National parks are run by Queensland’s Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing (NPRSR). Their excellent website (nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks) has up-to-date information on walking trails, camping, vehicle access, seasonal closures and other topics of interest to hikers, drivers and bushcampers. Unlike other states, all of Queensland’s parks are free to enter, but in a few cases hiking or vehicle permits must be obtained in advance, either online, over the phone or from a Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) office (locations, opening times and current fees are listed on the website). Hiking permits are required for trails on which numbers are restricted, notably Hinchinbrook Island’s Thorsborne Trail. You’ll need a vehicle permit to take a car across to Bribie Island, Cooloola, Moreton Island or Fraser Island.
It’s possible to camp in most national parks. Facilities vary a great deal – some campsites have cooking and washing facilities, while others require you to be totally self-sufficient. Campsite fees are fixed at $5.45 per person per night and usually payable in advance by phone, online or at a nearby QPWS office or ranger station. You’ll receive a booking number and a printable camping tag (if purchased online). When paying camping fees in advance, you can choose between specific slots – required if you’re tackling any of Queensland’s Great Walks – or general-purpose credits that allow you to fine-tune your itinerary later.