Queensland is a huge and diverse area of Australia. I went to South Queensland, just for a week, but oh! what a lot I managed to do!
Arriving in Brisbane and just a short drive from the airport is the Tamborine mountain area; a lovely place to relax after the long flight, but with plenty to see and do, from cheese and beer tasting at the MT Brewery, or a leisurely walk in the rainforest on the tree tops “Skywalk”.
An hour from here is the Gold Coast! Broad Beach and Surfers Paradise, famous for their beaches, life guards and theme parks. I would recommend a real Aussie breakfast at one of the local surf clubs, a perfect setting to start the day of thrills and spills… adrenalin rides at one of the theme parks or, for the real thing, a jet-boat ride! At Surfers you can ride in one of the world’s fastest elevators to one of the world’s tallest residential towers (soon to be beaten), Q1 Skypoint.
There are so many wildlife sanctuaries in Australia, but I loved the night tour at Currumbin.
As most of Australia’s wildlife is nocturnal, I got to see wildlife in a different light! Currumbin has an animal hospital, which is also unique – so many casualties are victims of road accidents, it was comforting to see them cared for and cured at Currumbin.
Leaving the Gold Coast, I flew north to the Whitsundays and Proserpine, and time to relax! (Even more!) The full-day cruise to White Haven Beach on a catamaran is an absolute must! From the talcum powder sands I enjoyed snorkelling and a delicious barbecue lunch. All in a leisurely day’s sailing. From here you can also visit the Great Barrier Reef for a fun day touring. There is plenty of time on the full-day excursion to snorkel, dive or enjoy a ride in the semisubmersible to discover the outstanding beauty of coral and marine life in the reef.
A helicopter ride will give you a truly stunning bird’s eye view of the reef. Now here’s a great idea! This catamaran calls at Hamilton Island, so pre-book to take your luggage on board, then spend a few nights on Hamilton before getting back to the mainland. There is heaps to enjoy on Hamilton from koala breakfasts and wildlife parks to walks, sailing, horse riding, archery… an endless list! Hamilton has its own airport so you can fly to Cairns, Brisbane or Sydney and continue your Aussie adventure!
But all too soon I was back in Brisbane. The city has lots to offer – shopping, eating and adventure too. I climbed Storey Bridge, a two-and-a-half-hour experience, 80 metres above the Brisbane River! What a beautiful sight, watching the sunset, with the city lit up below. A mass of twinkling lights and sparkling reflections of the high rise buildings in the river’s rippling water.
So many itineraries pass through Brisbane and Southern Queensland much too quickly. So take my advice: have some time out, relax and enjoy!