Queensland’s postcard-ready beaches and islands tend to hog the spotlight – understandably, we’ll concede – but from the temperate south-east, to the tropical far north and the semi-arid west, the most amazing thing about Queensland may be its incredible ecological diversity. Let’s slip on our walking shoes, slop on some sunscreen, slap on our niftiest broad-brimmed hat and take a whirl through some of the best.
Girraween National Park
Situated on the northernmost edge of the New England Tablelands, Girraween is a natural wonderland of granite outcrops, heathlands, forests, creeks, shaded gullies, rock pools and wetlands. The Park is famous for the monolithic granite boulders strewn throughout its environs, often in miraculous configurations. Seventeen kilometres of walking tracks will guide you through this wild space and all the best spots to view it from – including, if you’re up for a slog, the peak of Mount Norman, which offers amazing panoramas.
Diamantina National Park
A special place that flies under the radar even of many born-and-bred Queenslanders, Diamantina – all 507,000 hectares of it – is home to some of Australia’s prettiest country, including vital outback water systems that support a number of rare and threatened species. These lands are sacred to their traditional owners, the Maiawali and Karuwali peoples, so it’s important to tread with respect.
Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park
Next, head to Queensland’s isolated north-west highlands, near the Northern Territory border, to explore underrated Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park – a rough diamond of the Gulf Country that’s a major natural and historical site, and one of Australia’s great outback oases. This country – whose traditional owners are the Waanyiand Injilarija peoples – is characterised by dramatic gorges and escarpments that have been carved out of the limestone and sandstone of the Constance Range over hundreds of millions of years. Boodjamulla is criss-crossed by several rivers and creeks that flow year-round, and this perpetual water supply means the area has long been a kind of deluxe roadhouse for native and migrating birds.
Be sure to check out the Summer 2022–2023 edition of Caravanning Australia for more!
Image: Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park (C) Tourism and Events Queensland