AWESOME THINGS TO SEE AND DO
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 inspire you to travel there and check it out for yourself. It’s an incredible place for a short holiday or a longer stay, that Australians and international tourists flock to.
Queensland’s Capital City – Brisbane
General Information About Queensland
Firstly, let me give you an idea of how big this state is. 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, and is nearly 5 times bigger than Japan! Yep, you read that right.
Queensland is the 2nd largest state in Australia, after Western Australia.
There are 7 regions that make up Queensland, which have a variety of coastline, reef, rainforest, desert, farms and cities.
The biggest part of Queensland is the outback, where you can get off the beaten track and explore desert and wetlands, and old fashioned country towns.
Some of the most popular parts of Queensland to visit for holiday goers are Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays, Cairns, Port Douglas, Fraser Island, Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Forest.
Waterfalls at Blackdown Tablelands, Queensland – photo credit
North Gorge, Stradbroke Island, Queensland – photo credit
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.
Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast
The biggest tourist areas of Queensland are in the Southeast region and they are the Sunshine Coast, located north of Brisbane, and the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane. Both have airports for connections throughout Australia.
In general, Gold Coast is renowned as the beach party destination. Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast is less crowded and has a more relaxed feel. Both have holiday-makers all year round.
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 K’gari, known as 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 Resort in Townsville.
If it’s an island retreat you want, near the Great Barrier Reef, you have plenty of choices, such as:
Many resort hotels are family friendly. Notably Sea World Resort, which has direct theme park access, perfect when you visit Queensland for holidays with children.
Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast has been a favourite resort location for many, famous for its beaches, surfing, and chic coastal lifestyle.
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.
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 the wildlife sanctuaries below when you visit Queensland.
- Australia Zoo, of Steve Urwin, Crocodile Hunter fame, in Beerwah.
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Currumbin.
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane.
- Mooloolaba Marine Wildlife Safari in Mooloolaba.
A must 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.
Queensland has an abundance of fresh produce and delicious food available which is sure to impress. It has an exciting and diverse restaurant scene and cafe culture, with plenty on offer for all tastes and budgets.
Seafood is king here. Everywhere along the coast you will find fresh seafood, such as Moreton Bay Bugs, Prawns, Crabs, Snapper, Barramundi and more. Seafood platters and fish dishes are typical fare and you won’t be disappointed. Many restaurants here offer modern Australian dishes which feature a fusion of different cuisines, including Asian and European dishes.
Tropical fruit is also in abundance, such as mango, paw paw, pineapple, bananas, avocado and so much more.
Queensland is the birthplace of drinks such as 4X Beer and Bundaberg Rum.
Other awesome reasons to visit Queensland
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:
Having visited most of these over the years with my kids, I can assure you they are a world of fun, for all ages.
This state has dozens of wine makers and wineries to visit. 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.
The Star is a major attraction of Broadbeach in Surfers Paradise, part of the awesome nightlife here.
The Star Casino Complex
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.
Queensland has mazing 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.
Refer to the Queensland Tourism website for up to date information.
Search below for more activities on offer in Queensland.