Australia has rightfully earned its spot on many travelers’ wanderlists. This bold land Down Under boasts exciting cities and unparalleled eco-adventures, and it’s jam-packed with whoaments. If you’re heading to Australia on your next adventure, good on ya, mate! Might we recommend you plan an extended visit to the state of Queensland, where you can experience all the best Australia has to offer. While you’re there, make sure to visit these top spots before you say “hooroo” and head for home.
Dive In at the Great Barrier Reef
As one of Australia’s renowned claims to fame, the Great Barrier Reef is THE quintessential must-stop for every visitor. This World Wonder can be accessed from many ports on land, but the best gateways to the Great Barrier Reef are the cities of Cairns and Port Douglas. From there, you can hop on day tours or overnight excursions that offer snorkeling and diving at some of the best stops along the reef. If getting wet isn’t your thing, no worries! There are many ways to view the reef, including by seaplane and helicopter, glass-bottom boats, and at educational centers. Even better, this once deteriorating treasure is officially on the mend, so there’s no better time to see it than the present.
Walk Amid the Ancient Forest at Daintree National Park
While you’re in Port Douglas and Cairns, take some time to head inland and visit the oldest rainforest in the world. As one of the most complex ecosystems on earth, The Daintree Rainforest holds 90% of Australia’s bat and butterfly species, along with an unimaginable amount of reptiles, marsupials, insects, and birds. Take this rare opportunity to explore the awe-inspiring scenery of ancient tropical foliage that is over 110 million years old. Walkabout the easy going trails at Mossman Gorge. Visit significant cultural sites. Take a scenic cruise down the Daintree River. We recommend you try to do it all.
Island Hop Around The Whitsundays
From above, these 74 islands create a mural of jewel-toned hues that range between emerald, turquoise, and gold in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. A day or two cruising the waves is a must, whether you rent a vessel and captain it yourself or book a chartered catamaran. There is no way to describe the awe one feels from seeing these islands and reefs from the sky via seaplane. Just make sure you keep an eye out for Heart Reef, a remarkable cluster of corals in the shape of its namesake. When the sun goes down, the reef comes alive. Spend an evening or two on an island resort or camp out in spectacular seclusion. And when you finally make it back to the mainland, party the night away in lively Airlie Beach.
Feel the Beat of Brisbane
Once you’ve had your fill of eco-adventures in the north, head south towards Queensland’s lively capital Brisbane. Its laid-back vibe is complemented by thriving restaurant, music, and art scenes. Urban explorers can enjoy a full menu of delicious cuisine at Eagle Street Pier before catching a few sips in the boutique brewery district of Teneriffe. Climb the iconic Story Bridge, then head back down to Earth to catch a cultural show highlighting authentic Aboriginal songs and dances. Ever dreamed of cuddling a koala? Fulfill your wish at the Lone Pine Koala sanctuary. If you find yourself being called back to the water, spend a day swimming at South Bank, Australia’s only inner-city beach, or grab a kayak to meet the many dugong (manatees) that call the Moreton Bay Marine Park home. In true Australian spirit, Brisbane has an adventure for every traveler.
Surfs’ Up on the Gold Coast
If you’re looking to kick back for a few days, make your way just south of Brisbane to Australia’s favorite playground – the Gold Coast. This paradise of fun enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year, gifting visitors 32 miles of uninterrupted golden sands and perfect surf for plenty of long beach days. Built for entertaining, the Gold Coast delivers with exhilarating festivities such as world-class theme parks, booming bars and nightclubs, and lively neighborhoods that each have their own boisterous personalities.
Discover the Spirit of Australia in the Outback
Australia’s true spirit is found deep within the country. Outback Queensland is famed for its beautiful desert vistas, but there’s more than meets the eye to this vast red canvas – it’s home to the continent’s rich past. Aspiring archeologists will love searching for Aboriginal rock paintings in ancient caves. Your inner-child will jump for joy as you dig for fossils and discover the world’s best preserved dinosaur tracks in Lark Quarry Conservation Park. If there’s one thing you can’t miss, it’s the opportunity to camp out in the desert under a blanket of stars, enjoying a delicious fireside meal.
Australia’s appeal comes from the unmeasurable amount of whoaments, and the state of Queensland boasts most of these adventures all within its coasts and boarders. Talk to your Liberty Travel consultant today to make Queensland your next wanderlist stop.