Best National Parks in South East Queensland

There's something magical about Southeast Queensland, a region where nature's beauty truly shines. Covering a vast area stretching from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast, this part of Australia offers a diverse landscape that is nothing short of breathtaking. From lush rainforests and rugged mountains to serene beaches and spectacular waterfalls, Southeast Queensland is home to some of the most stunning national parks in the country. Each park has its unique charm and a wide variety of activities to enjoy, making them perfect destinations for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and adventure seekers alike.

The region's subtropical climate provides the perfect environment for a plethora of plant and animal species, many of which are endemic to the area. As you wander through the pristine landscapes of these national parks, you'll have the opportunity to witness the diverse wildlife that calls this region home. From kangaroos and koalas to exotic birds and vibrant insects, the fauna of Southeast Queensland is nothing short of fascinating.

In addition to the incredible natural beauty, Southeast Queensland is also steeped in rich cultural heritage. The region has been inhabited by Indigenous Australians for tens of thousands of years, and their stories and traditions continue to shape the land today. As you explore the national parks, you may come across ancient rock art, sacred sites, and other remnants of Aboriginal history, offering a glimpse into the spiritual connection between the land and its original inhabitants.

Nestled within the heart of Southeast Queensland, these protected areas boast an array of native wildlife, breathtaking panoramas, and a rich cultural heritage. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, these national parks cater to all levels of experience and interests. So grab your camera, pack your hiking boots, and immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of these natural wonders.

In this article, we will take you on a journey through five of the best national parks in Southeast Queensland, highlighting their unique features and must-see attractions. Be prepared to be captivated by the allure of Lamington National Park, Springbrook National Park, D'Aguilar National Park, Glass House Mountains National Park, and Noosa National Park. Let's begin our adventure!

While Southeast Queensland is a popular destination for its bustling cities, theme parks, and gorgeous beaches, the region's true treasure lies in its lesser-known natural wonders. With over 1,000 national parks and protected areas across Queensland, the southeast corner of the state is a haven for those seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life. These national parks offer a tranquil retreat, allowing visitors to reconnect with nature and experience the serenity that only the great outdoors can provide.

  1. Lamington National Park

    • Walk through the ancient rainforest on the famous Tree Top Walkway at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat.
    • Explore the extensive network of over 150 km of walking tracks, including the challenging Stinson Wreck Walk.
    • Admire the breathtaking views of Morans Falls, a stunning waterfall surrounded by lush greenery.
    • Discover the park's unique flora and fauna, including rare bird species like the Albert's lyrebird and the regent bowerbird.
    • Connect with the area's Aboriginal history by visiting culturally significant sites like the Yugambeh Language Region rock art.

  2. Springbrook National Park

    • Marvel at the Natural Bridge, a unique rock formation and waterfall that illuminates with glow worms at night.
    • Hike to the Purling Brook Falls, a 109-meter-high waterfall plunging into a lush, subtropical rainforest.
    • Take in the panoramic views of the Gold Coast from the Best of All Lookout.
    • Explore the Twin Falls Circuit, a 4 km loop walk that showcases breathtaking waterfalls and ancient forests.
    • Join a guided nocturnal walk to spot the park's rare and endangered fauna, such as the elusive spotted-tail quoll.

  3. D'Aguilar National Park

    • Admire the spectacular views from Jolly's Lookout, offering a panoramic vista of the Moreton Bay region.
    • Experience the lush subtropical rainforest on the Araucaria Walking Track at Maiala day-use area.
    • Enjoy a refreshing dip in the natural rock pools at Rocky Hole, a popular swimming spot.
    • Delve into the region's history by visiting the remains of the old gold mines at Mount Glorious.
    • Unwind with a picnic at the serene Lake Manchester, a picturesque spot surrounded by rolling hills and forests.
  1. Glass House Mountains National Park

    • Hike to the summit of Mount Ngungun, offering panoramic views of the surrounding Glass House Mountains.
    • Challenge yourself with a rock-climbing adventure on the iconic Mount Tibrogargan or Mount Beerwah.
    • Discover the area's rich Indigenous history with a visit to the Glass House Mountains Visitor and Interpretive Centre.
    • Explore the diverse range of walking tracks, catering to all fitness levels 
    • Enjoy birdwatching and wildlife spotting in the park's diverse habitats, where you can encounter koalas, goannas, and various bird species. 
  1. Noosa National Park
    • Wander along the picturesque coastal track, offering stunning views of the ocean and the chance to spot migrating whales (May to November).
    • Relax on the pristine beaches, including the secluded Tea Tree Bay and Granite Bay, perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
    • Explore the park's lush rainforest trails, such as the Palm Grove Circuit, home to various palm species and diverse wildlife.
    • Keep an eye out for the local fauna, including koalas, black cockatoos, and glossy black-cockatoos, as you navigate the park's many walking tracks.
    • Discover the Hell's Gates lookout, offering dramatic cliffside views and a great vantage point to spot dolphins and sea turtles.


The national parks in Southeast Queensland offer an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the region's captivating natural beauty. From ancient rainforests and cascading waterfalls to rugged mountain peaks and pristine beaches, each park boasts a unique charm and a wealth of outdoor activities. As you explore these stunning protected areas, you'll be creating unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and set out to discover the enchanting wonders of Southeast Queensland's national parks.

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