16 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Queensland

Written by Karen Hastings Updated Sep 13, 2021 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Queensland, "the Sunshine State," is Australia's most popular vacation destination. Golden beaches, idyllic tropical islands, fantastic surf breaks, World Heritage-listed rainforests, rivers, reefs, and waterfalls are just some of the state's natural jewels.

All Queensland's sun-soaked settings offer exhilarating outdoor adventures. The dazzling Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef offer superb diving and snorkeling. K'Gari ( Fraser Island) is a favorite four-wheel-driving adventure, and the wilderness areas along the Queensland coast are excellent for hiking, biking, boating, and fishing.

For a change of pace, Queensland's capital, Brisbane , delivers big-city attractions with a small-town feel. South of Brisbane lies the glitzy Gold Coast with its hedonism and high rises. Traveling north along the coast from the capital, you can explore a string of holiday resorts, from sleepy beach towns and rainforest villages, to picturesque Port Douglas, and the tropical tourist-magnet of Cairns. Learn more about the best places to visit in this sunny state with our list of the top attractions and things to do in Queensland.

1. Dive or Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef

2. take a safari through daintree national park and cape tribulation, 3. go four-wheel-driving on k'gari (fraser island), 4. island hop at the whitsundays, 5. stroll along four mile beach in port douglas, 6. visit cairns, 7. bask on the beaches of noosa heads and the sunshine coast, 8. soar over the rainforest to kuranda, 9. live it up on the gold coast, 10. get a culture fix in brisbane, 11. hop aboard a whale watching cruise in hervey bay, 12. enjoy the views in maleny & montville, 13. bird-watch at lamington national park, 14. tour townsville and magnetic island, 15. feed a kangaroo at australia zoo, 16. explore the cape york peninsula & the torres strait islands, map of tourist attractions & things to do in queensland.

Great Barrier Reef

It's difficult to overstate the beauty and ecological importance of this World Heritage-listed natural wonder. This is the planet's largest living structure , and it's so vast, you can see it from space.

Much of the reef lies within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park , which extends off the northern coast of Queensland, from Mackay to the northeastern corner of Australia. The park itself is about half the size of Texas and protects more than 3,000 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, 300 coral cays, and a patchwork of mangrove islands.

Diving or snorkeling the reef is one of Australia's must-do outdoor adventures . The astounding diversity of marine life lures visitors from around the world. More than 1,600 species of tropical fish inhabit the reef, as well as sharks, dugongs, dolphins, turtles, giant clams, and kaleidoscopic soft and hard corals. Underwater viewing stations and glass-bottom boats also offer a window into this underwater wonderland.

Divers enjoying the colorful Great Barrier Reef

Other popular things to do during a visit to the Great Barrier Reef include scenic flights, island-hopping cruises, and sailing trips.

On the mainland, Cairns, Port Douglas, and Airlie Beach are the top gateway towns for tours. Alternatively, you can stay at one of the resort islands within the marine park. The Whitsunday Islands offer popular attractions and accommodation options and make a great base to explore the reef.

Remote Lizard Island , the park's most northerly island, is famous for its exclusive resort , and Lady Elliot Island , the reef's southernmost coral cay, is home to a popular eco-resort .

Daintree National Park

A Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Daintree National Park is the planet's oldest surviving rainforest . That alone should be reason enough to visit, but it also harbors one of the world's highest concentrations of threatened and endangered species.

Located in Far North Queensland, the two main sections of the park include the crystal-clear waters and lush forests of Mossman Gorge , as well as Cape Tribulation , where tropical rainforest fringes the reef-splotched shores of the Coral Sea.

The ecosystems here are incredibly diverse. More than 18,000 plant species, as well as a fascinating array of animals live within the park, including the flightless southern cassowaries (ostrich-sized birds), crocodiles, Boyd's rainforest dragons, brightly hued azure kingfishers, spotted cuscuses, and musky rat-kangaroos.

The best way to explore this area is on a guided safari. Many companies offer tours on amphibious vehicles and include rainforest hikes and tropical fruit tastings. However, you can also take a self-drive tour.

Other popular things to do include ziplining through the rainforest, horseback riding, swimming at Mossman Gorge, looking for cassowaries along the Jindalba Boardwalk , and hiking the many other rainforest trails.

Just south of the park, the resort town of Port Douglas is a popular base for arranging rainforest wilderness safaris. This area is one of the best places to visit in Queensland in winter, during the dry season.

Four-wheel driving on K'Gari (Fraser Island)

On the beautiful Fraser Coast, about a 3.5-hour drive from Brisbane, World Heritage-listed K'Gari (Fraser Island) is the largest sand island in the world . Four-wheel drive adventures here explore wide windswept beaches, crystal-clear lakes and streams, dingoes, dense forests, sacred Aboriginal sites, and multi-hued rock formations.

Seventy-Five Mile Beach is the island's main thoroughfare and provides access to some of K'Gari's top attractions . These include the rusted hull of the Maheno shipwreck , the bubbling rock pools of Champagne Pools , Eli Creek , and the colored sandstone cliffs of The Pinnacles .

Tiger sharks, dolphins, and whales swim in the wind-whipped waters, and the island's fauna includes Australia's purest strain of dingo and more than 300 species of birds.

Aquamarine Lake McKenzie

Top things to do inland include swimming in the aquamarine Lake McKenzie ; exploring the rainforest trails of Central Station; and visiting Lake Wabby , backed by a towering sandblow.

The most popular access point for tours to Fraser Island is Hervey Bay, the whale watching capital of Australia. From here, you can hop aboard a car or passenger ferry to K'Gari or book a Fraser Island Day Tour .

Whitsunday Islands

Off the coast of central Queensland, the Whitsunday group encompasses 74 stunning islands strung along the Great Barrier Reef . The Whitsundays are continental islands, the summits of a coastal range emerging from the sea. All but five of them have been declared national parks, and about eight are home to popular resorts.

Popular things to do in the Whitsundays include diving and snorkeling tours, sailing trips, basking on the dazzling tropical beaches, and relaxing at the island resorts.

The most famous resorts include luxurious Hayman Island ; tiny Daydream Island Resort ; well-developed Hamilton Island , the largest of the island resorts; and Palm Bay Resort on beautiful Long Island, with access to 13 kilometers of walking tracks.

On uninhabited Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach, with its powdery white sands and turquoise water, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia .

Airlie Beach is the main launching points for island excursions.

Port Douglas

Dotted with palms and mango trees, the once-sleepy village of Port Douglas is now a charming holiday resort. It's the closest mainland town to the Great Barrier Reef , making it a popular base for reef trips, as well as wilderness safaris in Daintree National Park . This picturesque town lies about an hour's drive north of Cairns, along a scenic coastal road, which winds between beaches and rainforest-cloaked hills.

Skirting the beautiful blond sweep of Four Mile Beach , Port Douglas has a relaxed tropical vibe, with cute cafés, shops, and art galleries. From the Flagstaff Hill Lookout enjoy breathtaking views of the palm-fringed beach merging with the turquoise Coral Sea.

Top things to do in Port Douglas include getting up close to Aussie animals at the Wildlife Habitat , shopping at the farmers markets, and soaking up the downtown scene on Macrossan Street. Other adventures on offer include safaris in all-terrain vehicles to Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation , fishing trips, northbound expeditions through the rugged landscape of the Cape York Peninsula , and boat trips to Cooktown and the Great Barrier Reef.

Thanks to the year-round toasty weather in the tropics, Port Douglas is one of the best places to visit in Queensland in winter. This is the prime tourist season, when the weather is typically sunny and dry.

Aerial view of Cairns

In a superb location, between the Great Barrier Reef and the dark hills of the Atherton Tableland, Cairns is one of the most popular tourist towns in Far North Queensland. It makes a great base to explore the best of Queensland.

Cairns is a friendly, laid-back town, with palm-fringed streets, large parks, and colorful gardens. Beautiful beaches radiate out along the coast from Trinity Bay and Palm Cove to Port Douglas. Feel like a stroll? The five-kilometer-long Cairns Esplanade runs along the bay, with a saltwater swimming lagoon and free water-themed playground for young children.

Cairns is an excellent base for day trips. It's one of the most popular launching points for excursions to the Great Barrier Reef , as well as tropical islands such as Green Island and Fitzroy Island .


The Atherton Tableland to the southwest is another popular day trip destination, where you can explore rainforest reserves, waterfalls, and the charming attractions in the mountain village of Kuranda. The Kuranda Scenic Railway or the Skyrail cableway offers spectacular views over the surrounding countryside and the World Heritage-listed rainforests of Barron Gorge National Park .

Other top things to do in Cairns include visiting the Flecker Botanic Gardens, with more than 100 species of palms, and learning about the region's history at Cairns Museum. Cairns is also one of Australia's best fishing destinations .

Wondering where to stay in Cairns? You'll find accommodation to suit all budgets, from buzzy backpacker digs to flashy resorts.

Noosa's Main Beach

Stretching from Caloundra to Noosa Heads, the Sunshine Coast is one of the most popular places to visit in South East Queensland. Known for its beautiful beaches, it's also a popular holiday spot for Aussies, only about two hours north of the Gold Coast high-rises but seemingly a world away. Beaches are among the top attractions on the Sunshine Coast , from peaceful, cliff-fringed bays to famous surf breaks.

Surfing at Noosa Heads

Noosa Heads is one of the most popular resort areas. Its postcard-perfect slice of sand and sea, Main Beach, is one of Noosa's top attractions , and it's also home to a famous surf break.

For more beautiful beaches and fantastic surfing, Coolum is another great place to visit on the Sunshine Coast. The Point Arkwright Trail here connects a series of secluded cliff-fringed bays, where you can escape the crowds and take a cool dip on a hot summer's day.

Coolum's First Bay

And more beaches await at Caloundra , from popular Kings Beach, with its oceanfront pool, to Moffat's point break and the perfect paddling waters of Paradise Beach.

Maroochydore is the region's bustling commercial center and the location of the Sunshine Coast airport.


A trip to Kuranda, a charming rainforest village on the Atherton Tableland, is as much about the journey as the destination. From just outside of Cairns, you can take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and fly over World Heritage-listed rainforests and the beautiful Barron River and Gorge .

Alternatively, the Kuranda Scenic Railway chugs through the rainforest, past rugged peaks and waterfalls. The journey ends in the little station at Kuranda, about 25 kilometers northwest of Cairns, which is almost hidden by tropical plants and palms.

Exploring Kuranda's highlights starts with a stroll around the village. Artsy shops, galleries, and the colorful Kuranda markets sell souvenirs and local crafts, and you can soak up a slice of nature at several animal sanctuaries. The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld, Kuranda Koala Gardens, and Rainforestation Nature Park are favorite things to do in Queensland for families.

Walks can be arranged on request from Kuranda to the wildly romantic Barron Gorge National Park . At Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park by the Caravonic Lakes, you can learn about Aboriginal culture and enjoy frequent native dance performances.

Travelers wishing to take the scenic self-drive route to Kuranda will also enjoy the journey.

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is one of Australia's best-known holiday regions. During the last few decades, a building boom transformed the coast into a kind of tropical Las Vegas, with skyscrapers and shopping malls stretching from Southport in the north to Coolangatta in the south.

Packed with tourist attractions and high-rise hotels, Surfers Paradise - "Surfers" for short - is a tourist magnet, legendary for its alliterative assets: sun, surf, and sand. But it's easy to escape the crowds in the surrounding wilderness areas or on the outlying beaches.

Despite Surfers Paradise's reputation for hedonism, you'll find plenty of Queensland attractions for families in the region. South of Surfers Paradise, kids love Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary , and Movie World , where old film sets have been recreated by Warner Bros. To the north, in Southport, you can see your favorite marine creatures at Sea World .

Not surprisingly, swimming, sunbathing, and surfing are popular things to do on Queensland's Gold Coast , and nature lovers will find plenty of attractions to explore. Excellent networks of roads lead to scenic lookouts in the hinterland, where many wilderness areas are within easy reach, including popular Lamington National Park .

To visit the Gold Coast, you can fly into Coolangatta airport, near the Queensland-New South Wales border.


Brisbane, Australia's third largest city and the capital of Queensland, offers a more relaxed pace than the larger capitals in the country's southeast. It makes a great base to explore Queensland. The city straddles the Brisbane River and is bounded on the east by the sea and on the west by the Great Dividing Range.

Visitors love the city's sunny climate and its luxuriant parks and gardens. Top things to do in Brisbane include strolling around the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, with more than 2,000 species of plants, and visiting Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary , one of the few places where you can touch and feed koalas.

Family-friendly South Bank Parklands features riverside walking and biking trails, lush gardens, shops, and restaurants.

River cruises are also popular. One of Brisbane's best known tourist attractions is the Kookaburra Queen , an old paddle steamer, which cruises down the Brisbane River, and the River Life Adventure Centre offers adrenalin-fueled water sports on the river.

Heritage-listed Treasury Building in Brisbane

Other things to see and do include shopping at the Queen Street Mall , climbing the Story Bridge , exploring the exhibits at the kid-friendly Queensland Museum , browsing the inspirational art exhibits at QAGOMA , and enjoying beautiful city views from Mt Coot-tha Lookout .

Brisbane is also a great jumping-off point for a range of rewarding day trips that showcase the best of Queensland, from island getaways and wildlife-rich national parks to the famous Australia Zoo and family-friendly theme parks.

Humpback whale off Hervey Bay, Queensland

Ever wanted to swim with a humpback whale or come eye-to-eye with one of these gentle giants? This bucket-list adventure is one of the top things to do in Hervey Bay , the whale watching capital of Australia .

In 2019, Hervey Bay became the first place in the world to earn a World Cetacean Alliance designation as a Whale Heritage Site .

What makes it so special? K'Gari (Fraser Island) shelters the shallow waters off Hervey Bay, providing a sanctuary for these magnificent marine mammals. Here, they take a break from their long migration to rest, socialize, and teach their calves, and lucky visitors can enjoy up-close exhilarating encounters with them. Some cruises even offer you the chance to swim with the whales , one of the unique things to do in Queensland.

Wondering about the best time to visit Hervey Bay for whale watching? Late July through early November are the prime months. And if you're not visiting during whale season, you'll find plenty of other nature experiences in Hervey Bay, from eco-cruises , sunset cruises, and fishing charters to Indigenous cultural tours and spending time on the peaceful beaches.

View of Glasshouse Mountains from Maleny

Craving some tranquility in the country? Head to the Sunshine Coast hinterland villages of Maleny & Montville. Both these charming villages sit high in the Blackall Ranges with breathtaking views of the Glasshouse Mountains, a cluster of volcanic plugs rising out of the coastal plain.

Maleny is dairy country. That means rolling green hills, cows, and, best of all, cheese! You can sample some while you're here, as well as other artisan products, like the sweet cocoa treats at Maleny Chocolate Factory.

Shopping in Montville

Montville also offers inspirational views of the lush valleys and the Glasshouse Mountains. Art galleries, craft cottages, boutiques, and gift shops peek out from veils of blossoms on the main street. Along with Maleny, it's one of the best country towns to visit in Queensland, and it's the perfect place to linger and enjoy Devonshire tea.

Nature is also never far away. Look for pademelons on the rainforest trails at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve , enjoy a picnic at Barron Pocket Dam , spot platypus on the Obi Obi Boardwalk right near downtown Maleny, or hike to Kondalilla Falls .

Lamington National Park

About a two-hour drive south of Brisbane, Lamington National Park is a World Heritage Area and one of the state's most popular national parks. Located on the Lamington Plateau of the McPherson Range , amid the remnants of an ancient volcano, the park contains spectacular scenery, with steep gorges, more than 500 waterfalls, tropical and subtropical rainforests, and beech forests in the higher elevations.

Nature buffs will be in heaven here. More than 190 species of birds live in the park, including bowerbirds and colorful flocks of parrots. Red-necked pademelons, a small kangaroo-like marsupial, frolic at the rainforest fringes, and the shy platypus swims in the park's river rock pools.

Lamington National Park is also a haven for hikers with more than 150 kilometers of walking trails.

Official site:

Townsville and Magnetic Island

Townsville is the largest tropical town in Australia. It's an excellent base for excursions and tours, particularly to beautiful Magnetic Island and the Great Barrier Reef, but it also offers plenty of tourist attractions of its own.

The town lies on Cleveland Bay at the foot of Castle Hill , a 300-meter-high granite crag. Walking tracks lead to its peak, with panoramic views over the town and sea. But perhaps the best place to start exploring the city is the Strand . Strolling along this scenic waterfront promenade, you can take a dip at one of the swimming areas, soak up some of the region's history at Jezzine Barracks , enjoy a picnic in a park, or dine at a nearby café.

Apart from the picturesque waterfront, Townsville owes much of its charm to its many parks and private gardens filled with luxuriant tropical flowers. While you're here, be sure to take a stroll through the Queen's Gardens, Townsville's oldest botanical garden, and Townsville Palmetum, with the world's largest collection of palms.

Families will find plenty of kid-friendly attractions. Pack a picnic and head to Riverway , with its pretty riverfront parkland, walking and biking trails, art exhibits, and free swimming pools, and if you're interested in the local aquatic life, Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium features an underwater tunnel where you can view the coral reef and marine life up close.

Other popular things to do in Townsville include visiting the Museum of Tropical Queensland and diving the SS Yongala wreck.

Kangaroo at Australia Zoo

Made famous by the late Steve Irwin, the charismatic croc-loving Aussie conservationist, Australia Zoo is one of Queensland's best loved family attractions. An easy day trip from Brisbane , the zoo has a strong focus on education and conservation. As well as Aussie favorites like kangaroos, koalas, emus, dingoes, - and crocs - you can also see exotic animal species, including Sumatran tigers, rhinos, meerkats, zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, and elephants.

Crocoseum performances are a great way to learn more about some of the fascinating creatures that call the zoo home, including birds of prey, snakes, and the venue's namesake crocodiles. You can also ride a camel, feed a kangaroo or red panda, and cuddle a koala. The zoo is spread out over 110 acres, so make sure you wear your walking shoes.

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Aerial view of

Remote, rugged, and rich in Aboriginal history, the Cape York Peninsula & Torres Strait Islands are some of the most the unique places to visit in Queensland.

Looking for adventure? You'll find it on the legendary "trip to the tip" of Cape York Peninsula, one of Australia's epic road-trips. You can also reach some of the top Cape York destinations on a day trip from Cairns, including the historic settlement of Cooktown and the wildlife-rich wetlands of Lakefield National Park .

But to hit the northernmost tip of Australia, excellent planning and an off-road vehicle are essential. River crossings are part of the adventure, and in the far north, wet season deluges wash out the rudimentary roads, so travel must be tackled during the dry season, from May to October.

Along the way, you'll see jungly rain forests, wild mangrove-fringed beaches, sprawling savannah, croc-filled rivers, ancient rock art, and fascinating Aboriginal communities. North of Weipa, it's usually necessary to camp, and satellite phones are highly recommended.

If you're not up for the planning and logistics of a self-drive tour of this wild, relatively unspoiled region, you can always take an organized tour or fly directly into one of the 274 Torres Strait Islands north of Cape York's tip. Thursday Island is the main administrative center and a great place to learn about the culture of the Torres Strait islanders. Horn Island reveals a fascinating military history. Private Roko Island offers a unique glamping experience, and you can tour a pearl farm here and on Friday Island .

Fishing charters off Weipa are another popular way to explore this untamed coast.

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Here's the list of best places to see in queensland:.

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Cairns is a city in the Queensland State of Australia and a gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier reef . Its beautiful landscapes, fantastic skylines, great mountains, and waterfalls makes it a great place to visit. Nature enthusiasts can visit Cairns Botanic Gardens , Australian Butterfly Sanctuary or even Barron Gorge National Park allowing themselves to see and learn about wildlife. Plan your trip to other prominent attractions of the city like Cairns Esplanade or Fitzroy Island and get lost in the resplendent beauty of the city. The city is also known for its adventure sports because of the presence of the opulence water sources where one can enjoy activities like snorkelling, river rafting and more. Thrill seekers have a good time while trying other adrenaline pumping activities such as ziplining, bungy jumping and skydiving. Cairns has a tropical climate, with the weather being usually hot and humid during summers and mild dry during winters. The best time to visit and explore the city is during the winter season, between the months of June to August, when the city has pleasant weather with mild temperatures.

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The city of Gold Coast is located on the east coast of Australia , in the state of Queensland. It is the second-largest city in Queensland and the sixth-largest city in Australia. The Gold Coast is a major tourist destination, with its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and surfing conditions. With its beautiful beaches, stunning hinterland, and vibrant city life, the Gold Coast has something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a laid-back beach vacation or an action-packed adventure, the Gold Coast has it all. And with so many things to see and do, you'll never be bored. If you're looking for fun in the sun, head to one of the Gold Coast's many beaches. The Gold Coast is home to some of Australia's best beaches. Surfers' paradise is one of the most popular beaches on the Gold Coast. The beach is known for its waves and surfing conditions. Other famous beaches include Broadbeach , Burleigh Heads, and Coolangatta .  If you're feeling adventurous, take a walk along the coastline and explore what Surfers Paradise offers. Another great activity in Gold Coast is checking out the local markets. From fresh produce to handmade goods, there's something for everyone at the markets.

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The beauty and richness of Tourist places in Brisbane are what make this great city a magnet that attracts people from all around the globe. One of the best things about Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland is how the government has recognized the city’s value as a heaven for tourists. The wonderfully maintained beaches, the natural attractiveness, the food, the vineyards, and a lot of other aspects of the city will surely satisfy your senses. The cultural scene of Brisbane includes adventure, traditions, and the ever growing metropolitan itself. Located along the Brisbane River, this third largest city of Australia is a home to a huge variety of wildlife. The coexistence of nature only adds to the great diversity of Brisbane, which makes it a city you must visit.

In last decade, Brisbane has become one of the fastest developing cities of Australia . The modern restaurants and bars, the unconventional architectural progress, and the traditional sense of Brisbane offer a perfect tourist destination. Your traveling goals will never be fulfilled if you do not plan to make a trip to this city. And, if you like adventure and danger then Brisbane will be even more attractive to you. Like any other city in Australia, the people here too are always hunting for thrill. This is why the adventure sports are popular as activities in Brisbane and you must take a taste of it.      

The gentle subtropical weather makes the city really comforting. This has made the beaches even more popular among the tourists as there cannot be a better way to spend a sunny day than to lazing around on the sand. The beauty of Brisbane was almost undiscovered until 1982 when the city hosted the Commonwealth Games. The world suddenly came to know about this gem of a tourist destination and it has been busy being so since.  

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Nestled at the mouth of Ross Creek on the Bay of Cleveland, Townsville is one of the largest urban cities and a prime port on the north-eastern coast of Queensland. Founded back in 1864 and designated as a town in 1865, Townsville is named after Robert Towns. At present, Townville is home to a number of business administrative offices, government buildings, and industries. Presenting the perfect amalgamation of a contemporary metropolis and and a peaceful coastal town, Townsville has a unique charm of its own. With tropical islands, breathtaking national parks, and lush rainforests sheltered across its length and breadth, this city is one of the scenic places to see in Queensland. Townsville is packed with a host of stunning attractions that propel tourists from across the globe. The prime landmarks of this city include The Strand, Castle Hill, Billabong Sanctuary, the Museum of Tropical Queensland, and Dan Gleeson Memorial Gardens. On your to Townsville, you can go on whale watching tours, dive to see the SS Yongala Wreck on the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoy a BBQ picnic at the Riverway on the banks of the Ross River. You can also visit the Army Museum North Queensland and stroll through the tropical orchard of Anderson Garden. Townsville experiences a tropical savanna climate with hot and rainy summers and warm winters. The most ideal time for visiting Townsville is between the months of May and September, when the evenings are cool and the days are warm.

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The mining city of Mount Isa is located in the Gulf Country region of Queensland, at the northern end of the Selwyn Range. Discovered back in 1923, this city was formed due to the huge mineral deposits found in this region. The name ‘Mount Isa’ can be accredited to John Campbell Miles, who named one of his silver-lead ore leases after Isabelle, his sister. The beauty of Mount Isa is well described by its rich history and glorious culture. The picturesque Lake Moondarra adds an element to the scenic natural beauty of the city. The ever-charming city of Mount Isa is packed with a host of important places of tourist interest. The most recommended places to look out for in Mount Isa include Riversleigh Fossil Centre, the Mount Isa Underground Hospital & Museum, the Mount Isa School of the Air, Lawn Hill National Park, and the The Cloncurry-Mount Isa Road. While you are in Mount Isa, you can spend time taking a mining tour, exploring indegenous plants at the Outback Park, and fishing at Lake Boondara. You can also enjoy canoeing, hiking, and bird watching at Lawn Hill Gorge. Mount Isa experiences a local steppe climate with cool, dry clear, windy, and short winters and humid, sweltering,cloudy, and long summers.

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Counted among the best places in Queensland, the port city of Bundaberg is nestled on the Burnett River, in Queensland state. Bundaberg city is located around 239 miles north of the capital of the state, Brisbane. This city is named after the original inhabitants of this place, the people of  the Taribelang Bunda tribe. The beauty of the ancient sugarcane city of Bundaberg lies in its cultural treasures and rich biodiversity. Flaunting 140 kilometres of sparkling white sand beaches and sheltering a unique colony of nesting turtles and coral cays, this place is naturally beautiful. The green botanical gardens, stunning heritage buildings, and intriguing museums add to the charm of this city. Bundaberg is home to an extensive array of national parks including the Cania Gorge National Park, the Burrum Coast National Park, the Mt. Walsh National Park, and the Mon Repos Conservation Park. Other top attractions of Bundaberg city include the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, Children's Art Space, Bundaberg Port Marina, and Woodgate Beach. On your tour to Bundaberg, you can take a gin sampling tour at Kalki Moon Distilling and Brewing Company, drive to the top of The Hummock, walk through the Australian rainforest in the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens, and encounter the emus and wallabies at the Alexandra Park. The climate of Bundaberg is classified as warm and temperate. The summers are warm and wet and the winters are cool and dry and there is a significant amount of rainfall during the year.


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Lying on the Mary River, Maryborough happens to be a city in the Fraser Coast Region in southeastern Queensland. Established back in 1843, Maryborough is named after Mary River, which is named after the consort of Gov. Sir Charles Fitz Roy, Mary. Maryborough became a town in 1861 and a city in 1905. Nicknamed as the 'Heritage City', Maryborough boasts a host of brilliantly architectured historic buildings. Its lush riverside parks, intriguing museums, and charming art galleries further describe the beauty of this boisterous city. The city also flaunts colonial vibes, lush trees, and bountiful wildlife, all of which make it even more appealing. Maryborough is packed with renowned places of interest, spread across the length and breadth of the city. The Maryborough Military & Colonial Museum, the City Hall, St Paul's Anglican Church and Tower, Australian Joint Stock Bank and Mary Poppins Statue, the Maryborough Heritage Centre, and the Queens Park are the popular attractions of Maryborough. While you are in Maryborough, take a drive tour of the city and explore the Rosehill Homestead, the Pioneer Graves, Baddow House, and the Maryborough Cemetery. You can also take a walk through the iconic Maryborough Mural Trail and explore quirky past stories of the city presented in the form of impressive murals.Maryborough enjoys a warm and temperate climate with a significant amount of rainfall throughout the year. The summers are warm, wet, muggy, and long, while the winters are cool and short.

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The Hervey Bay is nestled in the Fraser Coast Region, in Queensland. Known popularly for its humpback whales, this place was declared as the First Whale Heritage Site in the world, owing to its initiatives for sustainable dolphin and whale watching. Protected by the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, the coastal Hervey Bay town offers a relaxed atmosphere. Perched lazily along the charming bayside shorefront, Hervey Bay is a scenic beach side town. The elegant restaurants, jazzy pubs, and boisterous streets add to the never-ending beauty of this place. Hervey Bay is packed with a host of pleasing places of interest. The attractions that you need to definitely check-out here include the Dundowran Beach, the Hervey Bay Botanic Garden, WetSide Water Park, Arkarra Lagoon, Torquay Beach & Reef, and Hervey Bay Boat Club. On your visit to the town of Hervey Bay, you can shop for crafts at the Pier markets, take a walk through the Coopers broadwalk, take a seaplane to the picturesque Lady Elliot Island, and go bird watching at the Arkarra Lagoon. Hervey Bay is blessed with a sub-tropical climate, with the average temperature being 30 °C in summer and 22 °C in winter. The south east trade winds keep the temperatures high in winter and low in summer.

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Nicknamed as ‘The Garden City’, Toowoomba is located in the Darling Downs, southeastern Queensland, on the Great Dividing Range, about 2,300 feet above sea level. Founded back in 1849 as a village, this place was turned into a town in 1858. In 1860, it was turned into a municipality and in 1904, it became a city. The beauty of the largest inland City of Queensland, Toowoomba is described perfectly by its impressive street art and urban coffee culture. The charming sunflower farms, colourful gardens, lush parks, and quiet hamlets add to the scenic beauty of this city. One of the best places in Queensland, the city of Toowoomba is packed with a myriad of attractions, ranging from parks and restaurants to breweries and museums. The top places to visit in Toowoomba include Cobb & Co Museum, Lake Annand Park, Empire Theatre, First Coat Outdoor Gallery, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, and Toowoomba Salt Cave. On your tour to Toowoomba you can go shopping at the Toowoomba Farmers' Market, enjoy bird watching at the Queens Park, sample some good beers at Volcanic Brewing, and relish exotic Turkish pizzas at the Sofra Turkish Cuisine. Toowoomba is blessed with a warm and temperate climate with a significant amount of rainfall throughout the year. The summers are warm, partly cloudy, and long, while the winters are mostly clear, cold, and short.

Enjoy Australia’s Largest Guided Zipline Tour


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Rockhampton is perched on the Fitzroy River, around 600 kilometres north of Brisbane, the state capital. Lying in Central Queensland, Rockhampton happens to be the fourth-largest city in the state. Established back in 1858, Rockhampton is considered to be one of the oldest cities of Queensland and Northern Australia. The rustic beauty of Rockhampton is well-defined by the stunning Victorian buildings that showcase the 19th century beef-rearing and mining heyday of the region. The cane trains being driven down the wide streets, add to the old world charm of this city. The coastal breezes and stunning regional galleries add to the quaint beauty of Rockhampton. The city of Rockhampton is packed with a myriad of prime places of interest, starting from theatres and galleries to parks and restaurants. On your tour to Rockhampton, you can plan to visit the Pilbeam Theatre, the Rockhampton Art Gallery, the Rockhampton Zoo, the Rockhampton Heritage Village, Emu Park Anzac War Memorial Boardwalk, and Keppel Bay Islands National Park. While you are in Rockhampton, go rock climbing in Mount Archer National Park, experience fossicking at the Capricorn Caves, and explore the galleries and gem shops in The Gemfields. You can also relish fine wines and delicious desserts at the Bliss By Night Restaurant. Rockhampton is blessed with a humid subtropical climate, with wet summers and dry winters. The average annual rainfall of Rockhampton is slightly more than 800mm.

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The coastal city of Gladstone is located on Port Curtis, in eastern Queensland. Nestled between the Calliope and Boyne Rivers, this city is spread across an area of around 246.1 square kilometers. The Port of Gladstone happens to be the fourth-largest coal-exporting terminal in the world and the fifth-largest multi-commodity port of Australia. With lush botanical gardens, breathtaking national parks, and charming seaside villages spread across the length and breadth of the city, it is safe to say that Gladstone has a unique scenic appeal. The intriguing museums and stunning oceanfront parks add to the unending charm of this city. The nature-dominated attractions in Gladstone include the Tondoon Botanic Gardens, Lake Awoonga, and Spinnaker Park. Other renowned places of interest in the city include the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum, the Gladstone Maritime Museum, William Golding Memorial Lookout, Heron Island, Boyne Island and Tannum Sands, Round Hill Lookout, and Mount Larcom. You can spend a lovely time in Gladstone by taking the Gladstone Harbour Cruise, exploring the seaside villages of Agnes Water and 1770, and taking a leisurely walk through the East Shores Precinct. Gladstone city experiences a humid subtropical climate. The most ideal time for visiting Gladstone is during the summer season, between the months of December and February.

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Lying around 603 miles north of Brisbane, Mackay happens to be the sugar capital of Australia, owing to its whopping sugar production of over one third of the total sugar produced in the country. This city is named after John Mackay, who led an expedition into the Pioneer Valley back in 1860. Home to the longest expanse of sub-tropical rainforest in Australia and a host of lush national parks, Mackay brims in virgin natural beauty. The pristine tropical islands, impressive public artworks, stunning architectural marvels, and picturesque secluded beaches add to the charm of this quaint city. The city of Mackay is packed with a plethora of important landmarks, starting from gardens and beaches to parks and shopping malls. The top attractions of Mackay include the Mackay Aqua Park, Cape Hillsborough National Park, Keswick Island, Bucasia Beach, Greenmount Homestead,  the Artspace Mackay, Lamberts Lookout, Bluewater Quay, and the Mackay Orchid House. You can explore sub-gardens and exotic plants in the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, enjoy a refreshing swim in the Bluewater Lagoon, and go angling at Harbour Beach. You can also enjoy hiking in Eungella National Park and go shopping at Caneland Central Shopping Centre. Mackay enjoys a tropical climate, which is marked by wet and hot summers and warm and sunny winters. The winter nights are, however, cool.

Flyboard in Gold Coast

Other Attractions

Magnetic island.

Magnetic Island

Moreton Island

Moreton Island

Noosa National Park

Noosa National Park

Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast

Port Douglas

Port Douglas

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation

Daintree National Park

Daintree National Park

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island

Whitsundays Island

Whitsundays Island

Fraser Island

Fraser Island

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The Best Destinations in Queensland, Australia

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It is little surprise that a province nicknamed ‘The Sunshine State’ is all about the great outdoors, boasting some of Australia’s most sparkling beaches, ancient rainforest, colourful coral and turquoise water within its borders. See the best of Queensland at these 10 dynamic destinations.

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Queensland’s capital city doesn’t enjoy the reputation of its southern cousins Sydney and Melbourne, but Brisbane has its own distinct vibe. Blessed with balmy weather 12 months of the year, Brisbane is defined by the gardens and parks lining the river that snakes through the city, an eclectic arts and cultural scene, and the locals’ love of rugby league—grab a beer on Caxton St before a big game at Suncorp Stadium to see what that’s all about.

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About an hour down the road from Brisbane is a region blessed with 50-plus kilometres of golden sand on its doorstep. The Gold Coast is famous for its many beaches, including world-class breaks at Snapper Rocks and the Superbank, as well as its rowdy nightlife and Australia’s best selection of theme parks. Head inland to escape the high rises and nightclubs in the serene national parks of the Gold Coast Hinterland.

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North Stradbroke Island

Just a short ferry trip from the Cleveland suburb of Brisbane, ‘Straddie’ is a popular seaside escape for city dwellers. Most of the best action on this idyllic sand island is in, on or around the water—kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing and fishing at some of the best spots in the state. Back on dry land, keep an eye out for kangaroos and koalas on the iconic North Gorge Walk.

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Sunshine Coast

A couple of hours north of Brisbane is a sun-kissed span of seaside that has no problem attracting visitors to its string of superb beaches. Mooloolaba, Coolum and Noosa’s Main Beach are some of the most scenic strips of sand, and that’s before we even start to talk about the network of leafy bushwalks, the impressive Glass House Mountains and the mega-popular Australia Zoo, home of the ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin.

Fraser Island

The largest sand island on the planet sits just three hours’ drive north of Brisbane, earning UNESCO World Heritage status for its natural splendour. Fraser Island features most of the Earth’s supply of perched lakes (freshwater swimming spots formed by dips between sand dunes) as well as awe-inspiring ancient rainforests, peerless whale-watching vantage points, and a remarkably pure strain of dingo that remains untarnished by the foreign mutts on the mainland.

Great Barrier Reef

Another UNESCO World Heritage listed marvel starts just north of Fraser Island, then stretches for 2,300 kilometres up the Queensland coast. The Great Barrier Reef contains some of the most dazzling marine scenery you’ll find anywhere on Earth, including unique fish species and brilliant coral. Hurry and see it while you still can because, tragically, climate change is draining much of the reef of its colour.

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Whitsunday Islands

One of the sparkling highlights of the Great Barrier Reef is this network of 74 tropical islands situated smack bang in the middle of it. Use Airlie Beach as your base to cruise around the Whitsundays, a region renowned around the world for its snow white sand beaches, lush green national park, serene snorkelling opportunities and abundance of tropical fish.

Daintree Rainforest

If you can drag yourself away from the turquoise water along the coast, don’t miss the chance to explore tropical North Queensland’s epic ancient rainforest. Only an hour’s drive north of Cairns, the Daintree is home to plants that are literally 100-million-years-old, as well as species of bird that are unique to this part of the world and a healthy population of crocodiles stalking the waterways.

The largest city in tropical North Queensland is the perfect home base to discover the region. You could spend weeks in sunny Cairns embarking on day trips of the surrounding area—the Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef are the most famous, but there’s also the postcard-perfect Palm Cove, the lofty Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Kuranda Scenic Railway, the lush Atherton Tablelands, and the otherworldly Paronella Park to name a few.

Magnetic Island

‘Maggie’, as the locals call it, is only a 25-minute ferry from the bustling city of Townsville, but it feels like a faraway island paradise . Surrounded by reef and covered in forest, Magnetic Island is a trove of pristine beaches, spectacular snorkelling sites and stacks of native wildlife, especially rock wallabies and koalas—you can even have breakfast with the koalas at Bungalow Bay Koala Village, the only resort in Australia with its own on-site wildlife park.

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Tourism and recreation

Queensland is home to great places to holiday, relax and play. From the cities to the country, the beaches and reef to the rainforests Queensland has it all.

Find out more about tourist destination across our great state.

Check out the destinations:

  • Gold Coast – places to stay, places to visit, holiday deals and more.
  • The Whitsundays – tropical islands and reefs. Find accommodation, deals and more.
  • Tropical North Queensland – access the reef and the rainforests. Find places to stay, things to see and do, and more.
  • Explore all of Queensland – find destinations, deals and experiences across the state.

Check out things to do:

  • Adventure and sport – cave diving, off road adventures, outback walks, white water rafting, fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving, horse riding, sky diving and more.
  • Arts and culture – explore galleries, museums and memorials, or enjoy the theatre, ballet, festivals and more.
  • Nature and wildlife – World Heritage Sites, national parks, rainforest, the outback, eco tourism, parks, gardens and more.
  • Explore more things to see and do – discover the many things to see and do.

Find out more about recreational and outdoor activities across Queensland:

  • Parks, forests, recreation centres and outdoor adventures
  • Bike paths, cycling and walkways
  • Camping and caravanning – permits, where to camp, caravanning destinations and explore the caravanning parks directory
  • Boating and fishing – rules, permits, licensing and more
  • Explore more recreational and outdoor activities

Explore Queensland’s regions

  • Cairns and Far North  Queensland
  • Central West (includes Gladstone and Rockhampton)

Mackay and Whitsunday

Mount isa and north west (includes townsville), brisbane and south east queensland, south west and darling downs, wide bay burnett.

Browse a map of Queensland if you’re unsure where to  start.

Cairns and Far North Queensland

Far  North Queensland is where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef.

  • swim among the coral and sea life
  • explore World-Heritage-listed rainforests
  • 4-wheel drive in the outback.

Find activities and places  in Far North Queensland.

Central West (includes Gladstone and  Rockhampton)

Gladstone has a sub-tropical climate with many  recreational activities at the edge of the Great Barrier   Reef. Enjoy diving and fishing in the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean or riding and hiking in the region's  national parks.

Rockhampton  is bordered by tropical beaches on the coast, and rainforests and highlands in  the west.  On the Tropic of Capricorn, it  offers a range of activities like bushwalking, gem fossicking, fishing and  diving.

Discover  some of Queensland’s history at:

  • the Workers' Heritage Centre at Barcaldine
  • the Stockman's Hall of Fame
  • the Qantas Founders' Museum at Longreach
  • the Waltzing Matilda Centre at Winton
  • Blackall's historic woolscour
  • the Lark Quarry National Park with the world's only preserved tracks of  a dinosaur stampede.

Find activities and places in:

  • Central West
  • Rockhampton .

The  Mackay Whitsunday Region is in the heart of Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.

  • relax on one of the 74 Whitsunday Islands
  • snorkel and dive on the Great Barrier Reef
  • bushwalk in Eungella National Park.

Find  activities and places in:

  • the Whitsundays .

The  land of legendary cattle drives, this region is a vast area of rugged mountain  ranges, eucalyptus and red gum forests, spinifex plains, and dry and flooded  waterways.

You  will find:

  • the World-Heritage-listed Riversleigh fossil area
  • Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill Gorge) National Park
  • regional camel races
  • remote locations for gem fossicking.

The  Townsville region covers coastal towns, rainforests and rugged outback terrain.  Dive and snorkel among brightly coloured fish in the Great Barrier Reef or  fossick for gold in Charters Towers. Enjoy canoeing, jet-skiing, fishing or  relaxing on sandy beaches, or visit the rainforests and the outback.

  • Mount Isa and North West
  • Townsville .

South  East Queensland is home to Queensland’s capital Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast  and the Gold Coast. Stay in 5-star hotels or camp under the stars—choose from  beachside apartments, luxury resorts, cosy hinterland cabins, or welcoming ‘bed  and breakfasts’.

You  can:

  • surf stunning beaches
  • enjoy exciting nightlife
  • escape to mountain getaways
  • explore hinterland art galleries
  • spot koalas in our national parks
  • treat yourself to something special at the Eumundi markets
  • watch the sunset over Moreton Bay from the beach at Tangalooma.
  • Sunshine Coast .

Discover  Queensland’s pioneering past in an area rich in history, wineries and country  towns 2 hours drive west of Brisbane.

  • explore Stanthorpe's 65 wineries
  • go bushwalking in Currawinya National Park
  • see the City of Toowoomba in full bloom during the annual flower  festival
  • fish for Yellowbelly and Murray Cod on the banks of the Balonne River  in St George
  • enjoy Warwick's Jumpers and Jazz Festival.

Find activities and places  in South West and Darling Downs.

A  4-hour drive north of Brisbane is the southern gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. This region offers a range of natural attractions and recreational activities:

  • 140km of sandy coastline
  • several national parks
  • humpback-whale-watching off Hervey Bay from June to November
  • 4-wheel driving across the world's largest sand island K'gari (formerly Fraser Island)
  • a vibrant cultural community with an exciting calendar of events.
  • Fraser Coast .

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Top 10 destinations in Queensland 2021

Our top 10 destinations in qld.

Queensland is the holiday planners dream, with a seemingly endless array of stunning beaches, dramatic scenery, wildlife galore and lush rainforest.

Table of Contents

Narrowing it down to a list of our top ten isn’t easy but this list should whet your appetite and start you off with some amazing Queensland destinations to discover. Whether you are looking for relaxation, adventure or fine dining your options are almost endless.

1) The Great Barrier Reef

The  Great Barrier Reef   has to be one of Australia’s best loved destinations. Reaching over 2000 km in length, it’s the largest coral reef in the world. Made up of 3000 individual reefs and 900 islands and coral cays, the potential for exploring here is endless.

UNESCO recognised the Great Barrier Reef as a World Heritage System in 1981 and it was the first coral reef to make it onto the UNESCO list.

The abundant marine life on the reef includes the popular species like turtles, whales, manta rays and sharks but also the smaller, delicate creatures such as seahorses, nudibranchs, sea urchins and clownfish of ‘Finding Nemo’ fame that live in the colourful corals.

Snorkelling and scuba diving is the best way to immerse yourself in this spectacular underwater world but if you want to keep dry, try a glass bottom boat where you’ll be mesmerised by the fascinating marine life below.

Top destinations in Queensland Great Barrier Reef

2) Lamington National Park

The 51,000 acres of Lamington National Park are situated in the world’s most extensive subtropical rainforest. Part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, Lamington Park has ecological importance combined with awe inspiring natural beauty. The Queensland Park is famous for having over 500 stunning waterfalls and an array of rare and unusual flora and fauna. It offers over 160 km of walking tracks catering to all levels of fitness as well adventure sports ranging from abseiling to archery. You’ll need a few days to fit everything in but you can stay overnight in the park to make the most of your visit. Choose between the rainforest or mountain eco-lodges which have accommodation options starting with a simple tent pitch all the way up to a luxury cottage.

Lamington National Park Canungra

3) Fraser Island

The largest sand island in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Fraser Island is an unmissable Queensland destination. This 76 mile island is the only place in the world where rainforests grow on the top of sand dunes and although you can’t swim in the sea, the island has over 100 lakes to help keep you cool.

There are no roads on the island and only 4x4s can be driven there. You can join a tour to get around the island but if you enjoy a challenge, hire your own 4×4 and test out your driving skills. If you drive down 75 mile beach (which is a legally registered highway) watch out for planes coming into land!

Fraser Island is one of the top adventures you can have in Queensland, you can immerse yourself in nature and try to spot humpback whales and dingos. relax on the beach with idyllic views, explore in your 4×4 or have a go at sand boarding down the dunes. And at the end of your days wind down with some unforgettable and epic stargazing.

Fraser Island South Beach

4) Brisbane

As the capital city of Queensland, we couldn’t miss Brisbane off our list and we wouldn’t want to!

It’s a buzzing city with the laidback, friendly vibe that Queensland is famous for.

Brisbane loves its cafe culture so coffee connoisseurs will be in their element. Local produce, chilled vibes and delicious brunches are all on the agenda.

There’s plenty of green space in Brisbane, South Bank has an amazing 17 hectares of parklands running along the Brisbane River and it even has a fantastic man-made beach if you’re missing your beach time!

The outskirts of Brisbane cover a huge expanse of farmland so the city’s farmers’ markets are a foodie’s dream with an abundance of fresh produce and ready to eat delicacies.

If vintage or one of a kind clothing markets are your idea of shopping heaven check out the Suitcase Rummage or The Young Designers Market for some local retail therapy.

Brisbane Queensland

5) Daintree Rainforest

The Daintree Rainforest is another UNESCO World Heritage site that has made it onto our Queensland list. This dramatic rainforest was the inspiration for the ‘Avatar’ film and it’s easy to see why. Jam packed with lush, tropical vegetation, a visit to this ancient rainforest is like a visit to an untouched world, it’s no wonder that this unique eco-system is David Attenborough’s favourite place on Earth.

A series of aerial walkways and viewing platforms have been installed to take you from the forest floor up through the canopy and expert guided tours will give you an astonishing insight into the flora and fauna of one of the world’s oldest rainforests.

You can take a night tour to discover a different world within the forest, when the larger animals come out to hunt or cruise along the Daintree River spotting crocodiles and cassowaries as you go.

Daintree Rainforest Queensland Australia

6) Burleigh Heads Beach

With over 7000km of stunning coast line, Queensland does not disappoint when it comes to its beaches. After some deliberation, we’ve chosen Burleigh Heads Beach as one of our favourites.  Burleigh Heads Beach sits between busy Surfer’s Paradise and Coolangatta on the Gold Coast.

The headland offers great surfing whilst swimmers can enjoy calm waters protected by the cape. For those who don’t fancy getting wet, the cliffs have the best view points for spectators and the weekends are often full of live music performances or arts and crafts stalls.

The beach has some funky local cafes and shops to explore and there’s a park for the kids in case they need to burn off any extra energy.

White gold sand, turquoise waters, a variety of coastal walking trails and iconic views of the Gold Coast skyline make this beautiful beach worth a visit for the whole family.

Burleigh Heads Beach Queensland

7) Tamborine Mountain

Tamborine Mountain is a perfect destination for wine lovers. Its wineries are famous and are complemented by delicious local cheeses and gourmet restaurants. Joining a Tambourine Mountain wine tour is one of the best ways to discover and sample the Queensland wineries, distilleries and breweries without worrying about how you’ll get back to your accommodation.

Once you’ve discovered your favourite wines, you can explore eclectic vintage stores, local craft shops and vibrant art galleries or venture onto the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk for some breath-taking views of the ‘green behind the gold’.

Finally, don’t forget to visit the Tamborine Mountain glow worm sanctuary while you are there. It’s the only place that you can safely see and learn about these rare creatures at any time of the day and is a once in a lifetime chance to see thousands of radiant glow worms.

Tamborine Mountain Queensland

8) The Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsunday Islands have some of the most photographed scenery in Queensland and until you see it for yourself it’s hard to believe that it hasn’t been edited. The majority of the 74 islands are national park islands with just five islands offering accommodation for tourists.

The Whitsundays are a dream destination for sailors. You can join a cruise or charter your own boat, hopping between picture perfect beaches and coves and snorkelling in the clearest, turquoise waters.

Whitehaven beach is often named as the best beach in the world and once you’ve seen the sparkling white sands, you’ll understand the attraction. The Whitsundays are often thought of as a playground for the rich and famous, catered to by exclusive resorts such as Qualia on Hamilton Island. Luckily, there is an option for every budget. Book in advance and you can even secure a pitch for your tent right next to one of the Whitsundays fabulous beaches.

The Whitsunday Islands Queensland

9) The Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Circuit

Who doesn’t love a waterfall? The Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Circuit sits on a plateau of volcanic crater lakes surrounded by lush, tropical greenery. The waters cascading down towards the Queensland coast create an absolute smorgasbord of spectacular waterfalls.

You can take a waterfall tour which will visit the favourites such as the natural water slides at Josephine Falls and Millaa Millaa Falls, which are instantly recognisable from a well-known shampoo advert!

If you have the time, hire a car and discover some of the more hidden waterfalls which are off the beaten track. Some of the falls do involve a bit of a trek to but the reward of having a magnificent plunge pool all to yourself is definitely worth the walk.

Whilst you are exploring the Atherton Tablelands waterfalls you can take the opportunity to follow some of the sign posts to other spots along the way and you won’t be disappointed. There are never ending volcanic lakes to swim in and imposing, ancient fig trees to be awed by.

The Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Circuit

10) Carnarvon Gorge

In the central highlands, Carnarvon Gorge is one of Queensland’s best kept secrets. The gorge covers a vast 16,000 hectare expanse and is teeming with diverse flora and fauna.

Over the years Carnarvon Creek has worn through the rocks creating natural sculptures, pools, caverns and caves – some decorated with ancient Indigenous art.

The treks range from a shorter 5km hike around the visitors centre to the challenging six day, 87 km Carnarvon Great Walk for experienced hikers.

If you want to experience real Queensland wilderness, this is the destination for you. Knowledgeable local tour guides are on hand to reveal the gorges indigenous heritage and help you to spot and identify the teeming wildlife.

Carnarvon Gorge

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23 of the Best Places to Visit in Queensland

tourist destination qld

Are you planning your Queensland holiday but not sure where to go?  Geographically, Queensland is a massive place and with so many awesome things to do in Queensland, it sure can be tough putting together all your itinerary – particularly if you are short on time. 

Which is where this guide comes in handy, as with the help of some of the top travel bloggers, I’ve compiled this guide on 23 of the very best places to visit in Queensland.  From the stunning beaches on the Gold Coast in South East Queensland to the lush rainforests of Far North Queensland and all areas in between, this guide covers the very best of Queensland.

This post may contain compensated links.  Please refer to my disclaimer  here  for more information.

Planning a trip to Queensland? Have any questions? Join our Queensland Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

Best Places to Visit in Queensland

The gold coast beaches.

Gold Coast - Things to do on the Gold Coast with Kids

The beaches are among the most popular places to go in Queensland and some of the best beaches in Queensland can be found on the Gold Coast.  Some of the more popular Gold Coast beaches include Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh (see more below) and Currumbin.  The beaches are stunning with warm, clear water and long sandy beautiful beaches.  With both surf and calm waters, whether you want to swim, surf, boogie board or SUP, there is the perfect beach for you.

And if you have had enough of the beaches, there is plenty to do in the region including theme parks , hiking trails and national parks. Not to mention shopping centres, boutique shops, cafes, restaurants, and sporting events.

If stunning beaches weren’t enough, the good news about visiting the Gold Coast is given the year-round warm weather you can visit at any time of the year.  However it’s probably worth mentioning that our summers can get super-hot and are long!  Summer is officially between December and February – but more typically is between October and March.  The cold weather is really only across June, July and August which are our winter months.

Click here for our full guide on all there is to do on the Gold Coast.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Currumbin Wildlife Park

Thanks to Maureen from So Many Places! So Little Time!

When it comes to Queensland places to visit to see Australian native animals, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary should be on the top of your list.  It’s got 27 hectares of wildlife park in a tropical rain forest with all the iconic Australian wildlife, flora and fauna all together, in one easy to get to location and suitable for both family groups and solo travelers.

The park opens at 8 am with free entry to the very noisy and colorful lorikeet feeding and the cafe. It is worthwhile doing a bit of homework before you come to prioritize the things you want to see. Go to the website and take note of shows with their times and location so you don’t miss anything. Entry is $49.95 for adults and $39.95 for 4-14 year olds but you can often get discounted tickets online .

Once inside the park, you can wander around the open animal enclosures, cuddling a koala or feeding the kangaroos, or hop on the mini train when you want a break from walking. Catch some of the shows if you can. There’s the Free Flight Bird Show, the Crocodile Show, the snakes and reptiles in the Big Fang Theory Show, the Aboriginal Dance Show or Blinky Bills Studio Adventure.

There’s also a range of extra activities at a surcharge that includes a very interesting tour of the Wildlife Hospital or if you like your adventure sport, there’s the Treetop challenge with its zip line rides and challenges.

If you’re traveling by car, put “28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin” in your GPS. Tomewin Street is just off the Gold Coast Highway. There is both paid parking and free street parking available.

If you’re using public transport and coming from Surfers Paradise, take the tram to  Broadbeach South Station and then the 700 bus to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The cost will be $8 to $12 and will take about 45 minutes. From Coolangatta take the 700 or 760 bus towards Broadbeach.

Burleigh Heads

tourist destination qld

Thanks to Carolin from Breathing Travel

When thinking of where to go in Queensland, you cannot go past Burleigh Heads!   Pumping surf, cute cafes, unique boutique stores and friendly locals. Burleigh is a great place to visit for the whole family, there is plenty to do, see and eat. Or simply relax on the beach and don’t do anything. 

A good day in Burleigh starts with a fresh juice from The Fruit Shop on James Street or head to Commune Cafe for a hearty breakfast! Wander along the famous main street and check into the beautiful homeware and clothing boutiques. Then, stroll over to the beach, hit the surf or take a walk in Burleigh National Park. The afternoon is a great time to chill or have a picnic on Burleigh Hill watching the Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach skyline in the distance while the sun glows and slowly goes down behind the mountains.

If you happen to be in Burleigh on the weekend, don’t miss The Village Markets, a lively market with local food stalls, boutique fashion and live music. Come night time, Burleigh also has some great bars. Check out Burleigh Pavilion, Justin Lane Rooftop Bar and Mister Hizolas or Rick Shores for the best places to eat in Burleigh.

Click here to find some great accommodation in Burleigh Heads.

Springbrook National Park

Springbrook Natural Arch

Thanks to Eloise from My Favourite Escapes

Springbrook National Park is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is a Queensland must see. Located in the Gold Coast Hinterland, it offers fantastic opportunities for hiking in the rainforest. There’s no public transport, so the best way to get there is by driving or joining a tour. It’s 40 minutes away from Surfers Paradise and 1.5 hrs from Brisbane.

Natural Bridge is one of the most famous walks there. The 1.5km circuit is accessible for all ages and fitness levels. It leads to a beautiful cave where you can see a rare colony of glow worms at night. Many stunning lookouts are accessible by car, as well as short and long hikes to please all kinds of adventurers.

Springbrook National Park is excellent all year round. If you wish to see the waterfalls full, it’s better to visit in summer or autumn, during or after the wet season. It does get hot in summer, which can be uncomfortable for hiking. But as you are mostly in the shade of the rainforest, so it’s not as bad as most places in Queensland.

If you want to stay in the region for a few days, the Mouses House Retreat has beautiful chalets nestled in the rainforest that can host the entire family or click here for alternative accommodation in the region .

Being Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane is usually the starting point for most when they visit Queensland. It is an excellent gateway to popular Queensland holiday destinations such as gorgeous beaches of the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast and of course, the famous Gold Coast theme parks and attractions.

While Brisbane City is an excellent base for day trips, the city itself is also worth exploring for a few days and the best news is that many of the main tourist attractions are free!!  You can visit museums, art galleries, cruise the river, swim at South Bank (see below), take guided tours as well as get around the city completely free of charge.   And of course, as with all cities, there are plenty of shops to quench your shopping urges in the CBD, and you never know you may win a small fortune at the Treasury Casino, to finance your shopping spree.

My top tips on things to do in the Brisbane CBD are to take a cruise up the river, have a drink or two at a rooftop bar and have dinner at one of the restaurants at Howard Wharf.

Click here for our full guide on visiting Brisbane.

South Bank               

South Bank Parklands

Thanks to Stephanie from Navigating Adventure   

Queensland is known for its spectacular beaches, and arguably one of its most iconic beach is located at South Bank – right on the edge of the Brisbane River and just a short stroll from the CBD.

South Bank parklands were created for Expo ’88 and they have been a popular family destination ever since. Children love cooling off at Streets Beach or paddling in the surrounding lagoons during the warmer months and playing on the numerous playgrounds year-round.

The beautifully landscaped gardens are perfect for enjoying a picnic lunch, or families can eat at one of the many cafes. For a unique experience, you can treat yourself to refreshments high in the sky on the Wheel of Brisbane!

South Bank is home to Brisbane’s cultural precinct, which includes several child-friendly educational attractions. We recommend the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) and the Queensland Museum, which features Sparklab, an interactive science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) space designed for young, curious minds.

Perfect for a whole day out, South Bank is a ten-minute walk from the Queen Street Mall and accessible by train, bus, the City Cat ferry or paid parking. For nearby accommodation, search for apartments at South Brisbane, West End or central Brisbane.

Click here for our full guide on things to do in South Bank.

Explore the Brisbane Islands

Tangalooma Review

If you’re not from Brisbane, you may be surprised to learn that there are some stunning islands off Brisbane including North Stradbroke Island, Peel Island, Bribie Island and Moreton Island to name a few.  These Brisbane islands are some of the best places to visit in South East Queensland and all easily accessible by a short ferry ride.  In fact Bribie Island, you can drive right there.

All of these islands are just stunning and the perfect spot for swimming, as well as other water activities such as kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and snorkelling.  If you can, it’s best to spend a few days at each island exploring all that’s on offer, but if you have only have a day, it’s best to join a tour.

For more information, check out our guide on visiting North Stradbroke Island and our guide on visiting Tangalooma on Moreton Island .

Glass House Mountains

tourist destination qld

Thanks to Laura from Passport Collective

The Glasshouse Mountains are a group of 13 mountains located in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, around an hour north of Brisbane. The mountains were formed by ancient volcanic activity in the region and as such offer a beautiful and spectacular display of rock formations in the area. Mt Ngungun is popular with families for hiking. It’s well laid track takes around 45 minutes to hike and there are plenty of scenic rest stops along the way. The peak offers the opportunity to scramble over rocks and enjoy a 360-degree panorama of the mountain range.

Mt Tinbeerwah is fantastic for families with younger children. The peak is a 15-minute climb from the car park on a well-made track. Once you reach the summit, you can make the final climb up to the observation deck which gives you a great vantage point for the rest of the range. Mt Tinbeerwah is particularly pretty during sunset. A gorgeous misty glow envelops the surrounding mountain range and the sound of kookaburras can be heard from the trees. The path is not lit, so if you’re planning to stay until dark, make sure to pack a torch.

The range is steeped in Aboriginal history, so make sure to stop and read the trail markers and park signs as you explore.

tourist destination qld

When it comes to Queensland destinations, they don’t come much more lovely than Noosa.  Noosa is not only a beautiful part of the Sunshine Coast, but with the Noosa National Park, Main Beach and Noosa River, it is a great place to get out and about in the great outdoors.

The Noosa National Park offers both picturesque coastlines as well as a variety of walking tracks from easy to moderate, through the rainforest and along the gorgeous coastline. Walking tracks start from a few hundred metres to 5.4 kilometers.  Some of the best Noosa beaches can be found in the Noosa National Park, such as Tea Tree Bay, Winch Cove and Granite Bay.  Just outside the park you will find my favourite Noosa beach – Little Cove.  With the back drop of the lush Noosa National Park and the calm crystal clear water, these beaches are without a doubt some of the most stunning in Australia. 

These beaches are perfect for swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, or stand up paddleboarding.  When the tide is out, the waves pick up just enough for some gentle boogie boarding too.  You’ll find the entrance to the Noosa National Park just a short stroll or drive from the famous tourist strip of Hastings Street.

The calm crystal-clear waters of the Noosa River are ideal for getting out and exploring in a kayak or SUP.  You can bring your own or hire your own or join a tour group.  If you paddle right out to the mouth of the Noosa River, you will find many sand islands where you can hang out on your own deserted island for as long as you like. There are also several pathways around the area perfect for biking, walking and running.

Noosa is also a great place to base yourself for some of the other Queensland attractions located on the Sunshine Coast.

Click here for our full guide on visiting Noosa.

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Thanks to Sinead from Map Made Memories

One of the most popular Queensland tourist attractions is Australia Zoo.   Located in the small town of Beerwah on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the 1,000-acre zoo was founded by the late Steve Irwin, and the Irwin family still owns and operate the zoo today.

Our family has mixed feelings about zoos so we choose carefully which zoos we visit and support. But each of us loved our packed day at Australia Zoo.  The zoo contains large enclosures as close to the animal’s natural habitat as is possible. You can see animals from all over the world such as tigers, cheetahs and red pandas as well as Australian animals such as wombats, echidnas and the park’s most famous residents, crocodiles.

Our children’s favourite part of the park was hand feeding the kangaroos in their gigantic enclosure. For me, it was tickling a giant tortoise under its chin during an Animal Encounter experience. Education and conservation is a key focus of the zoo and we were impressed with the passion and knowledge of the zoo rangers, many of whom were volunteers. The zoo also has an attached medical centre where sick and injured animals are treated, rehabilitated and wherever possible re-released. 

Fraser Island

tourist destination qld

Thanks to Nicky from Go Live Young.

Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island, located off the Queensland coast. Stretching for more than 120 kilometres, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992, alongside other Australian highlights, including the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and Kakadu. This giant sand island can only be explored by 4WD, either independently or as part of a tour . The island consists of long sandy beaches backed by coloured sand cliffs, huge sand dunes, freshwater inland lakes and ancient rainforest.

We opted to visit Fraser Island independently, hiring a 4WD vehicle from the mainland, complete with camping gear, for a two night/three day trip. Hiring a 4WD gives you complete freedom to roam the island, giving you complete flexibility when travelling as a family. Campsites and ferry crossing are also organised as part of the rental. Other options include organised tours on large 4WD buses and tag-along tours, popular with backpackers, where groups of travellers pile into a 4WD convoy and follow a lead vehicle with a guide. 

The island is known for its natural beauty and the highlights include: the freshwater inland Lake McKenzie surrounded by perfect white sand; the Champagne Pools, natural rock seawater pools; causing along Seventy Five Mile Beach in your 4WD; Eli Creek which you can float down if you bring rubber rings; and Lake Wabby with its huge sand dune. There are no roads on the island, just sand tracks and miles of beach along the east coast of the island. 

Fraser Island is a unique and special place and one of the best places in Queensland for adventure-loving families.

Whale Watching in Hervey Bay

tourist destination qld

Thanks to Christina from

One of the best things to see in Queensland is the humpback whales in Hervey Bay.  While whale watching in Hervey Bay it’s possible to see humpback whales on their annual migration in many coastal towns in Queensland.  But there’s only one place where you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic experience. The reason why Hervey Bay is known as the Whale Watching Capital of the World is that lots of humpback whales hang around in the calm and sheltered waters between July and November.

Hervey Bay is a natural resting point for the humpback whales during their long swim back to the Antarctic. Here, the whales are curious and unafraid of the whale-watching boats. It’s common to see whales breaching, blowing, spy hopping and tail slapping in Hervey Bay.   There is a range of different whale watching cruises you can join from half days to full day cruises.

There are direct flights to Hervey Bay from Sydney and Brisbane, or you can hire a car and drive from Brisbane (about 3.5 hours). It’s worth the drive as there are other family-friendly attractions on the Fraser Coast, such as exploring Fraser Island and the historic town of Maryborough.

While in Hervey Bay, stay at one of the hotels (such as Mantra Hervey Bay ) on the Urangan Marina for easy access to the whale watching boats.  

Sunrise with the Kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough

tourist destination qld

Thanks to Tracy from Tracys Travels in Time  

One of the absolute best Queensland things to do is to visit Cape Hillsborough to see the kangaroos and wallabies on the beach at sunrise. Located a 30-minute drive from Mackay, this experience really should be on everyone’s must-do Queensland list.

To ensure you actually see the kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough beach , it is essential to be on the beach at sunrise as this is when they come down to feed on seedpods that have been washed ashore. If possible, book nearby accommodation at Cape Hillsborough (there are a few options including Airbnb) as it makes it easier (and safer) to get to the beach. 

Remember that the animals are wild – don’t try to feed them or touch them. And don’t stand between them and the back of the bach – they need to know they can leave when they want to.

Also don’t forget your camera – I have literally hundreds of photographs and videos as it is such a stunning sight. The beach turns orange and golden as the sun rays seep over the horizon and is really beautiful, especially with the kangaroos silhouetted.

Another tip If you are visiting in winter is to wrap up warmly as it can be bitterly cold on the beach.     

Airlie Beach

tourist destination qld

  Thanks to Tina from Hangry by Nature

Laid-back, hip and perfect for those who love the slow life – Airlie Beach is the ideal base to jumpstart your Whitsundays adventures. If you’re planning to tick off Queensland activities such as the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach from your bucket list, then you’ll no doubt be passing through this picturesque coastal town.

We found the best time to visit Airlie Beach is from June to September, outside of stinger and wet season so that you can enjoy the water, sunshine, and possibly even spot a few migrating whales.

If you don’t fancy a dip in the ocean (especially during stinger season), then head to Airlie Beach Lagoon. Situated in the town centre, lagoon features shallow wading pools for kids and deeper swimming areas for adults. 

Be sure to take a sunset stroll along the scenic Bicentennial Walk, dotted with public BBQ facilities and playgrounds; it’s a perfect leisurely walk for families. Admire the sunset over Coral Sea Marina and admire luxury yachts in all their million-dollar glory.

Don’t forget to explore the bustling town centre where you’ll stumble upon boutique shops, restaurants with killer views, trendy cafes and cool bars. While you’re there, stroll over to the revitalised foreshore and let the kids exert their energy at the brand new adventure playground.

Click here for our guide on cheap family accommodation in Airlie Beach.

Whitehaven Beach

tourist destination qld

Thanks to Jan from Budget Travel Talk  

There are 74 islands in North Queensland’s Whitsunday Group of Islands, with only a handful of islands visited commercially. Although each have individually charming beaches, there is one beach that stands out in the crowd.

Whitsunday Island, the largest of all the Whitsunday Islands, is where you will find Whitehaven Beach, known the world over for it’s shining white sand. An even bigger Whitsunday draw-card is the view over Whitehaven’s Hill Inlet, where the white sand and clear blue-green water challenge each other in an ever-changing display. I liken it to Nature’s lava lamp.

Even with megastar status Whitehaven Beach retains a natural beauty, no doubt due to day visitor numbers being strictly controlled within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Abell Point Marina at Airlie Beach is one mainland departure point for Whitehaven Beach day trips , as is Port of Airlie. Nearby Shute Harbour caters for bare-boating, sailing charters and a barge service delivering campers to the islands.

Whitehaven Beach can be accessed from the other Whitsunday islands including Hamilton Island. If pressed for time, get a bird’s eye view of Whitehaven Beach from a Seaplane or Helicopter.

September is billed as the ultimate month to visit Whitehaven Beach, followed by the winter months of June, July, August. Winter temperatures can be cold, but we wore full wet suits when snorkelling, which can be hired from your boat trip provider.

The best way to arrive in the Whitsundays is by road from Brisbane or Cairns and by plane from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to Whitsunday Coast Airport near Proserpine.  

Sail the Whitsundays

tourist destination qld

Thanks to Emily from Websites From A Van  

Sailing a yacht around The Whitsunday Islands is one of the best things to do in Queensland with kids and something the whole family will remember in years to come.

The Whitsundays are renowned for calm seas, turquoise waters, tropical weather and of course access to pristine islands and beaches with National Park status. The islands are also the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world.

When you hire a bareboat charter yacht, you’re taught how to manage the craft and then given complete control over where you go and what you see. Don’t let a lack of sailing skills put you off; you can always “sail” with the motor on.

Kids will enjoy snorkelling off the boat, exploring secluded beaches, rainforest walks and learning how to sail. You must visit the world-famous Whitehaven Beach and stop in at Hamilton Island for amazing views and restaurants. 

It is possible to sail the Whitsundays all year round with some great deals in the offseason, however the best conditions are expected between June to October.

Hire a yacht through Whitsunday Rent a Yacht; located in Shute Harbour and you will have the closest access to the islands and they have the most competitive prices.

Proserpine Airport is less than an hour away, and Airlie Beach is the closest town offering the perfect base to prepare for your tropical adventure.  

Magnetic Island

tourist destination qld

Thanks to Annie from Off Goes Annie  

Magnetic Island is one of the best Queensland tourist destination for any family trip around Queensland. Easily accessible by ferry from Townsville, the 52 square kilometre Magnetic Island boasts a huge 320 days a year of sunshine and is guaranteed to be fun for the whole family.

The most popular attraction on this small paradise island is to hire a car and drive around the numerous secluded bays. In the Northern part of the island, you’ll find an old WWII fort, as part of a brilliant one hour and a half long Forts Walk. Many families choose to hire one of the infamous ‘Barbie cars’ to zoom around the island but note that you must have a 4WD to access the West side’s beaches.

Alternatively, it’s possible to get a $7 per day unlimited bus pass to explore the island, helping to keep costs down. What’s more, take the kids to Bungalow Bay Koala Village to check out the adorable koala sanctuary. 

Click here for accommodation on Magnetic Island.  

Great Barrier Reef

tourist destination qld

Thanks to Nicci from Trip Chiefs

A visit to the Great Barrier Reef would have to be my number one must-do for families visiting Queensland. And I’m a Queenslander, so I’ve seen a lot! 

Swim amongst stunning coral reefs full of colourful fish, turtles, giant clams, sea cucumbers, and more. There are options to suit all ages, but for me, the ultimate way to see the reef is to take a guided tour to the outer reef from Port Douglas or Cairns where you can snorkel or scuba dive from a pontoon.

For those with younger kids who aren’t strong swimmers, then sticking closer to land would be my recommendation.

Visiting the reef doesn’t come cheap, but it’s absolutely worth seeing, exploring and learning about this incredible slice of nature up close. As the world’s largest coral reef, it needs to be seen in person to be believed.

The best time to visit is late autumn and winter. You can choose to see the Great Barrier Reef anywhere between Bundaberg and Port Douglas.

Click here to view a range of tour options to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns.

Port Douglas

tourist destination qld

Thanks to Arian from World of Travels with Kids

Port Douglas is one of the best destinations in Queensland for family travellers.  It’s small, charming, and has a beautiful ambiance.  Nestled on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, and close to the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest , Port Douglas makes a wonderful base for day trips.  Alternatively, if poolside relaxation and beach time is your idea of a holiday, there are some stunning resorts that will most definitely tick this box.  Small kids will enjoy the Bally Hooley Train, a restored cane train that puffs around the town, while big kids will enjoy the adventure possibilities.

Port Douglas is best visited in the winter (June to October) a period when it is warm and there is not too much rain. This is also the season when it is safe to swim in the ocean, as there are no stingers.  The Summer is from November through May and the weather is typical for the tropical wet season:  hot with downpours. 

To get to Port Douglas, we flew into Cairns via Brisbane.  From there, we hired a car and drove the 110 kilometres along a stunning highway, with tantalising glimpses of the stunning ocean, palm trees and rainforest vegetation. 

tourist destination qld

Thanks to Keri from Our Globetrotters  

For an absolute quintessential Queensland experience, head to the village in the mountains, Kuranda, between Cairns and Port Douglas in the Tropical North.   Half the fun of visiting Kuranda is getting there and back with the choice of the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway or the Kuranda Skyrail – a cable car .  Both are amazing experiences offering stunning views over the Barron Falls and McAlister Range, so definitely opt for a different mode of transport in each direction!

Once in Kuranda, there’s a variety of Australian shopping, food and wildlife experiences to choose from, most within walking distance of the adjacent stations.  Some favourites with the kids include the Butterfly Sanctuary , Birdworld and Kuranda Koala Gardens , or simply enjoy the plentiful markets packed with handy crafts and wonderful food – and, of course, the Kuranda Kandy Kitchen!

Slightly further away but a must to truly experience the beauty in among the mountains are the Kuranda River Cruises on the Barron River and Rainforestation Nature Park . Pick your attractions carefully though, as you don’t want to miss your ticket back down the mountains, definitely book early so you have the choice of optimal timings on the train and Skyrail.

The weather is best in the dry season, however a wet season visit will allow you to see the dramatic Barron Falls in full flow.

Click here to read our full guide to visiting Kuranda.    

Stay in a Rainforest Tree House

tourist destination qld

  Thanks to Katy from Untold Morsels

Imagine waking up to the sound of native birds and the gentle babble of a creek in the middle of pristine nature. You can’t get closer to nature than this, and the best way to experience it is to stay at a rainforest treehouse. Queensland’s tropical forests are some of the oldest and most complex ecosystems in the world. When you stay right in the heart of this special environment, you can discover unique and ancient species of wildlife that have roamed this area for thousands of years. Try to spot a cassowary making its way through the bush or a pademelon wallaby foraging for food from your balcony.

You can stay in a rainforest treehouse in locations throughout Queensland’s tropical north. Our favourite places are in the Daintree Rainfores t and Atherton Tablelands close to Cairns. In particular, the award-winning Canopy Treehouses close to Millaa Millaa Falls are a haven for tree kangaroos, endangered possums and cassowaries.

The Daintree

tourist destination qld

  The Daintree region covers almost 900,000 hectares of tropical north Queensland and is home to the World Heritage listed Daintree National Park.  The Daintree area covers the Mossman Gorge at the southern point, the Daintree River at its centre and then all the way up to the dense rainforests of Cape Tribulation.  The region has numerous tourist attractions including the lush dense rainforest, crocodile infested rivers, cool fresh water streams, pristine beaches and the Great Barrier Reef.

This is the only place in the world where 2 World Heritage listed sites exist side by side – Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier Reef.

While you can visit the Daintree in a day trip from Cairns, or better still spend a few days exploring this magnificent area.  Whilst visiting the Daintree you must visit the Mossman Gorge (pictured above), take a Daintree River Cruise to see crocodiles and other wildlife, the Daintree Discovery Centre and one of the gorgeous Daintree Rainforest Beaches – where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. 

One of the best things to do in the Daintree is to see the crocs in the wild!  Join one of the various boat tours and get ready to see these massive beasts as they bask in the glorious Queensland sun.  My tip is to go during low tide, this way you will get to see the full views of crocodiles rather then just their tips as they zig zag down the river.

Click here for a our full guide on visiting the Daintree.

tourist destination qld

Thanks to Natalie and Steve from Curious Campers Australia

Cooktown is 4.5 hours from Cairns. For the more adventurous, take the Bloomfield track, but note that it’s only accessible by 4WD and not suitable for caravans. The track has steep hills and potentially deep water crossings, so be sure to check the conditions before you go.

One of the highlights in Cooktown was the James Cook Museum.  Besides Captain Cook history, the museum also honours the local indigenous people and the early Chinese population. Not every museum is a winner with kids, but ours enjoyed this one. The Endeavour’s canon and anchor really caught their imagination.

We also had great fun fishing at the local wharf. Even if we didn’t catch much, the kids had a ball watching the locals reel in some enormous fish. The water park on the esplanade was also a big hit.

Cooktown Holiday Park is a great place to stay for families.  Here you find fantastic amenities such as a camp kitchen and pool.  For free camping, try Archer Point 20km south of Cooktown.

Cooktown has a wet season and a dry season. If you want to avoid rain, humidity, cyclones and stinger season, May to October is the best time to visit.


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1 thought on “23 of the Best Places to Visit in Queensland”

Australian Zoo was the best! I really want to go and know more about it! Thanks for this great post!

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Home » Travel Guides » Australia » 15 Best Places to Visit in Queensland (Australia)

15 Best Places to Visit in Queensland (Australia)

With stunning scenery ranging from forests and mountains to pristine white beaches, and from reef to outback, Queensland boasts a diverse range of attractions, making it a favorite for tourists from throughout Australia and all over the world.

You can relax with a craft cocktail on an island beach resort, hike through lush rainforests, enjoy exotic flora and fauna like you’ve never seen before, or enjoy the urban buzz of the vibrant metropolis Brisbane.

With 7000km of stunning coastline, Queensland is a beach-lover’s paradise, but there’s so much to see and do in this tourist mecca that after you you’re your appetite with these 15 best places, you’ll just want to come back to the Sunshine State for more!

Let’s explore the best places to visit in Queensland :

1. Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world, and it’s the only living thing visible from space – it’s even larger than the Great Wall of China! The Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s widely considered the jewel in Queensland’s crown.

If you’re visiting Queensland, this extraordinarily beautiful and unique site is a must-see.

Teeming with marine life, it’s a great place to do some scuba or snorkelling, and get some stunning snaps for your Snapchat!

2. Daintree Rainforest

Daintree Rainforest

The breathtakingly beautiful Daintree Rainforest boasts exceptionally diverse flora and fauna, including 90% of Australia’s bat and butterfly species.

Like the Great Barrier Reef, most of the Daintree Forest is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site (Wet Tropics of Queensland), listed under the , and for good reason: it’s fascinating for nature-lovers and scientists alike, as it presents a uniquely detailed record of the processes by which Australian flora and fauna have evolved, with living relics of the Gondwanan era in the form of the closest surviving relatives to many ancient marsupials; also, its flora is considered to be the nearest example to what a Gondwanan forest would have been like.

Tours are available to give you some fascinating insights into the science and history of the Daintree Rainforest, but you can also enjoy relaxing walks and soak up the gorgeous scenery: waterfalls, wild rivers, and forest and coastal vistas.

It’s a wonderful example of the beauty of the Australian landscape.


Cairns is the gateway to the Daintree Forest and the Great Barrier Reef, and it’s a wonderful little resort town that’s very popular in its own right with backpackers from all over the world.

Its mild climate in winter makes it a beloved getaway for Sydney-siders and Melbournites.

This tropical paradise caters well for its tourists, with a buzzing café scene, beach markets, and even a platypus park!

4. Surfer’s Paradise

Surfer’s Paradise

Surfer’s Paradise is the ultimate beach tourism town, and a very popular spot for travelers to QLD to base themselves.

The beach itself is one of Australia’s most well-known, and many (surprisingly affordable!) hotels are situated just across the road, so it’s just a short walk to be able to relax and enjoy the Aussie summer.

The town itself is very built up, with great nightlife and cuisine, and it boasts many tourist attractions such as the futuristic Infinity maze, a Ripley’s Believe it or Not, a Hard Rock Café and Dracula’s Haunted House.

You might even see one of Surfer’s Paradise’s famous bikini-clad meter-maids!

5. Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park

Named after Lord Lamington (who is also the namesake of the delicious Australian dessert!), this national park has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The park is teeming with unique flora and fauna, some of which is found nowhere else on Earth.

The park is particularly known for its birdlife, wildflowers, ancient trees and waterfalls, and it’s easy accessible: you’ll find some of Australia’s best bushwalking here, with over 160km of walking tracks catering to all levels of fitness.

It’s also a great place to do some adventure sports: abseiling, archery and a flying fox are all available.

A particularly popular tourist attraction in the park is O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, the home of 230 species of birdlife, and where the very tame rosella parrots will eat right out of your hand or even perch on your head.

6. Gold Coast theme parks

Warner Brothers’ Movie World

The Gold Coast’s four theme parks – Warner Brothers’ Movie World, Dream World and Wet’n’Wild – are must-dos for anyone who loves theme parks, rollercoasters, and kitsch.

Sea World offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with Australian marine life, and the monorail system (Australia’s first!) and cable cars make it easy to get around the complex while enjoying stunning views.

Movie World is full of cheesy Warner Brothers’ fun; take a photo of you with all your favorite characters, and enjoy top-quality, hi-tech themed rides such as the Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster.

Dream World is the biggest theme park on the Gold Coast, with a great diversity of attractions (such as Tiger Island) and rides (the Giant Drop is a favorite with thrillseekers). Wet’n’Wild is an aquatic theme park with some of Australia’s greatest waterslide fun, including some extreme waterslides such as the Kamikaze which gives you the sensation of zero-gravity as you plunge down 11 metres at a 70 degree angle.

Whether you like your theme parks relaxing or adrenalin-pumping, the Gold Coast has something for you!

7. Tamborine Mountain

Tamborine Mountain

Tamborine Mountain boasts a gorgeous little town high up on a mountain, nested neatly between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

The town has stunning views of the mountain, but it’s also worth spending a day walking around and enjoying the atmosphere of this eclectic town: Tamborine Mountain is famous for its wineries, delicious cheeses, gourmet restaurants, vibrant art scene, and adorable vintage stores.

You can also enjoy the Rainforest Skywalk, visit the glowworm caves, or stay in one of the romantic B&Bs – there’s something for everyone!

8. Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo is a must-do if you want to experience Australia’s most famous wildlife! The zoo was started as the passion project of the late Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter.

The Irwin family are still very involved in making a reality of Steve’s vision: making the Australia Zoo the world’s biggest and best conservation facility.

There’s plenty of fun to be had at the zoo: get up close and personal with Australian animals such as wombats and kangaroos, and even get a dingo kiss! There’s also plenty of more exotic animals, so if you’ve ever wanted to hand-feed a tortoise or pet a tiger, this is the place to go.

9. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a quieter alternative to Australia Zoo, with more affordable entry, and more of a focus on Australian wildlife.

There’s also cute performances for the kids including the Australian icon Blinky Bill, as well as a flying fox over the treetops, a Segway safari, and the chance to feed a crocodile.

10. South Bank

South Bank

Located on the south bank of the Brisbane River, South Bank is known for its beautiful floral walkway, its inner-city artificial beach, and a wide variety of fine dining options.

You can also see freshwater turtles wandering around! If you enjoy museum and gallery-hopping, make sure to visit the Cultural Precinct, which is the home of the Performing Arts Centre, the Art Gallery (don’t forget to check out their exceptionally high-quality gourmet restaurant!), the QLD Museum Science Centre and the Maritime Museum.

South Bank also has a gorgeous Rainforest Walk, a Nepalese Pagoda, and a botanical garden.

It’s best to plan to spend an entire day at South Bank, as there’s plenty to keep you entertained here!

11. West End

West End

West End is a fun, quirky precinct that’s popular with the indie and hipster crowds; it’s a great place to do some vintage clothes shopping, enjoy one of Brisbane’s best cafes, or treat yourself to a delicious, unique cocktail at the exotic Lychee Lounge.

The weekend markets are a perfect introduction to Australia’s creative scene, followed by a stroll through Orleigh Park while enjoying lovely views of the Brisbane River.

12. Story Bridge

Story Bridge

Brisbane is a city where the river is such a part of your life: with 25 ferry stops, and bridges criss-crossing the river, the locals get to enjoy stunning views on a daily basis, and the river is a beloved part of Brisbane’s culture.

One of the river bridges, Story Bridge, is particularly iconic: the heritage-listed steel bridge connects Fortitude Valley to Kangaroo Point, and has been operating since 1940. Almost 100,000 commuters cross over the bridge every day, and it’s also the home of the Riverfire (a gorgeous fireworks display wrapping up Riverfestival). Story Bridge is lit up at night, making a postcard-perfect backdrop for your holiday memories.

If you’re a dare-devil, you can even climb the bridge!

13. Roma Street Parkland

Roma Street Parkland

Situated high above the Brisbane city centre, Roma Street Parkland offers gorgeous urban views, as well as a garden that is considered one of the two best in Australia.

The Spectacle Garden is particularly beautiful, with a lovely year-round floral display.

It’s a large garden, so be prepared to spend a few hours relaxing and wandering around enjoying the immaculately-kept grounds.

14. Fraser Island

Fraser Island

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It’s a great spot for whale-watching, fishing, 4WD-ing, a romantic getaway, or a soothing nature walk.

The island is a beloved getaway for tourists and locals alike, and well worth adding to your Queensland itinerary.

15. Whitsundays


The Whitsundays area offers everything from extreme luxury (Hamilton and Hayman Islands) to a backpacker mecca (Airlie Beach). Of the 74 Whitsunday islands, most are uninhabited national park islands, but four offer tourist accommodation.

The scenery of the Whitsundays is so stunning that it needs to be seen to be believed, and visitors to the area include the rich and famous from Australia and beyond.

There’s plenty of activities available (jet-ski, seaplane, helicopter), but the best thing about the Whitsundays is just enjoying the moment as you relax on the snowy-white beaches and count yourself lucky to be somewhere so special.

15 Best Places to Visit in Queensland (Australia):

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Daintree Rainforest
  • Surfer’s Paradise
  • Lamington National Park
  • Gold Coast theme parks
  • Tamborine Mountain
  • Australia Zoo
  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Story Bridge
  • Roma Street Parkland
  • Fraser Island
  • Whitsundays
  • Accommodation

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Queensland Destinations

With thousands of kilometers of tropical coastlines, sandy beaches, coral reefs, mountain rainforests and a wonderfully warm climate it’s no wonder Queensland attracts so many tourist from Australia and abroad.

If you’re the kind of holiday goer that enjoys the relaxation of the sun, sand and surf while still being near city facilities and a bustling nightlife then head to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast or even Brisbane. You’ll find plenty of beach activities with easy access to the likes of Moreton Bay and its islands while still being able to shop and party your time away in the busier districts of the cities.

For a more laid back, tropical holiday you’ll want to stay somewhere in Far North Queensland or on the Capricorn Coast, where the weather is warmer, the water is calmer and people in the towns are a little bit more relaxed.

Outback Queensland will showcase for you what colonial Australian life was really like with several historic museums and tours, along with virtually untouched landscapes so you can see what the first explorers of this land saw.  No matter what you’re looking for in Australia you’ll find it somewhere in the great state of Queensland. Search for the holiday to suit you in the list of popular destinations below.

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Mornington Peninsula

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Port Douglas

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Phillip Island

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Margaret River

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Hunter Valley

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Glass House Mountains

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Uluru and Kata Tjuta

Casuarina Falls, the Kimberley, WA © Tony Hewitt

The Kimberley

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Flinders Ranges

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Kakadu National Park

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Purnululu National Park

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Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

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Litchfield National Park

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National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC © Robert Blackburn, Visit Victoria

Arts and culture

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Hellfire Bay, Esperance, Western Australia © Tourism Australia

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Topless Car Hire, Magnetic Island, Townsville, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland


Ellery Creek Big Hole, West MacDonnell Ranges, Northern Territory © Tourism NT/Salty Aura

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Sand Dune Adventures at Stockton Beach, Port Stephens, NSW © Tourism Australia

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Brisbane, Queensland

Guide to Brisbane

Aboriginal name : Meeanjin (pronounced Mee-an-jin) 

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  • Getting to Brisbane
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Queensland’s sunny capital offers up laidback charm and urban energy with a dash of adventure.

Brisbane is a city that lives up to its sunny potential with a strong focus on the outdoors – think al fresco dining, picnics by the river, islands just off the coast and national parks. Add to this a dynamic cultural precinct, abundant wildlife and easy access to nearby icons like the Gold Coast and Great Barrier Reef, and you’ve got a destination you can’t say no to.

The traditional name for Brisbane is Meeanjin, meaning ‘the place of the blue water lilies.’ Brisbane was founded upon the homelands of the Turrbal and Yuggera peoples, whose Country stretches north from Elimbah Creek, south to the Logan River and inland as far as Moggill. Discover Brisbane's thriving First Nations culture with a range of unforgettable tours and experiences .

  • Traditional name for Central Brisbane: Meeanjin (pronounced Mee-an-jin) 
  • Indigenous Peoples: Turrbal and Yuggera peoples
  • Traditional languages: Yugara
  • How to say g’day in Yugara: Gurumba bigi

Getting to Brisbane is easy with both domestic and international flights arriving directly into Brisbane Airport. 

  • Brisbane Airport (BNE) is 17km (10mi) from the city and services international and domestic arrivals 
  • Hire cars, ride shares and a shuttle service are available from both airports

Once you’ve arrived, Brisbane is an easy city to get around. The city has a great range of options for public transport, including trains, buses and even river ferries. It's also an easy city to drive and walk around. Learn more about  getting around Brisbane .

As would be expected from the capital of the Sunshine State, Brisbane really comes into its own in summer as sunseekers flock here for the idyllic weather . In summer, temperatures and humidity can rise, so locals head to the coast. The benefit of Brisbane’s subtropical climate is that winter is very mild with lots of blue skies and moderate temperatures. In fact, Brisbane boasts an average of 261 days of sunshine per year. 

  • High season: Spring and summer (November to February)
  • Low season: Winter (June to August)
  • Don’t miss: Brisbane’s calendar of events and festivals

Brisbane provides many accessible options for exploring the city. You'll find a range of  accessible accommodation , wheelchair-friendly experiences  and activities for travellers with sensory sensitivities . 

  • Arrival: Brisbane Airport provides special assistance for people with disabilities – including hidden disabilities – throughout the airport journey.
  • Getting around: The TransLink website provides information on city trains, while Brisbane City Council buses have low floors and ramps. All CityCat river ferries and most ferry terminals are also fully accessible.
  • Accessible experience highlights: Exceptional staff are on hand to help wheelchair users and people with disabilities revel in the views from the Wheel of Brisbane . People travelling with mobility aids can also embark on a Brisbane Whale Watching cruise to spot the migrating ocean giants.
  • Helpful resources: Changing Places is a great resource for those needing highly accessible bathrooms. For ideas on things to do, check out this accessible travel guide .

Where to eat in Brisbane

Grown, West End, Queensland © Savannah van der Niet

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Cheap eats in Brisbane

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Holiday destinations near Brisbane

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Moreton Island

Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Queensland © Jamie MacFadyen, Tourism Australia

The Sunshine Coast

Heron Island, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Heron Island

Glass House Mountains, Sunshine Coast, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

The Glass House Mountains

North Stradbroke Island, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

North Stradbroke Island

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Great Keppel Island

Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Lady Elliott Island

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13-day itinerary for foodies and design lovers

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10 days of shopping, design and art

Fraser Island Rainforest, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

4 days on the Great Beach Drive

Sailaway, Mackay Cay, QLD © Sailaway Cape Tribulation

10-day coast to coast itinerary

Explore another city.

Elizabeth Quay, Perth, WA © Tourism Australia

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Australian Travel Guide

Top 10 Places to Visit in Queensland, Australia in 2023

 Queensland is a stunning Australian state that is popular with tourists all year round. Containing 5 out of Australia’s 11 World Natural Heritage areas , diverse landscapes, beautiful beaches and world-famous attractions, it’s no wonder that Queensland is one of the most visited states in Australia.

Queensland is becoming more popular every year, with the population forecast to grow by over 5% in 2023.  Although it may be hard to get a property here, you can still stop by to enjoy and experience some of these amazing places in Queensland.  So, if you’re looking for an amazing QLD holiday experience in 2023, then make sure you check out these top 10 places!

10. Port Douglas

port douglas beach and forest in queensland

Port Douglas is a popular tourist town located on the north coast of Queensland on the Coral Sea. The town is surrounded by rainforests and offers lavish beach resorts with incredible views (some might say an alternative to the Whitsundays!). Enjoy activities like swimming, sipping cocktails and seeing Aussie wildlife.  

Hot Tip! Check out the Thala Beach Nature Reserve , which offers eco accommodation options, immersing you in the incredible wildlife with heaps of tours and experiences to enjoy.

lush, green rainforest - Daintree National Park, in Carins, Queensland

Cairns is a city located in Far North Queensland that is known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. This tropical city offers beautiful hikes through its many rainforests and waterfalls, plenty of wildlife (including cassowaries) and plenty of fun activities.  

Some of these activities include: wake parks, sky rails, crocodile tours and walking tracks!

Hot Tip! Make sure to check out Kuranda, which has a scenic railway and sky rail cableway with stunning rainforest and ocean views.  

8. The Gold Coast

Gold Coast city view at night time - canals and beach

The Gold Coast is a city located in southeastern Queensland that is renowned for its beaches, surfing, and theme parks. Although its reputation of “flashiness” can drive some away, there is a lot more beauty (read: *natural beauty*) than you might read about to enjoy here.  

The Gold Coast is primarily made up of long stretches of beach with canals on the land side. This makes the Gold Coast quite unique with plenty of water activities from surfing to jet skiing. Besides being home to some of Australia’s best surf beaches, the city is also well known for its theme parks including Sea World, Movie World, and Wet‘n’Wild Water World.  

There are plenty shopping and dining opportunities at their modern shopping centres and restaurants that are scattered throughout the city. Pacific Fair is probably the nicest and most modern shopping centre (in our opinion) and is enjoyable to even walk around, especially when it’s only a few blocks from the beach!  

7. Townsville

Magnetic Island, Townsville, QLD

Townsville best known for its tropical weather and beautiful beaches. The city is located in northeastern Queensland and gets extra points for being home to Magnetic Island, which features many walking trails, koalas napping in trees and pristine beaches. Besides Magnetic Island, Townsville has plenty of swimming holes, waterfalls and not to mention, crocodiles.  

6. K'gari (Previously known as Fraser Island)

View out of a 4WD driving on white sand on Fraser Island (k'gair)

K’gari (pronounced “Gurri”) is located off the coast of Queensland and is the largest sand island in the world. This World Heritage-listed island offers so much – may we tempt you with: rainforests, wild dingos, sand dunes and freshwater lakes?

If you’re one for adventure then we highly recommend K’gari, which is also the only place where rainforest grows on sand dunes. Rent a 4WD (or bring your own) and enjoy the ride! No, seriously, it is a pretty cool island to drive around in a 4WD, just make sure you pack plenty of snacks!

FYI: K’gair was previously known as Fraser Island, but was recently renamed back to K’gari (it’s original, indigenous name) which the Queensland government announced in 2021.  

5. Daintree National Park

male cassowary with baby at daintree national park, qld

Daintree National Park is located in Far North Queensland and is home to the world’s oldest rainforest. The park is also home to an abundance of wildlife, including cassowaries, crocodiles, and tree kangaroos. You can explore the rainforest by hiking, camping, or taking a scenic drive through the park.

4. Lady Elliot Island

manta ray on lady elliot island

Lady Elliot Island, or better known as, Home of the Manta Ray, is a small island located off the coast of Bundaberg. You’ll have to start your journey there by flying in on a sea plane (we’re not joking) and arrive into paradise. You can swim directly from the island to see coral reefs and plenty of native wildlife and enjoy plenty of sunsets with a drink in hand.  

3. Moreton Island

the moreton island shipwrecks

Moreton Island is only a 2-3 hour boat ride from Brisbane and is a sand island with lots to offer. Feeding wild dolphins at sunset, quad biking, sand tobogganing are just a few of many activities offered there. You can also snorkel or dive around the shipwrecks, rent a 4WD to explore the rest of the island, camp or stay at the Tangalooma resort and enjoy ping pong, tennis, archery and more.  

2. The Great Barrier Reef

fitzroy island on the great barrier reef

Surprise, surprise, it’s the Great Barrier Reef! The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is a must-see for anyone visiting Australia.  

Hot Tip! Stay a few nights at Fitzroy Island where there are plenty of snorkel opportunities, coral covered beaches, beautiful hikes with views and great restaurants with water views – the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon cocktail after an adventurous day! You can also book dive packages and include a night dive, which is such an incredible experience.

A bit about the Great Barrier Reef:

  • It is the world’s largest reef system, which is visible from space!
  • The reef is home to over 1,500 species of fish, 400 types of coral, and countless other marine creatures.  
  • Visitors can snorkel or scuba dive to get up close and personal with the amazing wildlife.
  • The reef is currently struggling as a result of climate change – but there is hope – see updates from the Tourism Reef Protection Initiative .

1. Heron Island

Heron Island is a hidden gem that not many know about – Queenslanders included! Tucked away off the coast of Gladstone, Heron Island is home to Green Turtles, Seabirds, Black Noddy and Brown Noddy birds and more. The best time to visit is between October and March, when it’s turtle hatching season (especially when it’s a full moon).  

Don’t take it from us though – this island is David Attenborough verified (not by his new verified Twitter account), and when you visit the island you’ll understand why!

After stepping off the boat on arrival, you’ll instantly see crystal clear water with everything from black tip reef sharks to shovel nose rays right off the shore. You can snorkel right from the shore which is quite amazing since you don’t have to swim far to see so much – there was also a lemon shark near the docs when we were last there which was incredible to see and to have so many people watching from the docs and those in the water trying to get a clear picture of the incredible creature who made our day.

If you’re looking for an amazing QLD holiday experience in 2023, make sure you visit these top 10 places! The Great Barrier Reef, Daintree National Park, Fraser Island, Cairns, The Gold Coast, Townsville, Port Douglas, Rockhampton, Mackay and Bundaberg are all worth a visit. Each location offers something unique and exciting that is sure to please everyone. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Queensland holiday today!

Frequently Asked Questions About Queensland

The capital of Queensland is Brisbane.

The population of Queensland is around 5 million people.

The climate in Queensland is subtropical with hot, humid summers and mild winters.

The most popular tourist destinations in Queensland are the Gold Coast, Cairns and Brisbane.

Some of the unique features of Queensland include its diverse landscape, tropical climate and laid-back lifestyle.

Related Posts

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Northern Gold Coast

Australia’s theme park capital and home to an awe-inspiring stretch of beach, Gold Coast’s northern region is an absolute must.

Central Gold Coast

Home to cute cafes, craft breweries, modern shopping centres and marketplaces, plus some of the best live music venues on the Coast.

Escape the seaside and head to our lush hinterland. Unearth a piece of the city that’s as magical as the sandy coastline that made it famous.

Southern Gold Coast

With a world famous point break, sprawling beaches, the Southern Gold Coast’s laidback vibes is renowned for its casual coastal culture.

  • Deals All Deals

The Gold Coast

Food & Drink

Food & Drink

The Gold Coast is where night bites, hatted restaurants, street-eats, rooftop sipping and craft breweries are all served with a side of alfresco.

Culture & Tours

Culture & Tours

There’s a new kind of wave in town, one splashed in colour and creativity. When it comes to design, performing arts, sculpture and more, our homegrown talent is turning heads and gaining our city some well deserved cultural clout.


If shopping is your poison, sport or therapy, you’re about to meet your dream match on the Gold Coast. Whether you prefer to live large in designer threads or scour boutiques for that exquisite vintage find, you won't go home without adding to your collection.

Nature & Outdoors

Nature & Outdoors

Travel ribbon-like roads through the hills dotted with vineyards, waterfalls and whispering streams. Switch off the stress with an invigorating escape to our serene emerald green hinterland.

Health & Wellbeing

Health & Wellbeing

Slip into a state of pure, delicious bliss and set your work/life balance to ‘omm’, relax into a totally indulgent day spa, chill out in a float therapy tank or escape to the hinterland for a digital detox. Because, well, you deserve it.



This city was born for hosting. The Gold Coast boasts 5-star suites, ocean-side accommodation, secluded hinterland villas, glamping and even boutique motels.There’s certainly nothing standard about staying in a Gold Coast accommodation.

Theme Parks & Attractions

Theme Parks & Attractions

Let your imagination run wild and release your inner child. Jump into cute, cuddly and roaring wildlife encounters; worlds built entirely for those that bounce; spine tingling, hair raising, “that was epic!” type of adventures.

Beaches & Waterways

Beaches & Waterways

The sandy goodness and winding waterways that means home for us, holiday for others and soul food for all. From first-light wave chasing, to frolics on the sand or an arvo family SUP sesh – it's safe to say, we know a thing or two about getting salty.

Wildlife Parks

Wildlife Parks

Flanked by sea and fringed by hinterland, we’re a nose-twitching, wing-beating and tail-splashing haven for a menagerie of creatures that will have you channelling your inner wildlife warrior in no time.


Gold coast itineraries.

Keen to visit the Gold Coast but not sure where to start? Make the most of your time here with these Gold Coast itineraries.

Take me on an Adventure

If you’re looking for action, you’ve come to the right place! BYO sense of adventure for the best experience in our seaside city.

Chilling in Nature

Need a breather? Relax, take a walk on the wild side and explore the incredible natural beauty of the Gold Coast.


Nothing but the finest.

Treat yourself! Luxury accommodation, fine dining and 5-star experiences await. Pull up a poolside sun lounge and relax.

Play with the Family

Kids and parents agree, the Gold Coast is the best destination in Australia for families. How much fun can you fit into one holiday?

DGC_Accessibility [Jarrad Seng JSR61431].jpg


Accessibility Information

Destination Gold Coast's access guide is your key to inclusive travel! Tips and resources for tourists with disabilities. Plan your trip with confidence.

Rick Shores


Meets boutique.

Burleigh Heads

Locally known as where the magic happens, this bohemian pocket bordered by a coastal national park, oozes the true essence of why we all live here.

Curtis Falls, Tamborine Mountain

behind the gold

Tamborine Mountain

Head for the hills and immerse yourself in lush World Heritage-listed rainforest, wineries, retreats and waterfalls.

Aviary Rooftop bar in Mantra at Sharks

Food and Entertainment

Find a wide variety of things to discover. It’s a foodie’s paradise, beach lovers go-to spot, punter’s Star attraction, shopper’s place at Pacific Fair and business at the Convention Centre all within walking distance.

DGC Brand Photos 2022 - Kirra

Beach Vibes

Looking for a change of pace? The Southern Gold Coast is home to world-class surf breaks, chic hotels, restaurants and bars. Meanwhile the locals enjoy camping, swimming, picnicking, kayaking and a spot of fishing while soaking up the relaxed ambience.


Famously Iconic

Surfers Paradise

The words ‘electric’ and ‘eclectic’ sum up the social scene that Surfers Paradise was built on. Since the days of the original Surfers Paradise Hotel, Surfers has always been an entertainment playground famous for its world-class nightlife venues, international events and pumping atmosphere.

Icecream Kids at Dreamworld

Play at our

Theme parks.

The Northern end of the Gold Coast is theme park central. Here you will find Dreamworld, Warner Bros. Movie World, Wet’n’Wild, WhiteWater World, Paradise Country and the Australian Outback Spectacular.

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The Ultimate Family Travel Guide

Sign up for the latest news on Gold Coast holiday deals, events, competitions and travel inspo. Caution; may induce daydreams of the destination.


Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region.    We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland. 


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