It’s no wonder that a province called ‘The Sunshine State’ is all about the great outdoors. With thousands of kilometers of tropical coastlines, sandy beaches, coral reefs, mountain rainforests, and a beautifully warm climate. It’s not shocking that Queensland draws so many visitors from Australia and abroad.
Queensland’s capital city does not share the prestige of Sydney and Melbourne’s southern cousins, but Brisbane has its own distinct vibe. Brisbane is characterized by the gardens and parks lining the river that runs through an eclectic art and cultural scene. The locals’ love of rugby league catches a drink on Caxton St before a big game at Suncorp Stadium to see what it’s all about. Blessed with balmy weather 12 months a year.
Travel to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, or even Brisbane if you are the kind of holiday goer who loves the comfort of the sun, sand, and surf while still being close to city facilities and a busy nightlife. With convenient access to Moreton Bay and its islands, you can find many beach activities while still being able to shop and share your time away in the busier districts of the cities.
You’ll want to stay somewhere in Far North Queensland or on the Capricorn Coast for a more laid back, tropical break, where the weather is colder, the water is calmer, and people are a little more comfortable in the cities.
With many historical museums and tours, along with nearly untouched landscapes, Outback Queensland will show you what Australian colonial life was really like. You can see what the first explorers of this land saw. No matter what you’re searching for in Australia, somewhere in the great state of Queensland, you will find it. In the list of famous destinations below, look for a holiday to suit you.
Brisbane, the third-largest city in Australia and the capital of Queensland, provides a more relaxed pace than the more considerable means in the south-east of the country and is a perfect base for exploring Queensland. The town straddles the Brisbane River and is bordered by the sea to the east and by the Great Dividing Range to the west.
Visitors love the sunny climate of the town and its lush parks and gardens. Top things to do in Brisbane include strolling around the Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens of Brisbane, over 2,000 plant species, and visiting the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, one of the few places where koalas can be touched and fed.
South Bank Parklands is family-friendly and includes riverside walking and biking trails, lush parks, stores, and restaurants. River cruises are popular as well. The Kookaburra Queen, an old paddle steamer that cruises down the Brisbane River, is one of Brisbane’s best-known tourist attractions. The River Life Activity Centre provides adrenaline-fueled water sports on the river. Shopping at Queen Street Mall, scaling the Story Bridge, exploring the exhibits at the kid-friendly Queensland Museum, browsing the Gallery of Contemporary Art, and enjoying stunning views of the city from Mt Coot-tha Lookout are other things to see and do.
Brisbane is also a perfect jump-off point for several rewarding day trips that highlight the best of Queensland, from island getaways to national parks rich in wildlife, the famous Australia Zoo, and theme parks family-friendly.
Cairns is one of the most popular tourist towns in Far North Queensland, in a superb location between the Great Barrier Reef and the Atherton Tablelands dark hills. It is an excellent base for exploring the best of Queensland. It’s a fun, laid-back place, with streets lined with palm trees, large parks, and colorful gardens. Beautiful beaches extend from Trinity Bay and Palm Cove to Port Douglas along the coast. The five-kilometer-long Cairns Esplanade runs along the bay, with a saltwater swimming lagoon and a young children’s free water-themed playground.
For day trips, Cairns is an excellent base. It is also one of the most common starting points for excursions to the Great Barrier Reef as well as tropical islands such as Green Island and Fitzroy Island. Another popular day trip destination, where you can explore rainforest reserves, waterfalls, and charming attractions in Kuranda’s mountain village, is the Atherton Tablelands to the southwest. Spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and the World Heritage-listed rainforests of Barron Gorge National Park are provided by the Kuranda Scenic Railway or Skyrail cableway.
Visiting the Flecker Botanic Gardens, with more than 100 species of palms, and learning about the history of the area at the Cairns Museum are other exciting things to do in Cairns.
Daintree National Park, a Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, is the oldest living rainforest on the planet and harbors one of the world’s largest concentrations of threatened and endangered species. Located in Far North Queensland, the park’s two main parts include Mossman Gorge’s crystal clear waters and lush trees, as well as Cape Tribulation, where the reef-splotched shores of the Coral Sea are bordered by tropical rainforest.
Inside the park live more than 18,000 plant species and a fascinating variety of wildlife, including the flightless southern cassowaries (ostrich-sized birds), crocodiles, rainforest dragons, brightly-hued azure kingfishers; spotted cuscuses; and musky rat-kangaroos.
On a guided safari, the best way to explore this area is. Many businesses offer amphibious vehicle trips, including rain forest walks and tastings of tropical fruit. You can also take a self-drive tour, however. Ziplining through the rainforest, horseback riding, swimming at Mossman Gorge, searching for cassowaries along the Jindalba Boardwalk, and hiking the many other rainforest trails are other everyday things to do.
The resort town of Port Douglas is just south of the park. It is a popular base for arranging rainforest wilderness safaris. During the dry season, this area is one of the best places to visit in Queensland in winter.
The once-sleepy village of Port Douglas, dotted with palms and mango trees, is now a charming holiday resort and a popular base for forest safaris and reef excursions. Around an hour’s drive north of Cairns, this picturesque town lies along a scenic coastal road that winds between beaches and rainforest-cloaked hills. It’s the nearest city on the mainland to the Great Reef Barrier.
Port Douglas has a comfortable tropical feel, with cute cafes, restaurants, and art galleries, skirting the stunning blond sweep of Four Mile Beach. Enjoy spectacular views of the palm-fringed beach mixing with the turquoise Coral Sea from the Flagstaff Hill Lookout.
The Wildlife Habitat and the Bally Hooley Sugar Train, an old steam engine chugging to the sugar mill at Mossman through the cane fields, are top tourist attractions. Other adventures on offer include safaris to Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation in all-terrain vehicles, fishing trips, northbound trips across the rugged Cape York Peninsula landscape, and cruise trips to Cooktown and the Great Barrier Reef.
One of the best-known holiday regions in Australia is the Gold Coast. A construction boom has turned the coast into a kind of tropical Las Vegas over the last few decades, with skyscrapers and shopping malls extending from Southport in the north to Coolangatta in the south. Surfers Paradise, “Surfers” for short, is a tourist magnet, legendary for its alliterative assets: heat, sea, and sand, filled with attractions and high-rise hotels. But in the nearby wilderness areas or on the remote beaches, it is easy to avoid the crowds.
You can find plenty of Queensland attractions for families in the area, despite the popularity of Surfers Paradise for hedonism. Kids love Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, South of Surfers Paradise, and Movie World, where Warner Bros. recreated old film sets. To the north, in Southport, Sea World is where you can see your favorite marine animals. Not surprisingly, on Queensland’s Gold Coast, swimming, sunbathing, and surfing are popular things to do. Nature lovers can find plenty of attractions to explore.
In the hinterland, where several wilderness areas are within easy reach, including the iconic Lamington National Park, excellent road networks lead to scenic lookouts. You can fly to Coolangatta airport, close to the border between Queensland and New South Wales, to visit the Gold Coast.
Last but not least, the Great Barrier Reef is here. It is difficult to overstate the beauty and ecological value of this natural wonder listed as a World Heritage. This is the most prominent living building on the earth, and it’s so huge that you can see it from space. Most of the reef falls within the Marine Park of the Great Barrier Reef, which stretches from Mackay to Australia’s northeastern corner off the northern coast of Queensland. More than 3,000 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, 300 coral cays, and a patchwork of mangrove islands are covered by the park itself, which is around half the size of Texas.
The astonishing diversity of marine life on the reef attracts divers and snorkelers from all over the world. As well as sharks, dugongs, dolphins, turtles, giant clams, and kaleidoscopic soft and hard corals, more than 1,600 species of tropical fish inhabit the reef. A glimpse into this aquatic wonderland is also provided by oceanic viewing stations and glass bottom vessels.
The critical starting points for tours are Cairns, Port Douglas, and Airlie Beach on the mainland. Alternatively, inside the marine park, you can stay on one of the resort islands. The Whitsunday Islands offer many famous attractions and accommodation options and make the reef an excellent base for exploring. Remote Lizard Island, the northernmost island of the park, is renowned for its exclusive spa. A prominent eco-resort is home to Lady Elliot Island, the southernmost coral cay of the reef.
Cairns is one of the most popular tourist towns in Far North Queensland, in a superb location between the Great Barrier Reef and the Atherton Tablelands dark hills. It is an excellent base for exploring the best of Queensland. It’s a fun, laid-back place, with streets lined with palm trees, large parks, and colorful gardens. Beautiful beaches extend from Trinity Bay and Palm Cove to Port Douglas along the coast. The five-kilometer-long Cairns Esplanade runs along the bay, with a saltwater swimming lagoon and a young children ‘s free water-themed playground.