Golden sand, balmy breezes and chilled out vibes characterise a Queensland summer holiday. Chances are you’ve already discovered Surfers Paradise and the Whitsundays, so why not try somewhere new this year?
With nearly 7000 kilometres of coastline to explore, just on the mainland, it’s little wonder tourists descend on the ‘Sunshine State’ in summer. Wherever you choose to visit, it’s hard to escape the ocean-loving crowds. However, when you think outside the box, you can still get a taste of local holiday season fun.
Agnes Water and 1770
Resting on the southern edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Agnes Water is a jumping off point to Lady Musgrave Island. However, the town of 1770 and surrounding areas offer family fun for all ages. As the most northern location to surf on Australia’s east coast, schools ensure you can learn how to catch a wave.
Kayak on the glassy surface of Round Hill Creek, try sand boarding and set up your camping chairs for dip, cheese and bickies with the sunset. To get there, fly into Gladstone or Bundaberg and hire a car. For accommodation, there are plenty of beach houses on Airbnb and Agnes Water Beach Holidays offers apartments, Glamping and a caravan park.
Skydive and land on the sand, white-water raft on the mighty Tully River, try your hand at estuary fishing and keep your eyes open for crocs.
Palm-fringed, golden sand, cassowary spotting and inland rainforests await, when you stay at one of the four Mission Beach villages, located between Townsville and Cairns. Skydive and land on the sand, white-water raft on the mighty Tully River, try your hand at estuary fishing and keep your eyes open for crocs.
It’s just an hour by boat to the Great Barrier Reef, with Dunk Island, Bedarra Island and the Hinchinbrook Island National Park close by. Restaurants, coffee shops, galleries and boutiques line Porter Promenade and you’ll find accommodation ranging from luxury resorts to holiday homes and camp grounds. To get there, fly into Cairns and hire a car or arrange a shuttle to Mission Beach.
Combine a beach break with city action, in Brisbane
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Queensland’s capital is often overlooked as a holiday destination. However, it’s smack bang in the middle of the beaches of the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, so it’s the perfect spot to combine city action with a beach break.
Brisbane comes alive during the Christmas school holidays especially, with free entertainment across the city. There’s the nightly City Hall light show, Roma Street Parkland’s Enchanted Garden, South Bank’s Christmas Village and interactive exhibits at the Queensland Art Gallery, just for starters.
The Gold Coast’s most southern beach offers incredible views of the Surfers Paradise skyline, but the vibe is a world away from the tourist-heavy town. With lush walking trails around Greenmount headland, world-famous Snapper Rocks and Duranbah surf, entertainment at Twin Towns Services Club, restaurants, cinemas, shops and cafes galore, you’ll never be bored.
However, if all you want to do is invest in quality family time, relax on the sand, kick a footy in the park and throw a snag on the barbie, you won’t be fighting crowds to do it.
For locals, that pretty much sums up the perfect Queensland summer holiday.
Nicole Leigh West
Nicole Leigh West is the author of fiction novel, 'The Gypsy Trail' and an internationally recognised travel and lifestyle writer.
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