Snorkelling at Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Top 5 Things to Do in Colourful Queensland on Your Australia Vacation

Queensland is an intriguing destination of contrasts, from endless white sandy beaches sloping down towards crystal-clear emerald waters and multi-coloured coral reefs, to rust coloured deserts and misty rainforests swarming with rare animals and birds. Enjoy the underwater paradise of the Great Barrier Reef and the silent lunar landscape of the Australian Outback – all in one dynamic holiday. With a wonderful subtropical climate and a diverse array of remarkable scenery, Queensland is the perfect coastal destination for travellers of all ages. Here are the top five things to do in Queensland on your next Australia vacation:

Great Barrier Reef

One of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on earth, teeming with an abundance of secret underwater activity. Over 1,500 different types of fish swim alongside sea snakes, seahorse, turtles, rays, and sharks, and more than 500 different types of coral provide a colourful backdrop to this unique underwater scene. With over 3,000 individual coral reefs and 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is a natural landmark – so large it can be seen from space. Swim, dive, or snorkel through the crystal-clear waters, and experience this natural landmark a little longer by staying overnight.

Suggested Itinerary:
7-Day Sydney and Reef Discovery
7-Day PADI Learn to Dive

Suggested Day Tour:
Outer Barrier Reef Cruise

Enjoy a Helicopter Ride Over the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia
Enjoy a helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef

Mysterious and Magical Rainforests

Experience Queenland’s magical rainforests, which are veiled with mystery and exotic wildlife. The dense jungles of the Daintree Rainforest should be top of every Australia vacation bucket list. At an estimated age of 165 million years old, it is the oldest tropical rainforest on Earth – and rightly listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Daintree falls into the Wet Tropics area, home to an abundance of interesting plants and animals, including 230 different types of exotic butterfly and 222 species of land snails. Head off on foot along scenic walking trails and stop to taste the Chocolate Pudding fruit and spot the “Idiot Fruit,” a rare flowering plant that lived during the time of the dinosaurs. Watch out for the spiky Wait-A-While Vine and the Stinging Tree! A visit to Cape Tribulation is a must, and our 5-Day Reef and Rainforest Experience offers the best of both worlds, including jungle zip lining, spectacular beaches, and fantastic birdwatching opportunities.

Mossman River, Daintree National Park, Queensland, Australia
Mossman River in Daintree National Park

Incredible Australian Outback

The Australian Outback is a striking lunar landscape with rust red deserts and vast starry skies – a scene that’s about as different as it gets from the Wet Tropics and its misty rainforests. The Outback is where adventure happens, on your Australia vacation, and you can look forward to a range of thrilling activities such as digging for dinosaur fossils, star gazing, and exploring the Undara Lava Tubes in Undara Volcanic National Park. Home to the remains of the longest lava flow from one volcano, the lava tubes are filled with exquisite natural formations and calcium deposits. Climb through the cavernous tunnels and keep an eye out for dangling bats and hidden passageways.

Suggested Itinerary:
2-Day Outback, Wildlife and Lave Tube Experience

Touring through caves at Undara Lava Tubes, Queensland, Australia
Touring through caves at Undara Lava Tubes

The Enchanting Whitsundays

The Whitsundays are made up of 74 enchanting islands off the coast of Queensland, most of which are uninhabited national parks. Only a few of these islands offer accommodation, with the Great Barrier Reef and ocean lapping at their doorstep. Enjoy crystal clear emerald waters and a wide range of activities throughout the Whitsunday Islands, including swimming, snorkelling, diving, boating, sea kayaking, sea plane flights, and a whole lot more. Handfeed wild bottlenose dolphins at Tangalooma Resort, take advantage of brilliant beaches and fantastic restaurants at Hamilton Island, and enjoy a luxurious stay, without the crowds, at Lizard Island, where you can enjoy perfect white sand beaches and 1,000 hectares of national park – pretty much all to yourself.

Aerial View of Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia
Aerial view of Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays

A Picturesque Coast

Australia’s coastlines are dotted with beautiful sandy beaches, excellent surfing spots, and a network of meandering inland canals. The Gold Coast is Australia’s popular beach holiday destination, known for its great surf spots and family-friendly theme parks, including Dreamworld, Sea World Gold Coast, and Wet ‘n Wild Gold Coast. The Sunshine Coast is characterized by excellent beach resorts and a rural hinterland filled with fruit farms, vibrant sand dunes, mangrove forests, and scenic lakes. Head into the tropics and enjoy nearby rainforests, great beaches, archipelagos, and national parks featuring some of the best walking trails in the country.

Suggested Itinerary:
Live Like a Local: Gold Coast Australia 

Surfers Paradise - Aerial, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Aerial view of Gold Coast’s Surfers Paradise

With beautiful beaches, deep rainforests, and exciting activities, Queensland is the perfect destination for your Australia vacation.

For more information, please visit us at

QANTAS Airways Logo Horizontal 2016Tourism Australia Logo Horizontal

Share with friends and family
Meg Boyd
Meg Boyd

Downunder Product and Marketing Manager - Melbourne-born Meg arrived in Canada in January with no winter coat, one suitcase, a one week booking at a youth hostel, and a sight-unseen job offer at Goway Travel. She thought she’d stay for a year – that was 12 years ago! Never one to shy away from adventure, Meg has been in the industry for 23 years and has journeyed extensively through Europe, Asia and North America. Meg’s heart however belongs to the South Pacific, including New Zealand, Fiji, and her native Australia.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get the latest travel trends & hear about the best deals on vacations around the world.

If you’re a Globetrotter, these are the newsletters for you!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x