Given that the Sunshine State averages more than 300 sunny days each year, you’d be a pretty unlucky visitor to miss out on its most famous offering. But even if you did, there’s so much more to see and do here than lie on a beach absorbing vitamin D.
- Lose yourself in Carnarvon Gorge
A hidden Queensland gem, Carnarvon Gorge is a lush oasis in the midst of semi-arid Central Queensland. The gorge leads you through towering, white sandstone overhangs festooned with snaking plant roots that dangle down above you. Carnarvon Creek attracts a plethora of animals, including more than 173 species of birds, along with rainforest flora like Carnarvon fan palms, ferns and ancient cycads.
2. Chase waterfalls in the Atherton Tablelands
If the sound of rushing water soothes your soul, then this waterfall trail is for you. The first stop is the magnificent Millaa Millaa Falls, whose waters cascade into a cool waterhole below. The best bit is that you can jump right in and feel the spray on your skin as you relax in the refreshing water. Your next stop is the nearby Zillie Falls, whose viewing platform is perfectly positioned to take in the tumbling water and the rapids. Next on your tour is Ellinjaa Falls, which is characterised by lava columns that fan the water out as it falls into the pool below.
3. Discover history under water
Between Townsville and Ayr lies an opportunity to explore one of the best shipwreck sites in the world. The 110-metre-long SS Yongalasank sank in a cyclone on the reef in 1911, and 122 of its passengers were lost at sea. Its wreck lay undiscovered at the bottom of the ocean until it was finally located in 1958. It remains the largest and most intact historical shipwreck in the country, making it a fantastic place to explore if you’re a certified diver.
4. Witness the magic of life at Mon Repos
Between November and March each year, you can have a wildlife experience that you’ll never forget. During these warmer months, loggerhead turtle populations come ashore to lay their eggs in the sand (November to January), and hatchlings scramble free from their nests and scurry out to the sea (January to March). Mon Repos coastal area, in the Bundaberg Region, is vital to the nesting and hatching activities of these endangered sea turtles.
5. Visit Australia’s best beach
The Whitsundays’s Whitehaven Beach is the epitome of Queensland: white, powdery sands meet blue-green waters so crystal clear that you can see every fish beneath the surface. While simply splashing around or lazing on the sand provides endless pleasure here, you can also take it up a notch on a kayak, boat, jet ski or seaplane cruise.
Be sure to check out Caravanning Australia Summer 2021-2022 for more!
Pictured is Carnarvon Gorge. Image Courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.