In Queensland you can always tell the locals from the tourists—they’re the ones with the great tans, or if they’ve been there long enough, the tanned hides. Travel to Queensland and visit pulsating cities, explore stunning terrain, and enjoy 300 days of bright sunlight a year.
The climate along Queensland’s coast ranges from hot and humid in the far north, to comfortable cool temperatures in the southeast. The region never suffers from the chilly cold like many other places around the world, making Queensland an ideal beach location. Visitors can swim year-round at every beach along the entire 7400 kilometers of eastern coastline.
The second largest state in Australia, Queensland is home to some of the country’s most alluring outdoor destinations, including the beaches of the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast, the lushly tropical Daintree Rainforest, and the underwater paradise the Great Barrier Reef, as well as some lesser known but equally spectacular attractions, including Boodjamulla National Park, the Whitsunday Islands, and Fraser Island.
This is not to say that there’s a shortage of city-life in Queensland—after all, it is the third most populous state in Australia. Urbanites will revel in capital city Brisbane’s cosmopolitan allure. Set along the gentle curves of its namesake river, the city brims with well-groomed parklands, packed sports arenas, and cutting-edge galleries, including the newly-renovated Gallery of Modern Art, as well as stylish avenues lined with shops, cafes, and trendy bars.
From Brisbane, head to the Gold Coast to relax on golden sand beaches with crystal-clear shores, or to dance the night away in Surfer’s Paradise, the party capital of Australia. The Gold Coast is a fusion of excellent surfing breaks and flashy tourist attractions with the neon lights of high-rise apartments, casinos, and shopping malls shimmering unabashedly against the ocean. Famous for its themed attractions, visitors can see dolphin and sea lion shows at Sea World, ride massive roller coasters at Dreamworld, or frolic in a giant wavepool at Wet 'n' Wild Water Park. Meanwhile, only a short drive away, the Gold Coast hinterland boasts World Heritage-listed national parks, sub-tropical rainforests, wineries and luxurious spa retreats.
To the north of the Gold Coast and Brisbane is Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and a quintessential tourist’s hub. There are no beaches in Cairns as it is a port city, but the gorgeous oceanfront Esplanade with a promenade and saltwater swimming pool serves as the city’s main attraction. Also lining the Esplanade are numerous restaurants offering views of the water and outdoor dining, as well as many bars and hotels.
In the Cairns region, Port Douglas sits adjacent to two world heritage sites—the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, making it a great jumping off point for day trips to either landmark. Four Mile beach lines the coast of Port Douglas in a continuous arch, free from any hints of development. A thick strip of foliage separates the beach from view of any hotels or other property, providing a sense of unspoiled wonder. Spend a little time here and it’s easy to see why the area was recently listed as number 3 overall on Australian Traveller magazine's list of 100 Best Towns In Australia.
Considered the unofficial capital of North Queensland, Townsville is Australia's largest urban center north of the Sunshine Coast. Don’t miss Townsville’s prismatic sunsets, lovely beach promenade and balmy nightlife. Take a catamaran to Magnetic Island, to bushwalk through the national park, ride horseback on pristine beaches, swim in secluded bays and snorkel through rainbow coral reefs. Humpback whales can be spotted here in August and koalas can be seen in the Koala Park Oasis all year round. In the living museum of Charters Towers, you’ll find country music, gracious heritage buildings and Australia’s first stock exchange. Must-sees also include the natural attractions of Saunders and Balgal Beach and Australia's highest sheer drop waterfall at Wallaman.
On the Westside of the Great Dividing Range, travelers can venture into Queensland’s outback region to see fossils dating back 25 million years in Riversleigh Fossil Fields and the world’s best-preserved dinosaur stampede near Winton; or explore wineries, orchards and quaint, historic villages such as Nanango, Blackbutt and Yarraman in Southern Queensland Country.
Travel to Queensland to experience perpetual summer—take in the nightlife, splash in the surf, and bear witness to some of the most spectacular natural wonders the world has to offer.