National Park Experience – Summer 2020-21 – National Parks Association of Queensland

National Park Experience – Summer 2020-21

Author: Clare Birnie, Treasurer, National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ)

Weekend trips to a local National park such as Lamington National Park have always been a great way to get away locally to recharge from long busy periods at work. Being able to be completely disconnect from emails, take in the fresh air and enjoy the simplicity yet complexity of the sights and sounds on a bush walk is a total recharge of the body, mind and soul.

My partner Al and I love to travel and have been very fortunate to have some amazing experiences both locally and abroad.

One of our trips overseas included a visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia where we saw first-hand how national parks can be big tourism.

This most enchanting place, which has waters flowing over the limestone and chalk have, over thousands of years, deposited travertine barriers, creating natural dams which in turn have created a series of beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls.

As a consequence of its popularity and concerns over its UNESCO World Heritage, the park management last year decided to limit the number of visitors to 10,000 per day.

It’s such an important issue that parks are available now and in the future in their natural state.

With this is mind I am comforted knowing that organisations such as NPAQ assist in promoting the appropriate management of national parks and other protected areas, especially those that are becoming increasingly popular or have proposals for significant infrastructure.

Above: Clare and her partner at Mount Coolum. Photo: Supplied. Banner: Photo: Tim Boscoe.

This year my partner and I have welcomed our first baby, a little girl. I also made the decision to significantly reduce my hours and take an extended leave break from my career as a registered Liquidator and FCPA whilst our baby is young and this is where the opportunity to be involved with NPAQ evolved.

Neil Williams (prior Treasurer) got in contact with me to see if I would be interested in the role and we met via Zoom to discuss (such are the times in 2020). Then once meeting some of the team I have been so excited and motivated to be involved.

I am honoured to be elected as Treasurer and am looking forward to learning from the friendly, warm and enthusiastic people I have met thus far via NPAQ who all have a thirst to advocate, protect and be involved with national parks.

2020 has been a very different year and everyone has had challenges. I believe that whilst 2021 is uncertain in many areas we can be confident that more than ever people will be seeking out to visit national parks. This makes 2021 a very exciting time to get NPAQ’s profile recognised, get more members and promote respect when visiting national parks.

I’m looking forward to making a contribution and to getting some tips on national parks to take a toddler in 2021. Queensland has so many places to explore and I can hardly wait to get to them.

One thought on “National Park Experience – Summer 2020-21

  1. Laura McDiarmid says:

    Dear Clare
    I believe restricting the number of visitors to certain national parks very important to the survival of the very entity that people have come to visit. The Milford walk is the best example I have experienced of this good management, and I believe the Overland track could do with some more control.
    Fortunately in QLD most of our environments are fairly robust but I wonder how long the beautiful Fraser Island will take to rejuvenate after this careless camper’s fire?
    We must manage these important areas well to maintain their primary goal of being a refuge for fauna and flora, and a space to encourage biodiversity, and only then can we can consider them for their economic benefits.

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