Explore the State and National Parks around Brisbane

6 October 2015

Brisbane is surrounded by a bounty of natural beauty that is completely free to explore. From heritage-listed rainforests to sand islands and bushland – the scenery around Brisbane city is so diverse that no two adventures will ever be the same.

Whether you are looking to escape the concrete jungle for the weekend or discover somewhere new to horse-ride, fish, bushwalk or cycle, get back to nature at one of these national or state parks around Brisbane.

Brisbane Council area

Bushwalkers

Moreton Island National Park, Moreton Island

Just a stone’s throw from Brisbane, jump on the barge or ferry and hop over to Moreton Island National Park to discover miles of beautiful beaches, tall sand dunes, crystal-clear creeks and lagoons, natural flora, wild marine life and abundant wildflowers.

Fort Lytton National Park

Fort Lytton is an important historical site that lies on the banks of the Brisbane River. Located within the national park is an 1881-built pentagonal fortress that was used in the defence of Brisbane until the end of World War II. The fort is open to the public on Sundays and public holidays, with free guided tours running regularly.

Moreton Bay Marine Park

Brisbane’s only park not on land, the Moreton Bay Marine Park is an aquatic playground for locals and visitors alike. Just off Brisbane’s doorstep, Moreton Bay features offshore reefs, numerous islands, internationally significant wetlands, seagrass meadows (and dugongs!) and white sandy beaches. The park is zoned to protect and nurture wildlife, so check a map before dropping your fishing line.

Samford Regional Park

Just a 20-minute drive from central Brisbane, this regional park provides an easy escape to the country. The village of Samford is home to cute shops and cafes, or pack your own picnic to enjoy among the ironbark trees.

Teerk Roo Ra National Park, Moreton Bay

Peel Island is a small island situated in Moreton Bay between North Stradbroke Island and Cleveland that is of cultural significance to Brisbane. The national park consumes the entire island and features remnants of a quarantine stations and a multi-racial lazaret. Access to Horseshoe Bay and Platypus Bay is available to private boats. Keen adventurers can camp in this remote spot!

Venman Bushland National Park and Daisy Hill Regional Park

Daisy Hill Koala Centre

Keen to spot a koala? Venman Bushland is one of the largest remaining eucalypt forests in the coastal lowlands near Brisbane, making it an important habitat for the furry critters. The park is located 40km south of Brisbane City and contains both a 2.5km and 7.5km circuit.

Located right near Venman Bushland, Daisy Hill Regional Park is more than just a eucalypt forest – it is also home to Daisy Hill Koala Centre. When you’ve finished your picnic or short forest walk, visit the educational koalas who call the centre home.

St Helena Island National Park

The site of Queensland’s first penal settlement, take the chance to tour the stone ruins to gain insights into 19th century life in Brisbane. The island is accessible by boat from Manly or New Farm.

Bunyaville Regional Park

Just 15km north-west of Brisbane lies Bunyaville Regional Park. Its close proximity to the CBD makes it a convenient place for locals to go bushwalking, horse riding and mountain biking.

Moggill Regional Park

Head 22km west of Brisbane to find Moggill Regional Park. This bushland space is open to picnics, horseriding, mountain biking. It also allows dogs on a leash.

Scenic Rim

Lamington National Park

Lamginton National Park views at sunset

The lush rainforests, ancient trees and spectacular views set the scene for your walk through Yugambeh country. Here you will find the Gondwana Rainforests – an Australian world-heritage area of exceptional ecological importance. If you choose the right walk, you’ll discover the stunning Elabana Falls or Chalahn Falls.

Moogerah Peaks National Park

Located 90 minutes south-west of Brisbane, Moogerah Peaks National Park is home to an interesting landscape of undeveloped volcanic peaks and the beautiful Lake Moogerah. Enjoy a hike through the forest, launch your boat on the lake or camp at Mt French.

Tamborine National Park

Made up of 14 sections, this huge park located 80km south of Brisbane sits atop Mt Tamborine with views to the Pacific Ocean on one side and Lamington National Park on the other. The Witches Falls section of the park was declared in 1908 – making it Queensland’s first national park.

Mt Barney National Park

Home to many rare animals and plant species, Mt Barney National Park includes the remains of the ancient Focal Peak Shield Volcano that erupted 24 million years ago. Bushwalkers can enjoy changing vegetation at some of the highest peaks in South East Queensland. All trails require at least a moderate level of fitness.

Moreton Bay Region

D’Aguilar National Park

Couple walk through D'Agular National Park

Close to Brisbane’s city centre, D’Aguilar starts just 10km from the CBD and stretches out north into the Moreton Bay Region. Here you will discover remote gorges, sheltered pockets of subtropical rainforest, expanses of eucalypt woodland and spectacular views to Moreton Bay. The park covers 36,000ha and has endless walking trails and activities to complete.

Bribie Island National Park

Just 65km north of Brisbane, Bribie Island is connected to the mainland by bridge and is home to a small township. Most of the island is national park and is best accessed by 4WD or boat. The sand dunes, paperbark forests and freshwater creeks are popular with campers. Those without a 4WD can walk the 3.8km Bicentennial Bushwalk from town.

Redlands

Naree Budjong Djara National Park, North Stradbroke Island

Couple hiking

“My Mother Earth” it is called by the Quandamooka people, the traditional  owners of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). Making up about half the large sand island, the park includes freshwater lakes, sand dunes, wetlands and endangered heathlands, with two walking tracks open to the public. The island can be accessed from the mainland at Cleveland via a 50-minute vehicle ferry or 25-minute water taxi. You can stay in one of the three townships on the island, plus enjoy surfing, fishing and swimming outside the national park.

Southern Moreton Bay Island National Park

Situated at the southern end of the Moreton Bay Marine Park, these five islands sit from 1-10km offshore and are good for bird watching. The islands support more than half the mangroves in Moreton Bay, and the tidal flats provide an important habitat for fish, birds, shellfish, dugongs and turtles.

Lockyer Valley

Lockyer Valley horse riders

Main Range National Park

A popular spot for bushing, Main Range National Park is home to Cunningham’s Gap and Queen Mary Falls. Explore the lush Gondwana Rainforests at this scenic spot 116km south-west of Brisbane.

Glen Rock State Forest

Located next to the Main Range National Park, Glen Rock is named after a prominent volcanic rock outcrop and has only been open since 2011.

Lockyer National Park

This park is home to a diverse range of vulnerable and near-threatened species, including the brush-tailed rock wallaby and black-breasted buttonquail. The park has gravel and dirt road tracks making it popular with 4WDs and motorbikes. There are no marked trails for bushwalkers.

Somerset

Benarkin State Forest

A two-hour drive north-west of Brisbane, Benarkin State Forest contains a scenic forest drive through rainforest, hoop pine plantations and eucalypt forests. The   Brisbane Valley Rail Trail and Bicentennial National Trail pass through the park.


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