The Best of Queensland

 

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Take it from someone who’s been to 4 different parts of Australia – Queensland has some of the most breathtaking sights and wonderful things to do.

With its gorgeous beaches, lush rainforests, vast deserts, exotic wildlife and laidback lifestyle, my heart was captured by its beauty from the moment I first stepped foot on its shores. This June will be my third time in Queensland and the thought of returning still excites me!

Queensland is the northeastern state of Australia, with the more prominent cities being Brisbane, Cairns and the Gold Coast. There’s really so much to see and do that we’ve managed to come up with a list of 50 reasons why Queensland is the best part of Australia to visit.

Take a trip down for your next vacation, and I promise you’ll be wonderstruck by everything it has to offer.

 

– Southern Queensland –

 

1. Magical Hot Air Balloon Rides

 

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Queensland is the best place in Australia to can hop aboard a hot air balloon for the most magical journey.

You can glide across sweeping valleys, idyllic farmlands, tranquil lakes and majestic mountains, all in the comfort of a wicker basket. The Scenic Rim region is highly recommended for its unparalleled views.

Hot Air Balloon Gold Coast
Address: Shop 1, 23 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise 4217 Gold Coast, Australia
Email: goldcoast@hotair.com.au

 

2. Endless Vineyards To Run In

 

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With 177 wineries, Queensland has numerous beautiful vineyards for you to run freely in. The Granite Belt, Darling Downs, Scenic Rim and Inglewood District have lovely, vast vineyards that dreams are made of.

After you’ve had enough of running wild and free, go for a wine tasting to savour the best of Queensland’s premier quality wines.

Granite Belt
Address: 28 Leslie Parade, Stanthorpe QLD 4380, Australia

 

3. Abseil Down A Heritage-listed Cliff

 

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Kangaroo Point Cliffs are heritage-listed cliffs located across the Brisbane River from the CBD. It’s super convenient if you’re looking for some thrills close to the city.

Here you can rock climb, abseil, and even have a picnic in the pretty strip of parkland at the cliffs’ base.

Kangaroo Point Cliffs
Address: 461 Main Street, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane QLD, Australia

 

4. You Can Ride A Horse Through Beautiful Terrains

 

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Imagine yourself on a noble steed, galloping down a magnificent coastline or through a tranquil forest. This can all be made possible in Queensland. Horse rides through beautiful terrains are available in many parts of Queensland, with some of the more notable being Rainbow Beach and the Tamborine Mountain Trail.

Rainbow Beach Horse Rides
Address: 23 Clarkson Dr, Rainbow Beach QLD 4581, Australia

Tamborine Mountain Trail Rides
Address: 231-315 Plunkett Rd, Tamborine QLD 4285, Australia

 

5. You Can Lunch in the Middle of Idyllic Farmlands

 

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Lockyer Valley is one of the most fertile farming areas in the world, and is also known as Australia’s largest food bowl.

Tour the organic farms, browse through the local fresh markets, or simply have a picnic lunch in the middle of the idyllic farmlands. For the more adventurous, there’s horse-riding, hot air ballooning, hiking trails and even skydiving!

Baur’s Organic Farm Tours
Address: 1166 Mount Sylvia Road, Mount Sylvia, Qld, Australia
Website: http://luvyalockyer.com.au/accom_result1/bauers-organic-farm-tours/

 

6. The Stunning Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

 

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This is the Australian version of our MacRitchie Treetop Walk, just more spectacular.

You’ll get to tread across steel bridges suspended high above the forest canopies while taking in the gorgeous views of waterfalls, running streams, and lush greens beneath your feet.

Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
Address: 333 Geissmann Dr, North Tamborine QLD 4272, Australia
Opening Hours: 9.30am – 4pm

 

7. Magical Glow Worm Caves

 

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Most of us hate insects with a passion, but these glow worms may change your mind.

Glow worms are basically just insect larvae that glow. They can be found in the glow worm caves of Tamborine Mountain, but a more popular destination would be the Natural Bridge in the Gold Coast hinterland.

It’s almost like you’re in Fairyland when these little guys warm the caves with their sapphire-like luminescence.

Springbrook National Park
Address: Springbrook Rd, Springbrook QLD 4213, Australia
Opening Hours: 24/7

 

8. Stargaze at the Brisbane Planetarium

 

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Calling all space-lovers and budding astrophysicists! You are going to love the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.

It has a huge Cosmic Skydome with regular shows that are not only educational, but fill you with so much awe. On a clear night, head down to the observatory and you might be able to spot some of your favourite constellations.

Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
Address: Mount Coot-Tha Rd, Toowong, Brisbane QLD 4066, Australia
Opening Hours: 10am – 4pm

 

9. … Or Stand in Awe of the Actual Milky Way

 

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When I was in the Gold Coast, our guide stopped the car in the middle of the forest to reveal a night sky blanketed with humongous stars shining brighter than diamonds. Amidst the white glow of the Milky Way, we were able to spot Orion, Scorpio, and constellations I can’t even pronounce.

If you have a passion for the night sky that burns beyond the projections on the planetarium’s skydome, be sure to head away from the light pollution of the cities for some real stargazing. Small towns like Augathella and Leyburn are excellent spots, and you can also venture into the outback.

 

10. Mysterious Shipwrecks To Explore

 

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Off the beautiful shores of Moreton Island lies the Moreton Island Wrecks, a group of 15 vessels sunk to form a breakwall for small boats.

It’s an amazing dive and snorkel site, where you can swim with a kaleidoscope of colourful sea creatures as you navigate your way through the hidden crevices of the shipwrecks.

Directions: You can get to Moreton Island from Brisbane via ferry.

 

11. You Get to Feed Dolphins

 

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You’ll be able to feed these graceful and friendly creatures at Tangalooma, a resort township on Moreton Island.

I was lucky enough to have fed a wild dolphin during a trip to Tangalooma, and it was an unforgettable experience of getting up close and personal with such a gentle animal. It’s something you’ll definitely want to experience for yourself!

 

12. Exhilarating Sand Tobogganing

 

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Sand tobogganing is so much fun! At Moreton Island, you get to choose between sites such as The Small Sand hill and The Desert which sport gentler slopes, and The Big Sand hills which boast really steep sand dunes up to 90m high.

You can sit on the board, lie down face first, or even stand and ‘surf’ down the sand dunes if you’re up for it.

 

13. The Best Surf Spots

 

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The Gold Coast is home to some of the best surf spots. For the more advanced, the iconic right-point breaks at Kirra and Snapper Rocks are known to have the longest, hollowest, and best waves in the world.

But for most of us city-dwellers, Surfers Paradise is a great place for us to pick up this sport for the first time with its beautiful beach and gentle waves.

 

14. Celebrate EKKA

 

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Ekka is the annual agricultural show of Queensland, and it’s the largest event in the state which showcases Queensland culture, produce, resources and initiatives. It’s held in Brisbane over a span of 10 days in August.

There are competitions, exhibits, an endless line-up of performances, all the delicious food you can eat, vibrant carnival rides and spectacular firework displays. It’s a colourful celebration!

Celebrate EKKA
Address: 600 Gregory Terrace, Brisbane QLD 4006, Australia

 

15. Graceful Humpback Whales

 

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Whale-watching is such a poetic experience. You stand at the edge of a catamaran, eager to get a glimpse of these magnificent creatures. All of a sudden, a ginormous humpback and her baby breaks through the surface of the waters in unimaginable grace, letting out soft moans as white mist sprouts from their blowholes.

Many tour operators from Hervey Bay will bring you to spots where spotting a whale is almost always guaranteed. You can a wide range of whale tours here.

 

16. You Can Legally Cuddle A Koala

 

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Who wouldn’t dream of cuddling a cute and fluffy koala?

Koala cuddling is banned in many Australian states like New South Wales, but the good news is you can still cuddle them in Queensland. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a huge heritage-listed zoo in the Gold Coast where you can hug a fluffy grey friend. The park also has a never-ending line-up of shows, events and attractions.

Read more about Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in our Gold Coast Guide here.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: 28 Tomewin St, Currumbin Gold Coast QLD 4223, Australia
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm

 

17. They Have Some Of The Best Brunches

 

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Indulge in some of the most scrumptious brunches and breakfasts in Queensland!

Brisbane has innumerable hip cafes serving up a wide variety of mouthwatering morning meals, most of them accompanied with sunny side ups to start your day right. You can check out 50 of Brisbane’s best breakfasts here.

 

18. The Dolphins Dance At Sea World

 

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The dolphins at Sea World will put on the most graceful and entertaining performances you’ve seen. 9-year-old me will always remember watching these charming mammals twirling in the air, flaunting their grace and intelligence to the crowd.

Sea World also boasts many other exciting shows, thrilling rides and lovely marine animals including polar bears, penguins and playful seals. 

Sea World
Address: Sea World Dr, Main Beach, Gold Coast QLD 4217, Australia
Opening Hours: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm

 

19. Amazing Theme Parks

 

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The Gold Coast is the the best known for having the most amazing theme parks. Movie World, Dreamworld, Wet’n’Wild, WhiteWater World, Sea World – you name it, Gold Coast has it.

If you’re in Movie World, be sure to have a go at the Superman Escape, which has the craziest drop and goes from 0kmh to 100kmh in 2 seconds. 

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Movie World
Address: Pacific Motorway, Oxenford QLD 4210, Australia
Opening Hours: 9.30am – 5pm

Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World
Address: Pacific Highway Oxenford, Gold Coast QLD 4210, Australia
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm

Dreamworld
Address: Dreamworld Pkwy, Coomera QLD 4209, Australia
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm

White Water World
Address: 1 Dreamworld Pkwy, Coomera QLD 4209, Australia
Opening Hours: 10am – 4pm

 

20. The Spectacular Brisbane Festival

 

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Brisbane Festival is an annual international arts festival in Brisbane, held over the span of 3 weeks in September. There’s an endless line-up of classical and contemporary music, theatre, dance, comedy, opera, circus, and the spectacular Sunsuper Riverfire that’s sure to dazzle all revellers.

Find out more about the Brisbane Festival here

 

21. The 1920’s Hollywood Style Theatre – Empire Theatre

 

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Located in Toowoomba, a little over an hour’s drive from Brisbane, lies the grand Empire Theatre. Catching a show in this theatre will transport you back to the golden age of Hollywood in the 1920s.

Its Art Deco architectural style is reminiscent of that glorious period, and there’s no better way to get a blast from the past than catching one of the many plays and musicals in the Empire Theatre.

Empire Theatre
Address: 56 Neil St, Toowoomba QLD 4350, Australia

 

22. Exciting Rugby Games

 

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Rugby is a huge part of the Aussies’ lives, and the Queenslanders are no exception. Head down to the 74 500-seater Suncorp Stadium, home of the Queensland Reds, and bask in the celebratory atmosphere as you catch an exciting Rugby League match. 

Suncorp Stadium
Address: 40 Castlemaine St, Milton QLD 4064, Australia

 

23. Amazing Deals at Outlet Malls

 

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Harbour Town is Gold Coast’s largest outlet mall with over 220 stores, each offering a minimum of 30% off the original retail price. Be it international labels like Coach, Ralph Lauren and Nike, or iconic Australian brands like Billabong and Ugg, you name it, Harbour Town has a cheaper version of it. 

Harbour Town Gold Coast
Address: 147-189 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters QLD 4216, Australia

 

24. Appreciate Art Everywhere

 

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There’s a diverse range of art you get to appreciate in Queensland.

At GOMA, also known as Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, you can find carefully curated art pieces from all over the world and regular internationally renowned exhibitions.

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Head a little further up northwest of Brisbane to Carnarvon Gorge, and you’ll be able to admire some of the world’s oldest aboriginal art. Aboriginal art can also be found in abundance at weekend markets. 

GOMA
Address: Stanley Place, South Brisbane QLD 4101, Australia
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm

Carnarvon National Park
Address: Upper Warrego QLD 4477, Australia
Opening Hours: 24/7

 

25. Mystical Mountains To Scale

 

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Dominating the natural skyline of the Sunshine Coast hinterland are the Glass House Mountains, 12 individual volcanic peaks that resemble huge glass furnaces.

There are so many opportunities for adventure-seekers – abseiling, rock climbing, and challenging summit trails that will reward you with gorgeous views and the perfect sunrise.

Glass House Mountains National Park
Address: Glass House Mountains, Sunshine Coast hinterland, QLD 4518, Australia

 

– Northern Queensland –

 

26. This Jaw-dropping View

 

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This is the jaw-dropping view of Whitehaven Beach you’ll get from Hill Inlet Lookout.

Whitehaven Beach is voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and is part of the 74 pristine islands that make up The Whitsundays. This view alone is worth travelling that 6,000km from Singapore. 

Whitehaven Beach
Address: Whitsunday Island QLD 4802, Australia
You can find more information on getting to the Whitsundays here.

 

27. It’s Home to the World’s Largest Living Structure – The Great Barrier Reef

 

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Queensland is home to the awe-inspiring Great Barrier Reef, earth’s largest coral reef system.

With 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching over 2,300km, it’s the only living thing on earth visible from space. A day trip to this natural wonder will have you swimming with manta rays, dolphins, turtles, and all kinds of marine life you never even knew existed. It’s going to be an experience of a lifetime.

You can find an abundance of Great Barrier Reef tours here.

 

28. The Largest Tropical Rainforest in Australia – Daintree Rainforest

 

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The Daintree Rainforest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the largest tropical rainforest in Australia at 1 200km2 . The diversity of its flora and fauna and the complexity of its ecosystem is unrivalled in the country.

Take a hike through Daintree and you’ll be rewarded with sightings of rare wildlife and magnificent landscapes ranging from vast mountain ranges to deep gorges to thundering waterfalls amidst the luxuriant forests.  

Daintree Rainforest
Address: 2333 Cape Tribulation Rd, Cape Tribulation, Cairns QLD 4873

 

29. Crystal Clear Swimming Holes

 

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This just makes me want to change into a swimsuit and dive right in.

There are many crystal clear swimming holes for you to cool off after a long hike under the hot afternoon sun. The Babinda Boulders, Crystal Cascades, Josephine Falls and Mossman Gorge are all lovely spots for a dip.

 

30. Aussie’s Most Famous White Water Rafting Adventure

 

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The Tully River is regarded as one of the best rafting rivers across Australia and New Zealand. Raging Thunder will have professionals guide you through this grade 3 and 4 white water rafting adventure, and you’ll even have a nice BBQ lunch by the river after all the excitement.

 

31. Immerse Yourself in the World’s Oldest Living Culture

 

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The Aboriginal culture is the indigenous culture of Australia, dating back at least 50 000 years.

Parks such as Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns give visitors an authentic insight into the culture with its lively dance and fire performances, art workshops and traditional bush foods sampling. 

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
Address: Cairns Western Arterial Road, Caravonica QLD 4878, Australia
Opening Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm | 6:30 pm – 12:00 am

 

32. The Most Scenic Rail Journey – Kuranda Scenic Railway

 

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The Kuranda Scenic Railway is one of the most unique rail journeys in Australia, connecting Cairns to the nearby town of Kuranda.

The tropical gardens Kuranda rail station itself is a sight to behold with its dense and beautiful garden. The journey takes you through the lush rainforest with sweeping views of multiple waterfalls, the most spectacular being Barron Falls.

Kuranda Scenic Railway
Address: 126-144 Bunda Street, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia

 

33. Beautiful Man-made Lagoons

 

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If you’re afraid of deadly stingers that roam in natural water bodies, take a dip in one of Queensland’s beautiful man-made lagoons.

The Cairns Lagoon is located right in the heart of Cairns’ entertainment and business district. This crystal-clear saltwater pool is so large, it can hold up to 1,000 swimmers! There are also many restaurants, coffee shops. picnic spots, and other recreational facilities in the area.

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon
Address: 52 – 54 The Esplanade, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia
Opening Hours: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm

 

34. Crater Lakes to Swim in

 

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Crater Lake National Park is an hour’s drive south of Cairns and comprises of two sections – Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine.

Both areas are home to a blue crater lakes that are crystal clear and perfect for swimming in. You can fish, birdwatch, have a nice picnic, take a boat ride, or go for a lovely stroll in the cool surrounding rainforests.

Crater Lakes National Park
Address: Gillies Hwy, Lake Eacham QLD 4884, Australia
Opening Hours: 12:00 am – 11:30 pm

 

35. The Charming Spanish Castle – Paronella Park

 

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Who knew that you could find a charming Spanish castle in Australia?

Paronella Park is located in Mena Creek, about an hour’s drive to the south of Cairns. Built by Spanish immigrant José Paronella in the 1930s, it’s one of the prettiest little places with its Catalonian castle ruins, lovely gardens and cascading falls glimmering in the sunlight.

Paronella Park
Address: 1671 Japoon Vale Road, Mena Creek QLD 4871, Australia
Opening Hours: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

 

36. The Epic Savannah Way

 

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The Savannah Way is Australia’s most iconic adventure drive, linking Cairns in Queensland to Broome in the Northern Territory. The route on Queensland’s side will take you through majestic gorges, picturesque creeks, tropical savannahs, towns that remind you of the wild west and so much more.

You can find out more about Queensland’s side of the Savannah Way here.

 

37. … And Many More Breathtaking Road Trips

 

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Whether you prefer driving along a stunning coastline or winding roads at the base of mountains and volcanoes, there will always be a scenic drive route for you in Queensland.  

In Northern Queensland itself, there’s the Savannah Way, Overlanders Way, Epic Cape York and the Great Tropical Drive. Each offers a different natural landscape, but you can be sure that none of them will be short of amazing.

For more information on driving in Northern Queensland, visit Drive North Queensland’s website.

 

38. Fearsome Crocodiles Leap Before You

 

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Crocodiles are some scary animals, but that’s why they intrigue us to no end.

Uncover the mysteries of North Queensland’s swampy, murky waters by joining one of the many croc tours! You’ll be entertained with live shows, and have a go at spotting these great creatures in their natural habitat on an exhilarating boat ride.

You can choose from a list of croc river tour cruises here.

 

– Outback Queensland –

 

39. Hunt for Dinosaur Fossils

 

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With everyone getting excited about the new Jurassic World film, there’s no better time to embrace your inner paleontologist than now!

Put on a helmet, grab a hammer, and join a dig to uncover dinosaur bones millions of years old. The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, Hughenden and Richmond are all great places to hunt for fossils and admire magnificent museum displays. At Lake Quarry Dinosaur Trackways, you’ll also find the world’s best-preserved dinosaur stampede.

 

40. Mine for Precious Stones

 

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You can stand a chance to strike it rich on your holiday!

Have your fossicking pan ready to mine for gold and gemstones in Capricorn, and the Queensland Boulder Opal in Opalton. You can also join a guided mine tour of the Sapphire Gemfields or mine in Mount Morgan, one of the oldest mines in Australia.

 

41. The Magnificent Big Red Desert

 

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Also known as the Big Red, the Simpson Desert is a vast area of red sandy plains and dunes.

It’s fiery beauty is just stunning, and just think about how beautiful the sunset will be against its backdrop. You may even be able to catch a camel race!

Munga-Thirri National Park
Address: Birdsville QLD 4482, Australia

 

42. Serene Fishing Spots

 

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There are many beautiful islands where you can fish at such as Fraser Island, but if you prefer a more serene environment closer to the heart of Australia, fishing in the Outback is a must.

The Thompson River in Longreach and Lake Mondarra in Mt Isa are little slices of heaven where you can fish for barramundi, yellowbelly, Murray cod, and catfish among many others.

 

– All of Queensland –

 

43. Tropical Coral Islands to Snorkel Round

 

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Just look at how inviting that water is, and just imagine the kind of treasures you can find underneath. The best part is, you can dive straight into the emerald waters from a sandy white island and easily return to the warm embrace of its shores once you’re done.

There are so many tropical coral islands to snorkel around in Queensland. Some beautiful sites include Green Island, Fitzroy Island, Cook Island, Lady Elliot Island and the Low Isles just off Port Douglas.

 

44. The Weather

 

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Queensland is nearer to the tropics than many other parts of Australia, so it experiences pleasantly warm winters and more bearable summers. The summer heat in Australia is notoriously intolerable, but not so much in Queensland.

 

45. Abundance of Weekend Markets

 

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Weekend and farmers markets are everywhere in Queensland. You’ll be able to find anything at these markets, from fresh local produce to intricate aboriginal art pieces.

Some notable markets include the Eumundi Markets, Carseldine Markets, the Noosa Farmers Market and Kuranda Heritage Markets. You can find the full list of markets in Queensland here.

 

46. Botanical Gardens With Blooming Flowers

 

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There are 33 different botanical gardens in Queensland, and flowers bloom in full glory during Spring and Summer. If you fancy strolling through fresh flowers every colour of the rainbow, the botanical gardens of Queensland will not disappoint. 

 

47. There Are 223 Stunning National Parks

 

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Each of the 223 national parks offers its own unique beauty and splendour to Queensland’s natural landscape.

Whether the parks are made of pristine tropical islands, lush rainforests, or grand cliffs and gorges, they’ll all have the ability to steal your breath away. 

 

48. It’s Teeming With Unique Wildlife

 

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There’s a large number of unique plants and animals native to Queensland. The Daintree Rainforest is home to ancient plants and rare animal species like the Bennett’s tree-kangaroo. The dugong, northern hairy-nosed wombat, water mouse and bridled nailtail wallaby are also all species of animals unique to Queensland, but they’re also facing endangerment.

By paying them a visit, you will not only be awed by their unusual traits, but will also be injecting funds into conservation efforts that may prove to go a long way. 

 

49. Tons of Gorgeous Waterfalls

 

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There are 86 waterfalls in Queensland alone, and most of them are really so beautiful you won’t think twice about dropping all your work, grabbing your suitcase and flying there now.

The waterfalls come in many different shapes, types and sizes but they’re all gorgeous in their own way. From the thundering Wallaman Falls in Girringun National Park to the gentle flow of the Crystal Cascades in Cairns, you can visit all 86 waterfalls and find that they all have something special to offer. 

 

50. Its Beauty is Just Captivating

 

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Queensland is just a wonderful place with such diverse natural landscapes. It’s where you can find tropical rainforests, gorgeous islands, coral gardens teeming with marine life, gulf savannahs and towering mountains all in one place.

Take a trip down to Queensland for your next holiday, and you’ll return home with your heart left behind in this region’s spellbinding beauty. 

 

Get Ready to Jet!

 

With all these fascinating reasons why Queensland is the best part of Australia, you shouldn’t be wasting anymore time. Book your ticket, grab your suitcase, and you’re off for an adventure of a lifetime Down Under!

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Australia’s national carrier Qantas is your best bet to jet off to Queensland. With the revamps they’ve made, you’ll be travelling in the most comfortable and stylish of flights.

Read on to find out why you should fly with Qantas here and it’s not just because the koalas already did it. And they are currently having a sale!

Check out their latest flight sale here!


This post was brought to you by Tourism and Events Queensland and Qantas.