Top 10 Things To See and Do in Queensland, Australia

Daydream Island Resort
Daydream Island Resort | © Paul Walter / Flickr
Photo of Tom Smith
24 May 2018

Sunny Queensland is one of Australia’s most alluring holiday destinations, and that’s no mystery once you see the attractions on offer. From the warm turquoise water of the Whitsunday Islands to the ochre red dust of the outback, tick these 10 activities off your Queensland to-do list.

Pamper yourself in the Whitsundays

Natural Feature
Daydream Island © portengaround / Flickr
Daydream Island | © portengaround / Flickr

Think Whitsunday Islands, think luxury. This series of 74 islands in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef are exactly what you’d imagine a tropical paradise to look like, right down to the snow white sand, warm turquoise water, and thriving greenery. And there’s no shortage of five-star resorts that match the salubrious surrounds, especially on the aptly named Daydream Island.

Watch whales in Hervey Bay

Natural Feature
Humpback whale in Hervey Bay © Tchami / Flickr
Humpback whale in Hervey Bay | © Tchami / Flickr

Located three hours’ drive north of Brisbane, Hervey Bay is the end of the ‘Humpback Highway’ up Australia’s east coast—the place where whales stop to rest, give birth and teach their calves to swim in the calm waters sheltered by the world’s largest sand bank, Fraser Island. Plan your trip during winter (July to November) to see humpbacks splash around, frolic and breach out of the water.

Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

Natural Feature
Clown fish, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
© Melissa Fiene / Getty Images

The Great Barrier Reef is literally Queensland’s biggest attraction, spanning 2,300 kilometres of sun-kissed coastline. The best way to see the colourful coral and even more brilliant array of marine life is up close and personal on an eco-friendly snorkelling tour—the large tropical city of Cairns is a great launch pad for your trip to the reef, as well as coastal towns like Airlie Beach and 1770 (Seventeen Seventy).

Visit Australia Zoo

Crocodile emerging from the water © Christian Haugen / Flickr
Crocodile emerging from the water | © Christian Haugen / Flickr

‘The Home of the Crocodile Hunter’ was founded by Steve Irwin’s parents in 1970, and made famous by the khaki-clad TV star before his tragic death in 2006. These days, Steve’s wife Terri and kids Bindi and Bob continue his legacy at Australia Zoo, which houses 1,000 animals on 100 acres of leafy Sunshine Coast hinterland. Don’t miss the legendary live crocodile feeding show!

Watch the footy at Lang Park

Suncorp Stadium © jimmyharris / Wikimedia Commons
Suncorp Stadium | © jimmyharris / Wikimedia Commons

Queenslanders are truly fanatical about rugby league, and Lang Park is the code’s spiritual home in the Sunshine State. Called Suncorp Stadium for sponsorship purposes but known to all red-blooded Queenslanders as ‘The Cauldron’, Lang Park comes alive for fearsome State of Origin clashes against arch rivals New South Wales, as well as Brisbane Broncos NRL games throughout winter.

Frock up at the Birdsville Races

Sports Center
Birdsville Races © Geoffrey Rhodes / Flickr
Birdsville Races | © Geoffrey Rhodes / Flickr

This Queensland sporting spectacle truly belongs in the ‘only in Australia’ category, as horses from around the country gallop through the dust of the Simpson Desert on the first Saturday of September. Held in the tiny town of Birdsville 1,600 kilometres west of Brisbane, the Melbourne Cup of the Outback draws thousands of spectators for the big-money race program plus plenty of entertainment off the track, too.

Get your adrenaline pumping on the Gold Coast

Amusement Park
The Claw at Dreamworld © Holiday Point / Flickr
The Claw at Dreamworld | © Holiday Point / Flickr

If you can drag yourself away from the Gold Coast’s 50-odd kilometres of golden sand or acres of untouched hinterland, the region is also Australia’s capital of amusement parks. The Gold Coast is home to the Hollywood-themed Warner Bros. Movie World, the hair-raising rollercoasters of Dreamworld, and the water slides of Wet ’n’ Wild and WhiteWater World. Family fun for days!

Visit the birthplace of Qantas

Qantas Dreamliner © Qantas
Qantas Dreamliner | © Qantas

Australia’s much-loved national carrier was founded in the remote Central Queensland town of Winton way back in 1920, and today you can step through the airline’s storied history at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach. Head deep into the outback to see where the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services began almost a Century ago, with stacks of interactive exhibits and historic artefacts.

Have a dip at South Bank

Swimming Pool
South Bank lagoon © Jason Thien / Flickr
South Bank lagoon | © Jason Thien / Flickr

Brisbane isn’t blessed with the city beaches of Sydney down south, so the Queensland capital came up with a solution: a man-made lagoon on the banks of the Brisbane River, which is always well populated on sweltering summer days. The luscious gardens, the Wheel of Brisbane, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art and the Queensland Museum are other interesting attractions in the South Bank precinct.

Go sandboarding on Moreton Island

Natural Feature
Moreton Island sand dune © James Niland / Flickr
Moreton Island sand dune | © James Niland / Flickr

The other option for beach-lovers in Brisbane? Plan a day trip to one of South-East Queensland’s many sandy isles, such as Moreton, Bribie and North Stradbroke islands. The Tangalooma ship wrecks supply the postcard picture of Moreton Island, but the most exhilarating activity there is, features throwing yourself down towering sand dunes like Little Sand Hills, Big Sand Hills and The Desert on the back of a toboggan.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Trips are deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. Our Mini Trips are small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longer Epic Trips into a manageable 3-5 day window. Our Sailing Trips invite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"