Nestled amongst the 7,000km of coastline, reside some of Australia’s not-so-hidden treasures of coastal Queensland. The glimmering coastline is home to the world’s largest coral reef system, lush rainforests, magnificent surfing beaches and relaxing paradisiac beaches. Here are a few rare and unpretentious natural beauties that you must discover on your next getaway to coastal Queensland.
Hidden in the wet tropics is the prehistoric, living, breathing Daintree Rainforest. Originally an ecosystem derived from Gondwana, the Daintree is home to abundant wildlife including the cassowary, a true descendant from the dinosaurs. Uncover serene rivers and exclusive waterholes to the backdrop of croaking frogs and bird whips. This densely overgrown part of Australia is rattling with activities suitable for all lifestyles. Indulge in local produce, taking sugar cane, tea and chocolate farm Tours or go croc-spotting with one of the locals. There are also an array of spas and lodges available to get pampered alongside the natural soundtrack of the rainforest.
The accurately dubbed tropical village boasts turquoise, clear blue waters met by wisping palm trees occurring naturally along the beachfront. Palm Cove is located just 27 km north of Cairns and is revered for its close proximity to both the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, which is located just 30 km offshore. The residents of Palm Cove only total 1,200 in population, creating an aura of exclusivity around the quaint towns hub. Peruse the boutique resort style stores, or throw a line in from the Palm Cove jetty and hook yourself a few mackerel or giant trevally.
Great Barrier Reef
The marine ecosystem stretches for 344,000 square kilometres, housing a vast array of exquisite and unique marine life including turtles, living coral forms, minke whales, dugongs and stingrays. With a landmass similar in size to Japan, the Great Barrier Reef has been proclaimed as one of the eight Wonders of the World. And there’s no better way to experience the Great Barrier Reef than from one of the islands living in harmony in the oceanic wilderness. The inaccessibility of island living heightens an intimacy with the natural beauty and wildlife of the Great Barrier Reef as you let go of the contemporary world back on the mainland. Stay at Heron Island or Lady Elliot Island to experience the Great Barrier Reef as a local. This experience is one that you must take advantage of sooner rather than later, as despite conservation efforts, the Great Barrier Reef is slowly diminishing due to coral bleaching and poaching of wildlife.
Located in the archipelago of the famous Whitsundays, Hamilton Island is the only isle large enough to host an airport, making it extremely accessible with direct flights from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. With a population of 1,200 permanent residents, the island is quaint and designed purely for relaxation. Enjoy a cocktail as you watch the sunset descend over the islands of the Great Barrier Reef or float in a secluded beach teeming with marine life. There is plenty to do on Hamilton Island, including sailing, jet skiing, fishing, or golfing, on the Australian Championship 18-hole golf course, located on its very own island, design by Mother Nature.
If you’re after a more metro feel, this one’s for you. Surfers Paradise in Queensland’s Gold Coast is the ultimate resort that isn’t too far from reality. It’s famous high-rise lined beach combines luxury with affluence. Known as the nightlife and shopping hub of the area, Cavill Avenue provides entertainment 24/7. When looking for accomodation, look no further than QT, offering 360 views of the city skyline and glistening ocean breaks and hinterland Nerang River. Now Surfers Paradise wasn’t named unduly. The beach is renowned in the area for having some of the longest and most consistent waves, perfect for those wanting to learn Australia’s favourite water sport. Surfers is also central to Queensland’s theme parks, perfect for an action-packed family beach holiday.
At the crossing of Laguna Bay, Noosa River and Noosa National Park, you will find Noosa Heads. A palm tree lined peninsular, boasting white sand and clear aqua waters. A destination like no other to sit back and soak in the tranquility. Life is easy in Noosa Heads, with the main form of transport being the push bike. This modest coastal utopia is contrasted with high-end flair along Hastings Street, offering edgy designer boutiques and fine-dining experiences. The boardwalk to Noosa National Park will have you spotting dolphins, whales and koalas, all at once.
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