Top 10 things to tick off your bucket list in Queensland

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High angle shot of Gold Coast at night time
Gold Coast at night, Queensland

Beach, please. Tired of the city scenes? Would you rather slip on a pair of sandals instead of sneakers, and want sunsets over skylines filled with skyscrapers?

Also, does it feel like spring break is sort of a dream for you because you and all of your friends are going on tropical outings? Is it that you can’t wait to fill your social media feed with photos of pineapples and beach waves?

What is it about the waves and the tropics that draw us closer to it?

Maybe the rushing sound of waves brings with it some calm.

Maybe it is the smell and water sprinkles that drives your problems away with the wind.

Or maybe the sheer beauty of it all.

Where to feel it all?

Queensland, Australia is our answer!

When you picture Australia, the first thing that comes to mind is the rough and tough landscape of The Outback and kangaroos in barren fields or the turquoise blue watered beaches. While you will love seeing the more rugged side of the country, it would be the tropical north, in Queensland, that will truly capture your imagination.

Whether you’re hiking through the ancient Daintree Rainforest, flying over the enormous Great Barrier Reef, or relaxing on the sandy beaches of the world-renowned Gold Coast, you will love your time in Queensland.

Instead of listing hundreds of Queensland experiences that should be on your bucket list, we’ve hand-picked the top 10 you should try on your next visit.

1. Nature’s gift – Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef Australia
The amazing ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef

One of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts, the Great Barrier Reef is blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef.

With one of the most diverse marine life thriving under it with the most vivid colours, the Great Barrier Reef offers great adventure, whether you do it in luxury or on a budget.

At a distance of 2300 kilometre (1430 mile), Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world. With sports activities like swimming, snorkelling, diving and sailing you can move through this living masterpiece.

Don’t miss:

  1. Sail through the 74 idyllic islands of the Whitsundays
  2. Stay in island resorts among the clear, warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea
  3. View and experience incredible marine life, from over and under the water

Pro tip

Many people come to Queensland to dive the Great Barrier Reef, but viewing it from above by helicopter is also an amazing way to truly gain a sense of how gigantic this reef formation is. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to explore the entire 1,400-mile area of the Great Barrier Reef in one visit, but a helicopter tour will make sure you see a lot of it.

2. Daintree National Park

Looking out over the Daintree River and rainforest in North Queensland
Looking out over the Daintree River and rainforest in North Queensland

If all the national parks in Queensland were vying for a medal at the Olympics, there’s no question about which one would win gold. Daintree National Park has high cultural importance and natural significance on its side. You can easily discover, it also beautifully borders the most talked-about natural wonder, The Great Barrier Reef.

What’s more?

With two sections –  Mossman and Cape Tribulation – you need at least 4 days to truly discover it.

For serious climbers –

Mount Sorrow, a 7 km incline which takes seven hours to complete (Hot Not: Only climb it in daylight hours). It winds from the lowlands of Cape Tribulation to the ridge of Mount Sorrow

Watch out for

Water comes from underground springs, making for swimming areas safe from dreaded crocodiles.

3. Fraser Island

Champagne Pools on Fraser Island in Queensland.
Champagne Pools on Fraser Island in Queensland.

What’s there not to like!?

You have to visit Fraser Island to be dwarfed by the ancient, gravity-defying rainforests growing out of only sand. If not that you need to visit the place to explore the freshwater lakes and spectacular sand formations of the most incredible island on earth!

Two in one

Unforgettable island eco-adventures include cruises to discover the untouched beauty of the remote western side and guided or self-drive tours.

With excess growth of untamed wilderness and rugged terrain all around it, Fraser Island boasts luxurious, relaxing and natural accommodation experiences.

What’s in store

Fraser Island offers some of the best beach fishing experiences in the world and provides options for young novice anglers and seasoned fishing professionals.

4. Gold Coast

Surfers Paradise beach on Queensland's Gold Coast
Surfers Paradise beach on Queensland’s Gold Coast

It’s an endless strip of sandy white beaches and beach front properties for as far as the eye can see. It’s the best spot in Queensland to get your beach time and enjoy the nightlife.

Gold Coast is also an absolutely incredible place to get an adrenaline fix, here are all the amazing activities you can enjoy there.

5. Whitsunday Islands

Whitehaven Beach at Whitsunday Island Queensland
Whitehaven Beach at Whitsunday Island Queensland

Tourists cruising on boats is a common site at the Whitsunday islands.

It so common for a reason – you’ll know once you hop on board too.

Catch hold of a comfortable boat and take in the idyllic tropical scenery as you pass by the pristine, palm-fringed beaches and startlingly blue waters of the Whitsunday archipelago.

Freestyle boat is one of the best options to consider

It takes you to Hamilton Island.

You can truly spend some amazing time popping into the marina’s shops and galleries or hop on an island shuttle to ride out to scenic vantage points and other island attractions.

You’ll soon enough realise there is no shortage of things to do in this tropical paradise no matter what you are into – whether you’re looking for an active outing or seeking total relaxation.

Adventure enthusiasts can trek through the island’s unspoiled interior to Passage Peak for sweeping vistas over the surrounding sea.

Do your research – book now!

Book a tee time at the golf course, have a soothing massage or lay out your towel to bask in the sun on the white curve of Catseye Beach.

6. Cairns

Aerial view of Cairns North Queensland. Australia
Aerial view of Cairns North Queensland. Australia

There are literally two things you can truly focus on apart from ‘beaching in the soft Sandy beaches’. Eat or shop (or both!)

Food it out! Bring your appetite!

The sheer diversity and abundance of the Tropical North Queensland make it unique as a food-producing region. Mostly all are familiar but the main produce for the tropics include mangoes, bananas, pineapples, reef fish and wild-caught prawns. But the rainforest nuts, fruits and native spices that Aboriginal people gathered from this land for millennia, are the best!

Healthy and yummy!

Shoppers stop!

Shopping is a relaxed affair in Tropical North Queensland.

If you’re a lover of antiques or retro, you’ll often find both special pieces and quirky finds in the vintage shops and second-hand stores in Look around in Cairns and many of the region’s towns.

From the well-established Rusty’s in Cairns where you can shop for dinner, you can also buy a new outfit and experience a massage all under one roof, to the eclectic Port Douglas Markets, set beneath the shady trees of Anzac Park. There are dozens of other regular markets to discover, each with its own distinct local flavour. If you’re shopping for gifts or something to take home, keep an eye out for unique artisan food products such as chocolate made from locally grown cocoa, tropical fruit liqueurs and vanilla and tea grown in the Daintree.

7. Port Douglas

Port Douglas beach and ocean, Queensland, Australia
Port Douglas beach and ocean, Queensland, Australia

3 things. 3 experiences. Infinite memories.

You can’t do the math!

Here are the 3 must- see places in Port Douglas.

Wildlife Habitat Port

This sanctuary endeavours to keep and showcase native animals in enclosures that mimic their natural environment, while allowing you to get up close to koalas, kangaroos, crocs, cassowaries and more.

Trinity Bay lookout

You can go up to Flagstaff Hill for sensational views over the Coral Sea or 4 Mile beach. Driving or walking the trail leading up from the north end of 4 Mile Beach is also an option you can consider.

4 Mile beach

Fringed by lazy palms, this broad stretch of squeaky sand reaches as far as you can squint.

Swimmers Cove – There’s a patrolled swimming area in front of the surf life-saving club (with a stinger net in summer) and sun loungers available for hire.

8. Kuranda

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Kuranda Queensland
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Kuranda Queensland

The journey to Kuranda is an experience in itself. Take a gentle drive up through the rainforest or you can float above the trees aboard Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, or catch the world famous Kuranda Scenic Railway. But no matter how you reach the place, plan well ahead and make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to discover everything the village has to offer.

The famous arts and craft markets, river cruise, quad biking and rainforest walks, and an abundance of wildlife experiences, tours and attractions will be in front of you to explore!

9. Sunshine Coast

Coolum Beach on Queensland's Sunshine Coast
Coolum Beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast

Tucked away in thick rainforest, arty, alternative Kuranda is one of Cairns’ most popular day trips.  During the morning hours, the hippie haven is filled with tourists soaking up the vibe, visiting animal sanctuaries and peeking about its famous markets.

And in the evening? You will hear the village sigh as the streets and pubs are reclaimed by mellow locals.

10. Lamington National Park

Views over Lamington National Park to Hinze Dam in Queensland's Gold Coast hinterland
Views over Lamington National Park to Hinze Dam in Queensland’s Gold Coast hinterland

Fun drive, fun walk!

So much to see when it comes to nature adventure tour.

TBH, It’s the views from afar which are truly worth the drive.

There is the first ever tree top walk here,  with a vertical climb through two levels that has an elevation of more than 30 meters. When it’s windy the whole tree swings!

Pro tip

Be sure to bring a packed lunch and a camera.

Also, using a sturdy car and getting a skilled driver is highly suggested. The roads can be narrow with sudden bends. Also, heavy cars may slip and fall.

Watch out for:

Densely-forested ranges and valleys conceal the area’s ancient volcanic origins and dramatic lookouts afford views over the southern edge of the Scenic Rim.

Don’t miss!

Camp at the park’s Green Mountain camping area. Choosing from the many half-day or full-day walks that explore the park is a must. You get to hear things you haven’t seen.

On the Python Rock track, you can hear the masked mountain frog’s croaking call. You can savour in the breathtaking views of Morans Falls and Morans Creek gorge on the Morans falls track. The leaf-tailed geckos can be spotted on the West Canungra Creek track. Setting out on a full day walk along the Border track or Mount Merino track will be worth the effort at the end of your journey for some excellent views await your arrival.
Privately operated mountain retreat, the Segway tours and zip line are also offered here.

Naturally, these are just a few of Queensland’s treasures. Plan your own trip, and experience the best of Australia as soon as you step in.

By now you will know in Australia’s northeastern state, your boundaries are only limited by your imagination and sense of adventure.

Seek. Travel. Explore.

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