From Brisbane, visit Moreton Island, Surfers Paradise, and Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. Head inland for Outback Queensland or north for World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, Bundaberg's natural attractions, and Mackay, a gateway to the idyllic Whitsundays. In Queensland's tropical north, Townsville, Cairns, Port Douglas and Mission Beach line the coast along the Great Barrier Reef, up to the Daintree Rainforest.
What you can see in Queensland
Find your way around the vastness of Queensland and where to find the places to go and things to do.
Combine art and outdoor adventure in Brisbane, where South Bank's cultural institutions and restaurants meet riverside gardens and a lagoon. Take a paddlesteamer or ferry down the Brisbane River, abseil Kangaroo Point cliffs and bike ride through the City Botanic Gardens. Day trip to Moreton Island or add Noosa, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast hinterland to your itinerary.
Embrace nature on World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, a short ferry ride from Hervey Bay on Queensland's Fraser Coast. On the world's largest sand island, you can 4WD next to coloured sand cliffs, hike through rainforest, meet native wildlife, whale-watch and swim in freshwater lakes ringed with gold. Get here on the Pacific Coast Touring Route or Great Sunshine Way.
Pacific Coast Touring Route, Queensland
Capture some of Queensland's biggest coastal attractions- from the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef to the pristine islands and rainforest national parks. Four wheel drive Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island and see manta rays and turtles at Mon Repos, near Bundaberg. Stay in Rockhampton and visit Great Keppel Island and the Capricorn Caves. Snorkel or dive reefs and shipwrecks near Mackay and go sailing in the postcard-perfect Whitsundays. Walk the white sand of Magnetic Island, near Townsville and further north visit Hinchinbrook, Australia's largest island national park. The vivid colours, smells and sounds of this splendid coastline will stay with you long after your journey ends in Cairns, at the gateway to Queensland's tropical north.
Savannah Way, Queensland
Drive from Cairns, through Queensland's lush Tropical Tablelands and historic goldfields, and across the Northern Territory border to Katherine. Walk through World Heritage-listed rainforest in Kuranda and explore the produce-rich countryside around Mareeba. Visit a century-old Chinese temple in Atherton and spend the night in Ravenshoe, Queensland's highest town. Marvel at Millstream Falls, Australia's widest waterfalls and lose yourself in the caves of Undara Volcanic National Park, the world's longest lava system. Fossick for gold in historic Croydon and Georgetown and spot crocodiles in the wetlands around Normantown. Discover hidden gorges and Aboriginal rock art in Boodjamulla National Park before crossing the Central Gulf into the Northern Territory. From here, the Savannah Way continues across the outback all the way to Western Australia's pearling town of Broome.
Glass House Mountains
The Glass House Mountains are a group of eleven hills that rise abruptly from the coastal plain in Queensland's Sunshine Coast hinterland. The mountains were named by Captain James Cook in 1770 as the peaks reminded him of the glass furnaces in his home county of Yorkshire. The range was originally formed as molten lava cooled in the cores of volcanoes around 26 million years ago.
Get back to nature while enjoying jet-set elegance. With a laidback vibe and no buildings higher than the trees, the sub-tropical paradise of Noosa is a place where you can really relax. But that doesn't mean there's nothing to do here. Noosa brings international resort glamour to its pristine beaches, national park and lush hinterland.
Mission Beach is a relaxed beachfront town, located mid-way between Cairns and Townsville on the Queensland coast. Overlooking the cobalt waters of the Coral Sea, Mission Beach has more than 14 kilometres of magnificent golden sandy beaches. Here two World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest form a natural environment like nowhere else on earth. Mission Beach is a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and a perfect base for visiting nearby Dunk, Bedarra and Hinchinbrook islands. At Mission Beach, you can find either extreme adventure or an indulgent tropical escape.
The Whitsunday Islands is a group of 74 islands bordered by the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the sheltered waters of the Coral Sea. With palm-fringed secluded white sand beaches surrounded by clear blue waters, the Whitsunday Islands are the epitome of a tropical paradise.
Bundaberg's Natural Attractions
A rare colony of nesting turtles is just one of the captivating natural attractions near Bundaberg, a four hour drive north of Brisbane. This historic sugar cane city is also the southernmost gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, fringed by coral cays as well as 140km of pristine white beaches. Go diving and snorkelling on Lady Musgrave Island and Lady Elliot Islands and swim and fish from coastal national parks. Bundaberg also offers lots more traditional city drawcards, including museums, heritage buildings and lush botanic gardens.
As an adventurous traveler, you might just be eager to don a mask and flippers and take this assignment on. It's not a bad one, when you consider the silent, technicolour paradise awaiting you under the sea. Whether you are an experienced diver or have never taken an underwater breath, you'll love this secret agent scenery: a kaleidoscope of reefs, shoals, coral cays and shipwrecks teeming with tropical marine life. However when planning your mission, keep in mind that visibility is said to be best from June to August and you may need to protect yourself from stingers between November and May.
The Daintree Rainforest
It's been spring more than 135 million times in the World Heritage-listed Daintree, which lies two hours north of Cairns. But the repetition certainly hasn't dulled nature's creativity. As well as the world's oldest tropical rainforest, the Daintree is home to the earth's largest range of animals and plants. Experience them at their most vibrant during spring, when temperatures are pleasant and the wet season storms have yet to start. Hear migratory birds join the dawn chorus, swim at calm beaches and see orchids bloom on the forest edge.
The superb weather of the Sunshine Coast, a little over an hour from Brisbane, is perfect for an action-packed holiday or quiet escape at any time of year. The Sunshine Coast has four sub-regions, all with their own unique attractions. Pristine beaches stretch for miles, with both safe swimming beaches and spectacular surf breaks.
The Moreton Island National Park covers around 98% of the island. White sandy beaches line the island's ocean side which are ideal for swimming, surfing and fishing. The sheltered western edge is more relaxed, with crystal clear blue water gently lapping against the beach. The three island settlements are all located on the western side, at Kooringal in the south, Cowan in the middle and northern Bulwer.
Townsville is the largest city in North Queensland and is yet another gateway to the islands of the Great Barrier Reef. With more than 320 days of sunshine each year; World Heritage listed national parks; and historic gold rush towns, the Townsville region is home to some spectacular natural landscapes and attractions.
Port Douglas is a short one hour drive north of Cairns along one of the most scenic coastal roads in Australia. Home to golden beaches and some of Tropical North Queensland's most exclusive resorts, the quiet former fishing village of Port Douglas is both sophisticated and relaxed and the perfect place to escape and unwind.
Great Barrier Reef
Explore the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, which stretches for more than 2,000 kilometres along the Queensland coastline. Snorkel, scuba dive or take a scenic flight over the reef. Sail the palm-topped Whitsundays, trek the ancient Daintree Rainforest or relax on luxurious tropical islands such as Hayman and Lizard. Island-hop or stay in one of the many coastal getaways like Cairns, Hervey Bay, Missions Beach or Port Douglas.
Take a look at what’s happening in Queensland
Get to know Queensland
Explore places you can visit and journeys you can take in Queensland.
The Gold Coast is a short drive or train trip south of Brisbane
From Cairns you can reach the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.
The Great Barrier Reef can be accessed by boat tour from Cairns.
A six day drive which takes you along the coastline from Brisbane to Cairns.
Take a six day driving tour from Cairns to Katherine on the Savannah Way.
Hinchinbrook Island is 8km off the Queensland coast be accessed by ferry or tour boat.
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