Wildlife spotting, pristine beaches, incredible sightseeing and adventure. Here are 9 best places to visit in Queensland Australia.
Best Places to Visit in Queensland Australia – Queensland is the second largest state of Australia, known for its lush tropical rainforests, beautiful coastal areas and temperate highland ranges. This sunshine state is home to many of Australia’s best known destinations and tourist spots, such as the city of Brisbane, Daintree Forest, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Great Barrier Reef, Hervey Bay, Whitsunday Islands and many more breathtaking places.
We know that the number of options can be a little overwhelming. Whether you have time for a road trip or just a few days of exploration, below you will find some quick tips to make the most out of your Queensland Experience.
1) Sunshine Coast
Whether you want to rest at the local sandy beaches, explore the beautiful Noosa hinterlands or wish to immerse yourself in a wildlife experience you won’t forget at the Australia Zoo, the sunshine coast is a must when visiting Queensland.
Located a couple of hours north of Brisbane, you can easily catch a train or rent a car and explore this beautiful piece of Australia. Here you can find more than 60km of coastal areas and charming small cities such as Caloundra, Coolum, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba and Noosa.
One of the highlights of this region is the Australia Zoo, founded by the family of conservationist and TV personality Steve Irwin.
2) Australia Zoo
Located 80 kilometers from Brisbane, this zoo works around the clock to preserve and study native species. Luckily they are also open to the public and can put you side by side with animals such as the red panda, koalas, kangaroos, wombat and tortoises. Enjoy safe viewing of more dangerous animals like the cheetah, rhinos, tigers, dingos and many more.
The scenery alone is mesmerizing and, apart of the animal encounters, one may also take part in a series of wildlife shows, animal feeding opportunities and tours ranging from the very mild to the very scary!
3) Hervey bay
Known as the Jewel in the Queensland Crown and the whale watching capital of the world, this charming bay is quite accommodating for the backpacker and for the whole family. Enjoy cafes and local restaurantes at the bay area before deciding on what to do next.
If you choose to visit late July through early November, you have a chance of hopping on a wide selection of boats, ranging from simple fisherman boats to fancy luxurious cruises, and go watch the whale epic migration and get as close as safely possible to these majestic creatures.
4) Fraser Island
One of the best options while on Hervey bay is to catch a 50 minute ferry to beautifull Fraser Island. This world heritage site is famous for being the world’s largest sand isle. Here you will find ancient towering rainforest and more than 100 freshwater lakes, including Lake Mckenzie. It’s a must on the list of best places to visit in Queensland Australia.
Go sand dune surfing and enjoy restaurants and accommodations from the very simple to the very refined.
In order to properly get to know this big place, we highly recommend booking a guided car tour or one of the self driving options that include going to the remote and untamed western section.
In this island you will also find many beach fishing opportunities, the Maheno shipwreck and, from August to October, whale watching tours.
5) Airlie beach
3 hours south of the city of Townsville, Airlie beach is the gateway to the whitsundays, an archipelago of 74 tropical islands and one of the best access points to the iconic Great Barrier Reef.
Before venturing to the archipelago, you may want to spend a couple of days in order to explore Conway National Park, check out the Airlie beach lagoon and enjoy the shops and restaurants that will cater to all needs and wallets.
After you’ve had your fill of this beautiful place, you should go to Hamilton Island for more idyllic scenery, fine timing restaurante, tours and, from there, go to whitehaven beach. Whitehaven is like nothing you will have ever seen before as its silica sand and shallow areas create one of the most beautiful coastal sights found in Australia.
6) Magnetic Island
Located in the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, this paradisiacal tropical island is easily accessible by a quick 25 minute ferry from Townsville and is one of the best places in australia to just relax and unwind.
Upon arrival you can book a boat trip around the island for its amazing sights and diving opportunities. If you choose not to go on a boat, this island is also a explorer’s dream come true as you can select some trails out of the over 24 kilometers of walking tracks and spectacular destinations.
You can walk to Horseshoe bay for snorkeling and sea activities, walk to a WWII fort, go horseback riding at Horseshoe Bay, feed rock wallabies, walk from Nelly bay to Arcadia, catch a sunset at Horseshoe bay, have bush breakfast next to local wild koalas, go wild animal spotting and even attend festivals depending on your arrival date.
If you want to relax and be surrounded by amazing activities in gorgeous scenery, you’ve come to the right place.
7) Port Douglas
Located just 70 kilometers north of Cairns, this charming small town of roughly 4000 habitants is special for many reasons. Don’t let the size fool you as this place has quite a lot to offer on its own and is the gateway for exploring two major world heritage sites: Daintree forest, home to the oldest rainforest in the world, and The Great Barrier reef with its magnificent sea life and coral cays.
If you have the time, we highly recommend driving 140 kilometers from Cairns to Cape tribulation and stopping along the way to proper enjoy these magnificent places.
Before journeying to the heritage sites, however, you should enjoy what Port Douglas has to offer. Here you can go on a relaxing walk along four mile beach, catch a gorgeous sunset at Rex Smeal Park, enjoy beautiful photo-ops at the Flagstaff Hill Walking trail, walk the heritage trail and enjoy all the cafes and restaurants located near the port.
After you feel like you’ve explored enough of this historical town, it’s time to explore the World Heritage sites.
8) Daintree Forest
Just a quick hour drive north of Port Douglas, the Daintree forest is truly a magical place. Filled with unique wildlife, green vines and lush rainforest, this place is quite massive and, for propper enjoyment, it is best to first go to the Discovery Centre in order to plan your visit.
Here you can cruise the Daintree river, go to Mossman Gorge and enjoy the acclaimed Dreamtime walk with an aboriginal guide in order to forever deepen your understanding and awe of this sacred place.
There are some dining options and accommodations if you plan to lengthen your stay and also a zipline that is part of the Jungle surfing canopy tours with a spectacular tree-top view.
9) Great Barrier Reef
One of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, the reef is truly a unforgettable sight to behold. Whether you wish to tour it by boat or swim along its coral cays and reefs, this is one experience you will not soon forget. It’s definitely one of the best places to visit in Queensland Australia.
There are several tour options and access points you can choose from, but Cape tribulation, Airlie Beach, Cairns and Port Douglas are the best picks.