A tropical paradise geared towards the discerning traveller.
Situated on the east coast of Australia, Queensland is a tropical paradise with something for every nomad. Queensland is bordered by the Simpson Desert to the west, Great Barrier Reef to the east and New South Wales to the south. It comprises a quarter of Australia’s land mass and is home to the third largest capital city in the country. Due to its size and proximity to the equator, the climate and landscape vary significantly across the state. Because of this diversity, Queensland is a tourist’s haven.
Let’s begin at the top. The tip of Queensland is just south of the equator, so it’s hot, hot, hot. The tropical climate creates an exotic, free-spirited, outdoorsy lifestyle. One of Queensland’s most iconic tourist destinations lies up here: the Great Barrier Reef. Here you can go on adventures as varied as trekking through ancient rainforests to diving in the world’s largest coral reef. This area is full of natural beauty and is the only place on earth where two Heritage-listed areas meet: the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.
If you want to experience a real Australian tropical adventure, North Queensland is the place to go. Stop off at Cairns, the gateway to the tropical islands off the coast. Cairns boasts an exciting nightlife, complemented by good-natured, laidback residents. Here, the Daintree Rainforest is a must. It is the oldest surviving tropical rainforest on earth and home to the largest number of plant and animal species in the country. Admire the cool, lush greenery, trickling streams and mysterious wildlife.
Those who prefer to stay dry can admire the rainbow coloured coral and schools of fish from a glass-bottomed boat.
Next stop, the Whitsunday Islands. Imagine 74 remote islands sparkling like jewels in the warm waters of the Coral Sea. Here you can submerse yourself in piercing blue, crystal clear water snorkelling or diving. Those who prefer to stay dry can admire the rainbow coloured coral and schools of fish from a glass-bottomed boat. North Queensland is a unique tropical adventure you won’t forget.
Moving south along the coastline, you will come across the aptly named Sunshine Coast. There are seven main stretches of beach from which to take your pick, all with distinctly different vibes. The area is a popular tourist destination with attractions such as Australia Zoo (owned by the family of the late Steve ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Irwin), Aussie World, the Underwater World marine park and the Big Pineapple.
Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland. It has a subtropical climate and, while it’s the third largest city in Australia, with a population of 2.3 million, it has a friendly, peaceful atmosphere. Built around the Brisbane River, the modern city capital showcases stunning architecture along the winding river. The cheery lifestyle is centred on the outdoors. Weekend markets, rich parklands and alfresco dining all make the most of the inviting climate.
An hour south of Brisbane is the famous, flashy Gold Coast. While the Sunshine Coast is serene and relaxed, the Gold Coast is all about the glitz and glamour. It is an unrivalled mix of 70 kilometres of lush beaches, wild nightlife and luxurious dining. Perhaps Queensland’s most distinct tourist destination, here you can take your pick from nightclubs, award-winning restaurants, wineries, waterfalls, golf courses, theme parks and, of course, beaches.
Situated a little further south is the Fraser Coast. It houses the famous World Heritage site, Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world, and Hervey Bay, the whale watching capital of Australia. Around 7000 humpback whales migrate through the Fraser Coast each year on a 6000-kilometre journey from Antarctica. Pods of these majestic beasts seek out the haven of Hervey Bay’s calm, protected waters from July through to November.
The most popular destinations are Hayman, Daydream and Hamilton Islands. Whitehaven Beach is a must-see. Often voted the best beach in the world, Whitehaven is a seven-kilometre stretch of white silica sand. Whitehaven Beach is protected by the Whitsunday Islands National Park, on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s been voted the world’s top Eco Friendly Beach and Queensland’s cleanest beach.