Great Barrier Reef & Queensland
Queensland is beautiful one day and perfect the next. It’s the sun, sand and sea that make Queensland Australia’s number one tropical paradise. Home to white sandy beaches, aqua blue waters surrounding pristine islands and lush rainforests, it’s hard to not to feel like you’re on holiday in Queensland.
Find out more about Queensland’s top destinations below.
The tropical city of Cairns is located 1,700 kilometres north of Brisbane in Tropical North Queensland. Situated on a coastal strip between the Coral Sea and the Great Dividing Range, you’ll find plenty to see and do in and around Cairns with several natural wonders at its doorstep.
Undoubtedly the most famous natural wonder is the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Easily accessible with a day trip from Cairns, this vibrant colourful reef is the world’s largest single structure made by a living organism - so large that it can be seen from space!
A short trip north from Cairns is the largest tropical rainforest in Australia, the Daintree Rainforest. This World Heritage Listed rainforest is home to some of the oldest surviving rainforest in the world. Nestled in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest is Cape Tribulation a headland situated at one of the only places where two World Heritage sites, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef meet. It’s also home to native wildlife such as the dangerous but intriguing cassowary.
North West of Cairns you’ll find Kuranda, the ‘Village in the Rainforest’. Located in the heart of World Heritage Listed Barron Gorge National Park; here you can browse the famous local markets, take in the captivating sight of the Barron Falls and World Heritage Rainforest with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Kuranda Scenic Railway.
The Gold Coast is a vibrant coastal region, located less than an hour’s drive south of Brisbane. It’s renowned for its year round sunshine, golden beaches and theme parks. It’s the most populated non-capital city in Australia, with the largest cross-state metropolitan area population in Australia covering Tweed Heads, New South Wales and Greater Brisbane in Queensland.
There’s plenty to see and do along the 70 kilometre stretch of stunning coastline. The Gold Coast is a favourite Australian holiday destination, surrounded by sun-drenched beaches, including the world renowned Surfers Paradise.
Surfers Paradise is the only location in Queensland with late night shopping every day of the week and is home to some of Australia’s largest duty free outlets. Regarded the entertainment capital of Queensland, Surfers Paradise is also home to several bars, clubs and fine dining restaurants.
The Gold Coast also has some of the biggest and best theme parks and the highest concentration of themed attractions in the Southern Hemisphere right on its doorstep. Just a short trip will find you at Sea World, Warner Brothers Movie World, Dream World and much more.
It’s also the gateway to one of Australia's most biologically diverse regions, the lush rainforest-cloaked hinterland with World Heritage Listed National Parks such as Lamington National Park. This natural wonder is situated along the Queensland and New South Wales border, 85 kilometres from the Gold Coast. The 200 square kilometre park has amazing mountain scenery, subtropical rainforests, waterfalls and some of Queensland’s best bushwalking trails.
The capital city of sunny Queensland is Brisbane, the third most populated city in Australia. Situated along the banks of the Brisbane River, this interesting city with historic architecture and friendly locals is a gateway to some amazing Queensland experiences. Just north of Brisbane is the Sunshine Coast, home to a magnificent coastline and beautifully lush hinterland. Nearby, you can visit the world famous Australia Zoo, an award-winning zoo that remains a living legacy of the late Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. The Sunshine Coast is also home to several natural attractions such as the sunny resort town of Mooloolaba, the beautiful unspoilt beaches of Caloundra and the intriguing Glass House Mountains.
Just 90 minutes north of Brisbane, Noosa is a dream holiday location. Nestled on the Sunshine Coast it’s renowned for its combination of glorious beaches, pristine national parks and cosmopolitan shopping and food scene. A cruise along the beautiful Noosa Everglades is a must. You’ll see mangroves, wetlands and a diverse range of flora and fauna. You can also just relax on the beach and enjoy the sunshine and surf.
A four hour journey from Brisbane, off the coast of Hervey Bay is Fraser Island, a gigantic World Heritage Listed sand bar and one of the few places on earth where ancient rainforests grow along the sandy banks of crystal clear creeks.
Separated from mainland Queensland by the Great Sandy Strait, Fraser Island spans an impressive 184,000 hectares making it the world’s largest sand island. This unique natural environment has developed over 800,000 years and is a precious part of Australia’s natural and cultural heritage.
This large coastal dune system is home to over 100 freshwater lakes. Amongst the cleanest lakes in the world, some are stained red and others fringed with pure white sand and crystal clear water - a swim in these lakes will no doubt be a memorable experience.
Named after shipwreck survivor, Eliza Fraser, the gorgeous coast that fringes the island’s coastline is the site of over 50 shipwrecks. The most notable wreck being the Maheno, a former Trans-Tasman luxury liner and WWI hospital ship whose remains today lie on the beach north of Happy Valley.
Here you can absorb the exceptional natural beauty of long uninterrupted white beaches, strikingly coloured sand cliffs and an abundance of lush flora. Along the east coast is the gorgeous 75 Mile Beach, one of the only beaches in the world that is also a registered National Highway and also acts as a landing strip for light aircrafts.
Whether you discover by scenic plane, bushwalking through the rainforest or taking a refreshing dip among the turtles in the mirrored lakes, it’s easy to see why the Aboriginal owners called Fraser Island ‘K’gari’ - meaning paradise.
There is no better place for relaxation and rejuvenation than the Whitsundays. A popular holiday destination for couples, families and friends of all ages, it’s a paradise that exists along the east coast of Queensland. The Whitsundays are made up of 74 islands but only eight of these can be access with the remainder left untouched with lush vegetation fringed by white sandy beaches.
One of the spectacular islands along this chain is Daydream Island where you’ll spend a relaxing two night stay. It’s the perfect place to read a book by the pool, take advantage of the resort activities like tennis or kayaking or simply unwind with a calming massage.
Other must-see destinations