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Make the most of spring this year with a visit to Gladstone, a tranquil alternative to the busier tourist cities that line Queensland’s southern coast.

Spend an afternoon snorkelling or diving in the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef, where a captivating world of colour and wonder awaits, or warm up with a stroll around the pond in Reg Tanna Park – speckled with lilies, it makes the perfect picture of peace and tranquillity.

If you don’t have enough time to experience all that the region has to offer, take in as much as you can from above, with an afternoon hike up Mount Larcom, where the summit will reward you with a 360-degree panorama over the entire district. Then, stop at the Tondoon Botanic Gardens for an up-close encounter with turtles, ducks and coots, before finishing off the day with a barbecue and a beer, and the sound of the ocean at your side before sitting back to relax with an uninterrupted view of the stars.

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