Police said Symonds was driving on Hervey Range Road, about 31 miles from Townsville, around 11pm yesterday when his car went off the road and overturned.
Emergency services tried to resuscitate the 46-year-old, but he died at the scene.
Patrol Inspector Gavin Oates said the cause of the crash was not yet known.
“It is still under investigation at this stage. Agents from the Forensic Crash Unit have been on the scene and are conducting the investigation and will prepare a report for the coroner,” Oates said.
“The accident was actually heard by bystanders, they were the first on the scene and alerted the emergency services.
“I believe the driver of the vehicle was thrown from the vehicle during the accident.”
Oates said police officers at the scene did not immediately know it was Symonds.
“Police were on the accident side at the time and later worked to establish the person’s identity,” he said.
Tributes have flowed in the cricket community and from Australian leaders to Symonds, a charismatic all-rounder and one of the best fieldmen the game has seen.
“Australian cricket is shocked and saddened by the news of the death of Andrew Symonds,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said Symonds was a “dearly loved and admired cricketer”.
“He was a prodigious talent in Queensland from an early age with his clean ball-striking ability, cunning spin bowling and brilliant fielding,” he said.
“He will be sadly missed by the Australian cricket community and especially by his very close friends at the Queensland Bulls, where he was a popular and much admired teammate and friend.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this terribly sad time.”
Queensland Cricket Chairman Chris Simpson said the cricket community and the world will mourn the loss of Symonds.
“On behalf of Queensland Cricket, we extend our deepest condolences to his family and will do everything we can to help them,” he said.
“It is a crushing loss to those closest to him, and his wide circle of friends that extend to all corners of the cricket world.”
NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said it is “shocking and sad news”.
“Such an entertaining player and great character of cricket,” said Perrottet.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also paid tribute to the cricketer.
“Andrew Symonds was an outstanding player – dynamic, entertaining and skilled – who made an unforgettable contribution to cricket in Queensland and Australia,” she said.
Symonds played 26 Tests for Australia between 2004 and 2008 and 198 one-day internationals, and was a member of two World Cup winning teams in 2003 and 2007.
His death comes just months after losing teammate Shane Warne at just 52 and former wicketkeeper Rod Marsh.