Top tips for a Queensland adventure

Accounting for more than a quarter of Australia’s total expanse and more than seven times the size of the UK, the dazzling north-eastern state of Queensland really is another world – one worthy of a holiday (or several!) in itself. It’s hard to know where to start, but we’ve shared some of the spots that we rate the most or that get the best feedback from our customers.


We love Australia’s third-largest city most of all for its South Bank complex, with the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art , Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, lush parkland, urban beach on a vast swimming lagoon, picnic spots with BBQ facilities, fantastic cycle trails (extending through much of the city), playgrounds, live music and array of restaurants. Brisbane is a subtropical city, so it’s a fantastic foodie destination. Don’t miss a morning at a local farmers’ market or at Eat Street Northshore, a global street-food village within upcycled shipping containers.

Top Tip: To work up an appetite, walk or cycle across the Story Bridge, the longest cantilever bridge in Australia, with views of glittering skyscrapers  – or sign up for the Story Bridge Adventure Climb.

Gold Coast

This part of the state is famed for its sunshine, beaches and theme parks, but we always recommend our customers also look beyond these to its ecologically diverse hinterland with its gorgeous rock pools to swim in (try Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park, with its unique cave waterfall), rainforest walks, illuminated Glow Worm Caves and treetop adventures. We also love Broadbeach and Main Beach with their beachside barbecues, artisan bakeries, food markets, European delis and organic food stores, many Italian and Greek as a result of post World War II migration.  

Top tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to take part in lots of thrilling water sports on the Gold Coast, including jet-ski safaris past secluded islands and along mangrove passages, para-sailing, fly-boarding and jet-boating.

Sunshine Coast

This is also a place for beach resorts, surf spots and a fascinating hinterland, with highlights including laidback coastal Caloundra with its spectacular white-sand beaches and the section of the Great Sandy National Park around Cooloola with its multi-hued sand dunes, mangrove forests and shallow lakes. This is a place of charming historic villages to happen upon, great cuisine (especially seafood fresh from the boats) and tempting wineries and breweries for tours and tastings.

Top tip: One of our favourite spots on the Sunshine Coast is Noosa Heads with its trendy beachside village street lined with eclectic galleries and boutiques, plus its walking trails through Noosa National Park.

Cairns and the Whitsundays

A fun and lively base for land and marine adventures, Cairns in Tropical North Queensland is the gateway both to the otherworldly Daintree Rainforest (the world’s oldest) with its crocs and cassowaries, and to the Great Barrier Reef.  Your choices for discovering the reef are many; we particularly recommend an island-hopping trip around the Whitsundays with their white silica sands. UNESCO-listed, these 74 mainly uninhabited islands have fantastic hiking trails through dense rainforest and are also amongst the world’s most scenic spots to skydive, if you’re feeling brave.

Top tip: Take a high-performance catamaran from Cairns to the reef sand island of Michaelmas Cay to dive and snorkel within eyeshot of turtles and colourful fish, or take a semi-submersible coral-viewing tour. 

To book your Queensland holiday with full financial protection, call your Travel Counsellor today.

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