Queensland Destination Guide
Australians love to do battle debating about which state is the country's best. While there can be no true winner, Queenslanders still love boasting about their World Heritage-listed sites, stunning beaches, cosmopolitan living, Outback adventures, and toasty year-round weather.
A popular destination for travellers, families, adrenalin junkies and honeymooners alike, a Queensland holiday offers endless opportunities to tick off your bucket list.
If it's a beach holiday you're after, there's close to 7,000 kilometres of coastline, not to mention hundreds of outlying islands, with beaches for the taking.
Choose your favourite Gold Coast beach
A haven for surfers, swimmers and sunbathers, Surfers Paradise is the most popular and developed destination on the 70 kilometres of golden sandy shores.
For somewhere more laidback, hop on the Gold Coast light rail (which come complete with surfboard racks!) and head south to Broadbeach, or hire a car to explore surf favourites such as Currumbin and Rainbow Bay, located closer to the New South Wales border.
The Gold Coast is known for its glamorous lifestyle, but when it comes time to wind down look to where the green meets the gold at the Gold Coast hinterland, where stunning natural scenery, wineries and hiking trails are all part of the mix.
Thrill-seekers and families alike won't want to miss the iconic Gold Coast theme parks, which offer everything from daring rides at Warner Bros. Movie World to close encounters with Australian wildlife at Sea World and Dreamworld.
See how great the Barrier Reef really is!
Have you ever wondered how the Great Barrier Reef got its name? The world's largest living organism is home to countless marine life species and is, for good reason, a World Heritage-listed site. One of Australia's major drawcards, you can spend days spotting colourful fish or diving and snorkelling the colourful underwater worlds.
Tropical North Queensland is also where you'll find another World Heritage-listed site – the Daintree Rainforest. The world's oldest surviving rainforest is teeming with wildlife and home to flora and fauna that existed millions of years ago.
Find yourself a comfortable hotel in a tropical city such as Port Douglas or Cairns and live it up while discovering this natural paradise, or explore the path less travelled in the Southern Great Barrier Reef hubs of Capricorn, Bundaberg and Gladstone.
For more wildlife encounters, the Fraser Coast Region is where you'll find the natural anomaly Fraser Island. The world's largest sand island, Fraser Island is home to an abundance of wildlife, most famously the cute and curious dingoes. If you join a cruise through nearby waters, you won't have to cross your fingers too tightly to spot whales, dolphins and dugongs too!
After all that excitement, feel that sand between your toes on the Whitsundays, where all your tropical island dreams can come true. All the clichés are here – swaying palm fronds, soft powdery sand, and unspoilt beauty. Bliss!
The Whitsundays is a destination where you can do as little or as much as you please with 74 islands to explore and a plethora of water activities on offer. If you're short on time, Hamilton Island is the biggest island in the Whitsundays and has direct flights from many of Australia's major capitals.
From the Outback to cosmopolitan cities
Though Queensland is most famous for its coastline, head inland from Townsville or Mackay to get a taste of the ‘real Outback', where red ochre earth meets savannah grasslands. An Outback adventure in Queensland offers rugged terrain with water gorges, Indigenous cultural sites, pioneer towns and wide open spaces to explore.
Back down south, Australia's New World City Brisbane offers all the amenities of a cosmopolitan lifestyle with a typically Queensland attitude.
Queensland's capital Brisbane boasts world-class shopping in the CBD and Fortitude Valley, hip bars and restaurants in West End and Woolloongabba, and opportunities year-round to get outdoors and enjoy the Sunshine State by the river. Brisbane is also the perfect base for day trips, from coast to coast or even the pastoral charms of Southern Queensland Country.
North of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and, in particular, Noosa are popular beach destinations where you can enjoy cafes, boutiques and family-friendly beaches. Less frantic than the Gold Coast, the nearby surrounds also offer plenty of worthy attractions including the Glasshouse Mountains and the Australia Zoo.
With such a vast area to explore and a variety of destinations to visit, you can really spend months exploring the state, so take your time, or split things up – Queensland is a destination that demands a return visit!