White-sand beaches and tropical islands may be the first things that come to mind when you think of Queensland, but Australia’s second biggest state has a diversity of attractions that offer endless inspiration for your next holiday.
Dinosaur relics, waterholes, country pubs and history; the features of the Queensland Outback can definitely give the beaches a run for their money! Birdsville is famous for its annual legendary race meet, but there are a range of other charming outback towns waiting to be explored.
Longreach is a must for history buffs, who will love the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre. Discover the origins of Waltzing Matilda in Winton, a laid-back country town that oozes colloquial charm, or wander the forgotten streets of Ravenswood, Kuridale or Maytown, Queensland’s very own ghost towns.
Queensland’s Glass House Mountains rise majestically out of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, and are rendered even more fascinating by their First Nations heritage. There is a selection of trails ranging from easy walks through the surrounding wilderness to ascending Mount Tibrogagin, a challenging climb that culminates in a scramble across a steep rock face to the summit.
Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall is an attractive pedestrian arcade that offers a highly satisfying array of big-name retailers, and boutique stores abound in the surrounding suburbs. On the Gold Coast, Robina Town Centre and Pacific Fair invite you to shop till you drop, and there are still the Carrara Markets to consider.
The Sunshine Coast’s Eumundi Markets have been a Queensland favourite for decades, and The Noosa Farmers’ Market, Jan Power’s Farmers Market in Brisbane and Toowoomba PCYC Markets are a great stop for fresh fruit and veg.
As the name suggests, The Handmade Expo and Vintage Market is a treasure trove of handmade, hand baked, and hand grown products. If you can catch the monthly market in Ipswich, Bundaberg, Cairns or Rockhampton you’re in for a treat.
Queensland is the only place in the world that is home to all five types of climatic rainforest. The Daintree is a jewel-green wilderness that forms part of the Wet Tropics region, the oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest on earth. Hiking trails are varied and abundant and a cruise down leafy waterways is another great way to soak up the luscious beauty of the forest.
Further south you will find sub-tropical and cool temperate rainforests in the Gold Coast hinterland, easily accessible for day trips, and there are pockets of rainforest tucked away on South Stradbroke and Fraser Islands. Waterfalls, swimming holes and natural springs abound, offering a cool respite from the steamy climate of the rainforest.
Looking for a place to stay?: Ravishing Resorts of Queensland
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World Heritage Sites
Queensland lays claim to five World Heritage Sites, which include the aforementioned Wet Tropics region. Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island; an outstanding example of unique features in a sand environment. The Great Barrier Reef needs no introduction, but the reality of its incredible marine life and blissful islands should be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Get away from the beach and discover the Gondwana Rainforest areas of Lamington, Mt Barney, Springbrook, and Main Ridge National Parks, which contain wildlife that is relatively unchanged by the passage of time and provide highly valued insights into the world's evolutionary history. Listed in 2007, The Riversleigh Fossil Sites are among the richest fossil deposits in the world.
Animal lovers will be in heaven at world-famous Australia Zoo, which enjoys a beautiful setting as well as a great choice of critter encounters. The staff are passionate about their work, and much effort has been made to replicate a natural environment for the koalas, cheetahs, lemurs, tigers and wombats that call Australia Zoo Home.
Head down to the Gold Coast to visit with the world-famous rainbow lorikeets at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. This not-for-profit park is home to a variety of native animals, which includes the resident 800 kg alpha male croc known as ‘Boss Hog’.
With almost 7,000 kilometres of coastline to choose from, there’s little wonder that Queensland boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Even the thriving tourist destinations of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast have squeaky white sand and pristine water, but if you’re looking for a more isolated paradise then venture just a little further north or south. A few of our favourites include Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast, The Gorge on North Stradbroke Island and Casuarina Beach in Mackay, where you’ll probably be sharing the sand with some wallabies.
Contact your local Travel Associates Consultant for the best luxury deals for your next escape to Queensland, where paradise awaits!