When planning a road-trip itinerary you need to consider what to allow time for at destinations and also between destinations. A lot of divine walks in the world require you to go a little bit out of your way, we’re not talking about the iconic, the mega, the bucket list walks, we’re talking about the walks that make you glad to be alive. Walks that you shouldn’t miss and should allow time for.
In Queensland where there is the coast, the islands, the rainforest, and the outback you can really have a very diverse road trip and walking experience.
Here’s one of the best from each area. All are moderate in intensity.
Agnes Waters is an hour and a half south of Gladstone, it’s the town on the way into 1770. South of Agnes Water is the Red Rock Trail, a little slice of easy beach walk paradise.
Distance: 6km round trip (plus add on 1km for the Paperbark Forest Trail) it would only take about 3 hours if you just do the walk, but plan for it to be a full day.
What to take: swimmers, towel, snorkeling gear, hat, sunscreen, lots of water, and food.
Park at the Paperbark Forest Car Park and before you head off do the Paperbark Forest Trail on the boardwalk through – yes – the Paperbark Forest. Then down to Springs Beach where you will find the start of the trail at the far end of the beach.
There is no way to get lost, follow the trail over each headland from Honeymoon Bay to Sunrise Beach to Red Rock Beach. Have a swim and a snorkel at each beach and find scenic spots for lunch and snacks along the way. It’s probably going to be hot so start early, have breakfast at Springs Beach.
Great Kepple Island is easily accessible by ferry from Yeppoon, get yourself on the 7.30 am departure for a nice early start – Kepple Konnections.
Depending on how much time you want to spend you can do quite a variety of walks. From a moderately intense 22 km’s to do the whole island, to 5km and 14km round trips. Head from the ferry wharf across the island to Butterfish Bay. It’s about an 11 km round trip and along the way, you will stop at lookouts, an old homestead, Second Beach and Svendsons Beach. Read more about your options and plan your day trip to a subtropical island paradise.
Carnarvon Gorge is a spectacular gorge walk and much more accessible than Cobbold and Lawn Hill. It’s 400 km from Rockhampton. One of the things that is so special about Carnarvon is that it’s literally an oasis in the arid heart of Queensland. It’s a full day of walking, 20 km return from the visitor center where you will park your camper. It’s not a round trip, you will be retracing yourself on return.
The start of your walk is a detour off the main track to Boolimba Bluff, scramble up to the roof of Queensland for the panoramic view of what’s to come. Back on the main track, you’ll stop at the Moss Garden, The Amphitheatre, and Ward Canyon. The ‘Art Gallery’ is a significant Aboriginal site as is the biosphere of the gorge system with not just a huge number of mammals but over 170 different birds, 90 types of reptiles and frogs of 22 different kinds. The prehistoric ferns and cycads may make you feel like you are in Jurassic times.
Turn around for your return trip at Boowinda Gorge and make sure you get some shots in Cathedral Cave for Instagram.
The ultimate rainforest in Queensland is the Daintree, so you need to head up to Far North Queensland. 20 minutes from Port Douglas and an hour 20 from Cairns. Being hot and humid the suggestion for this walk is much shorter. This walk is also wheelchair accessible.
Mossman Gorge is only a 3.5 km circuit, but don’t rush it, most people take 1 and half hours as a minimum to appreciate the pristine, fragile environment of the Daintree National Park. This is also a good walk to take with an indigenous guide and understand the significance of both the ecology and history of the area.
What you may have gleaned is that when in Queensland start your day early, the middle of the day will be hot so you need to find a place to have a break and eat your lunch. There are no cafes along the way so you need to carry what you want to eat and drink with you.
Credit all images: Queensland Tourism and Events.