9 Things to Do in Queensland

Published 26 August 2016

Alexandra Gregg

Queensland is an adventurer’s paradise. And even if you have several weeks here, you’ll barely scratch the surface, which is why it’s crucial to know what you want to do before you get there. Fortunately, we’re pretty knowledgeable when it comes to our home country of Australia. We’ve explored the Sunshine State from the very tip of Cape York to the sandy toe of the Gold Coast to bring you the ‘must-sees’. No visit is complete without ticking off these nine things to do in Queensland:

Great Barrier Reef aerial

Discover the Great Barrier Reef

Its craggy tips may be visible from outer space, but the unassuming Great Barrier Reef has no idea just how incredible it is. It’s what makes discovering this living, breathing ecosystem for yourself such a thrilling experience. Well, that, and the fact you’re likely to spot some of the 2,900 individual reefs, 1,500 fish species, 30 types of whales, dolphins and porpoises and six species of sea turtle that call the reef home. Snorkel it, dive it, take an underwater walk, admire it from a semi-sub or from above in a helicopter and even sleep on it – the choices are endless.

Cape Tribulation beach

Spot crocs at Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation is so much more than a sandy beach. It’s where Captain Cook and his crew landed, it’s where the rainforest and the reef actually touch and, most importantly, it’s one of the only places on the planet where you might just share the silica with a saltie or two. Just be sure to sunbathe from afar.

Hot-air ballooning in Mareeba

See the state from above in a hot-air balloon

Soaring above a patchwork quilt of fields and early morning mist, the heat of the burner flame at your back – hot-air ballooning above Mareeba and the Atherton Tablelands is an almost ethereal experience. Head out for a dawn flight, and you’ll not only be rewarded with the orange, red and yellow hues of the sunrise, bordered by wide-open landscapes, but you might even spot some quintessential Aussie wildlife hopping around beneath your basket.

Mango trees in Queensland

Eat ‘til you burst

Homemade cheeses, biltong, ice-cream, fudge, chocolate and delectable wines: Queensland has it all. And then there’s the seafood. Fresh catch is utterly sublime here; never in your life will you taste calamari that melts in your mouth the way it does at a restaurant by the coast. And you can’t leave without sampling the barramundi either. As if that’s not enough, fruit and veg is larger than life in the Sunshine State – think mammoth mangoes and tangy pineapples, infused with delicious juice. Bliss.

Whitehaven beach

Laze on the beach

…and take your pick of which silent sands you’d prefer. Mission Beach, Palm Cove and the iconic Whitehaven offer just a snapshot of the unending pillow-soft stretches of silica that dominate the Queensland coastline. And with more than 4,300 miles of it to choose from, finding a quiet patch to catch some sunrays on isn’t difficult. In fact, you’re likely to find an abundance of spots where not a single other soul has laid down a towel and picnic. 

4X4 tracks on Fraser Island

Drive a 4X4 across Fraser Island

Fraser Island was born for 4X4-ing. After all, there aren’t many places you can tear across the beach in a car, leaving chunky sand tracks in your wake. The 75-Mile Beach highway is just one of the isle’s many highlights though. Its 450,000 acres make it the largest sand island in the world, home to dwarfing rainforests, tranquil freshwater lakes and a plethora of wildlife. Activities are in huge supply here too: you can admire a shipwreck from your 4X4; go fishing on the eastern side of the island; spot whales on a cruise from the Kingfisher Bay Resort; or spend your time in the water, snorkelling, kayaking and SUPing through turquoise tranquillity.  

Daintree Rainforest

Explore the jungle at Daintree

When you hear the word ‘jungle’, no doubt it conjures up visions of tree-trunk-thick vines, a dense leafy canopy, Jurassic Park-style ferns and Tarzan. Well, the UNESCO-listed Daintree Rainforest doesn’t have Tarzan, but it does have everything else. And, what’s more, it’s cleverly intersected by a profusion of hiking and walking trails – perfect for getting away from it all amid the wilderness.

Aerial view of Brisbane

Watch the world go by in Brisbane

The Brisbane café culture is one of the most emerging things to do in Queensland. And who could be surprised? Sitting on a café patio in the year-round sunshine, cup of caffeine in hand, soaking up the city vistas and people-watching – we can think of few better ways to while away an afternoon. Finish the day off with a stroll through the city’s entertaining South Bank, a confection of restaurants, parklands, galleries and bars.

Surfers Paradise

Learn to surf in Surfers Paradise

The jewel in the Gold Coast’s crown, Surfers Paradise lives up to its name with gusto. It hosts many international surfing competitions thanks to its strong, consistent waves, and is popular among newbies and pros alike. So if you haven’t tried it before, visit a local surfing school and give popping up a go. Just don’t expect to master it first time, or without whacking yourself in the head with the board first.

At Round the World Experts we offer a huge range of tailor-made holidays to Queensland; try our Queensland Wildlife & Nature, Queensland Coast & Reef and Tropical North Queensland Journeys on for size.

You might also like:

Things to Do on Queensland's Fitzroy Island

Whitehaven Beach: the Best Beach in Australia

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