reef Swim (Green Island); Run for Cairns and IronKids Cairns

Around Cairns

Sporting/competitive (annual)
Winter 17 June 2017 Porcupine Gorge Challenge 8km course along the base of gorge near The Pyramid, categories include men’s/ women’s open; junior and participation walks.

Around Townsville

Sporting/competitive (annual)
Winter June 16–18, 2017 Oxfam Trailwalker Tough physical challenge and rewarding fundraising challenge, with teams raising funds to support people living in poverty around the world. Four hundred teams walk 100km within 48hrs or 55km within 24hrs from Mt Glorious to Mt Coot-tha.

Around Brisbane

Recreational
Winter May-November, 2017 Hamilton Island Endurance Series The Hamilton Island Endurance series spans four endurance events—the Hamilton Half Marathon, Great Whitehaven Beach Run, Hamilton Island Triathlon and Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim. The perfect place to push yourself in paradise.

Mackay/Proserpine

  • Around Hamilton Island, Whitsundays
Sporting/competitive (annual)
Last updated
12 December 2016