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 travel in Queensland!
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 Ocean Palms||Read our review|
|Plantation Resort||Apartment-style with balconies|
|Debbie’s Place||Comfortable 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 Estate||Cabins with winery views|
|Alure Stanthorpe||Read our review|
|Girraween Environmental Lodge||Fully self-contained bush chalets|
|Granite Belt Motel||Clean 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.
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 1770||Beach access, spa|
|1770 Sovereign Lodge||Close to restaurants|
|1770 Beach Shacks||Ocean views|
|Loka Santi Penthouse||Ocean views|
|The Summit 1770||Secluded 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!
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.
|Quest Toowoomba||Central, self-contained|
|ecoRidge Hideaway Chalets||Seclusion with views|
|Potters Toowoomba Hotel||Onsite restaurant|
|Oaks Toowoomba Hotel||Central, gym, pool|
|Central Plaza Apartments||Self-contained, pool|
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!
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
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.
|Villa Mar Colina||Spacious, island views|
|Oshen Holiday Apartments||Heated outdoor pool|
|Salt Yeppoon||Close to restaurants|
|Echelon Apartments||Close to restaurants|
|Rosslyn Bay Resort||Close 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.
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.
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.
|Meriton Suites Surfers Paradise||Read our review|
|Star Grand at Star Gold Coast||Plush, casino access|
|Meriton Suites Broadbeach||Close to restaurants|
|ULTIQA Air on Broadbeach||Spacious, close to beach|
|Burleigh Esplanade Apartments||We loved the ‘Loft Penthouse’|
|19th Avenue on the Beach||Beachfront seclusion|
|The Pink Hotel Coolangatta||Boutique, 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.
|The Ridge at Maleny||Self-contained bliss!|
|Spicers Tamarind Retreat||Luxurious, incredible food|
|Spicers Clovelly Estate||French inspired luxury|
|The “Old Glenroy Dairy”||Unique, cosy and private|
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.
|Rydges South Bank Brisbane||Read our review|
|The Sebel Brisbane||Central location, pool|
|Art Series – The Johnson||Spacious, great pool|
|Alex Perry Hotel Apartments||Read our review|
|Spicers Balfour Hotel||Luxury, fantastic food|
|Meriton Suites Herschel St||Comfort, CBD location|
|Mantra Terrace Hotel||Well-priced comfort|
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