We have recently crossed the border into the Northern Territory and after spending around 2.5 months exploring Queensland, we thought we would write up a blog post compiling our Top 10 Queensland Experiences.
We spent most of our time discovering the coastal route and dipped inland to National Parks every now and then. This list is in a general order of our favourite places and are completely based on our own experience.
This is not a sponsored blog post but you will see we have linked each tour company we used for certain activities, if you are interested in checking them out for your own trip planning - ENJOY!
- WHITSUNDAYS AND HILL INLET
Such a beautiful spot in Australia and one of our favourite places so far, this gem of a place is easily accessed by Airlie Beach and there are many ways to explore via sea or air.
We chose to do a boat day-trip with Red Cat Adventures, visiting Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet, and two snorkelling spots at Hook Island.
The water around the swirling sands of Hill Inlet changes colour from a turquoise to a shade of green when the tide is low, and makes for a magnificent photo!
2. YONGALA WRECK DIVE
We were driving through Ayr and upon visiting the information centre we found out about one of the best wreck dives sites in Australia and the world – The SS Yongala!
The SS Yongala was a passenger steam ship that sank off Cape Bowling Green during a cyclone in 1911 (one year prior to the Titanic to give perspective). It is one of the world’s best wreck sites as it is so well preserved.
We booked with Yongala Dive from Alva Beach, only a short drive from Ayr. These guys were a great choice as it only took 30 min to reach the dive site whereas the other company operates from Townsville making it a 3 hour long journey.
As we descended to a total depth of 30 metres, we were astounded at how the artificial reef system was so abundant with marine life including huge Marble Rays, Maori Wrasse, Queensland Gropers, turtles, snakes and more!
- THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
We done a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef departing Airlie Beach with GSL Aviation. We were flown over different parts of the reef including the famous ‘Heart Reef’ nestled amongst the beautiful Hardy Reef.
We believe this is one of the best ways to experience The Great Barrier Reef, seeing it from above is unforgettable and it really helps you comprehend the entirety of this natural phenomenon.
We will never forget the incredible reef patterns and every single shade of blue and green we have ever seen in one place!
- FRASER ISLAND
Fraser Island was one of those places that everyone told us about repeatedly, and our expectations were already so high – but upon visiting the island ourselves, we completely understood what the fuss was about!
We chose to do a day trip with Fraser Explorer Tours, visiting the stunning freshwater Lake Mckenzie and Maheno Shipwreck which washed up in 1935 and is now 80% buried under the shifting sands. An optional extra was to do a scenic flight around parts of the island for $80 which luckily for us, the weather was perfect for it to go ahead!
Fraser Island is one of only two places in the world with a sand runway, so this was an amazing experience in itself. Air Fraser flew us over many places you cannot access by land, such as Butterfly Lake and the shifting sand hills.
- BOODJAMULLA NATIONAL PARK / LAWN HILL
After about 90km of corrugated dirt road from the small town of Gregory, we entered the beautiful oasis of Boodjamulla National Park. Such a hidden paradise amongst the barren landscape that is Outback Queensland.
We didn’t book accommodation at Lawn Hill early enough but we were able to stay at Adele’s Grove just down the road for a few more dollars, but boy was it worth every penny! It was a fantastic campsite amongst tall ghost gums and right by a lily-pad topped gorge where we went for a little dip (don’t mind the freshwater crocodiles we were told lol).
The next day at Lawn Hill Gorge we hired a triple kayak for $70, and made our way to the end of the first gorge and swam for half an hour in the two waterfalls at the end.
- TULLY GORGE NATIONAL PARK
We spent a morning swimming in Tully Gorge National Park at a beautiful outlook to the valley. On another occasion, we went White Water Rafting with Raging Thunder Adventures departing Tully. It was an adrenaline packed day with 4 hours spent on the Grade 4 Rapids and included a scrum-diddly bbq lunch.
- ATHERTON TABLELANDS
We drove the Waterfall Circuit, a 17-km loop of three easily accessible waterfalls, our favourite being Ellinjaa Falls.
Next up was a fairly secret spot in Wooroonooran National Park. This waterfall was quite a trek and a little hard to find but we guess that’s what makes it so special and worth the hike, so we won’t be posting the exact location, if you would love to visit this spot you will have to dig a little deeper and enjoy the place for yourself, unlike other overcrowded spots.
- MORETON ISLAND - TANGALOOMA WRECKS
We chose to visit Moreton Island purely based on wanting to see the Tangalooma Shipwrecks. There is far more to see on The World’s Third Largest Sand Island but we only had a short trip and decided to just see the wrecks.
The site is made up of 15 old steamer and dredger ships, deliberately sunk as a breakwall for small boats and over the years has become a thriving eco-marine system with many different types of coral and over a 100 species of fish.
We took the 1.5hr ferry from Brisbane Port and camped at the ‘Wrecks Campground’ just opposite the wrecks for about $6.35 pp ( you can book here ), the perfect recipe for our snorkelling and chillaxing weekend.
- SPRINGBROOK NATIONAL PARK - PURLING BROOK FALLS
Let us introduce our favourite waterfall in Queensland! This spot was just magical, although we couldn’t complete the entire circuit due to recent storm damage, we were still able to make it all the way down to see the sheer size and feel the power of this stunning waterfall!
Located roughly 50 minutes from the Gold Coast, you can also tie in a visit to the beautiful ‘Best of All Lookout’ where you can see all the way to the coastline!
- GLASS HOUSE MOUNTAINS
Only a 40-minute drive from the Sunshine Coast, a sunset walk up Mount Ngungun overlooking The Glasshouse Mountains is a must-do when visiting the area.
It took us under an hour to get to the top and we spent roughly 45-minutes watching the sunset and taking it all in.
Well there you have it folks, our Top 10 Experiences based on our 2.5 months of travel through this beautiful state.
Let us know if you have any questions or if you have been to any of these places and what your experience was like.
Until next time,
Sarah and Amy