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State guide and travel tips

Queensland: the second largest state in Australia, with a lot of adventure to fill it! It's where people go to live the Australian dream - with warm weather all year round, beautiful beaches, and some great surf, it's exactly what you would expect from Oz (and also some activities you wouldn't). It's home to one of the most popular travel destinations in the world (and one of the seven natural wonders) - the Great Barrier Reef. 

Top highlights in Queensland


Great Barrier Reef

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Fraser Island

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Cape Tribulation

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The four regions of Queensland

There's no doubt about it, Queensland is big (seven times the size of the UK infact!) so it goes without saying that there's tons to explore - but where do you start? Not only have we split Queensland up into sections, we've explored beyond the iconic and into hidden Queensland, so you don't miss a thing! Be prepared to want to hop on a plane immediately...
The capital city of Queensland is a vibrant destination for backpackers to set up camp for a couple of months on their way up the East Coast. The mixture of the year-round sunshine, lively nightlife, plus enough bars and restaurants to last a lifetime (and even a man made beach overlooking the skyline!). This is a city you don't want to miss out.
Gold Coast
Gold Coast
This is the place travellers and even Aussies flock to when they're wanting to live the Australian dream - it's got beautiful beaches, tons of surf spots, and the great weather to match. Plus if you're looking for some serious partying, the Gold Coast is home to the famous Surfers Paradise.
Tropical North Queensland
North Queensland
North Queensland is where you can discover real Queensland - from diving the Great Barrier Reef and sailing the Whitsundays, to exploring rainforests and getting away from the usual tourist hotspots. If you want to discover hidden gems and experience some real adventure, then this is just the place.
Fraser Island
Fraser & Sunshine Coast
The Fraser and Sunshine Coast has everything you're looking for (and probably more!). You've got the famous Fraser Island, which you can spend days exploring and camping under the stars, beautiful and idyllic beaches and bays where you can relax and top up your tan, plus tons of coastal towns where you can experience classic Aussie living.

Places you don't want to miss in Queensland

  • Daintree Rainforest
    Located in the tropical north of Queensland, this is one of the three oldest rainforests in the world, and is unbelievably stunning.
  • Mount Coo-tha Lookout
    Love a great city view? Then Mount Coo-tha should be on your agenda when you visit Brisbane. Head up there for the sunset and enjoy the panoramic views of the CBD.
  • Noosa National Park
    You've got loads of walks to choose from at Noosa National Park, but we recommend the coastal walk, where you'll be taken to tons of beautiful bays and beaches.
  • Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    This is the world's first and largest koala sanctuary, but not only do they care for koalas, they house kangaroos too!
  • Springbrook National Park
    This is a one for Instagram. It's right in the heart of the Gold Coast Hinterland, where you'll find waterfalls, caves, and an ancient volcano - with incredible views.
  • South Bank Brisbane
    A beach in the middle of the city, infront of the skyline? Sounds unlikely. However that's what Brisbane did to feed their Aussie love of beaches. Definitely worth a look.
Whitsundays Sailing from £129
Maxi Sailing
Ideal for: Time poor, cash-strapped socialites

Maxi Sailing is great fun and high on the adventure scale! The trip usually holds larger groups of people between the ages of 18 and 35 years. They are very sociable, so expect a bit of a party in the evening.

2 days from £235
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Free intro dive with select full day reef trips
With numerous reef locations available, each site offers a new experience, selected for its unique variety of marine life and corals. In between water activities, relax on the expansive sundecks overlooking the Coral Sea.
From £143
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Adventure Sailing
Ideal for: groups of mates, big adventure seekers and adrenaline junkies!

Enjoy rainforest walks, snorkel the coral reef or soak up the sunshine on the deck, plus there are options to scuba! The boats offer bunk-style accommodation, although some offer private cabins.

1 day from £129
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Reef Sleep
Why not spend a unique night at the Barrier Reef? Depart from Airlie Beach and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef - from here jump in the blue water for a spot of snorkelling with sea turtles, reef sharks and colourful fish. That night, sleep under a blanket of stars in a 'swag' out on the reef.
2 days from £275
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Work in Queensland

What better way to live the Australian dream than by getting yourself a working holiday visa? And Queensland is the best place to start - not only will you rack up money to travel further afield, you'll also be located in the perfect spot...with beaches and adventure right on your doorstep! What's more, we currently have 10% off work and travel starter packs to get you off to the right start!
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Getting around Queensland

Australia Campervan Hire
For a no fuss Aussie adventure that's done your way and no one else's, hire a camper to cruise along the East Coast of Queensland! Pick up your camper from Cairns or Brisbane and start exploring the sunshine state!
Queensland Rail
Choose from either the Queensland Coastal Pass or Explorer Pass, it's a flexible, easy and versatile way to discover the East Coast of Queensland by rail and it's your ticket to the East Coast's most popular destinations! Discover world-famous beaches, experience true Aussie hospitality, meet legendary locals and enjoy a great way of life via Queensland Rail.
Hop-on Hop-off Bus Passes
Whether you simply just want your transport sorted or fancy getting activities and trips thrown in too, our Australia bus passes are sure to fix up your Queensland adventure for you.

Tours and activities in Queensland

Up to 20% off

Adventure Tours

brisbane to cairns
Brisbane to Cairns Experience - 10 days
This extensive and compact journey up the East Coast of Queensland is nothing short of ideal. Employing a diverse range of transport yachts, trains, 4x4s, and buses you'll visit Fraser Island and the Whitsundays, go snorkelling and camp out under the stars in an authentic Australian "swag."
From £1,229
Tour Details
queensland sailing sand tour
Queensland Sand, Sailing & Dreamtime - 12 days
This is the perfect 12-day adventure for sailing buffs that want to experience the blue waters of Queensland, as well as off-road enthusiasts looking to explore via private 4x4s. We've got an exclusive riverside camp to stay at in the gorgeous Noosa Everglades, and once we've left Airlie Beach, you'll learn about indigenous artisan crafts from local Aborigines.
From £1,499 
Tour Details
reefs and rainforests
Reefs and Rainforests (start Cairns) - 16 days
Wild nights & wildlife await you on Australia's East Coast. Take a rooftop ride along the rainforest canopy, go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef & relax & work on your tan in the Whitsunday Islands. From there get back on the mainland for guided bushwalks, koalas & kangaroos, before heading to Surfers Paradise!
Now from £1,684 | Was £2,105 - 20% off
Tour Details

When is the best time to visit Queensland?

The great thing about visiting Queensland is that it's pretty much a year-round destination. Like the rest of Australia, their seasons are swapped around, so summer is December to February, and winter is June to August. You can still get decent temperatures in the winter, with highs averaging 21°C - but people tend to head over in spring or summer for the warmer temperatures.

Looking for some more inspiration? Check out our STA Travel Blog!

STA Travel Blog

A sneak peek into hidden Queensland

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STA Travel Blog

Why you should start your working holiday visa in Queensland

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STA Travel Blog

Where to visit the Great Barrier Reef

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Start planning your adventure