See below for all journeys to Queensland
Queensland has five of Australia’s eleven World Natural Heritage areas. These include the Scenic Rim National Parks (including Mt Barney, south-east Queensland’s second highest peak) Riversleigh Fossil Fields (one of the most significant fossil deposits in the world), the Wet Tropics (including the Daintree National Park), Fraser Island (the world’s largest sand island) and the Great Barrier Reef. Whether you enjoy relaxing on a pristine white sand beach, trekking through ancient rainforests, tasting the abundance of amazing food and wine or snorkelling amongst coral and sea life on the Great Barrier Reef there are many amazing experiences awaiting you.
The capital of Queensland, known as the ‘River City’ is a cosmopolitan centre for arts, culture and dining. The Brisbane River flows its way through the city linking by ferry its many inner-city precincts like Bulimba – charming cafes, bars & boutiques, New Farm & Teneriffe – luxury waterfront homes, cafes & restaurants, art precinct & craft breweries, Kangaroo Point – ancient cliffs popular for abseiling & rock climbing, great views of the city, South Bank – Australia’s only inner-city man-made beach, dining galore, art & museums and West End – bar & music scene, organic grocers, vegan markets, rich with history & culture. And don’t forget Brisbane’s hinterland region of Moreton Bay with plenty of hiking, biking, rock pools, lakes and rivers. From Mount Mee in the northern part of the D’Aguilar National Park to the Samford Valley Rail Trail, outdoor adventure awaits.
Far North & Tropical Queensland
The natural beauty of this region must be seen to be believed. From the breathtaking beauty of the Great Barrier Reef – the largest coral reef system in the world, the many national parks across the region, the most famous of which being the Daintree – one of the most complex ecosystems on Earth and older than the Amazon it is home to unique plants and animals found nowhere else and Cape Tribulation – a World-Heritage listed tropical paradise where the rainforest meets the reef. Stay in one of the many pictureque coastal towns – Cairns, Airlie Beach, Hervey Bay, Mission Beach or Port Douglas. Or take the road less travelled and head on up to the untamed wilderness of the Cape York Peninsula, aka The Tip. This remote World Heritage-listed region is the northernmost point of the Australian continent. Adventure, ancient landscapes, indigenous culture, wildlife, national parks, pristine waterways, secluded beaches and amazing wildlife are all waiting to be discovered in this unique part of Australia.
Townsville, The Whitsundays & Mackay
Townsville, a major gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Queensland outback has more than 320 days of sunshine each year. It is home to World Heritage-listed national parks, aboriginal history & culture, magnificent views over the Coral Sea and picturesque islands (Magnetic, Orpheus & Hinchinbrook) at its doorstep. Cuddle a koala at the Billabong Sanctuary, visiting the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium at Reef HQ to learning about the local Aboriginal people and custodians of the Townsville region at the Cultural Centre and climbing the top of Castle Hill, the red granite monolith overlooking the city centre.
The Whitsundays – see Australian Island Resorts for islands of the Whitsundays.
Mackay, this coastal city built on the sugar industry is famous for its art deco architecture, heritage-listed pubs and gold-mining history. Only 150 kms south of Airlie Beach it offers an abundance of natural beauty, like Eungella National Park, home to the longest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest in Australia and known as the best spot in Australia to see platypus in the wild and Pioneer Valley, great walking tracks, waterfalls and fresh swimming water holes will get you back to nature.
With wide open spaces, amazing dinosaur history, museums, natural beauty and quirky local characters Outback Queensland is so vast it covers over 900,000 km2. Packed with so much to see and do from Biloela with its sandstone cliffs, mountain ranges, heritage buildings – Roma has Carnarvon Gorge National Park, walking trails, The Big Rig – Charleville, a WWII Secret Base, parklands, historic museums, cosmos centre, Bilby Experience – Longreach has rich history, Thomson River, Qantas Founders Museum, Stockmen’s Hall of Fame, Lochern National Park – Winton, the dinosaur capital of Australia & home to the world’s only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede (Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum), home of Waltzing Matilda, fossick for opals in nearby Opalton – Mt Isa has ochre-red Selwyn Ranges, Lawn Hill Gorge & Riversleigh World Heritage site in Boodjamulla National Park, Lake Moondarra, to Birdsville with its iconic Birdsville Hotel & Birdsville Races, Simpson Desert & Big Red Sand Dune.
Following the line of the Tropic Of Capricorn and stretching from the Southern Great Barrier Reef in the east to the Central Highlands in the west this region of unspoilt islands and amazing natural wonders is waiting to be explored. Also known as Capricorn a visit to the following regions is a must – Great Keppel Island, located in the Southern Great Barrier Reef with its 17 pristine beaches, you can snorkel right off the beach, go hiking in the hinterland, meet the local wildlife – dolphins, humpback whales (seasonal), lorikeets, possums & butterflies. Go for the day or stay for a few, there is so much to see and do.
Yeppoon is the gateway to the reef and GKI. With its laid-back lifestyle, year-round sunshine, Yeppoon Lagoon, cafes and shops this is a great place to base yourself and experience the Capricorn Coast. Rockhampton is situated on the banks of the mighty Fitzroy River, with its new waterfront precinct completed in 2018 you’ll find wonderful eateries, microbreweries and distilleries. Not far out of the town is the amazing Capricorn Caves, incredible above ground limestone caves formed from an ancient coral reef some 400 million years ago. With many heritage buildings to explore, in fact Rockhampton has the longest heritage listed street in Australia and the neighbouring gold rush town of Mount Morgan, this historical mining town is rich in Queensland colonial history, and definitely worth a visit.
Carnarvon Gorge National Park with its ancient sandstone cliffs is a natural beauty with abundant wildlife of kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, echidnas & platypus and rich indigenous history and rock art. Hike the many walking tracks on your own or with a guide and discover ancient cycads and you may just see a few of the 173 bird species that live here.
Emerald & Sapphire Gem Fields, enjoy the thrill of fossicking, take a guided tour through an underground gemstone mine or visit one of the local gem galleries. The rural town of Emerald is situated in the hub of the Central Highlands and named after not a gem but the green pastures that surround the town. Once a major sunflower producer it is now home to the biggest Van Gogh sunflower painting in the world, a steel structure 25 metres high.
Gladstone & Bundaberg
Gladstone is an industrial coastal city and a gateway to the many islands dotting the Great Barrier Reef, Heron Island and Wilson Island to name a couple. Travel inland to nearby Kroombit Tops National Park with its sandstone cliffs, rocky gorges refreshing waterfalls and wild horses or follow the coast and visit the laid-back local towns of Tannum Sands, Seventeen Seventy and Agnes Water.
Bundaberg is the southernmost gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and fringed with coral cays, lagoons and 170 kilometres of pristine white sand beaches with diving and snorkeling adventures waiting to be had at nearby Lady Musgrave Island and Lady Elliot Island. Each year between November and March is Bundaberg Turtle Season, this event takes place in Mon Repos National Park and is home to the largest concentration of nesting sea turtles on the eastern mainland. The city also has a lot to see and to do – museums, heritage buildings, botanic gardens and rich history grown on the sugar cane trade. A visit to Bundaberg wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the iconic Bundaberg Rum distillery where you can immerse yourself in the history and craft behind this famous Aussie rum.
Fraser, Sunshine & Gold Coasts
The Fraser Coast is home to two World Heritage-listed areas, Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island. With its pure white silica sands of Lake McKenzie and Lake Wabby where a giant sand dune borders its deep green waters to The Cathedrals, a stunning array of coloured sand cliffs and 75 Mile Beach, and endless stretch of white sand running along the eastern side of the island. Hervey Bay, the first ever World Whale Heritage Site – a recognition award for their commitment to conservation and protection of these magnificent creatures. This beach side town has 14 kilometres of golden beaches that are safe and perfect for swimming. Relax and enjoy this little piece of paradise. Maryborough is a half hour drive inland from Hervey Bay and is full of rich history and heritage, with art galleries, museums and riverside parks. This small town was the birthplace of P. L Travers, author of the classic novel Mary Poppins. They even have an annual Mary Poppins Festival, where the heritage streets are transformed into scenes from the Poppin novels. With a visit in June showcasing countryside flavours with their Relish Food & Wine Festival.
The Sunshine Coast stretches from Caloundra in the south to the Great Sandy National Park in the north, it is home to amazing surf breaks & beaches, magnificent hinterland and wonderful eateries and bars. Noosa is an iconic beach holiday spot with its beachside luxury, laidback holiday vibe and the spectacular Main Beach with its calm waters and glistening white sand. With world-class restaurants, bars and retail outlets along Hastings Street it is a hive of activity year round. Located in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is Montville and its neighbour Maleny, both as charming as each other with quaint shops, eateries surrounded by lush green landscapes.
The Gold Coast is undoubtedly renowned for its magnificent white sandy beaches, which stretch across 57 kilometres of coastline. From Coolangatta in the south to Surfers Paradise in the north you are most definitely spoilt for choice. It has also become quite the foodie scene with amazing eateries popping up everywhere, if you haven’t been to Burleigh Heads for a few years it has transformed into a foodie paradise. A trip into the Gold Coast Hinterland while here is a must. Lamington National Park is a World Heritage-listed rainforest 1.5 hours drive inland, with bushwalking, amazing flora and fauna (there’s over 200 bird species), boutique vineyards, farmer’s markets and a treetop zipline. The GC (as the locals like to call it) is Australia’s theme park capital and home to some of the world’s tallest and fastest rides.
Southern Queensland Country
There’s a region here to suit everyone from history, heritage and country pubs in the Western Downs. Wine trails, walking trails and Queensland’s second largest national park in South Burnett. The country charm of Toowoomba, home to 150 parks and gardens with the famous annual Carnival of Flowers. Rich farmlands producing much of the country’s fruit & veg the Lockyer Valley has charming cafes and country roadside stalls. Sitting on the banks of the Macintyre River is Goondiwindi with its art deco inspired main street with boutique shops, local produce and eateries. The beautiful countryside of the Southern Downs & Granite Belt is home to national parks, vineyards & cellar doors, apple orchards, charming cafes and gourmet local produce – truffles, farmhouse cheeses, chocolate, olives with the Granite Belt named for its prehistoric granite boulders dotted over the countryside.
Best time to Travel
Queensland has a subtropical climate and whilst travelling year round is possible, we recommend these times for the most pleasant journey.
June to October
Central Coast Queensland
June to September
June to October
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