A WEBSITE FULL OF TALES AND TIPS FROM A LIFETIME OF TRAVEL

Travel guides covering numerous destinations across the globe with a focus on: must-visit cities, places of historical and culture significance including Unesco World Heritage Sites, and opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitats.

Read up-to-date tips and advice for expats based on my own experiences of expat life including our recent move to Australia.

 

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Top 20 things to do in Queensland Australia

Top 20 things to do in Queensland Australia

TOP 20 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSLAND

Are you planning a trip to Queensland, Australia? Are you emigrating, relocating from another state or simply looking for an amazing itinerary for that once-on-a-lifetime trip down under?

There are lots of things to do and see in Queensland Australia! So much so that I have – will the help of fellow travel bloggers – out together this post of the top 20 things to do in Queensland! 

Basically I now have a bucket list so thank-you to everyone who contributed!

So in no particular order here are the top SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES to do in Queensland Australia.


FITZROY ISLAND by Toni of 2 Aussie Travellers


If you’re going to be in Tropical North Queensland one of our top beaches, and an incredible island in general, is Fitzroy Island.  There’s a resort you can stay at on the island or you can get out here in under an hour on a variety of boats from the Cairns boat harbour.

 The island is located on the Great Barrier Reef, a stunning World Heritage protected region and the island itself is surrounded by fringing reefs.  The beaches are mainly coral rather than the fine sand you’ll find through most of Queensland so you’ll want your thongs or reef shoes but it makes for incredibly clear and turquoise waters.  The visibility for snorkelling directly off the beach is amazing and there’s a lot of fish, coral and even turtles out there.

Fitzroy Island Queensland

Fitzroy Island

 Nudey Beach is one of the best you’ll find anywhere in the world.  It’s perfect to relax for the day or there are plenty of active options too from snorkelling and kayaking to island walks, stand up paddle-boarding and glass bottom boat trips. We took a kayak trip around the coast past the turtle sanctuary and out to Little Fitzroy Island for more snorkelling and would highly recommend it.

a beach on Fitzroy Island Queensland

Fitzroy Island

Find out more about Fitzroy on their website – 2 Aussie Travellers


CARNARVON GORGE by Stephanie of Big World Small Pockets


Way off the coast in Queensland Central highlands, Carnarvon Gorge National Park is one of the state’s the country’s best kept secrets.

An ancient landscape filled with prehistoric ferns, towering sandstone cliffs and dramatic gorges, this place is wild, rugged and huge in every sense of the word. It is also a very sacred place to the local indigenous population with several rock art and ancient burial sites found throughout the park.

Carnarvon Gorge

Carnarvon Gorge

Carnarvon Gorge is best explored on foot and has several wonderful hikes you can undertake to enjoy the views, wildlife and rock formations. Camping is available within the park at certain times of the year, otherwise, there are several lodges nearby where you can stay.

We loved Carnarvon Gorge for the off the beaten track experience it provided and for the stunning light displays that formed as the sun moves across the giant cliff faces.

If you are heading here, you can’t miss the spectacular Boolimba Bluff Walk at sunrise – just don’t forget your camera!

Carnarvon Gorge

Carnarvon Gorge

Carnarvon Gorge National Park is best reached from the Outback Queensland towns of Roma or Emerald and does involve a long, but ultimately rewarding drive! There are very few resources in or around the park, so do make sure you come prepared!

Read more from Stephanie on her blog bigworldsmallpockets.com

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HAMILTON ISLAND by Leah of Kid Bucket List


Situated in the Whitsunday island group, Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island and the perfect holiday destination for families looking for a place to unwind. 

Right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reed, a stay on Hamilton Island provides an opportunity to swim, snorkel or scuba dive along sections of the reef where you will spot a diverse range of corals and fish. You may even spot one of the turtles that inhabits the waters. Or why not hire a kayak or paddle board for the afternoon?

Hamilton Island is also home to number of native animals including goannas, sea eagles, wallabies, sulphur-crested cockatoors, sea eagles and kookaburras. Take a bushwalk along any of the scenic trails and you are certain to come across one of the glorious hidden coves or lookouts.

The island also boasts a go karting track, mini golf, golf course, numerous resort pools, and even scenic flights. There’s just so much to do!

When it comes to staying at Hamilton Island, you can choose from luxury, boutique, bungalows, self contained and units. There’s also a wide range of restaurants and cafes dine at for meals. Which will you choose?

You can access Hamilton Island by plane or ferry. Make sure you book well in advance to source accommodation within your budget. 

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island

Find out more about travelling to Hamilton Island on their blog Kid Bucket List

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Visiting Whitehaven Beach at the Whitsundays in Queensland

CAPE YORK by Leezett of Discover Family Travel


As a serious travel family, we enjoy all types of travel including 4×4 driving and camping. There is no better place to enjoy the outdoors and hard core remote travel like at Cape York in far north Queensland.

Cape York

Cape York

Cape York provides serious 4×4 enthusiast’s the perfect location to camp under the stars, swim in remote isolated swimming holes, experience the most challenging toughest, roughest tracks Australia has on offer and all while enjoying nature at its best in the warm tropical heat of far north Queensland.

Even new 4×4 drivers can explore and enjoy Cape York with a little care and wisdom. Don’t take on the Old Telegraph track without recovery gear, enough food to last a few days if you become stuck, and don’t leave home without a great sense of adventure. For those who like to play it safe, the development road is an easier road to travel on and connects Lakeland to Bamaga and onwards to the tip of Australia – Cape York.

A photograph of Cape York a waterfall and a gorge

Cape York

With long red dusty roads, ginormous white ant mounds, interesting local wildlife and genuine down to earth local Queensland Aussies. Cape York is a “Must Do” experience for any travellers that loves to connect with nature at its best and for those who are braver, they can push their 4×4 to its limits.

Termite mound at Cape York

Termite mound

Find out more on their website –Discover Family Travel

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BUNDABERG by Jub of tikitouringkiwi


I can’t help but notice every time I see Bundaberg ginger beer on shop shelves around the world. If you haven’t heard of the Australian city, Bundaberg, perhaps you’ve heard of Bundaberg Rum or Bundaberg Ginger Beer? They are two icons of Bundy, as international brands, so when you pass through Bundaberg on your Queensland adventures, you have to visit one, ideally the distillery.

The history of Bundaberg Rum goes back to 1888, and in 75-90 minute tour of the distillery museum, you’ll get to understand a lot about the history of Bundy Rum – including the origin of the polar bear logo.

There are various tour options, including the opportunity to mix your own rum, something rum aficionados will love.

At the end of the tour, you get to sample a couple of the different rums they’ve produced, including some that have been rated very highly internationally. The distillery is not all about the booze though, it helps you understand more about Bundaberg, as well as both the rum and ginger beer, have influenced the city significantly.

If you don’t do booze, the ginger beer factory down the road (not affiliated)also has a small tour you can do. And the chance to sample some unique flavours.

Bundaberg rum factory

Bundaberg rum!

Find out more on tikitouringkiwi.com


NOOSA by Scott of internationalhotdish


Are you ready to relax, explore, and/or shop? Then you’re ready for Noosa!

Just north of Brisbane, Noosa is a world class destination for folks looking to enjoy nature, relax on the beach, and take up water sports. The area is lush with vegetation and the ocean is picturesque, with fine sand as far as the eye can see. Wildlife around every corner and the stunning Noosa National Park nearby. And let’s not forget the reef to explore. Noosa has more nature than you can shake a koala at… just please don’t shake the koalas! 🙂

Noosa in Queensland

Noosa

Feel like reading on the beach? Cool! Want to wind sail, snorkel, or surf? Cool! Decided you want to shop? Cool! You can relax in the morning, explore the ocean in the afternoon, and go out for a fancy meal for supper. Noosa has it all, seriously. You decide how much stress you want in your day when you visit Noosa. The opportunities are varied, from hiking to exploring sunken ships to perusing fine retail shops. Farmers markets, unique cafes, and locally made jewelry and wine, and plenty of artists – Noosa has a perfect balance for the adventure seeker, cultural vulture, and beach lounger.

Beach at Noosa in Queensland

Beach at Noosa

Find out more on internationalhotdish.com


NORTH STADBROKE ISLAND by thriftyfamilytravels.com


Whilst many of the beautiful islands are in the north of Queensland there are a few right off the coast from Brisbane, North Stradbroke Island being one of them – or Straddie as us locals like to call it.

My favourite thing to do on North Stradbroke Island is to swim in the crystal-clear waters.  Whether you like a bit of surf or calm waters, there is the ideal beach here for you.

I highly recommend doing the 1.5 km North Gorge walk.  This walk has spectacular views from the headland across the Pacific Ocean.  From the designated walk ways, you can easily spot dolphins, turtles and manta rays as well as whales during the months of June to November.  Along the path you most likely will see kangaroos grazing as well as well as a variety of bird life.

Other popular activities on Straddie are surfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, fishing and 4WDing.

North Stradbroke Island can easily be reached by either the passenger ferry or the vehicle barge.  The island is perfect for a day trip, a long weekend or 2 weeks.  Camping is a popular choice for accommodation, but there are various hotels and holiday rentals as well.

North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island

Read more about North Stradbroke Island on thriftyfamilytravels.com


CAIRNS by Sharon of Simpler and Smarter


Cairns is the best place to visit in Queensland and there are several must do attractions!

First of all, Cairns is in the tropics which makes it a perfect place to visit to escape winter down south. It’s always hot and there is an awesome public lagoon by the water where you can cool down.

Cairns is also a great jumping off spot for two of Australia’s most famous attractions – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree.

A boat on a river in Cairns

Cairns

The Great Barrier Reef is simply a must visit. You can snorkel or dive or take a submarine ride if you don’t like getting wet! You’ll feel like you just fell into Finding Nemo. 

Green Island is a fun place to visit as part of your Great Barrier Reef excursion too. There’s a wildlife park, snorkelling off the beach and pools and other places to hang out. We love it here! Make sure you visit the outer reef as well though as the reef around Green Island is not as good.

The Daintree is beautiful rainforest and also somewhere to go croc spotting. Be careful where you swim here!

Cairns itself is a small city with plenty of places to eat and a great range of accommodation. It’s a very easy place to visit and enjoy.

Cairns lagoon in Queensland

Cairns lagoon

Read more from Sharon on her blog Simplerandsmarter

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Caravans, cassowaries and crocs - an update of expat life in Australia

FRASER ISLAND by Together We Roam


A short ferry ride across the Great Sandy Strait welcomes a world of outdoor family adventure on Australia’s largest sand island. Take the 4WD for a self-guided tour exploring Fraser Island’s gems, bounding along sandy inland tracks and driving along picturesque 75 Mile Beach. For those that prefer to leave the 4WDing to others, Fraser Coast Bus Tour runs a family friendly-guided tour that takes families to all the island highlights.

Fraser Island

Fraser Island

Check out the coloured sand dunes and rusty Maheno Shipwreck on the way to shimmering Champagne Rock Pools, where waves cascading down volcanic rock into the pools, creating effervescent champagne like bubbles in the natural beachside swimming holes.

Fraser Island

Fraser Island

Then there’s captivating Lake McKenzie where you can sink your toes into the powder white silica sand and dip in its water of sky blue, a sight for sore eyes and very hard to leave. Our kids absolute favourite was taking a giant inflatable swan for a float down Eli Creek, the island’s natural lazy river, where 80 million litres of pure fresh spring water flows out to sea.

Read more about Fraser Island with kids at Together we roam.


AUSTRALIA ZOO by Happiness Travels Here


If you are in Queensland visiting Australia Zoo is a must do. Started as an animal and reptile conservation centre by Steve Irwin, of Crocodile Hunter fame, and his family. The park has now flourished into one of the world’s best zoos.

Conservation is at the forefront here. Initiatives set up by the zoo have has significant positive impact on animal and reptile species around the world.

In the large grassy Savannah enclosure, you’ll find the African Herbivores Zebra, Elephants, Rhino, Giraffe and Antelope. 

One of the highlights is the Wildlife Warrior show, this and other shows and interactive experiences are scheduled throughout the day. Head to the aptly named Crocoseum to see saltwater crocodiles show their frightening strength and speed and birds of prey swoop and dive showing their skills in flight.

A huge crocodile leaps out of the water at Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Australia zoo provides a great opportunity to experience the unique and fascinating wildlife found only in Australia. From the cute to the downright dangerous, wombats, emus, dingoes, possums, Tasmanian devils, snakes and crocodiles are just some of the animals found here. It is possible to interact with some of the animals, feed a Kangaroo or pet a Koala. 

You’ll find Australia Zoo on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. An hour north of Brisbane the must-see attraction can be easily accessed by public transport. 

a boy feeds a kangaroo at Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Read more from Kayley on her blog happinesstravelshere.com

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THE GREAT BARRIER REEF


A must do when visiting Queensland is to go diving or snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. This natural world wonder can even been seen from space and is unmistakably one of the most amazing underwater worlds to explore. To experience the Great Barrier Reef the best way possible you are best of hopping on a live-aboard. These exclusive yachts bring you to the most exclusive dive spots as they can be pretty far out. There are great day trips from Cairns as well, but if you are an experienced diver and have time I would suggest you book a seat on a multi day dive tour. The reef stretches over 2,000km in length and therefore has the most divers marine life in the world. There are dive sites for all experience levels and what you are going to see under water will blow your mind. No matter I you love macro diving or are looking for big fish The Great Barrier Reef cannot be missed on a trip around Queensland.

Fish at the Great Barrier Reef

Fish at the Great Barrier Reef

Read more from Tom on his blog traveltomtom    


CAPE TRIBULATION by Clemens of Travellers Archive


The Daintree National Park and the Cape Tribulation area are far too beautiful to take a quick photo and then drive back to Cairns again. Right and left of the rainforest road there are a lot of interesting things to see. Cape Tribulation is located in the Daintree National Park and is located about 140 kilometers north of Cairns and about 80 kilometers north of Port Douglas. Among other things, this is because you can find plants in the rainforest that are among the oldest on earth; they have experienced the dinosaurs and have never seen an ice age because it has been tropical warm in this area for millions of years.

a boat on the water at Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation is also the northernmost point on this part of Queensland’s coast that can be reached without a four-wheel drive. Right and left of the road to the Cape Tribulation, there are a lot of interesting things to see, from the 23 meter high rainforest tower in the Daintree Discovery Center to the Daintree Ice Cream Company with exceptional varieties such as passion fruit and wattleseed. The rainforest can also be experienced by “Jungle Surfing”, where you “fly” with wire ropes through the treetops of the rainforest – an truly adrenaline-rich experience.

Read more from Clemens at travellersarchive.com


VISITING EUNGELLA NATIONAL PARK AND FINDING PLATYPUS


Eungella National Park is located approximately one hours drive away from Mackay in Northern Queensland. The park has some fantastic walks for hikers with tremendous views of the Pioneer Valley. For us however we had one thing on our mind when we visited – platypus!!

Platypus can only be found in Australia and are a rare sight in their natural habitat. At Broken River the chances of spotting this wonderful and unique creatures is very good. We have visited 3 times and we were lucky to spot platypus twice!

There is a viewing platform at Broken River so sit, relax, keep your camera on hand and your eyes alert! It may take a while but with a little bit of luck and the right conditions you will be able to see one of these amazing creatures! To find out more check out my recent post all about our trips to Broken River and Eungella National Park.

 

things to do in Queensland spot a platypus at Broken River in Queensland

A platypus at Eungella National park

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What you need to know about finding platypus in Eungella National Park

THE GOLD COAST by Janine OF FillMy Passport


Looking for a fun in the sun type of vacation Down Under? Look no further than the Gold Coast Queensland! There are more than 30 beaches, amazing shopping, animal encounters, fabulous restaurants, and affordable lodging for an all-in-one holiday. My recommendations for this surf town are as follows:

  • Pacific Fair – Newly renovated, this incredible shopping mall has everything for all budgets. Enjoy fashion shops like Kitten D’Amour, Witchery, Lorna Jane, etc., upscale jewellery stores, an incredible food court with all your favourites, and a theatre offering Gold Class seating to see your favourite films in style.
  • Movie World – Out of the cluster of theme parks in a teensy radius, Movie World is definitely my favourite. Mingle with the Looney Toons, Spiderman, Superman, and all things Warner Brothers. Brave the Superman roller coaster, one of the highest in the Southern Hemisphere, and watch Daffy and Bugs on the big screen 3D style. Your best bet is t0 purchase a pass on Groupon for unlimited access to all 4 parks for $75+. This is the most economical considering one visit to one park is more than this price!
  • Try Skydiving – This experience is incredible. You take off in a parachute with a landing right on the beach. The scenery and view is phenomenal and you have a wonderful soft landing!
  • Grab a coffee at Zarraffa’s. This coffee chain is only in Queensland and offers some incredible drinks and pastries. My favourite? Definitely the Key Lime Tarts. They are delicious and worth every penny.
  • Dracula’s Cabaret – for a fun night out, do head to the Dracula’s Cabaret, dinner and show. It is entertaining and has surprises throughout the evening. Get the VIP ticket for hors d’oeuvres, a special necklace, and incredible seating.

There is a ton more to do here in this amazing city. This has literally just scratched the surface.

20 things to do in Queensland Australia visit the Gold Coast and see gold statues of poodles

The Gold Coast!

Read more from Janine on her blog fillmypassport.net


RAINBOW BEACH by Nicci of Travel with Boys


The small beachside town of Rainbow Beach in Queensland is a paradise just waiting to be explored. Its white sandy beaches, clear blue skies and rainbow coloured cliffs, provide a spectacular backdrop for any holiday.

There is no shortage of things to do at Rainbow Beach whether you’re looking to relax and swim at the beach (all year round), or take a dip at Seary’s Creek, which is fed by a natural spring.

If you’re after breathtaking views, Carlo Sandblow is hard to beat. 15 hectares of sand sits on top of the coloured sand cliffs and gives you 360-degree views of the ocean and the bay behind.

There are also some amazing paid activities such as horse riding along the beach, kayaking to see dolphins, turtles and whales, or learning to surf on Australia’s longest wave.

One of our favourite things to do is to drive a 4WD car up the beach to Double Island Point and spend the day swimming in the calm waters, fishing, eating, drinking and just enjoying life.

Rainbow Beach is small but it’s big enough to provide you with all the essentials, no matter whether you’re on a budget or looking for luxury. Enjoy!

rainbow beach one of many things to do in Queensland

Rainbow Beach

Read more from Nicci on her blog Travel with Boys


MORETON ISLAND by Kim-Ling of Travel-ling.com


Whilst Moreton Island is located just a 90-minute ferry ride from Brisbane, it feels like a whole world away once you arrive. Moreton Island is the perfect getaway, offering plenty of fun things to see and do. Sailing up to the island, you are greeted with the Tangalooma Shipwreck reef (don’t worry, they were deliberately sunk there to create a break wall). This is the perfect place for snorkelling, sunbaking and even kayaking in a glass-bottom kayak. You can even kayak amongst the wrecks at night! If you love sea life, Moreton Island doesn’t disappoint, with it’s famously friendly local dolphins, and if you are lucky, you can spot sea turtles and whales (during migration season).

a beach at Moreton Island

Moreton Island

Beyond the beach though, there’s still plenty of action to enjoy. Moreton Island is the home to Queensland’s first lighthouse, where you can get amazing views of the sea and its wildlife. There are plenty of natural walks and fun 4wd tracks to enjoy, and being the 3rd largest sand island in the world, sand tobogganing is an absolute must! gliding down sand dunes at up to 60km/hr is nothing short of exhilarating, and a great way to get heated up enough to justify another dip in the beautiful blue sea. Moreton Island can be enjoyed as a day trip, but there are also plenty of accommodation options on the island for those who like a longer getaway.

the sea off Moreton Island

Moreton Island

You can read more from Kim-Ling on her blog travel-ling.com

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KURANDA SCENIC RAILWAY AND SKYRAIL RAINFOREST CABLEWAY by Allison of Flights of Fancy


When you think of Cairns, The Great Barrier Reef most often springs to mind but seasoned visitors know there is so much more to Tropical North Queensland. The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area maybe lesser known, but it is no less spectacular and is a must see while you are in town. The region stretches from Townsville to Cape Tribulation and is littered with walking tracks but why not take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and soar above the canopy for a completely different view. Jump on board a diamond view car for a magical 7.5klm journey to Kuranda and hop off at each of the mid station to get up close and personal with the rainforest long the way.

Once in Kuranda explore the quaint little town for a spell before making your way back to Cairns on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. The KSR is one of Australia’s most iconic rail journeys but a ticket won’t break the bank. Enjoy the rock star treatment in gold class with a wine glass in hand as the train lifts you 328m above sea level, chugs through 15 handmade tunnels, crosses 37 bridges and passes two majestic waterfalls with a wine glass in hand. This is one experience you don’t want to miss!

Read more from Allison on her blog  Flights to Fancy


MOOLOOLABA BEACH by Bethany of Flashpacker Family


Mooloolaba is one of the nicest beach towns on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. There are tonnes of cafes, restaurants and shops along the main esplanade with a beautiful view over to the ocean. The beach itself is great too – long and wide with several lifeguard points along the beach for safe swimming. If you’re travelling with kids, there a endless playgrounds all along the waterfront from one end of Mooloolaba beach right down to Maroochydore. It’s a fantastic place for a week-long beach vacation or a day trip down to the coast. 

Mooloolaba Beach

Mooloolaba Beach

Read more from Bethaney on her blog Flashpacker Family.


CAPE TRIBULATION by Wendy of Adventurous Retirement


Cape Tribulation is a remote point in the northeastern part of Queensland Australia, a unique spot where the beach meets the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).   Traveling deep into the rainforest, you come upon Cape Tribulation at the end of the paved roads.  Being so remote, only 330 people are known to reside here.  It is the coastal area of Daintree National Park.

Visitors come to Cape Trib for an immersion into nature and escape from connected lives; don’t expect internet or mobile phones to work here.  Cape Tribulation is for total unplugging, and it’s wonderful!

Things to do at Cape Tribulation

The beauty is breathtaking from sea views to deep greenery, and wildlife.  There are many activities to keep you busy, or choose to just relax in nature and read or watch the sea.   This is a terrific spot from which to access GBR for a day of snorkeling or diving.

  1. Visit the Cape Tribulation Beach House Lookout.
  2. Swim at the Beach House, or at safe swimming holes.
  3. Go for a walk on the boardwalk that goes south along the beach or go for a rainforest walk.
  4. Try the jungle swing.
  5. Take one of the many land excursions, or a boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef.
  6. Go to the Cape Trib Fruit Farm for a tasting tour.
  7. Enjoy horseback riding on the beach.
  8. Have a quiet meal at one of several eating establishments either in the rainforest or on the beach.
AdventurousRetirement.com Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation

The rainforest and coastal beauty looks calm and serene, but disguises dangers.  Be aware of cassowaries in the rainforests – beautiful, very large, flightless birds unique to northern Australia can attack and cause serious injury.  Trees in the rainforest often have stingers, needles, or serrated edge leaves to protect themselves; these cause painful stings.  Of course, crocs can be a threat on coastal beaches.  Dangerous jellyfish are often found in these coastal waters, more frequently in warmer months; however, with a full body wetsuit for protection, you are safe to enter the water.  Although all of these risks exist, it’s worthwhile to visit Cape Tribulation.  Just be aware and take precautionary measures, or go with an experienced guide.

Getting here and Accommodations

Cape Tribulation offers a natural eco-tourism environment for visitors.  From cabins, hostels, beachfront camping, wilderness lodge, farmstay, BnBs, holiday home rentals, and a yoga retreat, you can pick accommodations that suit you best.  Located 2.5 hours from Cairns, it can be accessed by car or on a transport running excursions, like Foaming Fury (ask about their transport package).

It is well worth the trip to experience all that Cape Trib offers, even if you only have one day.  I wish we stayed a couple of nights.

a house at Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation

Read more from Wendy at Adventurous Retirement.com


CAPE HILLSBOROUGH


Have you seen all those beautiful photographs of kangaroos and wallabies on a beach at dawn? Well chances are those were taken at Cape Hillsborough!

Cape Hillsborough is approximately a 30 minute drive from Mackay in Northern Queensland and if you are heading up the coast make a stop – you won’t regret it! Make sure that you are at the beach at dawn – the kangaroos and wallabies leave the beach shortly after sunrise so you don’t want to arrive just to see them hopping away! Be careful driving in the park at this time as there is the possibility you will come across kangaroos bounding across the road in front of you!

Keep you distance from the animals on the beach and don’t stand between them and the bush. Its one of the most special experiences of my life so do try to go!

Kangaroo at dawn at Cape Hillsborough

Kangaroo at dawn at Cape Hillsborough

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A guide to the best time to see kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough

SUNSHINE COAST HINTERLAND by Kati of Queensland and Beyond


The Sunshine Coast Hinterland may not have the wow-factor that other Queensland locations offer but it’s a seriously charming spot for a weekend away. It’s within an hour from Brisbane, making it an easily accessible corner of southeast Queensland.

Full of charming country towns, undulating hills and valleys, volcanic outcrops, and dotted with lookouts, it’s not surprising that this region is a popular location for romantic getaways.

Take the Blackall Ranges Tourist Drive (#23) for one of the most scenic drives on the Sunshine Coast. Along the way, explore towns like Maleny, Montville or Kenilworth – all equally charming and full of eateries that boast local produce.

Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Montville is especially popular so expect it to be a little busier than other towns. It’s almost kitschy but not quite, and here you can stuff yourself full of slightly overpriced food – but with gorgeous views as the backdrop.

Maleny is another favourite for strolling around, browsing quaint shops, and indulging in some seriously good food at the Maleny Food Co. Cafe. Since they’ve got gluten-free options, they get a big tick from me! They also have their own fromagerie (seriously!) and their gelato is to die for. The long queues spilling outside the cafe can attest to that.

But my favourite part of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is the walks and hikes: from short ones around Mary Cairncross Reserve to longer hikes such as the 5 km Kondalilla Falls circuit. Visit at the end of the rainy season and you should see water gushing down the steep falls.

Kondalilla Falls

Kondalilla Falls

Read more by  Kati at Queenslandandbeyond.com

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Wonderful accommodation in Sunshine Coast Hinterland - Yabbaloumba Retreat

WHITSUNDAY ISLAND by Luke of Back Street Nomad


Located off the coast of Airlie Beach, lies Whitsunday Island; an oasis of beauty begging to be explored. Whitsunday Island is best known as the host of one of Australia’s best beaches: Whitehaven Beach. It’s a 7 kilometre stretch of impossibly white sand and turquoise water, culminating in the magnificent sandy swirls of Hill Inlet. 

There are also loads of places to find marine life underwater around the island, as well as easy, moderate and difficult hikes all over the island. And because the island is literally out in the ocean, you either need your own boat or be on a tour to access the island so even as far as popular attractions go, it doesn’t feel overrun. 

Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island

Read more from Luke at backstreetnomad.com


CARNARVON GORGE NATIONAL PARK by Kati of Queensland and Beyond


Carnarvon Gorge remains one of my favourite hiking spots in Queensland. But even if you’re not into hiking, this national park is not one to be missed. It’s best visited in the Australian winter as temperature are high with lots of rain during summer.

Located some 700 km from Brisbane, it’s a long, dusty drive out west. But it’s here where you get to experience rural Queensland that is so vastly different from the beaches and tropical rainforests of the coast.

Carnarvon Gorge National Park

Carnarvon Gorge National Park

Plan a minimum of three days to explore the towering sandstone cliffs that form Carnarvon Gorge. It’s a special place that offers lush side gorges, incredible Aboriginal rock art, flora and fauna aplenty! You can walk as far into the gorge as you want. Walks range from short strolls to day hikes, offering something for everyone. Just expect several creek crossings involving rock hopping as Carnarvon Creek sneaks its way into the gorge.

Inside the gorge, the side tracks all offer something unique. Explore places like Moss Garden, a lush but icy pool with a tranquil waterfall, dripping moss and ferns. Scramble into the Amphitheatre, a 60 m deep chamber inside the walls of the gorge. Admire the spectacular Aboriginal rock art at the Art Gallery or Cathedral Cave. Watch the sunrise from Boolimba Bluff, towering 200 m above Carnarvon Creek. Or for a lazy day, spot platypus in the creek along the Nature Trail.

Steps up to Carnarvon Gorge National Park

Carnarvon Gorge National Park

Read more from Kati at Queenslandandbeyond.com


The eagle eyed amongst you may have realised that there are 21 top things to do in Queensland not 20! I added in my own personal favourites of Eungella National Park and Cape Hillsborough because they HAD to be in and I couldn’t choose between them!!

For more information about visiting Queensland check out the official website – WELCOME TO QUEENSLAND

Are there more places to add? I am really interested in places to go as this is our bucket list for 2018/19 and beyond!

Thanks to all the great bloggers who contributed!

PIN FOR LATER –  THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSLAND!

Top 20 things to do in Queensland

TOP THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA


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37 Comments

  1. December 19, 2017 / 10:01 am

    Woah, that’s a comprehensive artivle Tracy. Love the variety…I do feel QLD gets a bit of a hard time, but its clearly a splendid spot.

    • TracyJane
      Author
      December 20, 2017 / 8:47 am

      Thanks Jub glad you enjoyed it! QLD has loads to offer!

  2. December 22, 2017 / 7:59 am

    What a comprehensive list! I’ll definitely be referring back to this for my next trip up north 🙂
    Rachel recently posted…Expat update: Month 7My Profile

  3. December 22, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    This is so helpful! We have family out in Oz and its hard to know what we would like to do so this guide should help with that 🙂

  4. December 22, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    Okay, I’ve always pushed back on the idea of traveling to Australia because it is just so far away. There’s just so much in Queensland for a nature lover like me, that I need to get over my mindset and finally plan a trip!
    Carmen Baguio recently posted…Natchez Trace Parkway Road TripMy Profile

  5. December 23, 2017 / 12:09 am

    I adored QLD when I was there and managed to visit a few of these places, alas some (like Hamilton Island) were out of my price range as a backpacker but I do hope to still visit one day. Great list, pinned for my return. #feetdotravel

  6. December 23, 2017 / 1:13 am

    This was SO helpful as I’m doing research right now on the Gold Coast. Great roundup! Thank you.

  7. December 23, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    Great list! I went to Fitzroy Island years ago and this brings back many great memories. Great inspiration here to head back.

  8. December 28, 2017 / 8:07 am

    I did get to go to Cairns on my trip to Australia but I didn’t have time to see much in the area. Top of my list for next trip is the Whitsundays, I have heard nothing but amazing things and the photos look wonderful.
    Anisa recently posted…St. Nicholas Fair York Christmas Market GuideMy Profile

    • TracyJane
      Author
      December 31, 2017 / 5:05 am

      Definitely are – we loved our visit and will be going back!

  9. December 29, 2017 / 3:54 am

    This is a great list. We have done some of these, but not enough. Looks like we will need to return to Queensland and tick the rest of the list off.

    Thanks for sharing. Keep travel blogging. Adventure is better shared with friends!

  10. December 29, 2017 / 1:53 pm

    So many things to do and experience in Queensland. Indeed it looks like an indulgence for the senses. Very difficult to choose between all the exhilarating experiences.

    • TracyJane
      Author
      December 31, 2017 / 5:04 am

      I know – we are struggling to decide what to do next!

  11. December 29, 2017 / 1:53 pm

    Wow – so many bloggers have been to Queensland, Australia! I need to add this to my itinerary. From the list, Cape York is the one that I’ve not read anything about. It looks very Instagrammable too!

    • TracyJane
      Author
      December 31, 2017 / 5:02 am

      Definitely James! We plan to see all of this if we can while we are here 🙂

  12. January 17, 2018 / 4:13 pm

    Wow Tracy great post! I’ve never been to Queensland but it looks absolutely stunning from the pics you’ve posted. 🙂 Being a stand up paddle board enthusiast I took note of the paddle boarding. I’m looking forward to traveling to Queensland and exploring the area. What are the best months to be on the water?
    Anthony Dioso recently posted…Stand Up Paddle Board Maintenance And Proper StorageMy Profile

    • TracyJane
      Author
      January 18, 2018 / 9:31 am

      Good question Anthony – the weather is great all year round but you would have to wear a stinger suit from October to April in northern Queensland because of the presence of stingers in the water. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  13. January 18, 2018 / 4:36 am

    Great post! How is the Great Barrier Reef Looking these days? Iv’e heard that it is deteriorating according to the program Blue Planet 2

  14. January 18, 2018 / 9:38 pm

    Wow super useful. Cape York particularly appeals as an outdoorsy travelling family.

    If we make it to Australia then this list will really help us. Thenks.

    • TracyJane
      Author
      January 20, 2018 / 12:35 am

      Great thanks Cassie – lots to do and see in Queensland!

  15. January 18, 2018 / 11:41 pm

    Wow, this is a great list! I have always wanted to go to Australia, but I was not sure which are was the best, but after reading this, Queensland definitely sounds like a great place! I particularly liked the vibe of Lake McKenzie and the Carnarvon Gorge! Thanks for all the tips!

    • TracyJane
      Author
      January 20, 2018 / 12:35 am

      Great thanks the post has given you some inspiration – Queensland is a great state to visit!

  16. January 19, 2018 / 11:38 am

    This is an excellent list, and I have no idea where to start! I’ve still yet to visit Australia, so thank you for these tips on these amazing places. I think a visit to the Great Barrier Reef is a given, especially as it’s sadly changing so much. I also like the sound of all these islands, especially Hamilton and Nudey! Thank you.

    • TracyJane
      Author
      January 20, 2018 / 12:33 am

      I live in Queensland and don’t know where to start there is so much here to do and see!

  17. January 19, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    Australia is such a beautiful and diverse country. The hubby and I really need to get down there. We’ve heard of Rainbow Beach but that Hamilton Island looks more like it should be Hawaii. Amazing place. It’s on the bucket list!

    • TracyJane
      Author
      January 20, 2018 / 12:32 am

      Great – glad you got some great ideas of places to visit!

  18. January 20, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    Wow! I love that extensive list! I haven’t been to the continent country so far! I do have a couple of relatives there, and meeting them would be a good excuse to head in that direction.
    I wouldn’t mizz Fitzroy Island and Stadsbroke island. They are so picturesque!
    I’ve read Allison’s post on Kuranda scenic railway and that’s been in my mind since then!
    Bhusha recently posted…Epping Forest (Greater London – England)My Profile

    • TracyJane
      Author
      January 21, 2018 / 12:29 am

      I would get over here and visit – so much to do and see!

  19. January 21, 2018 / 2:53 pm

    I’ve been reading a lot about the Whitsundays, and it looks and sounds like absolutely paradise. I’d love to check out the gorge as well – looks like Queensland has a good mix of beautiful beaches and more active outdoorsy things to do, which is just my style. I definitely need to explore Queensland when I visit Australia.

    • TracyJane
      Author
      January 22, 2018 / 8:19 am

      The Whitsundays are absolutely beautiful and I would highly recommend visiting – in fact all of Queensland is amazing!

  20. January 24, 2018 / 1:54 pm

    wow to be honest I didn’t knew Queensland is so beautiful! It had so many wonderful beaches and waterfalls it almost makes you feel like you on some tropical island! Especially Whitsunday Island! So wonderful! I definitely cant miss it when I go to Australia one day!
    Ada recently posted…My Road Trip to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore by busMy Profile

  21. April 27, 2018 / 6:10 am

    I love it. My favourite was Cape Tribulation, I felt that we were just on the edge of nowhere, the wilderness and it was beautiful.

    • TracyJane
      Author
      May 1, 2018 / 1:06 am

      We are heading up there in July can’t wait!!

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HI THIS IS ME – TRACY

Hello from Australia

Traveller, teacher, train lover, and milkshake connoisseur.Now living and working in my 7th country and experiencing life in Queensland, Australia.

I write to inspire others whatever their age to explore the world - near and far!

I have travelled for over 30 years including solo in my 20's , as a single parent in my 30's and now in my 40's and beyond with my husband. House sitter and aspiring grey nomad a life of location independence is my goal.

Over 40 years ago I dreamt of a life well travelled and that is the life I live!

Dream it, plan it, do it!!

Tracy

“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”
-- Michael Palin