When a state has almost 7,000 kilometers of coastline, you know you’re dealing with a big country. Queensland occupies a staggeringly big area in the North West of Australia and is characterized by its tropical rainforests, white sandy beaches, peaceful towns and of course, the Great Barrier Reef. You’d need more than a lifetime to explore everything that Queensland has to offer, but here’s 10 day trips which you shouldn’t miss on your first time. The best way to see them all? Grab yourself a car rental in Cairns.
1. Dive at the Great Barrier Reef. Let’s start with a biggie. If you’re going to do just one thing, make it a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef. The vast living structure is home to thousands of coral reefs, myriad islands and hundreds of cays, not to mention the colorful tropical fish, the curious turtles and the sharks. Unfortunately, the reef has been irreversible damaged. To stop any further damage, be sure to travel with a reputable agent. Leave your car rental in Cairns and head of to explore one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders.
2. Swim at the Tangalooma Wrecks. Haven’t had your fill of snorkeling or scuba diving? Swim off the coast of Moreton Island near Brisbane and you can dive down to explore the Tangalooma wrecks in the shallows. The calm waters make this a perfect trip for all ages.
3. Climb to SkyPoint Deck. How do you like heights? Down along the Gold Coast you can take the elevator up the 230-meter-high observation tower to look over the ocean and Surfer’s Paradise below. Few views in Australia match up to this one.
4. Take the train to Kuranda. While the town of Kuranda is interesting enough, it’s the train journey to reach it that is the real highlight. Take the scenic ride takes you across bridges, lush rainforest journey, and gorges before reaching town. Well worth the trip.
5. Check out the wildlife at Australia Zoo. Wildlife lovers should head straight to Australia Zoo located along the Sunshine Coast close to the Beerwah Mountains. While it may not be the only zoo in the state, it’s certainly the most famous in part down to Steve Irwin, the front man to the documentary series The Crocodile Hunter. Don’t take are word for it, the zoo has won plenty of awards over the years including the Australian Tourism Awards.
6. See the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. If you have even the smallest interest in paleontology, don’t miss a visit to the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum which houses a seriously impressive collection of fossils including two found in Queensland.
7. Wander through Hou Wang Miau Temple. For something a little different, how about a visit to an authentic Chinese temple, the only one in Australia. Since it’s donation to the National Trust in the late 70s, the temple has been meticulously preserved offering guests a slice of Chinese history in the heart of Queensland. While you’re there, be sure to take a look at the information and artifacts to learn more about its significance.
8. Go wine tastings at Boireann Wines. If you love to sip of French-style wines, you won’t want to miss the wine tasting at Boireann Wines near Stanthorpe. Here, you can learn about the production of Queensland wine and tour the vineyards.
9. Drive across Fraser Island. Fraser Island is one of the most popular spot for backpackers coming to Australia. The huge sand island (the largest in the world) lies just off the coast of Queensland. When you arrive, you can spend your days racing around on 4×4 cars, camping under the stars, exploring the rainforest or swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Bliss.
10. Go underground at the Chillagoe?Mungana Caves National Park. Both geological and cultural interesting, the hundreds of limestone caves in this national park are made even more impressive by the ancient Aboriginal rock art that adorns them. Best explored with the help of an expert guide.