Queensland, Australia, beautiful one day, perfect the next. If you enjoy exploring untouched wilderness, taking on a coastal drive, embracing indigenous culture or discovering the colorful marine life on the Reef, be sure that you include these top five experiences when planning an Australian Vacation.
The Great Barrier Reef
Stretching 1,429 miles, from the northern tip of the State to Lady Elliot Island in the south, The Great Barrier Reef is a must-see for any visitor to Australia.
Scuba, snorkel, sail, kayak the reef, or get a bird’s eye view from above by seaplane or helicopter. You can dive with turtles and manta rays off Lady Elliot Island, snorkel the spectacular Low Isles coral cay off Port Douglas or take a romantic scenic flight over the iconic Heart Reef.
The Reef offers breathtaking insights into the beauty and magic of this incredible biosphere, the only natural wonder visible from space.
Relax and recharge on one of many of the islands scattered along Queensland’s 4,350 miles coastline. Whether you are seeking a family escape, a romantic retreat or a solo adventure, there is an island to suit everyone’s style and budget.
From the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island, to an unspoiled paradise in the Torres Strait, each island has its own personality and experiences on offer. Pick your own private beach on Orpheus Island, walk off the beach at Lady Elliot, Heron or Lady Musgrave and be surrounded by giant manta rays, friendly turtles.
Touched with soft silica sand or isolated coral cays, fringed with coconut palms or lush rainforest, the islands and the rest of the Great Eight. Stick your feet in the sand of the famous Whitehaven Beach of make your way around The Thorsborne Trail on Jurrassic-esque Hinchinbrook Island.
Cuddle a Koala
Queensland is one of the few Australian states that allows you to cuddle a koala. Explore Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest koala sanctuary, with 90 years’ experience and 130 koalas. Visit Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo and play zookeeper for a day or see the largest wild colony of koalas in Queensland on Magnetic Island.
Experience Indigenous Culture
Choose from a range of authentic experiences and learn more about the unique and ancient art, culture and dance of Australian Aborigines. Whether you watch a performance of local dancers, hunt for mud crabs near Cairns or take a leisurely stroll through the Daintree Rainforest with an Aboriginal guide, there are many opportunities to include an experience in your vacation.
Food and Wine
More than a meat pie and vegemite on toast, Australia’s culinary scene has progressed to take advantage of the local produce available. In summer, indulge on fresh juicy mangoes or succulent lychees. Enjoy seafood straight off the trawler and be sure to try Moreton Bay Bugs and Barramundi. Sample bush tucker and traditional indigenous foods and spices or take a class and learn the cook with the Pacific Rim flavors.
Compliment your meals with crisp locally grown chardonnay, fruit wines from the north or a craft beer from a local brewery. Liquor lovers should try Bundaberg Rum, a favorite for Queenslanders.
For more information and tours to Queensland, Australia, check out Down Under Answers.
Bryan has visited exactly one more country than his wife, and she won’t let him forget it! Also an avid photographer, he enjoys entrenching himself within the local culture in order to learn more about the people of a place. He is the co-founder of Budget Your Trip and loves a good adventure, an exotic meal, or a passionate conversation about global events.