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Scenic drives in Queensland

Scenic drives in Queensland

Queensland is renowned for its diverse landscapes – from lush rainforests, to golden beaches and the rugged outback. Whether along the coast or through the hinterland, Queensland’s scenic drives promise unforgettable natural beauty, with plenty to entice you out of the car.

When first starting out on a life on wheels, many caravanners make a beeline for Queensland. And for good reason! The state is packed with jaw-droppingly beautiful landscapes that look like they’ve been enhanced by a computer. But no artificial intelligence is needed here – it’s all natural! The best way to experience the gems of Queensland’s natural aesthetics is to plan a series of scenic drives. Here are three to get you started.

Explore the Scenic Rim

Full of history, pristine national parks and picturesque roads, the Scenic Rim in Queensland’s south is a great place to start your adventures. World Heritage–listed rainforest gives way to picturesque rural villages and small farms in this scenic pastoral setting, where you can rest and reset from the hustle and bustle of the every day.

Starting in Brisbane, head south along State Route 13, making a right turn at Bromelton and arriving at Wyaralong Dam after 1.5 hours. Nestled at the base of Mount Joyce, the dam is the newest one in South East Queensland, and its lake is a popular attraction for travellers to the Scenic Rim area. Electric and paddleboats can take to the water, where Australian bass and Mary River cod can be hooked. You can cook and enjoy your fresh catch on the banks of the lake, as there are tables and barbecues available for use. If your fishing line came up empty this time, head to nearby Overflow Estate 1895, where you can find an enticing menu and wines made from Mediterranean grape varieties, such as vermentino, fiano and montepulciano.

Once rested and soothed by the scenic views of the water, return to the highway and head back the way you came, arriving at Tamborine Mountain in under an hour. Tamborine National Park, on the mountain itself, is 560 metres above sea level, and provides tantalising glimpses of the ocean and further national parks, as well as the Gold Coast. Exploring the national park, you’ll encounter rocky outcrops, basalt columns, plenty of waterfalls and verdant rainforest. Don’t forget to cruise through the quaint and welcoming Tamborine Village nearby.

Mackay to Eungella National Park

Chart an almost perfectly straight line on your map from Mackay to Eungella National Park, and you’ll be rewarded with some spectacular scenery. Nobody will have their nose in a book on this scenic drive, as you leave the city and head towards Mackay’s picture-perfect mountains. Keep your eyes peeled for waterfalls and stunning gorges as you travel, as well as the patchwork of sugarcane farms across the plains.

Once you arrive at Eungella National Park, you’ll have to pinch yourself to make sure the mist-shrouded ancient forest is real, and not the setting of a fairytale coming to life. This is one of Queensland’s most ecologically diverse parks, with 860 plant species found here, along with a host of native wildlife. To have the best chance of observing the animals that live in this park, take your time to explore all the ecosystems around you – look up into tall trees, down into seasonal creeks, and into the leaf litter all around you. The platform at Broken River offers an excellent opportunity to spot platypuses, eels and turtles, while night walks reveal gliders, tawny frogmouths and possums.

Drive K’gari

If you crave even more tropical beach time, then look no further than K’gari, formerly known as Fraser Island. Located off the mainland near Maryborough, K’gari can be reached by the Kingfisher Bay Resort vehicle ferry, which will take you and your high-clearance four-wheel drive to Kingfi sher Bay Resort on the island. Make sure you are confident driving on sand before you arrive, and don’t attempt this destination in a two- or all-wheel drive (some tracks are also unsuitable for vehicles towing trailers or campers, so do your research before you arrive).

There are a number of scenic drives plotted out for you on K’gari. Try the Central Lakes drive and enter Pile Valley, with its tall satinay trees, before exploring Boorangoora (Lake McKenzie) and its snow-white sand. Alternatively, the Southern Lakes scenic drive offers a chance to experience Lake Boomanjin, with gum and banksia trees, heathlands, and reedy swamps. It’s also a great spot to hop out of the car and experience the area on foot.

Pictured: K’gari beach driving

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