In the northeast of Australia lies your next Queensland holiday, home to such a variety of adventures it’s almost impossible to run out of things to do.
From the Great Barrier Reef to the red rocked outback, the sunshine state has it all. If you’re planning a holiday, our Queensland travel guide is the perfect launch point to plan the trip of a lifetime.
Explore Brisbane, the capital of Australia’s sunshine state
While Queensland is known for its coastal getaways and astonishing rainforests, the capital adds yet another perspective to the state. Brisbane is home to some exquisite architecture and experiences you won’t find anywhere else. The Story Bridge offers a gorgeous backdrop for a dinner in the city. It comes with the opportunity to climb its arch and soak up the best view of the city, as well as learn about its history. Another spectacle to experience is the Wheel of Brisbane. It takes around 15 minutes to complete a full rotation, offering superb views of the South Bank area.
If you’re fascinated by creativity and design, head over to the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art(QAGOMA). Entry is free, and it has more than 19,000 works with a strong collection of contemporary Asian and Pacific art. As described by QAGOMA itself, the experience is an intellectual adventure. You will be sure to learn along your path through the museum.
Next up on the itinerary is the Brisbane Ferry. No matter how fun a day walking throughout the city can be, it can leave you exhausted. When your feet tell you it’s time for a rest, the Brisbane Ferry allows you to take a seat without missing out on any sightseeing. For only $4, relax and enjoy the view of the city as the wind blows through your hair – an often welcome respite during Brisbane’s warmer days.
Take a dive into the Great Barrier Reef: another great Queensland holiday destination
North Queensland’s coast is home to an abundance of snorkelling locations. It has more than 2,900 individual reefs and 900 Great Barrier Reef islands. Who doesn’t want to take a dive and become enamored by the pops of color and clear blue waters below the surface of the sea? Two cities at the top of the list when it comes to ensuring a one-of-a-kind Great Barrier Reef holiday are Port Douglas and Cairns.
Cairns is another favourite city to spend time with nature. Take a helicopter ride overlooking the reef or a submarine tour down below the water.
Queensland holiday islands to check off the list
Queensland’s coast has close to 2,000 islands, although not all of them can be visited by tourists. So which island is great for outdoor adventure and which island is optimal for relaxation?
Lizard Island is full of opportunity for outdoor adventure and can only be reached by a small plane from Cairns. It’s a total escape from reality due to the lack of reception (though you will find service in one designated spot in case of emergencies). On Lizard Island, you’ll find opportunities to discover white sand beaches, diving spots and winding walking trails.
>Where did the name Lizard Island come from? In 1770, Captain Hook discovered the island and named it after the abundance of lizards that inhabited it. These days, lizards are more scarce while a different creature attracts tourists just as much—giant, funny looking spotted cod fish that are loads of fun to dive with.
If it’s a relaxing getaway you have in mind, The Whitsundays are a fantastic option. While there are plenty of adventurous thrills on the island, there are also many locations to simply relax and unwind. One of the best spots for this is Airlie Beach Lagoon, a saltwater lagoon where it’s customary to flop down in a beach chair and forget all of your worries. It’s a calming spot to float in the water or take in the peaceful sounds of nature.
There’s no doubt that Queensland’s stunning coast lures travellers in. However, there’s also something to be said about the vast outback that makes up so much of the state. Don’t miss out on the colorful, desert expanses and wildlife spotting that can only be found in the outback.
Fulfill a rodeo buff’s dream and stop in the rodeo capital of Australia, Mount Isa. Who knows, maybe you’ll become a rodeo buff yourself by the time you leave! As the largest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere, this four day event held in August is packed with events like wild horse racing, live concerts, a rodeo ball and a rodeo queen quest.
April is an opportune time to visit the small town of Einasleigh. It hosts Races & Rodeos—a weekend of country races, rodeos and typical outback fun. While in Einasleigh, check out the Copperfield Gorge and its natural chasms and tranquil beaches. At the Gorge, you can also appreciate the nearby McBride Lava Province that deposits lava flows.
Delicious food for your Queensland holiday
What’s better than complimenting the bustle of a long day with a comfortable outdoor meal in the shade—especially on the riverside next to the architecturally dazzling Story Bridge? Some of Brisbane’s best restaurants are situated in artistic, aesthetic settings making the experience just as memorable as the food itself.
One dining destination to note is Howard Smith Wharves, built in the 1930s. It offers formal restaurants, a lawn for picnicking and the surrounding views of the river, skyline and cliffs. There’s always something at Howard Smith Wharves to accommodate the mood of your night.
You can find an incredible glass of wine (or perhaps two or three) within the Granite Belt. It’s a region encompassing a string of more than 50 wineries. On the southeast border of Queensland, Heritage Estate Wines offers wine selections rated 5 stars by Australian critic James Halliday. Enjoy the harmonious flavors in a tasting room masterfully filled with charming antiques.
Whether you’re in search of food or drink, Queensland has stellar options.
Uncover dinosaur history with the family
The Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways near Winton is a historic site that will get the whole family learning about prehistoric events that took place right there in the Queensland outback. On the ground, a story unfolds before you, told by the 95 million-year-old dinosaur footprints that cover the red rock.
Lark Quarry used to be a river plain that was home to smaller dinosaurs. They left more than 3,000 footprints as a result of wading in the river and drinking from it. On one unfortunate day for the little dinos, a larger dinosaur crashed the party. It looked among the small dinos for an afternoon snack. This brought about a stampede, and researchers found 150 footprints charging in the same direction, east-north-east. Perfect conditions are what allowed these prints to fossilise. This is just about the oldest account of history that we have evidence to learn from!
Whatever you’re looking for in a holiday, Queensland has endless options. Whether it be family fun, a historic experience, a city escape in the capital, or a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, we hope this guide helps you plan the perfect Queensland holiday for you.
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