A blissful tropical climate softened by Atlantic trade winds, pinkish-white, sugar-soft beaches, fabulous scuba diving, and laid-back catamaran cruises… These are just some of the fabulous experiences to be savoured in one of the Caribbean’s most popular and welcoming destinations - Barbados.
Must-see UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Queensland
Lush rainforests, tropical islands, otherworldly outback areas and lively coastal cities…Queensland is one of our favourite parts of one of our favourite countries. Australia’s second-largest state, embracing the north-east of the continent, includes a coastline that stretches nearly 7,000km, the world’s largest coral reef system, and the world’s oldest rainforest. In short, it’s unmissable.
There are five extra-special spots in Queensland that have been singled out for their ‘outstanding value to humanity’, offering visitors the chance to really immerse themselves in the region’s land, culture and daily life. The most famous is the Great Barrier Reef, famously one of the few living structures visible from outer space. One of the Earth’s richest, most complex natural ecosystems, it embraces 600 types of hard and soft coral, thousands of fish species, six of the world's seven turtle species, and more than 30 species of whales and dolphins. We’ll help you decide which part to visit and how: options include helicopter flights, citizen science projects, diving trips (including liveaboard diving, where you can explore untouched areas via a vessel specially designed for longer dives, up to seven days in duration) and stays in island resorts.
Also in the north (accessed from Townsville, Cairns, Port Douglas and Cooktown), the Wet Tropics are the world’s oldest continuously surviving tropical rainforests. Inhabited by Aboriginals for many thousands of years (indigenous-led tours are a great way to discover the region), they were listed by UNESCO for their eco significance: they’re home to a third of Australia’s 315 mammal species (12 of them found nowhere else in the world), 113 reptile species, 51 amphibian species, nearly half of Australia's bird species, and 3,000 plant species. Among likely sightings are green and ringtail possums, quolls, rare bats, and tree-kangaroos.
Tucked away in the state’s remote north-west, the Riversleigh Fossil Mammal Sites were named by Sir David Attenborough as one of the most significant sites of their kind in the world, with fossils dating back 15-25 million years. They’re part of the wild outback area of Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park with its dramatic gorges. Ranger-led tours can take you to see the evolutionary evidence of many of Australia’s mammal species, both surviving and extinct, and there are also unique hiking-glamping adventures.
Four hours’ drive north of Brisbane, K'gari (formerly Fraser Island), is the world's largest sand island and one of the most unique islands of any kind for the rainforests that grow (and thrive) in its sand. The wildlife that inhabits it is remarkable: 325 bird species, the purest dingo population in the country and a unique tortoise species in the freshwater lakes. Activities in its great outdoors include hiking (especially the 90km Great Walk), swimming in seaside rock pools, spotting whales, guided 4X4 drives, fishing and beach camping.
In south-east Queensland, the Gondwana Rainforests are the world’s largest area of subtropical rainforest and a fantastic spot for tracing the Earth's evolutionary history. The survivors of Gondwana (the ancient supercontinent embracing Australasia, Africa and South America) are spread across four national parks: Lamington, Springbrook, Mount Barney and Main Range, whose mountains, waterfalls and lush valleys conceal the country’s great number of frog, snake, bird and marsupial species and more than 200 of its most threatened plant and animal species. Guided tours, hiking and camping are great ways to soak it all in.
Images courtesy of Tourism Queensland
To book your Queensland holiday, call your Travel Counsellor today.
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