As I have previously mentioned, I am busy planning further travel in Australia for the coming year. The state of Queensland is in my sights for October and so I have asked an experienced travel agent in Queensland to give me a run down of the highlights. Here are her top tips for planning a holiday in Queensland:
Queensland is probably most well-known for its two Unesco World Heritage Sites: the Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier Reef. But eastern Queensland as a whole is an immensely popular tourist destination because of its tropical climate, with much of the state having a wet and dry season rather than traditional seasons. The most famous beach region is probably the Gold Coast, just south of Brisbane.
Travelling to Queensland
Queensland is accessible by air, bus, train, car and boat. Travellers can fly into international airports at Brisbane, Gold Coast or Cairns. Several bus companies and trains provide services to Queensland. The Country Link XPT train from Sydney is the only interstate railroad. The drive time to Queensland by car is often lengthy but roads are well maintained along the coastal Pacific Highway and on the inland roads. Interstate and international cruise liners dock at Brisbane en route to other destinations.
Natural Attractions of Queensland
The Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural world’s seven wonders, extends from the tropical area of North Queensland to Capricornia towards the south. Travellers can view the reef from various points. In the Whitsunday Island you can scuba dive amongst the coral or view it from a pontoon boat. At Townsville visitors can enjoy the reefs from a helicopter or ride in a glass-bottomed boat. At the southern end near MacKay you can both snorkel and walk the reef.
Mossman Gorge is an easily-reached area of Daintree National Park. The gorge is home to epiphytic plants, strangler figs and Boyd’s Forest Dragons. Bird watchers should look out for the eastern yellow robin and blue Ulysses butterfly. The Mossman River has a two-kilometre boardwalk that allow visitors to watch the river flowing over boulders.
On the Queensland coast the ability to view migrating whales is a major drawcard during winter. While the coast has several points for watching the whales, the most productive whale watching is by boat. Hervey Bay is a customary place to view the whales. The best whale watching is from July until November.
The Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves are at the Cedar Creek Estate. The caves consist of two large cavities joined by tunnels. In the first cave, the presentation provides audio-visuals about the glow worms and the formation of the caves. The cave has formations of stalactites and stalagmites as well as flowstone.
The wreck of the SS Yongala lies inside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, 12 nautical miles from the Yongala Dive base near Alva Beach. The ship sank in 1911 with all on the ship dying in the disaster. The wreck was not discovered for over 50 years, and so much of the circumstances remain a mystery. The shipwreck in less than 15 metres of water and is 100 metres in length. It is one of the major unbroken underwater wrecks and a very popular diving site because of the coral formations.
By Natasha von Geldern
What are your recommendations for Queensland holidays?