Sign in


Forgotten your Password?

Enter your email address below and we'll send instructions and a link to reset your password


Unlock Brisbane's hidden gems

All the latest and greatest places to eat, drink, stay and play in your city.

By signing up, you agree to periodic email marketing from Sitchu to the email address you provided. Terms and Conditions. Privacy Policy.

Gone Bush: Ten National Parks Near Brisbane to Escape To

We’re officially encouraging you to go chasing waterfalls with our list of national parks near Brisbane.

Naree Budjong Djara National Park

Reset your soul and reinvigorate your mind with a walk through one of the beautiful national parks that are a stone’s throw (okay, maybe a short drive) from Brisbane city. Whether you’re chasing waterfalls, hiking mountains or just enjoying the fresh air, there’s a park near Brisbane just waiting for you to explore it.

There’s nothing quite like hitting the road or taking a day trip from Brisbane to connect with nature and experience something new, so grab your map and your hiking boots and get ready to explore these stunning national parks near Brisbane.

Main Range National Park (Photo credit: Tourism & Events Queensland)

Main Range National Park

Popular for bushwalking and perhaps encountering rare wildlife, Main Range National Park is located approximately 85 kilometres South-West of Brisbane along the Great Dividing Range, towards Warwick. The scenery and elevation alone are huge drawcards to this gorgeous national park that encompasses enormous mountain ranges, breathtaking waterfalls and trails that will reacquaint you with the magic of the Australian bush.

Sitchu Tip: Visit just after it rains, and take the easy walking trail (about a forty-minute walk) to the bottom of Queen Mary Falls. You’ll be entranced by the cascading waterfall off the clifftop!

Cunningham Highway, Warwick

St Helena (Photo credit: Tourism & Events Queensland)

St Helena Island National Park

A hidden gem on the national park scene is a tiny island national park called St Helena, just off the coast of Moreton Bay. Now a picturesque national park, this little island was in fact Queensland’s first penal settlement, operating from 1867 to 1932. You can get to St Helena by boat from Manly or New Farm, and you can book a guided tour to explore the stone ruins of the prison stockade that tell the story of this island’s past. If you want to wing it on your own, head out on one of the short walking tracks that lead to historic sites at the Southern end of the island. St Helena is one of the most unique and interesting national parks near Brisbane to visit for a step back in time spent exploring Australian history, natural vegetation and wetlands.

St Helena Island, Moreton Bay

D'Aguilar National Park

D'Aguilar National Park

A mere 10 kilometres from the heart of Brisbane, D’Aguilar National Park spans 36,000 hectares of beautiful bushland. With plenty of walking trails, picnic areas and lookouts, there’s plenty to see and do here to keep you coming back over and over again! Don’t forget to pack your swimmers too, with plenty of waterholes waiting to refresh you. This national park near Brisbane is a popular destination for bushwalkers and nature enthusiasts, so why not lace up your hiking boots and discover why on your next quiet weekend?

Walkabout Creek Visitors Centre, 60 Mount Nebo Road, The Gap

Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park

Forming part of the world-heritage Gondwana Park is Lamington National Park, a short day trip from Brisbane. The geology contained within dates back 225 million years, which is pretty darn nifty if you ask us! Explore the history and secrets this dense and ancient forest holds on one of the many walks that can be accessed from O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. Not to be missed are the Treetop Walk or (if you’re up for a challenge) check out the 54km Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk for an incredible explorative experience. There’s a whole host of fun activities available at this national park near Brisbane, so make sure you look into the alpaca visits, vineyards and rainforest treks to plan the perfect trip.

Lamington National Park Road, Lamington Park

Glass House Mountains (Photo Credit: @madame_zo_zo)

Glass House Mountains National Park

Ever popular for the highly Instagrammable summit snaps, the Glass House Mountains are a short drive north of Brisbane. Mt Ngungun is the most beginner-friendly option, with the Tibrogargan and Beerwah climbs taking a little more endurance and a touch of rock scrambling at the end. But it’s oh so worth it for the view, and to experience this beautiful piece of Country that is steeped in Dreamtime stories.

Sitchu Tip: If you’re not up to walking but searching for a stunning lookout point, you can drive up to the Glass House Mountains Lookout for a 360-degree vantage point to take it all in. The long, rollicking road up to Mt Tibrogargan is also a popular point to stop for an Instagram picture, showcasing the undulating road lined by lush green trees and long grass. Just watch out for traffic when you’re getting the shot!

Find the Visitors centre at Settler's Rotary Park on Bruce Parade, Glass House Mountains.

Within the national park, there are separate entrance points (Beerburrum, Beerwah, Ngungun, Tibrogargan).

Springbrook National Park

Springbrook National Park

Another popular (and highly Instagrammable) spot to chase waterfalls is Springbrook. This incredible natural space is the perfect place to spend a day exploring, enjoying a picnic and swimming in the cool, clear waterways. The highlights are the Natural Bridge, Purling Brook Falls and the lookout, so that you can drink in the Gold Coast view! Springbrook is definitely a must-do on our list of the best national parks near Brisbane, plus it’s easily accessible for almost anyone.

Gold Coast Springbrook Road, Springbrook, Gold Coast Area

Tamborine National Park

Tamborine National Park

You’ll feel like you’re worlds away when you visit Mount Tamborine! Follow the winding road up the mountainside and gaze at the lush, tropical greenery that envelops you. The Witches Falls portion of this park is Queensland’s first national park, having been declared in 1908. Tamborine Mountain also delivers truckloads of wonder with the beautiful trek to Curtis Falls, where you might spot fish, eels and perhaps even a shy platypus. If you take the walk at dusk, you might even get to spy on some glow worms.

Tamborine Mountain Road, Tamborine

Kondalilla National Park

Kondalilla National Park

This little spot just outside of Montville is one of the lesser-known parks but is well worth an explore! With picture-perfect picnic spots and a beautiful rock pool for refreshing dips, why not make your next trip to Maleny or Montville into a weekend stay and spend some time at Kondalilla National Park? It’s an ideal getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, plus this national park is so near to Brisbane that you won’t even tire of the car ride to or from.

Kondalilla Falls Road, Flaxton

Naree Budjong Djara National Park

Naree Budjong Djara National Park - North Stradbroke Island

If you’re seeking a bit more of a getaway, hop on the ferry and head to the pristine beaches and preserved bushland of Stradbroke Island. Conservation is key to the island, as endangered heathlands, wetlands and freshwater lakes are preserved and maintained here. There are six different walking trails, and camping spots are available outside of the park. Straddie is a popular escape for many Brisbane locals and it’s little wonder why, with stunning beaches and forests to explore at every turn.

Naree Budjong Djara National Park, Moreton Bay

Mount Barney National Park

Mount Barney National Park

For the experienced hikers amongst us, Mount Barney has some steep and challenging hikes to test your limits! The most approachable of these trails (there are four main tracks to choose from) is the Yellow Pinch Trail, which will reward you with a stunning natural lookout. If you’re chasing some water, hike 3.7 kilometres to discover the Lower Portals, where you can take a dip in a deep pool found within a rocky gorge. Now there’s something you don’t do every day!

Mount Barney National Park, Burnett Creek

Loved our pick of the best national parks near Brisbane? We’ve got plenty more ideas for your next road trip – how about a road trip or a camping experience? If you like to sleep under the stars, you’ve got to try these gorgeous glamping sites that come with all the creature comforts.

Stay in the loop