Love you Queensland! I often hear this little song on one of Queensland’s TV channels and it makes me feel proud that I live in this wonderful state of Australia. Queensland has so much to offer from its stunning coastline and sun-soaked beaches; magical tropical islands located just off the coast; the lush tropical rainforest in the Far North; the harsh yet intriguing Outback; to the Savannah lands in Gulf Country.
I have asked nine other Queensland travel bloggers for their opinions of what they love about Queensland, and believe me there is a lot to love!
When I moved to Brisbane almost 30 years ago it took me a long time to love it.I yearned to explore more of the world and it felt like a big country town, although that did have a certain charm.
Fast forward to 2017 and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Its safe, pretty and has 9 months of near perfect sub-tropical weather every year! Its also seems to have struck a nice blend of inner city gentrification, modern infrastructure, cultural diversity and quirky self deprecation. Something a lot of cities dont seem to understand.
Probably the thing I love about Brisbane the most isn’t necessarily the city itself but its fantastic proximity to many other locations. Within an hour in any direction of ‘Brisvegas’ you can be standing on pristine beaches on rugged unspoiled islands, walking through lush rain-forest, sipping superb wines or sampling delicious organic farm food overlooking rolling green pastures.You can climb the ancient Glasshouse Mountains, follow Cobb & Co Heritage trails to the West or shop at ritzy high end shops at the glittering Gold and Sunshine Coasts. You can surf some of the best surf breaks in the world and dine at some of the best restaurants, wonder at the abundance of native animals and explore the many rivers and estuaries that lead to magnificent Moreton Bay.
I’ve now been to hundreds of cities all over the world and it really is hard to find many that offer so much for so many !
Bundaberg is a region town with plenty of surprises in store for visitors. Located on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef there’s some great diving and snorkelling spots over the coral where you’ll experience swimming with vibrant tropical fish and even sea turtles. If you want to visit a pristine coral island, then both Lady Elliot and Lady Musgrave have so much to offer and during the winter season you’ll probably spot migrating whales on the way out there. For the nature lovers and romantics at heart you’re sure to also enjoy watching from the beach as baby turtles hatch and run toward the moonlit ocean.
What does surprise a lot of people about Bundaberg is the food scene. Not only is it a major Australian food bowl producing 25% of Australia’s fresh produce and a sparkling clean ocean providing a fabulous range of seafood but it’s also produced and attracted some incredible chefs and entrepreneurs whose skill and creativity have now positioned Bundaberg firmly on the foodie map.
If you want to get to know what the heart and soul of Queensland feels like, then look no further than the outback town of Longreach. Located just over 1100 kilometres north west of Brisbane you can either fly in or take a couple of days to make the trek by road.
A small town with a population of around 3,300, it is renowned for being the town where QANTAS started life. A must see is the QANTAS Founders Museum. The only place that I know of where you can have a tour through a Boeing 747 including being able to walk out onto the wing and sit in the cockpit.
Another must visit destination is the iconic Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre. Established in 1988 it was the vision of Hugh Sawrey as well as outback legend R.M Williams. It houses an enviable collection of memorabilia that truly does celebrate the legends of the land.
For entertainment, I suggest you get in touch with local tour operators, Outback Pioneers (formerly Kinnon and Co). You can take a Stage Coach Ride, stay on their farm or like we did go on a sunset river cruise along the Thomson River before enjoying a camp fire style dinner and listening to the incredibly talented Scotty, The Barefoot Poet.
Accommodation is not particularly plentiful in Longreach but if you are a camper or caravanner then I can recommend the Longreach Tourist Park. It has cabins, caravan sites, camp sites, a swimming pool, BBQ area and great amenities. It also has it’s own onsite restaurant for when you have had a busy day and don’t feel like cooking!
Magnetic Island is a relaxed holiday destination off the coast of Townsville in North Queensland. Officially a suburb of Townsville it leads a bit of a double life.
Visitors view it is a laid back place to sleep the day away beneath a She Oak Tree or go trekking in the National Park, while permanent residents make the daily commute via ferry to Townsville for the working day – a peaceful 20 minute catamaran ride is not the worst start to the working day!
A car does make it easy to visit all the bays (hire one on the island or bring one over on the barge) but there is a bus service that meets the boat and visits each of the inhabited bays.
View Koalas in their natural habitat on the Forts Walk, feed the native rock wallabies at Arcadia Jetty, chill out at the open fronted Marlin Bar at Horseshoe Bay or swim in cosy Alma Bay. Maggie also has an alluring menu of out of the way bays like Arthur, Radical and Florence where anything goes.
Hiring a holiday home for a week is the best way I know to wind down and luxuriate in “Island Time”.
Let me show you around Mooloolaba.
We’ll start with the beach – and what a beach she is. The best beach in Australia, I’d say – which makes it the best beach in the world. Ok, maybe I’d get an argument with that statement, but this beach is pretty special – a gently curving north-facing sweep of golden sand and an ocean that’s bluer than any ocean has the right to be. On a clear day it glitters as though it’s had bags of tiny diamonds carelessly tossed over the surface.
Next we’ll take a stroll along the coastal path that runs all the way along the beach from the rock wall at the harbour entrance, over the hill to Alexandra Headland, and north to Cotton Tree. In the mornings this path is full of walkers, runners, and boot camps. Who needs a gym when we have one provided by nature – and the Council…
Across the road from the beach is the Esplanade. It’s here that we’ll pause on our tour and have a coffee – or maybe a meal? There are plenty of cafes to choose from – and they all have a view of that magnificent blue.
Perhaps later we can duck down to the fisheries on The Spit and grab a kilo of Mooloolaba prawns? We can take them – and a bottle of chilled white wine – up to the deck or over to the tables by the beach. What do you think? Are you with me?
Oh, how I love Queensland!
One of my favourite spots in Queensland is Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. I love the natural beauty of the area including the pristine Noosa River, the Noosa Spit Recreation Reserve and the various secluded beaches throughout the Noosa National Park.
There are plenty of parklands along the Noosa River which is great for families- in fact the Noosa River would have to be my all-time favourite place in the area. I love how all the sand bars throughout the river, particularly at the river’s mouth, make all these tiny little islands which are postcard perfect with the white sand and shallow, bluish green, transparent, calm waters. The area is perfect for exploring by kayak, you can even find your own tiny deserted island on a sand bar and spend a few hours switching between sunbathing and swimming in the warm water.
Noosa also has some fantastic cafes and restaurants some with some spectacular views across the water, but for me you can’t beat grabbing some fish and chips and having a casual lunch on beach. Noosa is a perfect spot for a weekend or a few weeks.
Living in Brisbane, one of my favourite getaway places close to home is North Stradbroke Island, or “Straddie” as its most often referred.
Here’s what I love most about Straddie.
1. The North Gorge walk. Walking paths hug the headland and provide some of the most breathtaking scenery. It’s also a great spot to view the migrating whales between June and November. Listen out for the blow hole if the seas are rough. Main beach, around the corner from the Gorge, is a 32km expanse of pristine white sand (serious eye candy from the Gorge side.)
2. The beaches. With a choice of beaches all in cooee distance, Point lookout is my pick of where to stay. I love to be within walking distance to the beach (leave my car parked in the garage for the duration of my holiday = bliss.) Home beach and Cylinder are ideal for swimming. Deadman’s and Frenchman’s beach are ideal for beach sunset strolls. (Remember to only swim between the flags at a patrolled beach – not all beaches at Straddie are patrolled.)
3. Gelato Oceanic – delicious hand-made gelato and is (conveniently) located near the north gorge walk – you deserve it!
4. The slowness of life. Internet access is a little hit and miss on Straddie, as are the gourmet restaurants. As for high end shopping – forget it.
Because there simply isn’t a great deal to “do” at Straddie – you have little choice but to slow down, kick back and relax and enjoy.
Queensland offers so much from the rainforests of Far North Queensland to the top surfing beaches at the Gold Coast and everything in between. My favourite slice of Queensland is the vast plains of the Outback where the long stretch of road in between country towns meets the horizon and the grazing lands occasionally offer a single tree. Australia’s back bone was built on these farming lands and some of these farms offer ‘Station Stays’ where tourists and travellers alike can get a taste of what life on the land like. Recently I had the privilege to visit a fabulous station not far from Cunnamulla called “Charlottes Plains”.
On the drive to the Charlottes Plains the wildlife was prolific the emus, kangaroos, wild boar, eagles, goats and birds, giving us a taste of what we would find at the station. Once there we also saw camels, sheep, cattle and an abundance of bird life which attracts many bird watches each year. The 70,000 acre farm is settled in ‘Artesian Country’ which means hot pure artesian water rich in minerals to soothe aching muscles. I couldn’t wait to soak in the authentic bath tubs full of the bore water out in open under the Australian night sky.
Robyn Russell is the owner of the property who runs the farm single-handedly and is rich in character, offering vibrant stories of times gone by. She offers an interesting tour of the history of the farm adding a deeper appreciation of how a farm is run and challenges that are met head on. I highly recommend a ‘Station Stay’ at Charlottes Plains where they offer a variety of accommodation packages to different budgets. The magic of the Queensland Outback is one to behold so be sure to take your camera.
One of the most picturesque places on the Queensland coast is the town of 1770. The town itself was built and named in honour of the second landing of Captain Cook and his crew of the Endeavour in 1770.
Situated on a peninsula of the Discovery Coast of Queensland this laid back little town is the closest thing to seeing a sunset (illusion) over water on the east coast of Queensland. 1770’s Caravan and Camping ground front onto the waters of a crystal clear bay, perfect for snorkelling SUPing or simply taking a dip to cool off. The real bonus is if you snag a campsite right on the beach to pull up a chair for sunset drinks, a nightly institution in campsites throughout Australia!
At the time I visited, there was a coffee shop and restaurant just a short walk from the camping grounds, and if you need a little excitement from the laidback lifestyle of the area then there are always boat trips, surf lessons, tours of the area and forest walks to keep you occupied.
This is my town – the place I call home on the sunny Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. It is world’s apart from the tourist mecca of Surfers Paradise, which is only a mere 12 kilometres away.
I arrived on the Gold Coast from the southern states 37 years ago on a whim and instantly fell in love with the place and then eventually fell in love with a man and married him! For around the past 20 years I have resided in Burleigh Heads.
Burleigh Heads is centrally located on the Gold Coast and has a small village atmosphere with an eclectic style which gives it a laid back easy-going vibe. It is renowned for its surf break and its safe beach that is protected by a rain-forested headland. The entire coastal strip of Burleigh is fringed with parks and pathways that can be either walked or cycled.
Burleigh Heads in my opinion is the best place to live on the Gold Coast. It not only has beautiful beaches, great surf, a rain-forested headland, Tallie Creek and green spaces everywhere, but it also has the best shopping and eating places. I love that Burleigh has a nice easy-going villagey vibe mixed amongst the high rise apartments that line the esplanade.
Have we forgotten any of your favourite places in Queensland? Let me know in the comments.
This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who are as keen as I am to promote the Lovin’ Life mindset. The Lovin’ Life Team includes:
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.