Tropical Coast national parks

Choose your adventure The coast between Townsville and Cairns is ideal for a self-drive road trip. With many different park experiences along the way, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Will you follow the coast or detour inland? Stay on the main roads and visit popular parks or head along country roads to explore lesser-known gems? Allow a day or two, a week or even more—you decide! Along the way you’ll discover thriving country towns and fascinating local attractions to make your journey even more memorable. Use the information below to plan your journey, with the main towns as your base for visiting some of Queensland’s best parks. Happy road-tripping! Suggested itineraries Around Townsville Escape the city and try the fantastic mountain bike and walking trails at Townsville Town Common and Cape Pallarenda conservation parks before heading south to Bowling Green Bay National Park to finish your day with a peaceful picnic and a swim in Alligator Creek. For a day in paradise catch the ferry for a 20min ride from Townsville to idyllic Magnetic Island National Park —the bays and beaches are spectacular, but it’s the local koalas that will steal your heart. Looking for a weekend getaway? Retreat to the rainforest and the quaint village of Paluma north of Townsville at Mount Spec, Paluma Range National Park . It’s high in the hills and packed full of walking tracks and wildlife. For a night or two away, take the family camping at Broadwater, Abergowrie State Forest . There’s plenty of space for a game of cricket, a swimming platform for easy access into beautiful Broadwater Creek and fire rings to enjoy a crackling campfire under the stars. Around Tully and Mission Beach Immerse yourself for a day in the lush rainforest of Tully Gorge National Park . Take the easy and short Butterfly walk or challenge yourself with a strenuous climb up Mount Tyson. Finish your day with a swim and a barbecue at picturesque Alligators Nest, just a few minute’s drive from Tully. Near Mission Beach explore the trails of Djiru National Park where you have the best chance of spotting a cassowary in the wild, then climb Bicton Hill at Clump Mountain National Park for an awesome view over the Coral Sea and Family Islands National Park . For a longer stay, venture deep into the rainforest and camp for a night or two by Cochable Creek near Tully Gorge or beach yourself at Family Islands National Park for a few days soaking up the tropical island lifestyle. Around Innisfail and Babinda Don’t miss Wooroonooran National Park ! Fill a day wandering the rainforest canopy at Mamu Tropical Skywalk and discovering beautiful waterfalls on the walking tracks at Palmerston. Drive to Josephine Falls where the water tumbles down from the top of Bartle Frere. Indulge in a spot of quiet birdwatching at Eubenangee Swamp National Park or, for some fun on two wheels, mountain bike part of the Goldfield trail in Wooroonooran National Park . If you have a 4WD, stay a little longer and enjoy a remote camp on the beach at Russell River National Park . Around Cairns Feeling energetic? Join the locals and hit the amazing walking tracks and mountain bike trails of Mount Whitfield and Smithfield conservation parks . Looking for a challenge? Conquer the 922m summit of Walshs pyramid in Wooroonooran National Park , with panoramic views of Cairns and the tropical coastline. Then drive to Goldsborough Valley and reward yourself with some green time in the rainforest—relax by the Mulgrave River and set up camp for a night or two. While in Cairns, make sure you visit the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy an easy day trip to Green Island or Fitzroy Island national parks . Go for a snorkel, a swim and a stroll along tropical shores before relaxing on a sunset cruise back to Cairns. Hot tip! While in Townsville, learn more about north Queensland and Great Barrier Reef wonders at the Museum of Tropical Queensland or ReefHQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium—the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium. Around Ingham Spend a day exploring serene Waterview Creek at Jourama Falls, Paluma Range National Park or marvelling at the spectacular falls and picnicking with a view at Wallaman Falls, Girringun National Park . Is a day fishing more your style? Hire a charter boat or take your own to the southern end of the famed Hinchinbrook Channel and spendaday chasingbarramundi. Hot tip! At the top of the Cardwell Range, 16km north of Ingham on the Bruce Highway, stretch your legs and admire the awesome view over Hinchinbrook Channel and the island. Around Cardwell Enjoy a day exploring Girramay National Park . Take a morning stroll on Wreck Creek Beach at Edmund Kennedy before driving to Murray Falls for a barbecue lunch and a refreshing swim at the Murray Falls day-use area. Head to the hills for a night or two at Blencoe Falls, Girringun National Park and enjoy a peaceful camp by the creek, swimming and fishing at your leisure. Wander among the giant kauri pines and rose gum trees at Kirrama National Park on the way. Grab your hiking boots and tick the Thorsborne Trail in Hinchinbrook Island National Park off your bucket list! Cardwell and Lucinda are the gateways to this world-renowned trail where you can trek 4–7 days through spectacular wilderness and be captivated by Hinchinbrook’s untouched beauty. 8