Bush Camping In Queensland: Our Hot Spots

Is it really camping if you don’t have a pair of dirty hiking boots? We don’t think so, and I bet you don’t either because real camping is about getting out into the backwoods of Australia.

Some people think that you need to go to Victoria or New South Wales to find real bush camping and hiking — that’s load rubbish. Some of the best walking trails can be found up north in the tropical climates of Queensland.

That might seem strange right, to suggest our northern country as the place to go for bushwalking (hey there, humidity) Think about the heat and tropical climate; there aren’t any forests or national parks like it down south.

People normally go up to Queensland for a surf or holiday retreat but if you’re seriously thinking about tackling the best bush locations in Australia, then pack your camper trailer and start heading north, because we’ve got the best bush walks for you campers.

Family relaxing outside a tent

Why We Love Bush Camping

There’s no camping that’s quite as authentic as Australian bush camping. People of all ages love getting back to nature by pitching a tent in the great Australian outback. There’s no better state to do that in than Queensland.

While it may seem tempting to go beachside when you’re up near the Sunshine Coast, Mackay or Cairns, Queensland offers some of the countries most dense and most remote bush camping locations for you avid campers.

In Queensland bush campsites are typically a few hours drive from the main city centre; as all good bush sites should be. You can find many different places up north, but we’ve got the absolute best bush campsite for you.

Lamington National Park

If the name hasn’t already sold, we don’t know what will. Lamington National Park is one of the premier camping locations for those who want a real slice of the Aussie outback.

The national park is about a 2-hour drive south of Brisbane and is filled with dense subtropical rainforests. The Australia World Heritage Area is a fantastic place to visit with 60 kilometres of walking trails to explore.

When you arrive, the national park camping area is located at the Green Mountains, a section of the park that’s about 200 metres from the information centre. You’ll have to get permits and book online before going which you can find here.

There’s plenty to see and do from casual walking trails to remote bushwalks that take you into the heart of Lamington National Park. There are also guided tours if you’re still feeling adventurous without the risk of getting lost.

The walking trails and bush walks on offer range from casual short walks that are just over 1 km to full-day walks that span over 20 kilometres. The full day walks, found here, are the best ways to see Lamington National Park.

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Thorsborne Trail, Island National Park

The Thorsborne Trail, often known as the East Coast trail, is one of the world’s best backing pack and bush trails on the planet. Australia is pretty proud of our world-renowned things, and this just adds to a long list of them.

Located fairly north, you can find the Thorsborne Tail on the island of Hinchinbrook. It’s a rugged island with many mountains to discover and a healthy set of lush plants to sink your hiking boots into.

The reason this island is so well known is because of how untouched the place is. Hinchinbrook is a dense rainforest with tall trees and mangroves to climb over; it’s almost like being in a movie.

If you’re thinking about camping on this island, there are several camping areas for you to choose from. Some of them are for trail hikers only — whatever’s on your back that’s it — and other spots let you camp with boat-based camping options.

This island is perfect for those experienced campers who are fit and knowledgeable about camping. You’ll need to bring everything you need to ‘survive’ on this island.

All of the trails are considered expert or difficult and range from 1 km trails to 10.5 km trails that take up to 6 hours to complete. But it’s worthwhile because you’ll have a chance to see small blue soldier crabs, green turtles or maybe even a crocodile.

Carnarvon Great Walk

Almost in the centre of Queensland, you’ll find the Carnarvon Great Walk, a national park that links Carnarvon Gorge and Mount Moffatt. It’s truly something special to see with two major landmarks colliding for adventurers to see.

Getting to Carnarvon Gorge National Park is about a 246 km drive from Roma or a 241 km drive from Emerald, both of which take about 7 hours to drive to and from. Roma and Emerald are both the closest places you’ll find food or fuel so stock up!

If you’re thinking about visiting the national park, the place is unfortunately closed between November to the end of February — these are the hottest months, and it is not recommended you go then.

There are two types of bush walks to choose from when you go to Carnarvon Gorge, the short walks or the complete circuit.

The short walks take you around the main gorge tracks and through the Great Dividing Ranges; a low mountain ranges that’s perfect for a few selfies atop some stunning views or a quick bite to each at the top of the world (or so you think).

The more advanced circuit walks are classified from R1 to R6; you can find the map to the great walk here for more information.

The six different circuits offer track standard classifications from class 3 tracks to class 5. If you need a refresher on the class track system here’s our little summary:

Class 3
– A reasonable level of fitness and ankle support
– Well defined tracks with slight inclines and creek crossings

Class 4
– Moderate level of fitness and ankle support
– Can contain overgrown hazards

Class 5
– High level of fitness with ankle support, flexible souls and good drip shoes
– Steep tracks with irregular surfaces and loose stones

If your thinking of camping in and around the national park, you’ll have access to 5 campsites to choose from all of which allow for a maximum of two night stays. You’ll need a camping permit before going as well.

Camper moving on a highway

Conway Circuit, Whitsundays

We’ve given you some pretty different walking trails to read about from so far; a sheltered island, a national park named after a famous dessert and a mountain range. Now we present the Whitsundays Conway Circuit.

While the island its self is tough to camp on, there’s a heap of great spots just over on the mainland, just a hop skip and a ferry ride away.

The Conway Circuit is just over 27 km and takes an estimated 3 days and 2 nights to complete on foot or 6 hours by mountain bike.

The trail is a tropical landscape that is sheltered in the Conway National Park. It’ll be worth the trek because you’ll see sights that many other trails won’t offer with a wide variety of natural landscape and a diverse range of native wildlife.

If you’re thinking about tackling the 3-day trial, then you’re bound to see Ulysses butterflies, lemon myrtle flowers and Wompoo fruit doves.

You can start long the circuit at either Forestry road or Kara Crescent. Different parts of the walking track have different grades and range from grade 3 to grade 4 in at times. If you want to visit the area but perhaps don’t want something that intense there are other options.

The Kingfisher circuit is 2 km return, the Wompoo way is 7 km return, and the Honeyeater lookout trail is 8 km return — all of which can be completed in under 4 hours.

Next Steps

Heading up north to beat the winter or to make the most of summer is one of the best decisions you can make if you’re an avid camper. The northern parts of Australia offer some of the most unique camping destinations. If you’re thinking about tackling the Aussie bush with a camper trailer by your side, then check out our range at Mars Campers. Our team can help you find the perfect camper trailer to suit your needs. Contact us today, and we’ll help you.

Camper Trailer in the field