Attractions

Queensland is one of Australia's main tourism hot spots, with attractions and activities enough to entertain anybody lucky enough to visit. It is a big state and it would be hugely challenging to take in all its glories in one visit. Although best known for its spectacular beaches and coral reefs, Queensland also boasts incredible rainforests and desert landscapes. The most popular cities, towns and resorts in the state include Surfer's Paradise, Hamilton Island, Noosa, Port Douglas, Airlie Beach, Burleigh Heads, Mooloolaba, Coolum, and, of course, Brisbane.

Queensland is home to an impressive five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island; The Gondwana Rainforests, ancient and teeming with wildlife; The Great Barrier Reef, one of the greatest natural wonders of the world; Riversleigh, Australia's most famous fossil site; and the spectacular rainforests of the Wet Tropics of Queensland. Other must-see tourist sites include Magnetic Island, the Skyrail of Cairns and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, not to mention the many urban attractions of Brisbane and all the theme parks along the celebrated Gold Coast.

Fraser Island photo

Fraser Island

This is the world's largest sand island, situated a two-hour drive north of Brisbane. Fraser Island has a unique ecological system of giant dunes, forests, streams and freshwater l…

Fraser Island

This is the world's largest sand island, situated a two-hour drive north of Brisbane. Fraser Island has a unique ecological system of giant dunes, forests, streams and freshwater lakes, and in 1993 it was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The island draws visitors wishing to explore the unique elevated lakes (there are more than 200 of them) which contain pure, acidic water that is so low in nutrients that few fish survive in them. The island, well-covered in vegetation, is inhabited by bats, dingoes and more than 350 species of birds. It also features giant satinay trees that stand 60 metres high as well as several other rare and ancient botanical species. The island is 75 miles (120km) long and about nine miles (15km) wide, and can be explored on walking trails or by four-wheel-drive vehicle. Accommodation is plentiful on the island, in ecologically sensitive resorts.

Website www.fraserisland.net

Daintree Rainforest Discovery Centre photo

Daintree Rainforest Discovery Centre

The Wet Tropics of Queensland is said to be the oldest tropical rainforest still surviving on earth and a UNESCO-listed site containing the highest number of rare or threatened pla…

Daintree Rainforest Discovery Centre

The Wet Tropics of Queensland is said to be the oldest tropical rainforest still surviving on earth and a UNESCO-listed site containing the highest number of rare or threatened plant and animal species on the planet, as well as 13 different types of rainforest and 29 species of mangrove. Among the national parks included in the Wet Tropics are Barron Gorge National Park, Black Mountain National Park, Cedar Bay National Park, Daintree National Park, Girringun National Park and Wooroonooran National Park.

This unique area covers around 745 miles (1,200km) of northern Queensland, and is visited by drives of tourists who access it usually from Cairns, via Daintree Village. Visitors enjoy an unrivalled natural experience, from the beautiful golden beaches to hiking through ancient forest ecosystems full of gorgeous birds, primitive flowering plants, and fascinating animals like the estuarine crocodile. Daintree is about two hours north of Cairns, on the Captain Cook Highway, making it easily accessible for excursions and weekend getaways.

Website www.daintree-rec.com.au

Great Barrier Reef photo

Great Barrier Reef

One of the great natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is as big as the total combined area of the United Kingdom and Ireland, and contains more than 1,000 islands, …

Great Barrier Reef

One of the great natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is as big as the total combined area of the United Kingdom and Ireland, and contains more than 1,000 islands, from sandy mounds to rainforest isles. Divers, snorkellers and nature lovers can reach specific sites by air or by water taxi. Non-divers can view this underwater world from a glass-bottomed boat.

The Reef ecosystem has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to give life to almost 7,000 species of plants and animals. It is home to some endangered species like the green loggerhead turtle, and is a breeding site for humpback whales. Visitors can either cruise the islands or make a base in Cairns or one of the many seaside towns along the Queensland coast. Visitors can access the Great Barrier Reef from numerous regions in Queensland, from the southern gateway of Bundaberg, Coral Coast and Country to Gladstone, Capricorn, the Whitsundays, Mackay, Townsville and Tropical North Queensland, including Cairns.

The Great Barrier Reef is rapidly degrading due to environmental damage so visit soon!

Website www.gbrmpa.gov.au

Surfer's Paradise photo

Surfer's Paradise

Formerly a small coastal resort town, the Surfer's Paradise holiday resort has blossomed into the pulsating heart of the Queensland Gold Coast. Set on a peninsula, about 50 miles (…

Surfer's Paradise

Formerly a small coastal resort town, the Surfer's Paradise holiday resort has blossomed into the pulsating heart of the Queensland Gold Coast. Set on a peninsula, about 50 miles (78km) from Brisbane, with the warm Pacific Ocean on one side and the deep blue Nerang River on the other, Surfer's Paradise is considered to be the holiday capital of Australia. Visitors throng here to holiday among the bright lights, shops, high rise resort hotels and attractions squeezed onto the finger of land that is surrounded by a 492-foot (150m) wide beach that stretches for almost six miles (10km) in each direction. Although now best known for its more glitzy attractions, Surfer's Paradise is also a popular surfing destination and deserves its name, though those keen to catch some waves should note that the breaks can get very busy.

Website www.surfersparadise.com

Cape Tribulation photo

Cape Tribulation

Located within the Daintree National Park and the Wet Tropics area of Queensland, the pristine and picturesque destination of Cape Tribulation is well worth a visit while travellin…

Cape Tribulation

Located within the Daintree National Park and the Wet Tropics area of Queensland, the pristine and picturesque destination of Cape Tribulation is well worth a visit while travelling through Queensland. With the Great Barrier Reef just a short boat ride away, the oldest tropical rainforest on earth on your doorstep, spectacular beaches on which to stroll, world-class snorkelling, kayaking, jungle surfing, horseback adventures and the chance to spot the endangered cassowary, a large flightless bird, there is so much to see and do on a trip to Cape Tribulation.

Explore the rainforest from the treetops or on horseback, take a cruise on the crystalline turquoise waters, relax on a river cruise and spot one of Australia's most famous predators, the crocodile, or simply relax and enjoy the breath-taking scenery that abounds. Accommodation such as luxury resorts, self-catering cabins, bed and breakfasts and camping facilities are available.

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