Queensland's East Coast Wildlife & Nature
Discover the diverse nature of Queensland – there’s more than just kangaroos and koalas to this lush state.
From whales and dolphins to birds and dingoes, and that’s not forgetting the corals, forests, waterways and gorges, there are plenty of natural wonders to discover. Fly over the Great Barrier Reef, explore the Daintree Rainforest and get up close and personal with wild dolphins on this varied Journey.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Meet the wild dolphins of Tangalooma, who come right up to the beach at feeding time
- Cruise the calm waters of the Noosa Everglades and get closer to nature in a canoe
- Fly over the Great Barrier Reef in a seaplane and see this natural wonder from the air
- Explore the forests of Cape Tribulation and the Daintree, and discover Mossman Gorge
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- International & internal flights
- 19 nights in 4-5* hotels
- 17 days' car hire
- Tangalooma wild dolphin tour
- Australia Zoo one day entry
- Noosa Everglades river cruise
- Fraser Island 4WD full day tour
- Reef & Whitehaven Beach scenic flight
- Cape Tribulation, Daintree Rainforest & Mossman Gorge
- All ferry & airport transfers
Need to know+
- Arrives: Brisbane Airport (BNE)
- Time difference: GMT+10
- Visa requirements: British passport holders require a tourist visa; please ask your travel consultant for more information
- Language: English
- Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
- Flying time from UK: Around 22 hours
- Plug type: 3-prong flat blade plug
- Voltage: 240 volts/50 cycles
Fly from UK to Brisbane
Explore the vibrant riverside city of Brisbane, a great place to watch the world go by over a cappuccino in a quirky café. By day, browse the boutiques and markets or chill out on the inner city beach, then in the evening, pull up a chair in one of the diverse restaurants or sip cocktails in a funky bar. While you’re here, meet the wild dolphins of Tangalooma, who come right up to the beach to see you, and take a look around Steve Irwin’s excellent Australia Zoo.
Upmarket Noosa is chock-a-block with glamorous boutiques and swanky restaurants, but still maintains a down-to-earth feel. Surf on the beach, spot koalas in the trees or simply sip on a coffee at the Eumundi markets. Take a leisurely hike in Noosa National Park, Australia’s most popular National Park, to admire the ocean views – just follow the boardwalk from town along the rugged headland, right by the Pacific Ocean. While you’re here, discover one of the best kept secrets of the Sunshine Coast: The Noosa Everglades. Explore this pristine waterway by canoe and enjoy the spectacular scenery.
Check out the art galleries of Maleny, found among the wild forests of the Hinterland. This elevated area is cooler than the rest of the sizzling Sunshine Coast and offers pretty villages and historic buildings among the dense rainforests and plunging waterfalls. Explore by mountain bike or hike among the trees. Maleny has some great arts and crafts markets, so be sure to stock up on souvenirs while you’re in town. For something a bit different, take a Thai cooking class at your Spicers hotel or sit back and relax in the rainforest spa.
Sail across to Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world at 123km long, a World Heritage Site. Wade through crystal clear creeks, bathe in saltwater pools and climb towering sand dunes on your 4WD adventure. Remember your camera for the sapphire blue Lake McKenzie and the emerald green Lake Wabby. Look out for wildlife here too – wallabies, dingoes and echidnas all call Fraser home, while dugong, dolphins and stingrays can be spotted off the coast.
Hervey Bay is a highway for migrating whales, even proclaiming itself the ‘Whale Watching Capital of the World’. The best viewing times are between July and November when humpbacks from Antarctica swim by on their search for warmer waters. But even if you are not visiting during this time fear not, for dolphins can be spotted year-round, and if you’re really lucky you might see a dugong. Plus there’s an array of water sports such as swimming, fishing, diving and surfing to keep you entertained.
Look for turtles, reef sharks and mantas on Heron Island, which lies 72 kilometres off the coast of Queensland. The island is home to the relaxing Heron Island Resort, where you’ll stay for two nights, a patch of rainforest filled with over 120,000 birds, and a scientific research station owned by the University of Queensland. The island is a haven for wildlife both above and below the waves and is popular with nature lovers, especially between November and April when loggerhead turtles come here to nest.
Take to the skies above the Great Barrier Reef and see the Whitsunday Islands by seaplane. You’ll fly over the beautiful Whitehaven Beach, Hardy Lagoon and the iconic Heart Reef. Back at sea level, cruise the reef on a catamaran, and see the kaleidoscope of fish up close with a snorkelling or diving trip. If you don’t want to get wet, try a semi-submersible, or just relax on the deck of the reef activity platform with a cup of tea and a delicious buffet lunch.
Make friends with the wallabies on Magnetic Island, take a scenic walk or kayaking trip along the coastline or dive beneath the waves and explore the underwater world. Magnetic Island is named after the unexplained effects that the island had on the compass of Captain Cook as he sailed past in 1770. Criss-crossed by pathways and carpeted in eucalyptus, it’s a great place to spot koalas, when not lazing on the beach that is.
Mission Beach is the closest access point to the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, while also being a stone’s throw from the World Heritage Wet Tropics Rainforest. It offers heaps of opportunity to get outdoors and snorkel or dive among the colourful corals. Or, if water’s not your thing, experience an abundance of wildlife inland – Mission Beach has one of Australia’s highest concentrations of the endangered cassowary bird.
Discover Cape Tribulation from Port Douglas, a sophisticated upmarket town with a squeaky white sand beach backed by palm trees and access point to the oldest living rainforest in the world – the Daintree. Explore untouched tropical rainforest, relax on a quiet beach, follow a hiking trail and search for phenomenal wildlife in this fascinating forest, one of the most diverse and beautiful examples of Mother Nature’s work in the world. While you’re here, don’t forget to explore Port Douglas itself, with its assorted historical buildings, a pretty lighthouse and various colourful shops and markets waiting to be discovered.
Depart Port Douglas and return to the UK
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