Queensland is already a world-renowned travel destination, home to the Great Barrier Reef and the theme park capital of Australia, indulge in the endless sunshine, wildlife, picturesque landscapes and some of the best seafood in the world. Recognised as a popular destination for visitors because of its many attractions it’s understandable that there are still a few hidden gems amongst the sunshine state and here we have outlined some of the must do experiences.
Sleep on the reef
If you’ve ever dreamed of sleeping underwater well now’s your chance, Cruise Whitsundays offer guests a once in a lifetime opportunity to stay in a private all-inclusive Reefsuite. This exciting experience is set on a pontoon moored offshore at Hardy Reef which hosts day visitors and on-deck Reefsleep guests spending the night on the top deck of the pontoon. The experience begins with a morning transfer from the Whitsunday Islands to Hardy Reef where you can enjoy lunch followed by an afternoon snorkel, dive, swim or scenic helicopter flight to see the famous Heart Reef. Once the day visitors have departed you can enjoy a starlit dinner and drinks before relaxing in your suite as the reef comes to life outside your floor to ceiling windows.
Swim with whales in Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast
One of the coolest experiences you could have is swimming with whales out in the open ocean and Sunreef offers guests just that. With daily departures over the season from July to October you will never get the same experience twice as each whale encounter is as unique as the day. A friendly crew will take you out on a boat and begin searching for whales based on surface activity and even ask you to help with spotting them too, as a bonus you may even sight some dolphins or turtles. This organic experience is completely uncontrolled so a whale may even swim under or around you. The experience allows you 4 hours in the water with these magnificent creatures so you can soak up as much time as you like making memories to last a lifetime.
Take part in a stand-up paddle board yoga session on the Gold Coast
If you enjoy the excitement of stand-up paddle boarding or the calming effects of an outdoor yoga class, then this combo is perfect for you. A revitalising and unique experience incorporating the fun of paddling out onto the welcoming Gold Coast shores into a group yoga class at the break of dawn. Join like-minded early risers or book a private group, these yoga sessions work with the flow of movement supplied by the gentle waves as you focus on your strength, healing and controlled concentration through yoga amongst a gorgeous natural setting.
See 6 species of Marine turtles on the Great Barrier Reef
We all love exploring the reef with its bright coloured corals and thousands of playful fish but one unmissable sight on the reef is the marine turtle. What people might not realise is that six of the worlds seven species of marine turtle are found along the 1400 miles of the Great Barrier Reef. The six turtle species include the Loggerhead, Green, Hawksbill, Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Flatback Turtle. These beautiful creatures have lived in the oceans for over 100 million years and choose their nesting areas in the north and south end of the Great Barrier Reef, this is because the surrounds are ideal for raising the next generation of marine turtles. As curious, playful and graceful creatures it’s understandable that so many people would love to swim alongside these beautiful turtles and when you visit Queensland next you can to.
Catch your own supper on an Indigenous fishing tour – Adventure North
The art of hunting and gathering has been a long-standing past time in many cultures but to experience it like the indigenous people of the Northern Queensland region means taking a journey back in time. Adventure North offer an experience to unveil the mysteries of the traditional fishing and gathering grounds of Cooya Beach and the World Heritage Daintree National Park. You can spend a day learning about ‘bush tucker’ as you search for mud crabs, fish and mussels before eating and sharing your catch of the day with your group.
Join wallabies having their breakfast on the beach in Mackay
The thought of waking up at sunrise to join a host of Wallabies and Kangaroos as they tuck into their breakfast along the beach is almost too enticing to pass up. Located at Cape Hillsborough set in the spectacular Mackay Region you can witness this unforgettable experience and get closer than anywhere else in the world to these wild animals. As the sunrises the Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Agile Wallaby make their way to the beach to feed on mangrove seed pods, bring a camera to capture this special moment and hopefully mother nature presents a gorgeous sunrise at the same time.
See an underwater art museum in Townsville
A fantastic new attraction is opening in 2020 which will see the launch of a brand-new art museum with a twist, its completely submerged underwater. The Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) was conceived in 2017 and took 2 years to reach completion although it has 4 locations opening at varied stages in the next few years. In Townsville you will find the first installation called ‘Coral Greenhouse’ on the John Brewer Reef which features a large-scale skeletal greenhouse planted with 2000 coral fragments from marine nurseries to help generate a marine ecosystem over the coming years. The museum will feature large sculptures and is naturally protected by coral walls and a flat sandy base allowing guests to dive under and through for a unique tour opportunity.
Drive on the beach between Noosa & Rainbow
We all love a good road trip, between the passing scenery and making pit stops to explore the local attractions but what if you could road trip on a beach? Because that’s exactly what you can experience on ‘The Great Beach Drive’. Stretched between Noosa on the Sunshine Coast and Rainbow Beach this track takes travellers through National Parks, World heritage listed areas and some of Australia’s most stunning beaches. One of the biggest perks of this drive is the abundance of wildlife you may spot including kangaroo’s, whales, and a variety of bird species. The drive from Noosa to Rainbow takes roughly 2 hours but if you were game enough to undertake the whole route to through Fraser Island and Harvey Bay it can take 2 to 3 days, but you are welcome to go as short or far as you like. This is more than your average road trip allowing yourself extra time is important as you can hike, swim, trek, birdwatch or go off road driving making this truly an unforgettable experience.
See rodeo in Queensland’s outback
Whilst in Queensland its worth making a trip to the outback for some rural Australian entertainment such as the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo. The Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA) stage more than 100 rodeo competitions across the nation to uncover the best aussie talent. Its more than just a rodeo, expect a live concert series, merch tents, street parades, markets and more. Mount Isa is about 9 hours’ drive from Townsville but have a regional airport, bus and rail connections making it readily accessible. You can attend any of these annual rodeo events in hopes to see some cowboys, try some local food, experience outback Queensland and see who is crowned the next rodeo champion for 2020.
Spot the purest breed of Dingoes on Fraser Island
A much beloved iconic Australian animal is the dingo but what most people won’t realise is there are not many places in the world you can find the purest breed of this endangered species. One protected area you can see these playful hunters is on Fraser Island, here there are said to be about 30 packs of dingo each consisting of around 3-12 dingoes. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and offers visitors a host of experiences from 4WD tours to camping safari’s and many dingo spotting opportunities. Being separated from the mainland means the dingoes here have not crossbred with domestic or feral dogs resulting in pure bred packs making Fraser Islands conservation efforts nationally significant in the ongoing survival of this treasured species.