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Events in national parks

Photo: Tourism and Events QueenslandPhoto: Tourism and Events Queensland

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 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 Qld school holidays Connect with Nature Summer, Easter, Winter and Spring programs

Around Brisbane

  • Various parks
Recreational
Spring/
Summer
Sep–Feb 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 Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Spring/
Summer
Sep–Mar 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
Oct–Mar Manta ray viewing Manta rays can be seen regularly from North Stradbroke Island’s rocky headlands.

Around Brisbane

Wildlife spectacle (annual)
Spring/
Summer
Nov–Feb 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
Nov–Jan 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
Nov–Feb 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 Dec–Feb 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 Dec–Feb 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 Dec–Mar 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 Dec–Mar 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
Dec–Apr 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

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

Dry grasslands of western Queensland

Wildlife celebration (Annual)

Autumn

April 4-15, 2018

Commonwealth Games

International sporting events held at the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns. Mountain bike event at Nerang NP; special visitor experiences offered in other parks.

Gold Coast

Brisbane

Sporting/ Competitive

Recreational

 

Autumn

May 17-20, 2018

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 ev ents.

Around Brisbane:

 

Sporting/Competitive (Annual)

Winter

June 6-10, 2018

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

June 22-24, 2018

Oxfam Trailwalker

Tough physical challenge and rewarding fundraising challenge, with teams raising funds to support people living in poverty around the world. 400 teams walk 100km within 48hrs or 55km within 24hrs from Mt Glorious to Mt Coot-tha.

Around Brisbane

 

Recreational

Winter

June 24, 2018

Great Whitehaven Beach Run

Every June, keen runners take to the pristine sands of famous Whitehaven Beach on Hamilton Island in the lovely Whitsundays.

Mackay /Proserpine

Sporting/ Competitive

(Annual)

Last updated
2 February 2018