THE GLITTERING GOLD COASTJust across New South Wales' northern border, the Gold Coast is a legendary Australian holiday destination. Its first tourists were well-to-do families from Brisbane who would venture to Southport for a secluded, beachy getaway as far back as the late 1800s. The opening of the Jim Cavill's Surfers Paradise Hotel in 1925 drew more visitors, and things grew slowly until the 1980s when tourism really took off.
These days the Gold Coast a holiday Mecca that brims with theme parks and attractions, accommodation to suit every type of traveller, high-end resorts, internationally renowned restaurants, nightlife and shopping. There really is something for everyone, which is why getting the right advice is essential to ensuring your Gold Coast holiday is the right fit for you. A Queensland travel agent can work with you, listen to your preferences, offer ideas and suggestions before presenting the perfect, tailored Gold Coast getaway.
BIG-CITY BRISBANEConsidered by Australians for decades as just a big country town, Brisbane is now a bona-fide city of global significance. This fabulous river city has a particular charm as the slow flowing Brisbane River winds and bends its way through neighbourhoods, communities and between gleaming city towers.
Named in recent years as 'arguably Australia's hippest city' by Lonely Planet, and Australia’s most cultured city by German travel search site WeekenGo, Brisbane is enjoying its time in the south Queensland sun.
Brisbane River, Storybridge at night. Photo Credit: Tourism & Events Queensland
Brisbane's urban villages have their own unique sense of place. Explore the city and you'll likely find yourself in offbeat Fortitude Valley, the leisure-focused Southbank precinct, bohemian West End with its quirky mix of alternative and vintage vibes, even mooching around in Paddington's boutiques. This is a city that requires a sense of discovery and is best explored with the local insights and advice a Queensland travel agent can bring to the table.
THE FRASER COASTThe Fraser Coast in south-east Queensland—about 250 kilometres north of Brisbane—comprises Fraser Island, Hervey Bay, Great Sandy Strait, Maryborough and the Fraser Coast hinterland.
A year-round destination, the Fraser Coast comes into particular focus each July to November when a different kind of visitor drops into Hervey Bay—the whale watching capital of Australia. Hervey Bay is also the leaping off point for World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.
Shipwreck along Fraser Island. Photo Credit: Tourism & Events Queensland
Fraser Island is a world-renowned travel destination in its own right. 123 kilometres long, it's the world's largest sand island and home to towering rainforests, fascinating shipwrecks, stunning freshwater lakes and coloured sands. There are a number of ways to visit Fraser Island, and a Queensland travel agent can really help you get it right and be there to support you if anything goes awry as you travel.
THE GREAT BARRIER REEFQueensland is home to the largest coral reef system on the planet, the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef stretches for more than 2000 kilometres in the sparkling waters of the suitably-named Coral See from Cape York, as far south as Lady Elliot Island just north-east of Bundaberg.
The Great Barrier Reef is an attraction of global significance with some 2 million tourists visiting each year. There are many ways to access the Reef, and a Queensland travel agent can make sure you do it in a way that suits your travel style and budget. Whether you're a SCUBA diver or prefer keeping your feet dry, a Queensland travel agent will have access to just about every piece of a Great Barrier Reef holiday puzzle imaginable.
The Great Barrier Reef, stretches along the coast of Queensland. Photo Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
THE SUNSHINE COASTJust an hour and a half north of Brisbane, Queensland's Sunshine Coast is home to much more than just the Big Pineapple. The sunshine Coast and its hinterland is all about slowing down, eating well and letting your Monday-to-Friday stresses blow over for a while. If you're looking for a high octane holiday of bright lights and late nights, you've probably come to the wrong place—a mistake a Queensland travel agent would never make.
The Sunny Coast's most famous locale is Noosa, a sophisticated seaside village of fine accommodation, dining and beaches. Other well-known coastal holiday hubs here include Caloundra, Maroochydore, Kawana Waters and Mooloolaba. Inland, you'll find the striking, ancient volcanic peaks and rainforests of the wonderfully-named Glasshouse Mountains.
Glass House Mountains at sunset. Photo Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland/Jason Charles Hill
The towering rocky outcrops were named by Captain James Cook in 1770. Spotting the towering peaks from the Endeavour, it's said they reminded Cook of glass-making furnaces of home. Long before Cook arrived, the Glass House Mountains area was a special meeting place for Aboriginal people.
OUTBACK QUEENSLANDThe vast regions of outback Queensland are home to unique experiences of their own. Venture out into the Sunshine State's Central West region and you'll quickly find the town of Longreach on your radar. Longreach is home to the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, a placed dedicated to showcasing rural Australia's cultural history.
Significantly, too, Longreach played an important role in the founding of Australia's national airline, Qantas. This heritage is celebrated at Longreach's Qantas Founders Outback Museum which displays a decommissioned Qantas 747 aircraft, and the airline's first jet aircraft, a Boeing 707.
Wing Walk at Longreach Airport. Photo Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Follow the dinosaur trail around Winton. Visit the thriving mining town of Mount Isa, or head way out into Queensland’s Far West and the rugged Simpson Desert by 4WD. There's a lot to do out here and it is really vast. It's the kind of adventure that needs professional advice and expertise. Contact your favourite Queensland travel agent for precisely that.
SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND COUNTRYAn increasingly popular corner of Queensland is the country region west of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Easily accessible from Brisbane, Queensland’s south coast and northern New South Wales, this is a real taste of rural Australia and perfect for a road trip.
The higher elevations of the epic landscapes of the Granite Belt are home to wineries, cool climate orchards and fabulous farm-to-table dining experiences. Bush walkers and wildflower fanciers love the part of the world, too.
As an emerging tourism destination it's important that you're well-equipped and advised, and have booked everything you need for a hassle-free Southern Queensland Country holiday. Be sure to contact an ATAS accredited Queensland travel agent and make the most of local knowledge and the confidence that comes from working with a travel professional.
TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLANDWith its international airport and world class tourism infrastructure, Cairns really is the capital of Tropical North Queensland. This city in the tropics is a major gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and gorgeous holiday nooks like Palm Cove, Port Douglas, Trinity Beach and Kuranda.
The reef and its islands and sandy cays really are the star attractions here. There are many ways to visit the reef. Options include huge high-speed catamarans that whisk visitors out to enormous pontoons equipped with every convenience to make the most of a day exploring this great natural wonder of the world. There are also live-aboard cruises for multi-night stays out on the reef—really popular with SCUBA divers. There are also day trips aboard yachts that stay closer to shore, visiting excellent snorkelling spots and serving hearty lunches on-board. Talk to your favourite Queensland travel agent to determine the best option for you.
On land there's much to do, too. Explore Daintree National Park, Mossman Gorge and local, secluded waterways like the Crystal Cascades and Josephine Falls famous for their natural waterslides, pools and cool fresh water. Venture up to Kuranda by vintage rail or Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and wander the markets, butterfly sanctuary, and the dramatic Barron Falls.
Mosman Gorge Centre, Tropical North Queensland. Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
In Cairns itself, there are attractions galore. Two favourites are the renowned Rusty's Markets and the remarkable Cairns Esplanade Lagoon pool—surely one of the finest public swimming pools in the world. A visit to Tropical North Queensland can be as action-packed or as flop-and-drop as you like. But with so many options available, and so little time to make the most of them, seeking the advice of a travel professional like a Queensland travel agent is a prudent place to start.
QUEENSLANDS ISLANDSFrom South Stradbroke Island near the Gold Coast, to the tip of Cape York, Queensland's islands offer wonderful opportunities for affordable short breaks or multi-week luxury holidays par excellence.
Perhaps Queensland's most famous islands are the Whitsundays—74 island gems that sparkle in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef ranging from well-developed holiday destinations in their own right like Hamilton Island, to secluded uninhabited islets. Most are national parks and surrounded by beaches and reefs teeming with sea life. Finding the right Whitsunday island for you can be a tricky business. Don't just leave your Whitsunday choice to chance, contact an ATAS-accredited Queensland travel agent and get it right every day of the week.
Whether you're planning a weekend away on the Gold Coast, a road trip through Queensland's country regions, or a two-week luxury escape on the perfect Whitsunday island, your ATAS accredited Queensland Travel Agent has the local knowledge, insights and expert guidance to get you there. You'll travel with the confidence that comes from having an agent in your corner, too.
No matter where your next adventure takes you, tackle the planning with an ATAS accredited Queensland travel agent. You'll travel with confidence knowing you have a professional in your corner to protect you from the unexpected.
ATAS accredited travel agents—experience you can trust.