With the chill of winter finally wearing off and the balmy summer heat yet to set in, spring is the perfect time to get out and enjoy Brisbane’s nearby national parks. Whether you’re a full-fledged nature lover or get nervous leaving your postcode, our Queensland camping guide has something for everyone.
Ready to get out of town? Grab a Brisbane Airport car rental and discover the rugged wilderness that resides just beyond the city’s centre.
D’Aguilar National Park
A subtropical rainforest just a stone’s throw from Brisbane’s concrete jungle, D’Aguilar National Park is ideally located for a last minute city escape. Starting just 10 kilometres north-west of the CBD, campers needn’t travel far to reconnect with nature in this expansive, 36,000-hectare bushland. Take your pick of remote, frill-free sites accessible only by foot, or opt for a drive-in campground and bring your creature comforts along for the ride.
North Stradbroke Island
A mere 45-minute ferry ride from Brisbane’s city centre, North Stradbroke Island (or Straddie, for short) is an easy sell if you’re looking for a no fuss island escape. Second in size only to Fraser Island, this 275-kilometre sand bar’s impressive collection of beaches double as off-road highways, making it easy to find a stretch of coast to call your own. Don’t want to stray too far from civilization? No problem – Straddie’s charming towns offer plenty of serviced camping options, complete with modern amenities and stunning seaside views.
A perfect compromise if you want a taste of the island life without taking to the seas, Bribie Island can be reached by bridge just an hour and half north of Brisbane. Predominantly made up of uninhabited parklands, campers will have no trouble finding seclusion on this beautiful sand island. Sleep under a canopy of stars in the dense, subtropical rainforest to the north, or set up camp on one of the south end’s sandy beaches where you’ll have uninterrupted views across the Pumicestone Passage to the peaks of the Glass House Mountains.
Mount Barney National Park
Nestled in the heart of Brisbane’s Scenic Rim region, Mount Barney National Park lives up to its location with dewy meadows, rolling hills and the towering trees of the Gondwana Rainforest at every turn. Best suited to hard-core campers, the creek-side sites at this national park can only be accessed by rugged bush trail, with no bells or whistles waiting once you arrive. What it lacks in facilities, though, it more than makes up for with clean mountain air and the soft trickle of freshwater streams in the distance.
Lamington National Park
Image by: Nightfall Wilderness Camp
If you want to enjoy the wilderness without roughing it, pick up a formal car hire in Brisbane and take the 100-kilometre journey south to Lamington National Park where the Nightfall Wilderness Camp awaits. One of Australia’s most prestigious glamping experiences, travellers needn’t forgo luxury to get out in the great outdoors. From natural spa pools perched above free-flowing rapids to hand-sewn safari tents complete with 360 degree views, this chic eco retreat truly has it all.
Springbrook National Park
After something a little different? Make a beeline for Springbrook National Park where a subterranean network of caves and tunnels have foraged a home for one of the world’s largest populations of glow worms. Wind your way underground to the Natural Bridge section of the park and you’ll find an abundance of these bioluminescent critters scaling the cave walls, bringing their surrounds to life in a stunning blue-green blaze. After the light-show, retreat to your own little spot in The Settlement – Springbrook National Park’s only campground, complete with clean drinking water, electric barbecues and picnic areas.
Girraween National Park
For an even greater spectrum of naturally-occurring colour, make your way deep into the Gold Coast Hinterland to Girraween National Park. Literally meaning ‘place of flowers’, this inland escapes sees hundreds of wildflower species cover its rocky, granite terrain each spring. Also home to a series of mysteriously balanced boulders, Girraween National Park provides plenty of fodder for eerie tales to be told around the campfire – if you’re brave enough to stay the night.
What are your favourite Queensland camping spots?