Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, QLD
From the bright lights of the Gold Coast to the technicolour underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland has a slice of paradise to suit every traveller.
Home to more than 1,000 ecosystem types and five World Heritage-listed sites, Queensland is a natural wonderland like no other. Rainforests, wetlands, tropics, savannas and deserts each offer a unique and unforgettable experience. Dotted throughout the state’s spectacular landscapes are sparkling cities, like the capital city of Brisbane, as well as idyllic coastal hamlets and country towns. The Sunshine State may be known for its laid-back vibes, but with epic experiences like snorkelling over the world’s largest coral reef system and trekking through the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, Queensland offers thrill and chill in equal measure.
Top things to do
With a coastline of almost 7,000 kilometres (4,300 miles) and millions of hectares of outback, there’s something altogether magical about the beauty of Queensland. Here, islands of white sand dot aqua waters in the Whitsundays, colourful coral bursts to life with fish and turtles on the Great Barrier Reef, and lush green canopies dance in the sun in the Daintree Rainforest. Head to the Gold Coast for an urban experience with a beach lifestyle, or answer the call of the outback in quirky outposts like Birdsville. Meet the welcoming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guides eager to share their culture dating back tens of thousands of years. Whether you seek out some of the country’s best beaches, hiking or waterfalls, you’ll never forget the raw beauty of Queensland.
Queensland has international airports in Brisbane, Cairns and the Gold Coast, with direct flights from many global hubs, as well as major and regional Australian cities. Regional airports in ports like Hamilton Island and Bundaberg offer regular domestic flights that will help you explore more of Queensland’s diverse destinations. With well-maintained routes and endless adventure, the Sunshine State is also ideal for road trips – the Great Barrier Reef Drive, the Pacific Coast Way and Matilda Way are a few of the best.