Scenic flight over the Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
A few of Australian-based photographer, filmmaker and creative director, Jarrad Seng’s favourite places in Queensland.
By Jessica Wilkinson
Published: 21 April, 2017
Jarrad Seng is a globe-trotter, adventurer and a photographer of epic proportions – just one look at his portfolio (or Instagram feed) proves it. He weaves together narratives with his photographes and tells the stories of the people he meets, the locations he visits and the journeys he takes.
On a road-trip from Brisabne to Cairns, Jarrad and and a crew of photograhers, Intagrammers and influencers experienced some of the best Queensland has to offer. Here, we sample just a few of his favourite places along the way.
Scenic flight over the Whitsundays
"Some places just need to be seen from above to truly appreciate its beauty. The Whitsundays (and in particular, Hill Inlet), is one of them. The only thing better than seeing the colours and curves of the coastline from above was knowing we'd be landing down there and walking along the white sand ourselves in a few minutes." — Jarrad Seng
The Whitsunday Islands lie between the north east coast of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. The Whitsundays are made up of 74 islands – the majority are uninhabited national park islands, but four offer a variety of resort accommodation (One&Only Hayman Island and qualia are amoung the most popular), and with the Great Barrier Reef and fringing coral reefs at their doorstep they’re ideal for sailing, swimming, snorkelling and relaxing on secluded beaches and in hidden bays. The largest inhabited island of the Whitsundays, Hamilton Island, has its own airport (Great Barrier Reef Airport), to which you can fly direct from the cities of Brisbane, Cairns, Sydney or Melbourne.
Cape Hillsborough National Park
“Cape Hillsborough provided us with a moment I never thought I'd experience in my lifetime. Kangaroos. On the beach. At sunrise. As the orange glow of the sun spread across the sky, the resident kangaroos and wallabies formed perfect silhouettes against the horizon — so perfect it almost seemed like a Pixar animation." — Jarrad Seng
Cape Hillsborough National Park sits approximately 50 kilometres north of Mackay and is one of the most ruggedly beautiful parks on the central Queensland coast. A mixture of lowland rainforest, rocky hills and eucalypt forest make this the perfect place for walking trails and wildlife spotting.
The broad beaches are the perfect place to watch the sunrise and meet friendly wallabies and kangaroos as they bound along the sand. You can also explore the tidal rock pools for numerous sea creatures. If a walk takes your fancy, we recommend the 1.6 kilometre Juipera Plants Trail for a fascinating insight into local Aboriginal history.
“Wallaman Falls was a sight to behold. It's Australia's longest single-drop waterfall and we stood mesmerised watching the free flowing movement of the water. The more adventurous amongst our group hiked down to the bottom for an even mightier view.” — Jarrad Seng
In between the forest-clad ridge tops and rainforest lined gullies and creeks, Wallaman Falls stands at 268 metres (the highest, permanent, single-drop waterfall in Australia). Part of the traditional lands of the Warrgamaygan Aboriginal people 'Nginba Warrgamaygan Ngarji', Wallaman Falls is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and home to some of the oldest rainforests on earth and many endangered plants and animals. Some of the best ways to experience the rainforest and gorge views is on one of the short walking tracks near the falls that takes you to the down the Herbert River valley.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
"There's something calm and meditative about floating through the sky in a hot air balloon. It's a refreshing way to see the world from above, far from the noise and adrenaline of riding in helicopters and aeroplanes." — Jarrad Seng
One of the best ways to experience the Atherton Tablelands is by hot air balloon. Departing at dawn, you’ll get to spend 30 minutes floating above the landscape. There are two main operators that offer the service – Raging Thunder Hot Air Ballooning and Hot Air, both depart from Mareeba.
You can also depart from Cairns and couple your balloon experience with another tour – like white river rafting, an outer reef tour or Skyrail and Kuranda scenic train.
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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.