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Where to Visit in Queensland? Here's Ten Great Places.

by Scrubba Guru |

With Coronavirus restrictions now easing off Australia-wide, Queenslanders are starting to look forward to setting the wheels in motion for those non-essential trips to the amazing places in the state they call home!

Known aptly as “The Sunshine State”, it comes as little surprise that Queensland (QLD) is Australia’s most popular holiday destination. A state with a truly outdoor focussed lifestyle, it’s hard not to be drawn to the pristine beaches, colourful coral, idyllic tropical islands, World Heritage-listed rainforests, waterfalls and rivers! To kick off our top ten dynamic destinations to visit within QLD’s sunny borders, we have chosen one of Australia’s most visited destinations and one of the natural world’s seven wonders...

1. Great Barrier Reef

A UNESCO World Heritage listed marvel that is in fact the world’s largest living structure and is visible from outer space! Stretching 2300km up the Queensland coast situated in the Coral Sea, the enormous area encompasses over 3000 coral reefs, hundreds of tropical islands, an abundance of marine life, breath-taking coral and ancient cultural connections. Diving, snorkelling and sailing activities provide spectacular scenic views both above and below water.  Tours in glass bottom boats launching from Cairns, Port Douglas and Airlie beach are great options, as are camping or resort stays on the many beautiful islands in the marine park. For a once in a lifetime opportunity, ‘Reefsleep’ at Hardy Reef provides an intimate overnight encounter with the reef whereby guests can dive, snorkel and explore the amazing ecosystems by day and sleep at a permanently moored pontoon, located 39 nautical miles from shore on the outer Great Barrier Reef! Sadly climate change is draining much of the reef of its colour, so hurry and visit while you still can. Everyone can enjoy the region in an environmentally and reef-friendly way that maintains the area’s ecological, cultural and heritage values!

See the epic blues and famous heart of Hardy Reef. Photo via @queensland

 

2. Fraser Island

A favourite location here at Scrubba HQ, the beautiful Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island and another UNESCO World Heritage site not to be missed. Located 3 hours north of Brisbane by road, and mainly accessed from Hervey Bay by car and passenger ferries, Fraser Island’s unique natural splendour owes to it being a popular destination for four-wheel drive adventures and campers. Explore the island’s vast pristine beaches, crystal clear perched lakes, ancient rain-forests and multi-hued rock formations! Drive on the wind-swept Seventy Five Mile Beach to the bubbling Champagne Pools, sandstone cliffs of The Pinnacles and remains of the Maheno shipwreck for an unforgettable experience. A swim in the famous Lake McKenzie is a must, as is exploring the rainforest trails by foot and whale watching from several of the island’s undisturbed vantage points! Worth mentioning; Hervey Bay on the mainland is one of Australia's best fishing destinations, and a launching point for tours of the area and its amazing marine life.

Picture Perfect at Lake McKenzie. Photo via @queensland

 

3. Port Douglas

Port Douglas, with its long strip of pristine beach, lush green mountains and vast blue ocean, makes for an irresistible tropical getaway in QLD’s far north. Along with its own idyllic appeal, two of Australia’s heritage listed marvels lie on its doorstep; the Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef. It’s tempting to spend the days soaking up the sun, sea and views from the pristine Four Mile Beach with its white sand and aquamarine waters, but the trendy town itself boasts a number of things to do, see and eat! Choose from cool al fresco eateries serving delicious seafood, live-music bars, modernised resorts, great golfing spots and a myriad of local excursions running daily. These include incredible Great Barrier Reef cruises, sunset sailing trips, scenic helicopter flights and rainforest wilderness safaris.

The idyllic Four Mile Beach. Photo vis @tropicalnorthqueensland

 

4. Daintree National Park

Port Douglas leads us nicely on to our next unmissable destination; the world’s oldest surviving rainforest, the Wet Tropics World Heritage Daintree National Park, which is home to the highest concentration of threatened and endangered species on the planet, as well as 100-million year old plants! Located just north of Port Douglas and an hour’s drive from Cairns, the park includes two main sections; the crystal-clear waters and lush forests of Mossman Gorge, and Cape Tribulation, where tropical rainforest fringes the reef-dotted shores of the Coral Sea. The area is best explored via guided safari with many operators offering tours on amphibious vehicles, stopping for rainforest hikes and tropical fruit tastings. A self-drive tour is also an option if you’re feeling adventurous! Ziplining through the rainforest, horseback riding, swimming at Mossman Gorge’s peaceful waterholes, looking for cassowaries along the Jindalba Boardwalk, and hiking the many rain forest trails also offer some memorable ways to experience the ancient area.

 Explore the park on horseback. Photo via @tropicalnorthqueensland

 

 

5. Cairns

The largest city in QLD’s topical Far North, Cairns is a tourist favourite owing to its laid-back, friendly atmosphere, palm-lined streets, lush parks, gardens, beaches and its proximity to QLD’s most wondrous sights. In the city itself, enjoy a stroll along the 5km Cairns Esplanade running along the bay and take a dip in the saltwater swimming lagoon, or stroll through the beautiful Flecker Botanic Gardens, followed by a visit to the fascinating Cairns Museum. As well as to the aforementioned Daintree rainforest and Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a prefect launching pad for day trips to the picture-perfect Palm Cove, the lofty Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Kuranda Scenic Railway, the lush Atherton Tablelands, the tropical Fitzroy Island and the otherworldly Paronella Park!

 Jaw-dropping views from the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Photo via @tropicalnorthqueensland

 

 

6. Whitsunday Islands

One of the many highlights of the Great Barrier Reef is this network of 74 idyllic tropical islands strung along it off the Central QLD coast. The islands, 69 of which are national parks, can be reached by boat from Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. Island Activities include serene snorkelling opportunities and swimming amongst tropical fish and coral, enjoying the silky white sand beaches and walking on trails through the lush greenery. For a spot of luxury, a stay at the exclusive Hayman Island may appeal, or perhaps at the Palm Bay Resort on beautiful Long Island, with access to 13 km of walking tracks or well-developed Hamilton, the largest of the island resorts. Alternatively and with social distancing in mind, immerse yourself in nature and camp among the dry rainforest, grasses or above dense coral rubble that makes up the shore. The real star of the show is the dreamy Whitehaven Beach on the uninhabited Whitsunday Island, which is not only one of Australia's top stretches of coast, it often scores a place on lists of the best beaches in the world!

Tropical paradise at Whitehaven Beach. Photo via @queensland

 

 

7. Townsville and Magnetic Island

Bustling Townsville, Australia’s largest tropical city, is situated on Cleveland Bay at the foot of a 300m high granite clag aka Castle Hill. Walk to the peak for breath-taking panoramic city and sea views or stay at ground level and walk the Strand, the scenic waterfront promenade where you can take a dip, have a picnic or check out Jezzine Barracks for some history. The Botanic Gardens, museums, aquariums, hiking and biking trails make for an excellent family friendly holiday destination and an ideal base for excursions and tours, particularly to the Great Barrier Reef and the beautiful Magnetic Island. The latter, a short 25 minute ferry ride, is an island paradise brimming with epic scenery, awesome walking trails, pristine beaches and spectacular snorkelling sites. Our top must see; the breath-taking shipwreck of SS City of Adelaide at Cockle Bay. Wade out to it at low tide or jump on a boat tour to learn about its history and check out the stunning surrounds. Magnetic Island is also home to bountiful native wildlife, especially rock wallabies and koala and you can even have breakfast alongside the koalas at Bungalow Bay Koala Village, the only resort in Australia with its own on-site wildlife park!

Mother Nature has taken over. Photos via @thismagneticiland

 

 

8. Brisbane

While we’re on the topic of Koalas, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in QLD’s capital is one of the few places where you can touch and feed these sleepy native animals! As well as the wildlife sanctuary, Australia’s third largest city is known for its relaxed lifestyle, balmy climate, lush parklands, Botanic Gardens and flowing picturesque river. Riverside walking and biking trails, shops and restaurants make for family-friendly activities, as well river cruises and the River Life Adventure Centre offering action-packed water sporting activities right on the river. Experience Brisbane’s eclectic arts and cultural scene, visit the Queensland Museum, or the Gallery of Modern Art, enjoy city views from the Mt Coot-tha Lookout or use the city as a base for epic daytrips and excursions to the best that Queensland has to offer. Some nearby highlights include a number of national parks, the famous Australia Zoo, tropical island getaways (Moreton Island, North Stradbroke Island and Bribie Island are favourites) and family-friendly theme parks.

Endless aquatic fun. Photo vis @Brisbane

 

9. Noosa Heads and Sunshine Coast

With incredible food, wine, festivals and scenery ranging from serene cliff-fringed beaches and quiet coastal rivers to lush bushland interweaved with hiking trails, it’s no surprise that the Sunshine Coast is a perennial favourite amongst Aussie vacationers. Located in QLD’s southeast, the coast stretches from Caloundra to Noosa Heads, with the latter being a popular family-friendly resort area. Basking at Noosa’s stunning Main Beach, hiking the trails of Noosa National Park, shopping at the nearby Eumundi Markets or catching some great surf are always high on the agenda when visiting the area! In fact, surfing is also one of the most popular things to do in the Sunshine Coast, with most towns having their own awesome surf breaks. The smaller resorts of Coolum Beach, Peregian Beach, and Sunshine Beach are all worth a visit for some coastal fun or take a road-trip inland to the region’s hinterland to hike and explore Glass House Mountains National Park, a cluster of volcanic plugs rising out of the coastal plain, as well as the quaint mountain villages of Montville and Maleny.

Hike to the breath-taking Glass House Mountains. Photo via @queensland

 

 

10. Burleigh Head National Park and Gold Coast

With 200 stunning National Parks across QLD, nature lovers really are spoilt for choice. The small but beautiful Burleigh Head National Park in the heart of the Gold Coast never disappoints. Discover the wild, rocky headland on walks such as the beautiful Ocean View Walk from Tallebudgera Creek along the rocky foreshore and watch whales from the Tumgum Lookout in spring and sea-eagles soaring along the coast. See the ancient volcanic columns that meet the sea in this park, which also features rainforest, eucalypt forest, pandanus groves, tussock grassland, coastal heath and mangroves. Get up early and catch the magnificent sunrise whilst watching the surfers at the point on the park’s northern side, one of Australia's most famous surfing point breaks. Picnic on Burleigh foreshore or relax on Echo Beach! There are many more breath-taking National Parks in the area such as the subtropical rainforest Lamington, the impressive Woolumbin or the nature plus winery combo of Tamborine. For a more lively urban experience, the city itself is well known for its great shopping, dining, nightlife, theme-parks and 50 plus km of golden sand on its doorstep!

 

View this post on Instagram

Number 4️⃣ in our Top 🔟 posts of 2019 by @_harrrryy_, 'What if we told you there's a secluded beach away from the rest even some of the locals don't know about? 🤫 Letting you in on a little secret, this view above of #TallebudgeraCreek captures the lesser-known "Echo Beach" that sits on the northern side of the creek. 🌊 Accessible via the Ocean View Track along Burleigh Headland, head here early in the AM where you can often enjoy the surrounding sands entirely to yourself. If you have a little more time up your sleeve, make a day of your visit here to the nearby @jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre and take a guided tour to learn about the legend of Jellurgal, Jabreen the warrior along with the natural formation of Burleigh Headland. #PlayGoldCoast #thisisqueensland @queensland #SeeAustralia @australia #Explore #Travel

A post shared by Destination Gold Coast (@destinationgoldcoast) on

 

An epic road trip destination with its famous routes both along the amazing coastline and rugged outback, Queensland is a camper and RVer’s dream. Well-equipped campgrounds and free-camping spots are scattered throughout the state and what better way to explore whilst still being able to maintain social distancing! Avoid the crowds and tread lightly by packing a pocket-sized washing machine to take care of your laundry on-the-go. Browse the Scrubba wash bag range to pick up the ultimate gear for your next QLD adventure.

 

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Tags: 4WD, Australia, camper, campervan, Domestic travel, National travel, Post Coronavirus, Post Covid19, Post Covid19 travel, QLD, Queensland, RVer