Lovingly known as the Sunshine State, Queensland boasts a seemingly endless list of epic travel experiences. From quaint country towns and authentic Aussie bush experiences to beautiful beaches, world-class food destinations and stunning rainforests, we’ve got it all! For those jonesing for a romantic getaway, family holiday or just an adventurous break, there’s no shortage of great destinations to choose from. To help you with a little wanderlust inspiration, here are 13 of the best places to visit in Queensland!

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1. Rainbow Beach

Located about a 3-hour drive north of Brisbane or one and a half hours drive south of Hervey Bay, Rainbow Beach is a sleepy little town home to pristine beaches, lovely locals, and the stunning Carlo Sand Blow. You can camp right on the beach at Inskip Point, rent a holiday house or stay at our favourite local spot, Rainbow Ocean Palms.

Rainbow Beach: Carlo Sand Blow

You might also like to read:  The Ultimate Rainbow Beach Road Trip Travel Guide, Everything you need to know about visiting the Carlo Sand Blow and The Top Things to Do in Rainbow Beach

Stay Features
Rainbow Ocean PalmsRead our review
Plantation ResortApartment-style with balconies
Debbie’s PlaceComfortable with incredible hospitality

2. Stanthorpe and The Granite Belt Region

An area of the Great Dividing Range in Queensland’s Darling Downs, Stanthorpe sits close to the Queensland and New South Wales border, a little under 3 hours drive south-west of Brisbane. The region is famed for incredibly fresh, local produce and great wine. A popular winter destination it’s also great for a spring or summer escape too, with an abundance of great accommodation providers, vineyards and restaurants with plenty to see, do and eat. We also love exploring the spectacular Girraween NP, home to some wonderful walking tracks and viewpoints! Stay at Ridgemill Estate, the Girraween Environmental Lodge or go glamping at Alure Stanthorpe.

You might also like to read: The Ultimate Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Travel Guide and 17 Perfect ways to make the most of summer in Stanthorpe.

Ridgemill EstateCabins with winery views
Alure StanthorpeRead our review
Girraween Environmental LodgeFully self-contained bush chalets
Granite Belt MotelClean and conveniently located

3. Agnes Water and 1770

You’ll find Agnes Water on the Discovery Coast, around a 90-minute drive in either direction from Bundaberg and Gladstone. The closest point to the southern Great Barrier Reef, you can take a day cruise to Lady Musgrave Island, do a LARC tour of the local area or have a sunset kayak adventure. Enjoy the beaches, explore the paperbark forest or mingle at the Discovery Coast Markets. We usually stay at a beach house but other great spots include Pavillions on 1770 and 1770 Getaway.

The Paperbark Forest at Agnes Water

You might also like to read:  16 Awesome things you absolutely must do in Agnes and 1770, or Popular Things to do in 1770.

Pavillions on 1770Beach access, spa
1770 Sovereign LodgeClose to restaurants
1770 Beach ShacksOcean views
Loka Santi PenthouseOcean views
The Summit 1770Secluded chalets

4. Carnarvon Gorge

Aussie bush experiences don’t get much better than the spectacular Carnarvon Gorge, located in Queensland’s Central Highlands, 720km north-west of Brisbane, in an area known as the Sandstone Wilderness. You can fly to spots like Emerald, Roma, Rockhampton and Gladstone, hire a car and drive to Carnarvon Gorge. Spend your days exploring the great Australian bush thanks to the wide range of walking trails in Carnarvon Gorge and spot some of our gorgeous Aussie wildlife. We stayed at Takarakka Bush Resort and loved it!

Carnarvon Gorge © Little Grey Box
Carnarvon Gorge

You might also like to read: The BEST Carnarvon Gorge Travel Guide (everything you NEED to know!), and Top Outback Queensland Attractions.

5. Toowoomba and the High Country Hamlets

Affectionately nicknamed ’T-Bar,’ you’ll find Toowoomba in the Darling Downs region, around 125km west of Brisbane. With so much great local produce in the area, there are some fantastic foodie experiences on offer in Toowoomba. Time your visit with the vibrant Carnival of Flowers or sunflower season. Journey deeper into the region with a visit to the High Country Hamlets, Ravensbourne and the nearby Bunya Mountains. For great spots to stay in and around the area check out Quest Toowoomba, Bunnyconnellen, ecoRidge Hideaway and Cloudlake.

Picnic Point, Toowoomba

You might also like to read: 26 of the BEST things to do in Toowoomba, 11 Perfect places to eat in Toowoomba, and 6 Delicious vegetarian meals to try in Toowoomba.

Quest ToowoombaCentral, self-contained
ecoRidge Hideaway ChaletsSeclusion with views
Potters Toowoomba HotelOnsite restaurant
Oaks Toowoomba HotelCentral, gym, pool
Central Plaza ApartmentsSelf-contained, pool

6. Longreach

Journey into the heart of country Queensland with a visit to iconic Longreach, a place that has a very special spot in my heart. Located in Central West Queensland around 700km from the coast, west of Rockhampton, the town is home to some very special locals and authentic Aussie experiences. Avid adventurers may like to catch the train up or you can simply fly! We did a guided tour with Outback Aussie Tours and absolutely loved it. We had dinner, drinks and live music under the stars, visited the Wellshot Hotel, the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, and enjoyed delicious local food and so much more. We stayed at Saltbush Retreat and loved it!

Two Tree Hill, Longreach

You might also like to read: 21 of the BEST things to do in Longreach and Top Outback Queensland Attractions

Where to StayFeatures
Saltbush RetreatSelf-contained luxury
The Staging PostBoutique heritage-theme

7. Bundaberg

Famous for Bundaberg Rum, the gorgeous town of Bundy is much more than meets the eye! Located around 385km north of Brisbane, it’s also a great access point to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Don’t miss the incredible day cruise to Lady Musgrave Island with Lady Musgrave Experience. At Mon Repos, visitors can watch turtles lay or see hatchlings burst forth from the sand. Visit nearby Lady Elliot Island to explore the reef and swim with turtles. Bundy is also home to some of my favourite thrift stores and the rum distillery tour is actually awesome! We love to stay in Bargara, right on the beachfront at The Point Resort.

You might also like to read: 3 Excellent ways to have an unforgettable turtle encounter and Top Things to do in Bundaberg

The Point ResortBeachfront, well positioned
Manta BargaraSpacious with great views

8. Yeppoon

Situated around 38km northeast of Rockhampton, Yeppoon is the gateway to the Capricorn Coast and the Southern Great Barrier Reef. There’s an unexpectedly epic food scene here with an abundance of great cafes and restaurants to choose from and a seemingly endless list of fun and interesting activities. Make the most of this truly gorgeous destination by taking the time to visit Great Keppel Island and Pumpkin Island. You can also explore nearby Rockhampton and the gorgeous Byfield National Park. Some of our favourite spots to stay include Villa Mar Colina, Oshen, Great Keppel Hideaway, Pumpkin Island resort, and the Byfield Cabins.

Pumpkin Island, Yeppoon

You might also like to read: 22 Things You Must Do in Yeppoon, 15 Best Places to Eat in Yeppoon and Great Keppel Island Day Trip

Villa Mar ColinaSpacious, island views
Oshen Holiday ApartmentsHeated outdoor pool
Salt YeppoonClose to restaurants
Echelon ApartmentsClose to restaurants
Rosslyn Bay ResortClose to Kemp Beach

9. Port Douglas and The Daintree

Famed for its beach resorts and the ultimate base for visiting the Great Barrier Reef, Port Douglas is located in tropical far north Queensland, around an hour drive north of Cairns. Here, you’ll find some staggeringly beautiful scenery, fantastic food and no shortage of great spots to stay. Explore the picturesque Mossman Gorge and the Daintree Rainforest National Park and head out to the Great Barrier Reef for snorkelling and more. I stayed at Peppers Beach Club and really enjoyed it.

Exploring Mossman Gorge

You might also like to read: 17 BEST Things to Do in Port Douglas, 16 of the BEST Things to Do in Cairns and Top things to do in Port Douglas

10. K’gari (Fraser Island)

The world’s largest sand island, K’gari (Fraser Island) stretches over 120km, located 360km north of Brisbane. Accessible by barge, it’s the ideal spot to get away from it all. A truly unique part of Queensland, visitors can explore stunning Lake McKenzie, float down Eli Creek, marvel at the Maheno Shipwreck, spot Humpback Whales and dingoes. We stayed at Kingfisher Bay Resort and had a great experience. 

Driving on Fraser Island

You might also like to read: 26 Things to Do on K’gari (Fraser) and Top Things to Do on K’gari (Fraser)

11. Gold Coast

The iconic Gold Coast, located an hour drive south of Brisbane CBD, is famous for its stunning beaches, theme parks and party scene. There are loads of great spots to visit but our favourites tend to be a little further away from Surfer’s Paradise. We love the cool cafes and great beach spots in Tallebudgera, Palm Beach, Currumbin and Burleigh Heads. Explore local weekend markets or eat your way through the seemingly endless roster of restaurants and cafes. We like to stay at the Meriton Suites Broadbeach (beachside), The Pink Hotel Coolangatta and Meriton Suites Surfers Paradise.

You might also like to read: 39 Places to Eat & Drink on the Goldie, BEST things to do on the water! and Top things to do on the Gold Coast

Meriton Suites Surfers ParadiseRead our review
Star Grand at Star Gold CoastPlush, casino access
Meriton Suites BroadbeachClose to restaurants
ULTIQA Air on BroadbeachSpacious, close to beach
Burleigh Esplanade ApartmentsWe loved the ‘Loft Penthouse’
19th Avenue on the BeachBeachfront seclusion
The Pink Hotel CoolangattaBoutique, rooftop bar

12. Sunshine Coast

Where the Gold Coast is well-known internationally, the Sunshine Coast is a favourite among Queensland locals. Located 100km north of Brisbane, this area is home to some really beautiful beaches and sleepy coastal towns that come alive during peak season. Beach lovers will want to visit cool spots like Caloundra, Noosa, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Coolum in the warmer months. But, visitors in winter and autumn may like to check out the hinterland and explore the quaint towns of Maleny and Montville. We like to stay right on the beachfront in Noosa at Seahaven Noosa or at Spicers Clovelly Estate or Spicers Tamarind Retreat in the Hinterland. 

You might also like to read: The Perfect Noosa Itinerary, 21 Hinterland things worth doing and Top Things to do on the Sunny Coast

Stay Features
The Ridge at MalenySelf-contained bliss!
Spicers Tamarind RetreatLuxurious, incredible food
Spicers Clovelly EstateFrench inspired luxury
The “Old Glenroy Dairy”Unique, cosy and private

13. Brisbane

A welcoming city located along the Brisbane River, Queensland’s capital is a hub of great food, cultural experience and entertainment. Explore local neighbourhoods like New Farm, Paddington and the Fortitude Valley. Visit beloved spots like South Bank and Street’s Beach, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and Kangaroo Point. Dine at Howard Smith Wharves, Eat Street and trendy West End. Great spots to stay include Rydges South Bank, The Sebel, The Johnson, Spicers Balfour, and Meriton Suites.

Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane

You might also like to read:  17 Things You Must Do in Brisbane, Everything You Need to Know: Brisbane and Top things to do in Brisbane

Rydges South Bank BrisbaneRead our review
The Sebel BrisbaneCentral location, pool
Art Series – The JohnsonSpacious, great pool
Alex Perry Hotel ApartmentsRead our review
Spicers Balfour HotelLuxury, fantastic food
Meriton Suites Herschel StComfort, CBD location
Mantra Terrace HotelWell-priced comfort

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