The Aussie road trip rolls to a conclusion today, as we enter our seventh — and final — state: Queensland.
Aussie’s big hitter is a wonderland of landscapes, from the crisp blue Pacific Ocean and the radiant Great Barrier Reef, to the rich red Outback that stretches through historic gold rush towns to the ancient rainforests of the Far North.
Few travellers to Australia leave without visiting at least a small part of the Sunshine State, whether that’s one of the famed coastal towns, or the plump fruit picking towns that pepper the hinterland.
So join us, as we roll this road trip to a stop, by gathering six of the best that Queensland has to offer.
Grab yourself a Queensland ‘Six Pack’!
As with all good road trips, you’ll need to load up before you hit the road. Here’s a true Aussie six pack to feed your journey. If you want any more information on travelling in Queensland, throw it in the comment box, and we’ll happily quench your curiosity.
1. Learn to Surf
Let’s get the elephant off the beach: surfing is one of Australia’s most iconic sports, and there’s few better places to wet your goofy than the Gold Coast’s ideally named, Surfers Paradise, where you can find lessons run by former world champions.
Surfing aside, the gold coast is ripe for kayaking through the calm waters, accompanied by dolphins and turtles, or power through on a jet ski safari.
2. Sail the Whitsundays
Sailing and the Whitsundays go together like Toby and Bouncer. (Unless you don’t like Neighbours, in which you’ll be super confused at that last comment.) All the usual superlatives apply; enjoy cruising the turquoise waters on board a sailing boat, sit back and relax, or take a lesson in sailing!
The 74 Island Wonders that are mostly uninhabited provide the perfect setting for an adventure, before dropping anchor for a quick snorkel or dive, miles away from anyone.
3. Fraser Island
Fraser Island is one of the most unique landscapes the world, allowing visitors to undulate across towering sand dunes in a 4WD, as they follow the sand highway with uninhibited views of the ocean on Fraser Island’s spectacular Seventy-Five Mile Beach.
Far from being a blank desert, Fraser Island is home to possums, gliders, wallabies and dingoes, and supports a variety of rainforest trees, some more than 1000 years old.
4. Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef
This place should need no introduction! No visit to Queensland is complete without experiencing the Great Barrier Reef. The most ideal jumping off spot to visit the GBR is the lively town of Cairns, which lies at the heart of Australia’s tropics, or nearby Port Douglas.
Both include courses from beginner to open water, advanced and specialist diving accreditation. If you don’t fancy diving, you can still experience the amazement of the reef by snorkelling, or upgrade to a motorized snorkelling scotter to navigate the coral gardens. As a fun alternative, choose platform walking with your very own diving helmet, or stay dry in a glass-bottomed boat!
Don’t forget, you could win a job on the Great Barrier Reef, with our Live Like an Aussie competition.
5. Visit the Daintree Rainforest
Also within easy access of Cairns, is another World Heritage Site: the wonderland of the Daintree Rainforest. Explore the world’s oldest living rainforest, go ‘jungle surfing’, cruise the rivers or go trekking with the locals – discovering the indigenous culture first hand, and listen to fascinating narrative of ancient landscape.
There are very few places where you can flit between World Heritages Sites this easily, but Queensland offers this as standard.
6. Climb the Story Bridge
The final stop, of the final leg of the Aussie road trip, is a clamber up the iconic Story Bridge in Brisbane — and then take the plunge with the world’s only bridge abseil!
Elsewhere in the city, look out for the Gallery of Modern Art or explore the city sights by CityCat and make the most of the famously beautiful Brissie weather, or follow the sunset to discover the rural charms, patchwork fields and country hospitality of the Scenic Rim, a forested mountain range.