What the Second-Largest Australian State Has To Offer
Australia has always been on my list of potential candidates for my grad trip but after factoring in all the expenses, taking a trip to the land Down Under became nothing more than a distant fantasy.
So when we heard of a package deal for a whole week in Queensland for $1,500, all I could think of was, “where do I sign?” For $1,498, you’ll be brought to breathtaking World Heritage Areas like Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef, witness turtle nestings, and even visit shipwrecks!
If you’re itching to travel but still on the fence about taking the 7 hour flight to Queensland, here are 10 reasons that will convince you to part with $1,498 and start packing for your trip to Australia’s Sunshine State.
1. Take a dive in the Great Barrier Reef…
You really can’t talk about visiting Queensland without a mention of the Great Barrier Reef. Visiting all 7 wonders of the world is on my bucket list so having a return flight to Lady Elliot Island included in this tour is perfect. Apart from dipping my toes in the ocean, taking a seaplane and getting a bird’s eye view of the vast ocean sounds like the perfect island getaway.
Home to 1,200 different species of marine life, get a closer look at a plethora of sea creatures around Lady Elliot Island. There will also be a guided reef walk at low tide and a glass bottom boat or a guided snorkel tour included in the package!
2. And visit the world’s largest island made completely of sand!
Beaches are a must for me every vacation. Visiting the largest sand island in the world? Yes please! If I thought the beaches in Bali were fantastic, stepping onto the shores of Fraser Island will probably blow my mind. Listed as a World Heritage area, Fraser Island is the only place in the world where you’ll find an entire tropical rainforest growing on coastal sand dunes.
To explore all the nooks and crannies of this naturistic wonderland, the tour also comes with a Beauty Spot Tour which takes you to scenic locations like Lake McKenzie, perched high in a sand dune 100 m above sea level. You’ll also be able to visit The Maheno shipwreck!
3. Watch baby turtles hatch and waddle into the ocean
The tour brings you to the home of the endangered loggerhead turtles’ nesting grounds, which also hosts the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland! I’ll probably be a little too excited for my age watching mama turtle lay her precious eggs on Mon Repos, located on the coast of Bundaberg.
Only 1 in 1000 turtle hatchlings survive to maturity in the wild so this turtle season (November to March), do your part in helping them waddle into the great big ocean. Watch as park rangers do their best to increase baby turtles’ chances of survival, and find out how you can help!
Note: Early bookings for the turtle encounter are essential as there are only limited spots available. You can book your tour here, or if you’re the first 100 people to sign up for the World Heritage Tour, you’ll get this turtle encounter free of charge!
4. Explore 11 different volcano peaks and dine in a cafe overlooking the Glass House Mountains
Located on the coastal plain of Sunshine Coast, these Glass House Mountains were once active volcanoes and are approximately 26 million years old!
11 stumps are all that’s left of the volcanoes after withstanding the test of time, and today, it’s a popular recreational spot for hiking, biking, climbing, abseiling and other activities.
And after a long day of exploring these mountain terrains, you can take a pitstop for some home-baked cakes, freshly-ground coffee, toasted sandwiches and Devilish Devonshire teas at The Lookout Cafe while soaking in the picture-perfect view of Mount Coonowrin.
From time to time, you can even spot wild kangaroos beneath the mango orchards – it doesn’t get any more Aussie than this.
5. Sample all kinds of brewed drinks – for free!
Having freshly brewed drinks inside a giant barrel – that’s something you don’t get to do every day! Whether you’re the kind of person who enjoys a cider or 2 once in a while or someone who loves hard liquor, the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Barrel is worth the pitstop.
Go behind the scenes on a True Brew Experience Tour to see how drinks are made and if you’re still not convinced, you’ll be able to sample the entire range of brewed drinks at The Sampling Bar for free!
There are up to 14 different flavours to try out, including the famous Bundaberg Ginger Beer. And yes, I said for free.
6. Visit the one and only Crocodile Hunter’s Australia Zoo
We all remember the legendary Steve Irwin but did you know that Irwins run a zoo? Drop by the Irwins’ Australia Zoo, you’ll get to go real up close and personal with native Australian animals like wombats, possums and koalas! There’s also a wildlife hospital tour within the zoo, which will give you an eye-opening experience that you won’t find in Singapore.
7. Experience a non-stop adrenaline rush at the Aussie World Theme Park
There’s only so many times you can go to USS before you get bored of the rides and memorise the entire sequence of The Revenge of the Mummy, so I always keep a look out for theme parks when I travel for my dose of adrenaline.
I’ve already been to Dreamworld and Movie World, so next up on my list is Aussie World! With over 30 rides, this is would be where me and my friends will be making our own fun out of the kiddie-est rides.
8. Pick out as many farm fresh strawberries as you want
The fields are alive, with the smell of strawberries! That’s what I’ll be singing when I’m surrounded by endless rows of strawberry shrubs. Unlike a certain Facebook farming game which made me wait for hours to harvest my fake crops, I’d rather be picking out a whole basket full of fresh strawberries at Palmview’s Strawberry Fields.
To complete the strawberry picking experience, there’s also a Strawberry Fields Cafe that serves up all sorts of strawberry concoctions like homemade ice-cream, parfaits, pancakes and more that you can’t miss out on!
9. Shop till you drop at one of the largest shopping malls in Queensland
Sunshine Plaza is the largest shopping centre on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland with more than 220 specialty stores, including my favourite Australian brand, Factorie! It’s a one-stop mall where you can get everything you’d want, from daily necessities to souvenirs for friends.
10. Be surrounded by a whole squad of alpacas
“It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” – Agnes, Despicable Me Source
After seeing the stream of alpaca memes on Twitter, my desire to see an alpaca in real life has never been stronger. Judge all you want, but there’s no way I’d miss out on being surrounded by fluffy herds of alpacas.
At Banyandah alpaca, all you’ll have to pay is $5 to hang out with these cuties for as long as you want!
For an adventure Down Under!
With accommodation, several meals included plus a ton of activities to try out, this World Heritage package is a steal at $1,498. On top of that, the first 100 bookings also get $100 off and a free turtle encounter experience. So what are you waiting for, adventure awaits in Queensland!
Book the tour package with any of the agents listed below:
Chan Brothers Travel 6212 9684 | CTC Travel 6536 3345 | Farmosa Holiday 6534 1133 | Jetabout Holidays 6734 1818
MISA Travel 6538 0318 | PriceBreaker 6317 2888 | Scenic Travel 6226 3611 | UOB Travel 6252 6822
This article was brought to you by Tourism and Events Queensland.