Queensland. Beautiful One Day, Perfect The Next
The Perfect Hangout
Look around Queensland and you will see energized, activity-loving, restaurant-dining, fun-loving locals. Enjoy the vibrant river city of Brisbane where world-famous chefs are setting up shop and hip bars in laneways. Take a CityCat to cruise through the city or book a Brisbane Greeters tour to learn local tales.
The Perfect Closeups
Queensland’s beaches make for picture-perfect postcards and tick off all the tropical-idyll requisites. However, there’s so much more beneath the surface! Step off the beach and you will discover the underwater wonderland of Great Barrier Reef, armed with nothing but a snorkel and mask. Discover this natural wonder from Cairns
The Perfect Natural Encounter
In Queensland, find one of nature’s greatest masterpieces at Sunshine Coast, with its rolling hills of natural beauty and the iconic Glass House Mountains. Don’t miss the epic Great Beach Drive and remember to make a pit stop at the kaleidoscopic sands of Rainbow Beach.
The Perfect Glow
Adventure is in Queensland’s DNA. You can feel it in the exhilaration of conquering a hypercoaster. It’s in the warmth of the breeze as you cruise along a spectacular 4WD beach drive and the rush of sea water as you go under the waves in Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast. Get a tan, develop a glow when you visit the Gold Coast.
Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, is vibrant and cosmopolitan yet with a laidback vibe.
The famous Gold Coast and stunning Sunshine Coast are within an hour’s drive of Brisbane. Did you know that the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island (world-heritage listed) and the Southern Great Barrier Reef are accessible from Brisbane too?
Top things to do in Queensland
- Brisbane Greeters: How would you like to go on an insider tour of Brisbane with a friendly local? Sign up for this free public service at here.
- Fortitude Valley is Brisbane’s entertainment capital with live gigs & laneway bars. Check out the boutiques and Street Art at Winn Lane and Food trucks at Eat Street Markets (every Friday & Saturday, 4 – 10pm; and Sundays during winter months).
- Fashionable James Street is the lifestyle precinct offering a selection of well-known Australian & international designer boutiques, homewares, cafes and open-air bars.
- South Bank Parklands: Brisbane’s inner-city oasis. Take a dip at Streets Beach, Australia’s only man-made inner-city beach. Browse its weekend markets (Fri-Sun). Spend an afternoon at Gallery of Modern Art taking in the latest exhibits.
- Queen Street Mall: A heady mix of international boutiques, flagship stores and Australian labels, Queen Street Mall is located at the heart of the city. This shopping precinct is packed with more than 700 retailers.
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary: Rated one of the top 10 zoos in the world, this is the largest koala sanctuary down under.
- Story Bridge Climb : Get a spectacular bird’s eye view of the city and its bay and surrounds from Story Bridge’s 80m summit!
- Handfeed Wild Dolphins: Just 75 minutes by ferry from Brisbane is Moreton Island, home to a friendly pod of dolphins which swim to shore each evening to be handfed by resort guests staying at Tangalooma Island Resort. Other popular activities include sand tobogganing, quad bike rides, diving, fishing and more!
- Spend a day snorkelling or diving at the Great Barrier Reef! No visit Down Under is complete without making a pilgrimage to see the world’s largest living organism which happens to be the only living structure visible from space! For non-swimmers, hop on a heli ride, glass-bottom boat or semi-submersible to see the reef.
- Visit world-heritage rainforest, Barron Gorge National Park via the scenic railway or skyrail. Make a stop at Kuranda Village for local arts and craft shopping.
- Visit Tjpapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park and learn more about the indigenous culture at where you can immerse yourself in traditional Dreamtime culture with authentic music, dance, storytelling and interactive activities such as didgeridoo playing, face painting and boomerang throwing.
- For families, visit Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome, an indoor wildlife exhibit in the heart of Cairns CBE on top of the Reef Hotel Casino. In this sanctuary, you can get to cuddle a koala, have birds glide above your head or cross paths with reptiles. It also features the world’s first challenge ropes course in a wildlife park - Mid-ZOOM and Hi-ZOOM courses with three ziplines – one of which takes participants directly over Goliath, our 4 metre saltwater crocodile!
- Go rafting in Barron River! Experience grade two to three rapids which means they are simple technical rapids with a need to manoeuvre the raft, which results in great rafting for first timers. Take on Tully River rafting which has grade four and five rapids, if you are after a more thrilling time.
- Jungle Surf like a Tarzan in Cape Tribulations! Fly through the trees on flying fox ziplines, stopping at five platforms with bird’s eye views over the treetops, down to cascading streams and out to the Great Barrier Reef. Children as young as three years old can be strapped in and taken for a ride!
3. Sunshine Coast (1 hour drive north of Brisbane)
- Australia Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, offers a full day of wildlife action and adventure, where you can check out all our amazing wildlife, set on over 70 acres of natural Australian bush land. Located an hour north of Brisbane, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, Australia Zoo is a team of passionate conservationists working around-the-clock to deliver an animal experience like no other! Check out Visit Queensland, Australia’s first ever Facebook live video of Wattle the wombat!
- Maleny Botanic Gardens: One of the most exquisite gardens you ever see with a magnificent view of the Glasshouse Mountains. Don’t miss the Bird Aviary with its amazing encounter with the most colourful birds of the world from Finches to Macaws.
- Montville: This charming hinterland village is an exquisite blend of Tudor, Irish and English cottages of log or stone, Swiss and Bavarian chalets converted into cozy cafes, tearooms and gift shops. First settled in 1887, it has grown into a thriving shopping village with a wonderful array of quality art galleries, stylish cafes and restaurants, gift shops and beautiful fashion stores, set in the picturesque surroundings of a shady tree-lined street with incredible views all the way down to the coast.
- Eumundi Markets: The colourful Eumundi Markets (Wed & Sat mornings) is one of Australia’s largest outdoor artisan market. You’ll find original artworks, furniture, handmade jewellery etc.
- Noosa: Renowned as one of Australia's most celebrated resort destinations, Noosa is set on a headland and surrounded by stunning National Parks and golden beaches. Noosa’s Hastings Street offers a range of resort-style boutiques, trendy cafes and beachfront gourmet restaurants. The region has an array of beachfront towns, riverside areas and hinterland communities offering a relaxed and casual lifestyle.
- Noosa Farmers Markets: Voted #1 market in Australia by Tripadvisor, this Farmers Market comes alive each Sunday (7am-noon) with a huge array of stalls selling fresh organic produce, skin care products, just-caught seafood, freshly-baked bread and more.
- Sunshine Coast Food Trail: Discover gourmet eats at Maleny Cheese for Australia’s only Water Buffalo Quark, Buderim Ginger Factory for all things ginger, PYO Strawberries and the Australian Nougat Company for that “melt-in-your-mouth” delight. Click here to make your own trail.
- Stay at beautiful B&Bs: Check out Spicers Clovelly Estate, Spicers Tamarind Retreat and Freestyle Escape.
- The Great Beach Drive: Imagine the freedom and pure exhilaration of driving on one of the longest beach drives in the world with the sparkling Pacific Ocean on one side and coast dunes and natural Australian bushland on the other. Linking the Sunshine Coast Hinterland with Noosa and Rainbow Beach a gateway to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, make your own itinerary.
For more inspiration on how to plan your stay in Sunshine Coast, check out the itineraries here.
4. Gold Coast (1 hour drive south of Brisbane)
- Thrilling Rides: Adrenaline junkies can have a blast at the theme parks or hop on an action-packed high speed boat ride with Paradise Jetboating.
- Sunrise Ballooning: Feel on top of the world with Hot Air’s sunrise balloon flight complete with sumptuous Champagne breakfast.
- Gold Coast Hinterland: Explore Gold Coast’s lush hinterland with Southern Cross 4WD Tour. Go on a guided hike to see waterfalls and wildlife, learn to whip-crack and throw boomerangs. Enjoy an Aussie BBQ lunch and stop by Gallery Walk at Mount Tamborine for lovely arts and crafts shops.
- Tandem Skydive: The view of the Gold Coast’s beaches and Surfers Paradise skyline are simply stunning and ensure that skydivers will enjoy a view like no other.
- SkyPoint Climb: This is the highest external climb in Australia. You will start the climb on the 77th floor of Q1 building and climb to the very top of the world’s tallest residential tower!
- Whale Watching (June-October): Get up close with migrating humpback whales on a whale-watch cruise. These majesty whales are a sight to behold!
- Weekend Markets: The Gold Coast offers a fascinating and diverse array of markets to satisfy every need, from art and craft to fashion, fresh produce, gifts and knick knacks. Surfers Paradise Night Markets (Wed, Fri & Sun 5-10pm), The Village Markets@Burleigh (1st & 3rd Sun of the month) and the new Night Quarters Market at Helensvale (Fri & Sat 4-10pm).