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Queensland Walking Trails
qld walkThe bushwalking trails of Queensland are some of the most exciting and scenic in the country. The diversity in abundance of walks in south east Queensland will leave you with countless options of just where to begin. Bushwalks along he wide coastlines, through dense rainforests, and past stunninng waterfalls, mountains and vast plains are all within easy driving distance from the capital city of Brisbane. Drive north towards Cairns, Rockhampton and Townsville and you will come across some more amazing trails and beautiful campsites that are just begging to be discovered.

Most national parks in Queensland are relatively close to the eastern coastline of Australia. The climate in this part of the country is mainly tropical, and 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. Make sure to take it easy in the middle of summer, and always carry plenty of water and bring your sunscreen. Make sure you plan ahead and obtain permits if you intend to stay in the parks. This will avoid any disappointments.

A popular trekking ground are the bushwalks around Mount Bartle Frere, which is Queensland's tallest mountain. These treks are advised for only the more advanced bushwalkers but the views are certainly worthwhile. Close to Cairns, it will take you a few days to reach the summit. If you head north further still, there are numerous walks that explore the lush surrounds of the Daintree Forest. You need to plan well for these walks as they take two to three days, but cover some incredible scenery and are definitely worthwhile.

Fraser Island and Hinchinbrook Island are world-renowned natural destinations and are worth the visit for their long walks and spectacular scenery. These islands hold national park status and have bush walks for all levels of fitness, from one day to five days on Hinchinbrook. Fraser is renowned as the largest sand island in the world, and has some amazing freshwater lakes in it that offer the perfect setting for scenic hikes.

Carnarvon Gorge is a truly fantastic place to visit and 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 in the state. 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. Trust me, you will need this just to see the entirety of the gorge.

If you just want to stick to south east Queensland, there are plenty of national parks in each direction. Mount Barney is the highest peak in South Queensland, and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. You can set up base camp at the foot of the mountain and then climb it from there, enjoying the diversity of landscapes you pass through. There is some steep climbing involved in some sections, but the rock pools and panoramic views from the summit make it all worthwhile.

If you are searching for a lot of walks in one area, Lamington National Park, located closer to the New South Wales border, is the perfect place. This national park has an abundance of wildlife and birdlife that will enthrall you and the kids. There are both long and short walks leading to some incredible views, and there are a number of overnight walks for keener bushwalkers.

The Sunshine Coast is another bushwalking heaven, easpecially the hinterland. The Great Sandy National Park is home to pure clear waters that run through shiny white sands in scenes that could be from a storybook. If you head north a little further, you will come across some amazing camping grounds, especially in Rainbow Beach and on 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 imaginable. The famous Kondalilla Falls, ending in the Mapleton forest are a highlight of this walk and simply must be seen to be believed. You can enjoy this walk in sections or complete the full seven hour walk over a few days.

Queensland offers some truly amazing walking tracks and these are just a small handful of 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 than now.

Christine Barton

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