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The states and territories of Australia

Discover Queensland

With a size of 1.853 million square metres, 13,347 kilometres of coastline, the Great Barrier Reef, the world's oldest tropical lowland rainforest, 1711 beaches, 1955 islands, friendly locals, and unique wildlife - Queensland is bursting with natural phenomena.

Where should you visit in Queensland?

Conquer the Great Barrier Reef Drive
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Keep an eye (and ear) out for the rainbow lorikeet
© Unsplash | Chris Charles

Highlights

Featuring a large part of the East Coast of Australia, the world's largest sand island, Fraser Island, and the tropical town of Cairns - Queensland is spoiled with world-known highlights. Whether you want to visit the world's most photographed beach, Whitehaven while sailing around the Whitsundays, or shop in the laid-back city of Brisbane, there is no shortage of things to do and see in this part of Australia.

Are you ready to experience the local Queensland lifestyle?
© Luisa Denu

Brisbane

Known by the locals as Bris-Vegas or Brissie, Brisbane is a vibrant city that isn't in a rush. The friendly locals are always ready for a chat, the weather is warm year-round and there are plenty of things to do and see.

Nearby, you can visit an assortment of islands such as North Stradbroke, South Stradbroke, Moreton Island, Bribie Island, and many other smaller islands such as Coochiemudlo Island.

Within the CBD, there are so many funky and sophisticated neighbourhoods to explore. Nearby Southbank, you can visit the trendy West End. Here, you will find an eclectic mix of cafes and restaurants, designers stores, and food markets.

Be sure to pop by Fortitude Valley and discover the local markets on the weekend or an array of specialities at China Town. The Eat Street Market is also filled with local goodness and is located in Hamilton.

Other neighbourhoods to visit are New Farm, Kangaroo Point, Milton and Balmoral. Each neighbourhood is bursting with boutique stores, local cafes and much more.

Be enchanted by the bright lights of Brisbane
© Steven Pahel
Experience the outdoor lifestyle and local flavours

Cairns

Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. An ideal destination to soak up the tropical weather. Take a wander along the Esplanade Boardwalk and try local ice cream. Visit a beer garden and meet the locals or try your luck at the casino!

If you are a nature lover, visit the Cairns Botanical Garden and marvel at rare and unique tropical plants. Or spend a day exploring the natural beauty of Kuranda's rainforest. The Kuranda Scenic Railway is the perfect way to absorb this special part of Australia.

From Cairns, you can conquer the Great Barrier Drive and visit the colourful town of Port Douglas. Be sure to stop by Mossman Gorge and cool off in natural rock pools. Keep your eye out for platypus! Further inland, you will find the green rolling hills of Atherton Tablelands. A stunning part of Queensland, where you can go waterfall hopping.

Boat on ocean Cairns | Australia holiday
Cairns is the perfect gateway to explore the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef

The world's largest coral reef system stretches over 2300 kilometres and covers an area of approximately 348,000 square kilometres. The largest living ecosystem in the world can be seen from space and even has its own post box! Truly one of mother nature's greatest creations, a place where you can discover 900 islands and over 2900 individual reefs.

Home to more than 1500 species of fish, over 400 types of hard coral, 7 species of marine turtle, and rare marine mammals such as dugong. The Great Barrier Reef is also home to the world's largest oyster, the Pacific Oyster. Weighing up to three kilograms and measuring up to 35.5 centimetres in length.

Snorkel and discover this fascinating world or dive deeper into the deeps of the Pacific Ocean. If you would prefer to stay dry, hop onboard a glass boat and have a close encounter with Australian sea life. Or if you would like to get a bird's eye view, take a scenic flight and admire all the beauty from above.

Dive deep into the depths of The Great Barrier Reef
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Snorkel and spot over 1500 varieties of fish

Whitsundays

Seventy-four islands make up the Whitsundays - set sail, and discover this beautiful part of the world. Renowned for being a popular yachting destination, it's an ideal place to soak up the outdoor Queensland lifestyle in a tropical atmosphere. Visit the famous Whitehaven Beach, world-famous for its pearly white sand and turquoise water.

Swim with turtles, relax on the beach, snorkel, swim, dive or wander around a secluded island. Take a scenic flight and discover the Heart Reef or watch the sunset over the ocean. This part of Queensland is perfect for beach lovers and offers world-class accommodations and experiences.

Get a bird's eye view of Heart Reef
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Explore one of the world's most photographed beaches
© Unsplash | Mark Nugent

K'gari | Fraser Island

Stretching over 123 kilometres along the southern coast of Queensland is the World Heritage Listed, K'gari (Fraser Island). The world's largest sand island features over 100 freshwater lakes, roaming dingoes, towering pines, shipwrecks and champagne pools. Spot whales or dolphins in the Pacific Ocean or take a swim in the iconic Lake McKenzie.

Take a 4WD and conquer 75 Mile Beach, a sand highway that is as long as the island. Take walks through Australian bushland and admire the unique flora and fauna. If you are up for a challenge, try the 90-kilometre Fraser Island Great Walk. Watch the sunrise at Eurong Beach and watch the sunset at Kingfisher Bay.

Uncover the mystery of the famous shipwreck
Swim in champagne pools
© Elijah Parry / Unsplash

Islands

With 1955 islands to choose from, Queensland is truly an oasis for a tropical getaway. Fraser Island is Queensland's largest island with a size of 1840 square kilometres. The smallest is two islands known as Bird Islands - located in Far North Queensland in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, with a size of 0.21 square kilometres.

Other more well-known islands to visit are Heron Island, Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Orpheus Island, Daydream Island, Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliot Island. Each island is bursting with tranquillity and stunning tropical beauty, the only worry you'll have is choosing which one to visit!

With 1955 islands, Queensland is a tropical paradise
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Lizard Island

Discover a part of Australia that makes you feel like you are at the end of the world. With the Great Barrier Reef as its backyard, Lizard Island is located in the northernmost part of Queensland. There are no less than 24 white sandy beaches to explore. With only one resort on the island, nestled between 1013 hectares of a national park, you'll feel absolute seclusion.

Spend your days enjoying a range of water activities such as paddle boarding, snorkelling, swimming or simply soaking up the sunshine under the shade of a palm tree. Enjoy the world-class restaurant which serves fresh local produce from the coast. The menu is inspired by the melting pot of different cultures in the area.

Revel in the wonder of Lizard Island National Park
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Relaxing stay with view | Australia holiday
Watch in awe as the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean

Pumpkin Island

Experience a secluded tropical escape. Located in the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef is Pumpkin Island. Explore six hectares of untouched nature and gorgeous beaches. Stay at an eco-friendly accommodation, which is wind and solar-powered. The island can only accommodate 34 guests. And if you are feeling generous, you can book the island privately for yourself and your friends!

Snorkel and uncover the mysteries of the ocean
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Absorb the Queensland sunshine at Pumpkin Island
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Great Keppel Island

Discover the Southern Great Barrier Reef at Great Keppel Island. Located a 30-minute boat ride off the town of Yeppoon, this island getaway is a must-do when visiting Queensland. You can choose to visit for a day or stay longer and explore the 17 pristine beaches on offer. Snorkel off the beach, watch the sunset or if you're feeling adventurous, go boom-netting!

There is an array of wonderful hiking tracks to explore and a great assortment of Australian wildlife to spot. If you would like to walk around the island, it will take you approximately 4 hours on a 10.6-kilometre track. If you prefer a short walk, there are plenty of picturesque trails of 15 minutes. Wander to the tip of the island or to the island's lighthouse.

Soak up the incredible views of Great Keppel Island
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Stop and watch the waves roll in

Magnetic Island

Are you a hiker and nature lover? Magnetic Island features over 25 kilometres of walking tracks and is home to approximately 500 koalas. Enjoy an array of water activities, go sailing or simply lay in a hammock under the shade of a eucalyptus tree. Pack a picnic and spend the day at Radical Bay or admire thousands of blue monarch butterflies on the Butterfly Forest Walk. Watch the sunset at Horseshoe Bay.

Stay at unique accommodations that become a unforgettable part of your journey
Spot koalas in Magnetic Island
© TravelEssence

Hamilton Island

Feel the glamour at Hamilton Island. One of Queensland’s local gems, this magical island is known for being one of the best diving spots in the world. Kayaking, paddle boarding, golfing, and hiking are just some of the outdoor activities that you can indulge in during your stay. Wake up with sunrise yoga and then relax at a luxury spa.

Soar over the island in a seaplane or get your heart racing on a jet ski tour. If you would like to see magical views over the island, conquer Flat Top Hill Lookout. Say G'day to koalas at Hamilton Island Wildlife or soak up the sunshine by the pool. Watch the sunset with a cocktail at One Tree Hill.

Discover all the magic of The Great Barrier Reef
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Swim with turtles in the Great Barrier Reef
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Food & wine regions

Are you a wine connoisseur or a foodie? Queensland is bursting with phenomenal local flavours and locally grown produce. From tropical fruits such as mango in Far North Queensland to the wine regions of Granite Belt and South Burnett in the south-eastern corner of the state, you are sure to find something to tantalise your tastebuds.

Go on a culinary journey and visit award-winning restaurants, farmer's markets, friendly cafes, and roadside stalls. There are over 100 wineries in Queensland which are spread from the Darling Downs to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland to Brisbane and the Scenic Rim.

Queensland has five wine regions and approximately 115 wineries to explore
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Stop by Sirromet Wines, a family-run winery located in the Bayside suburb of Brisbane. Go on a wine tour and enjoy a Tuscan-inspired lunch on the outdoor terrace. In Brisbane's backyard, visit the wineries of Mount Tamborine and enjoy a great day out with the hinterland as your backdrop.

With so much coastline, it is no surprise that Queensland is home to some of the best seafood in the world. Here, you can savour delights such as Mooloolaba prawns, Moreton Bay bugs, mud crab, barramundi, snapper, flathead, and much more. The locals love to enjoy fish & chips, beachside!

Savour a fresh seafood platter in Queensland
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Enjoy fish & chips by the beach - Aussie style!
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Granite Belt

Taste the local flavours of Southern Queensland's countryside in the Granite Belt. Be welcomed by the friendly locals, with a backdrop of apple orchards and endless Aussie nature.

A foodies haven, taste the locally grown produce. From locally made cheese, chutney, and artisan products, there is something that is sure to delight your palate.

The Granite Belt is also renowned for its local wine scene and boasts unique drops that you cannot find anywhere else in Australia. Conquer the wine trail or if you prefer, go for a hike at Girraween National Park.

Sample local wine in unforgettable places
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Cycle and explore the fruitful vines of the Granite Belt
© Tourism and Events Queensland
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Coastal towns

With the second-longest coastline in Australia, it is no surprise that Queensland boasts a large collection of absolutely stunning coastal towns. Here, you can find some of the best and most popular seaside towns in Australia, such as Noosa Heads.

From Cooktown in the north to Gold Coast in the south, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle by the beach.

Along the coast, you can visit Seventeen Seventy, Hervey Bay, Mackay, Gladstone, Townsville, Caloundra, Yeppoon, Mooloolaba, and many more. Each of these towns offers a relaxed coastal vibe, beautiful beaches, and is filled with friendly locals.

Soak up the sunshine, bright blue skies and pearled white sand
© Tourism Australia

Noosa

Discover style and sophistication beachside in Noosa. The shire of Noosa is located in the south of the Sunshine region. Noosa is made up of an array of beachside towns, riverside areas, and hinterland communities.

It has been a popular surfing spot since the 1960s, and surfers from all around the world still come to surf the famous Noosa breaks. It is the gateway to Cooloola Recreation area, the World Heritage Listed, Great Sandy National Park, and Fraser Island.

This captivating laid-back region offers a variety of sights to see and explore. Choose to take a country drive and visit various small towns. Perhaps, Boreen Point, Cooran, or Cooray. Or, visit the Noosa Everglades, one of the two only everglade systems on earth.

Splurge on some high-end boutique shopping on the lively Hastings Street and dip your toes in the blue waters of Laguna Bay. Noosa North shore boasts long stretched white sandy beaches.

Shop at a variety of boutique stores in Hastings Street
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Cool off in Noosa!

Sunshine Coast

Just north of Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, is the Sunshine Coast. A stunning, laid-back coastal and hinterland region, stretching 60 kilometres along the coast. This region boasts many beaches which are perfect for surfers.

The Sunshine Coast is a place to take it slow. Do as the locals do and take long walks by the ocean while enjoying the subtropical climate. There is an abundance of shops, restaurants, and cafes to explore.

If you are a nature lover, there are plenty of national parks to visit, including Kondalilla National Park. As you drive along the highway, watch out for the famous Big Pineapple. Built-in 1971, it is one of Queensland's heritage-listed icons.

Spend your days taking long walks along the large collection of beautiful beaches
© Kylie Osullivan / Unsplash
Learn how to surf at the Sunshine Coast

Airlie Beach

Discover a laid-back Australian resort town, Airlie Beach. The gateway to 74 stunning islands known as The Whitsundays. This region is the perfect place to enjoy activities in the water in a relaxed tropical atmosphere. Take a dip in the lagoon, stroll through boutiques and try some local fresh seafood at a bustling seafood cafe. Or, have a picnic at one of the family-friendly beaches and parks.

Get a birds eye view of Airlie Beach on your way to the Whitsundays
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Wander along the shoreline of Airlie Beach

Mission Beach

A patch of paradise - welcome to Mission Beach! A dreamy laid-back place, where the locals are genuine and flip-flops can be spotted in every direction. Being the closest point to the remarkable Great Barrier Reef, there is an abundance of adrenaline-filled activities here to keep you busy.

Go snorkelling or diving and be sure to visit Dunk Island. Take a bike ride and discover all the corners of this vibrant beach community or simply relax under the shade of a palm tree.

Home to the endangered cassowary, a prehistoric-looking large colourful bird. If you’re lucky, you may see this glorious flightless bird roaming through the gardens of your accommodation. For a fairytale experience, take a short drive to the enchanting Paronella Park

Kayak and discover the natural beauty of Mission Beach

National Parks

With over 1000 national parks, there is no shortage of nature to discover in Queensland. From ancient rainforests and sand islands to red dirt deserts and dense forests, the national parks found here are a kaleidoscope of colours and landscapes.

Just in the area of Brisbane, you can find six national parks, all filled with spectacular bush walks. The Sunshine Coast region is ecologically diverse and features seven national parks. Munga-Thirri National Park is the largest in the state and can be found 1495 kilometres, west of Brisbane.

Lamington National Park

Uncover the secrets of a World Heritage Listed national park that dates back more than 225 million years. Featuring densely forested mountains, raging waterfalls, unique wildlife and vegetation, and ancient trees. With over 160 kilometres of walking trails, there are plenty of opportunities to explore all of the beauty this place has to offer.

Uncover the magic of O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk, where you can find the world’s first suspension bridge. This bridge allows you to observe nature in a unique and fascinating way. Head over to the Araucaria Lookout to spot Australia’s largest remaining forests of Hoop pine. Or explore the Picnic Rock and Elabana Falls Walk, where you can rock hop and try to spot spiny blue crayfish in the water!

Lamington National park | Australia holiday
Admire ancient trees and unique vegetation
Have close encounters with wallabies at Lamington National Park

Springbrook National Park

Located in the Gold Coast Hinterland is Springbrook National Park, approximately 100 kilometres south of Brisbane. One of Queensland's five World Heritage areas and part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, this gem is a nature lovers paradise.

Bursting with a history that dates back over 100 million years ago, discover waterfalls, lookouts, and an array of hiking trails. Here, you can marvel at one of Australia's dormant volcanos Choose from short walks or a day hike, Warrie Circuit which winds through 14 kilometres of the park. Along the way, admire waterfalls, fresh creeks and unique flora and fauna.

Admire waterfalls at Springbrook National Park
Discover a place filled with endless nature

Local gems

While the highlights of Queensland are absolutely stunning, the local gems are also waiting to be explored. Some even more beautiful and without the other tourists, enjoy this part of the world as the locals do. From Cape Tribulation in the north to Burleigh Heads in the south, get off the beaten path and experience the authenticity of Queensland.

Visit the markets and meet the quirky locals
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Scenic Rim

Discover wild nature, rugged mountains, rare flora and fauna, natural swimming pools, and an array of spectacular hiking trails. Here, you can find no less than six national parks, luxury lodges, and amazing locally produced food.

Within the Scenic Rim region, approximately 90 kilometres southwest of Brisbane is Mount Barney National Park. A World Heritage rainforest area that was originally a large volcano and approximately 24 million years ago, erupted.

Today, you can hike, swim fish, dive, snorkel, canoe, kayak, cycle, horse ride or take a relaxing scenic drive through this beautiful part of Queensland. End your day by watching a blanket of stars in the night sky.

Sample the local beer at the Scenic Rim Brewery
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Swim in natural rock pools at Mount Barney National Park
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Atherton Tablelands

Surround yourself with rolling green hills, plunging waterfalls, volcanic crater lakes, friendly locals, Aussie pubs, and fresh country air. Atherton Tablelands is located 30 kilometres inland from Port Douglas and is also nearby the Daintree Rainforest. This region is 753 metres above sea level which means it is cooler than its neighbouring coastal towns.

Visit a steamy natural pool at Innot Hot Springs. Or pop into the local craft distilleries and wineries - a local favourite is mango wine! Be sure to keep a lookout for the large assortment of wildlife that includes platypus, snakes, frogs, wallabies, lizards, kangaroos and birds.

Special stay in Table Lands | Australia holiday
Stay at unique accommodations surrounded by an ancient rainforest
© TravelEssence
Beautiful Waterfall | Australia nature
Go waterfall hopping in the Atherton Tablelands

Mareeba Wetlands

The Mareeba Tropical Savanna and Wetland Reserve are better known among locals as the Mareeba Wetlands. The wetlands lie on the traditional land of the Aboriginal Muluridji people. Here, you can leave the bustle behind and discover the wildlife of the Australian Outback.

The Mareeba Wetlands is approximately an hour's drive from both Cairns and Port Douglas. The nature reserve is maintained by a wildlife expert from Cairns and the voluntary organisation, The Wildlife Conservancy.

For more than ten years, they have been working on the development of the nature reserve. You can support the work of The Wildlife Conservancy by becoming a member, a volunteer, or merely by visiting the nature reserve. It is an excellent collaboration between tourism, education, and nature conservation.

Known by locals as the 'Jesus bird,' the Comb-crested jacana love to walk on lily pads and catch insects
© David Clode / Unsplash

Montville

Discover art galleries, boutique stores, cosy coffee shops, local handmade crafts, and more in Montville. Located in the Sunshine Coast region, perched on the Blackall Range, this pretty town is truly one of Queensland's gems.

Go on a wine tour and enjoy the local wine scene or pack a picnic and head to Kondalilla National Park. Cool off with a swim in a natural waterfall, or enjoy one of the many hiking trails on offer. Including the Hinterland Great Walk, a 58 kilometre trail that offers spectacular views of the hinterland.

Visit the local art galleries in Montville
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Go on a wine tour and enjoy the local wine scene
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Maleny

Discover one of Queensland's local gems, Maleny. A Sunshine Coast hinterland town that is bursting with colour, style, and quirky locals. Picture-postcard perfect, you will find rainforests, scenic spots, bush walks, waterfalls, dairy farms, breweries, local arts and crafts, and an array of dining experiences.

Experience the local lifestyle of Maleny
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Tamborine Mountain

Heading off the Pacific Highway away from the coast, rising up through the midst of the rainforest is Tamborine Mountain. A hidden gem, filled with picturesque views and endless nature.

This quaint area lies underneath an abundance of shaded rainforest and has a subtropical highland climate. Explore an array of local art galleries and craft stores. Be sure to pop into the cuckoo clock store, taste the local ice cream, or delight in a high tea.

Have a meal at The Polish Place, a restaurant that boasts stunning views of the Gold Coast on a clear day. Indulge in the delicious Witches Falls wines on offer. Take a walk through Queensland’s oldest national park, Tamborine National Park.

Conquer the Tamborine rainforest skywalk
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Shop at the local boutique stores
© Tourism and Events Queensland

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