From the spectacular and jaw-dropping natural attractions to the glitzy culture and art scene of cities, Queensland is a haven for travellers and adventurers. As Australia’s “Sunshine State”, it has become a popular holiday destination.
Here, we give you 12 reasons to fall in love with Queensland.
1. GREAT BARRIER REEF
As the largest living structure on earth, the Great Barrier Reef which is off the coast of Queensland is about 350,000 sq km in size and 2,300 km long- that’s about the size of Japan or 70 million football fields! It can even be seen from space! It is the world’s largest coral reef system and home to one-third of the world’s coral species. October is turtle’s nesting season, making it a perfect time for a trip. Be amazed as you view this spectacular work of nature, recognized as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. With underwater viewing stations and glass bottom boats or if you prefer scuba dive tours, you’ll have the perfect view of this underwater wonderland that you’ll surely fall in love with.
2. DAINTREE NATIONAL PARK
Another World Heritage Site, the Daintree National Park in Far North Queensland has the world’s most ancient rainforest thought to be about 165 million years old! This vast, dense but beautiful rainforest has extraordinary diversity, with high concentration for flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. Take a scenic drive and explore this amazing rainforest that meets the pristine beach. Enjoy the forest canopy in a flash through an exhilarating zip line or experience it through an aerial walkway. Take a laid-back and leisurely cruise along the Daintree River and spot crocs! Join a spotlighting tour to see other native animals like cassowaries. Here, you’ll see how two World Heritage Sites connect as the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef.
3. FRASER ISLAND
Fraser Island, a World Heritage Listed Site is an 800,000-year-old beauty and another reason to fall in love with Queensland. It is the largest sand island in the world, stretching over 123 km in length and an area of 184 hectares. It’s also the only place on earth where rainforests grow on sand dunes of over 200 metres! With beautiful and spectacular white beaches fringed by coloured sand cliffs and over 100 freshwater lakes to swim in, not to mention having an amazing, ancient Eucalyptus rainforests teeming with plant and animal life, Fraser Island is simply a stunning spectrum of greens and blues that one can easily fall in love with.
4. GOLD COAST
With its sunny subtropical climate, the Gold Coast has been an ideal vacation area with its surfing beaches, skyscrapers, massive theme parks, booming food scene, exciting nightlife and beautiful rainforest hinterland. This coastal city is the 6th largest city in Australia. It is home to Australia's most diverse cultures, ethnicity, and vegetation making it an undisputed tourist capital of Australia. Explore this exciting city and visit Gold Coast’s other attractions - Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Main Beach, The Hinterland, The Spit and Stradbroke Island and have the best holiday ever.
5. PORT DOUGLAS
Port Douglas sits adjacent to two World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, making it the gateway to these two World Heritage wonders! Take an hour drive to this town from Cairns and drive along Australia’s most scenic coastal roads with the rainforest on one side and the Great Barrier Reef on the other. With its relaxed and intimate tropical vibe, you can also appreciate and enjoy food, wine, arts and culture. As luxury is the town’s highlight, it has been favoured by A-list celebrities with its magnificent resorts, superb apartments and elegant homes.
6. WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS
The Whitsunday Islands, composed of 74 stunning islands off the coast of Queensland is one of the most popular Australian tourist destinations with 3.5 million yearly visitors. Take a trip and fall in love with its pristine beaches, powdery sands, turquoise water and world-class hotels and accommodations. Beautiful, serene and romantic, it’s no wonder an estimated 1,500 people get married in the Whitsundays each year and has become a popular wedding and honeymoon destination.
Brisbane is Queensland’s capital and is known to the Aboriginal people as Meanjin, meaning "a place shaped like a spike". The city is vibrant, laid-back and has a friendly atmosphere with its youthful crowd. It is Australia’s third largest city and the center of Queensland culture. Take a trip to the historic Windmill and Old Commissariat Store, built by convicts in 1828, or to the new Gallery of Modern Art. Discover restaurants, charming riverside gardens and beautiful man-made beaches.
8. KURANDA SCENIC RAILWAY
Kuranda Village is a picturesque town 25 km northwest of Cairns and is surrounded by a World Heritage Rainforest. The perfect way to enjoy the spectacular journey to this charming town is by riding the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Enjoy incomparable views of dense rainforest, steep ravines and beautiful waterfalls such as Barron Waterfalls and Stoney Creek Falls. The trip lasts for an hour and 45 minutes, starting from Cairns to Kuranda.
9. SUNSHINE COAST
Sunshine Coast which is 55 km north of Brisbane is home to vast beaches, booming food scene and many other natural wonders of the bordering rural hinterland. It has become a centre for tourism with its attractions, such as Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo, Aussie World with the Ettamogah Pub, UnderWater World marine park, The Buderim Ginger Factory, The Big Pineapple, the Eumundi Markets and the Majestic Theatre at Pomona. You can also visit Noosa with its fashion shops and hip cafes, surf at holiday town of Coolum or get in touch with Maroochydore’s interesting culture.
Cairns, located on the east coast of Far North Queensland is also North Queensland’s main centre, being the 5th populous city in the state. Today, Cairns is the most popular base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and the Atherton Tablelands. With its laidback feel, Cairns boasts of its beachfront esplanade and has also its shares of hip bars, nightclubs, eateries and cafes.
11. LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK
About 110 km or 2-hour drive south of Brisbane lies Lamington National Park. Be enchanted with its lush rainforests, beautiful waterfalls, ancient trees, birdlife, majestic views, expansive walking tracks, remarkable ecological value and natural beauty making the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, a World Heritage Site. It lies on the Lamington Plateau of the McPherson Range on the Queensland/New South Wales border.
12. TOWNSVILLE AND MAGNETIC ISLAND
Townsville, which is Australia’s largest tropical town, famous for its parks and private gardens is a popular base for tours on Magnetic Island. A 20-minute ferry ride from the beautiful town of Townsville, the Magnetic Island is an established holiday destination with its charming hotels and resorts. Visit the Fort Walk and marvel at World War II ruins and the majestic views of the island’s 23 bays and beaches. Go on a self-guided snorkeling tour of Geoffrey Bay. Take a drive on a classic topless car. Go on other man-made adventures - jet-ski, kayak or even ride a horse!