Planning to visit Queensland? There are many reasons why you should go and experience the sunshine state of Australia. Let me highlight a few amazing things that will entice you to travel there and check it out for yourself. It’s an incredible place for a holiday or a longer stay, that I’m sure you will love as much as I do.
AWESOME THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Firstly, a little bit of important information about this part of Australia, before you go.
Size of Queensland
I’ve been to Queensland several times and one of the things that amazes me the most is its immense size.
- It makes up almost a quarter of the whole continent of Australia.
- Is nearly 5 times bigger than Japan! Yep, you read that right.
- Is the 2nd largest state in Australia, after Western Australia.
- There are 14 regions that make up Queensland, which have a variety of coastline, reef, rainforest, desert, and cities.
- The biggest region is the Outback Queensland.
- Queensland has more than 260 sunny days each year. How glorious! Hence why it’s called the Sunshine State.
- It’s warm most of the year and tropical in the Summer months, thus making most of it a sub-tropical climate. Near perfect weather all year round.
Places to go
- There are more than 100 islands you can visit off the coast of Queensland. They each have varying appeal depending on what you enjoy doing. Some are more for adventure enthusiasts to explore nature’s amazing beauty. Others are for pure luxury indulgence at the beautiful resorts.
- The largest sand island in the world is Fraser island. It is a UNESCO heritage site.
If you’re looking for a resort getaway, Queensland has them in spades, to suit everyone’s liking and budget, with many magnificent locations to choose from. Ranging from mega luxury like the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas, to Daintree Ecolodge tree houses. And if you’re a glam-backpacker there is the Rambutan in Townsville.
If it’s an island retreat you want where you can venture into the Reef, there is Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Heron Island, Daydream Island, Lizard Island and others.
Many are family friendly resorts. Notably Sea World Resort, which has direct theme park access. Perfect with young kids.
Sadly, some Queensland island resorts are in disrepair. South Molle Island resort is in ruins and has been closed for years, as is Dunk Island resort, both due to damage incurred from cyclones. Hayman Island only just recently reopened after its revamping, following cyclone devastation also, and it is stunning.
Tours of the Whitsundays you may enjoy
If it’s world heritage sites you are interested in, Queensland has 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore.
All are outstanding examples of rich, natural universal value:
- The Gondwana Rainforests – 60,000 hectares in southeast Queensland.
- Riversleigh Fossil Site – part of earth’s evolutionary history located in Boodjamulla.
- Wet Tropics in far north Queensland, which includes the Daintree Forest, and covers a whopping area of 900,000 hectares!
- Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. Where rainforests grow on sand dunes.
- The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living ecosystem. The Reef is not only a Heritage Site, but also one of the Wonders of the World. It’s the largest coral reef which is 2300 kilometres long and the biggest living thing on the planet. There are 1500 species of fish and 300 types of coral in the reef. You can go swimming, diving, snorkelling and sailing in the magnificent waters of the Great Barrier Reef. I enjoyed snorkelling here with my children many years ago, and it was a magical experience sharing that with them. It is something everyone should do at least once, and it’s perfect for all ages and swimming abilities. I recommend going on an organised tour like one of those listed below, where you are taken out to a pontoon in the middle of the reef.
Tours of the Great Barrier Reef to consider
There are more than 200 national parks to explore in Queensland. Some of them are:
- Undara Volcanic National Park in North Queensland.
- Springbrook National Park in Springbrook, has stunning waterfalls.
- The Daintree Forest is the oldest rainforest still in existence in the world and a UNESCO site.
- Boodjamulla National Park in Lawn Hill
Animals & Wildlife
- Queensland has the most variety of animals in the country, including 150 species of lizards and 70 species of marsupials. You can see many of them at some of the wildlife sanctuaries.
- Visit Australia Zoo of Steve Urwin, Crocodile Hunter fame, in Beerwah.
Tours of Australia Zoo you might like
- See Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Currumbin.
- Check out Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane.
- A must-do and see is to go Humpback Whale spotting. These majestic mammals love the Queensland waters and you can pretty much be guaranteed of seeing them during July to November in Hervey Bay. They’ll be having a whale of a time (ha!), after migrating from the cold waters of Antarctica to the warmer waters here. You can take a tour to watch their playful antics. Unfortunately, my recent trip didn’t allow me enough time, so I definitely have this on my bucket list for my next visit to Queensland in the new year.
Whale watching tours
- Seafood is king here. Everywhere along the coast you will find fresh seafood, such as Moreton Bay Bugs, Prawns, Crabs and more.
- Tropical fruit is also in abundance, such as mango, paw paw, pineapple and so many more.
- Queensland is the birthplace of drinks such as 4X Beer and Bundaberg Rum.
Other awesome reasons to visit Queensland
- Theme Parks. Queensland is Australia’s theme park capital. For many people, this is the primary reason for their visit to the state, particularly for families with young children. You have a smorgasbord to choose from – the most popular 5 are Sea World, Movie World, Wet’n’Wild, Dreamworld, and Whitewater World. I have been to most of them over the years with my kids and they are heaps of fun, for all ages.
Theme Park passes and tours for you
- Queensland wineries. This state has dozens of wine makers but undoubtedly the best region is the Granite Belt in Southern Queensland, which produce wines of international quality. Ballandean Estate and Andelas Estate are two of the oldest and the best.
- Casino. The Star is a major attraction of Broadbeach in Surfers Paradise, part of the awesome nightlife here.
More fun facts about Queensland
- Qantas Airlines (Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services) started in Longreach, 1920.
- The tallest Tower in Australia is the Q1, located at Surfers Paradise, one of my favourite parts of Queensland. It has the Skypoint Observation deck at the top for a spectacular view of the Gold Coast.
- The first designer hotel in the world, Palazzo Versace Hotel, fully decked out in Versace wares.
- Queensland is famous for a whole host of BIG things. Some such attractions are the Big Crab, the Big Mango, the Big Cow, the Big Gumboot, the Big Barramundi, and the big Dinosaur, just to name a few.
- Amazing looking bugs. How beautiful!
That’s Queensland in a nutshell. With so much on offer in this magnificent state, you’d be bloody mad not to visit Queensland and include some of its awesome attractions in your Australian itinerary.
Let me know what you think in the comments section below.