13 Best Queensland Holiday Destinations for your next QLD Holiday

by | Last updated Apr 7, 2024 | Queensland | 0 comments

Green Island in the Great Barrier Reef is one of the best Queensland holiday destinations

 

So you’ve chosen Queensland for a holiday but aren’t sure where to go exactly. If you are looking for the best Queensland holiday destinations, well, I’ve got you covered, well me and 12 other travel bloggers who love to holiday in Queensland. 

Queensland, lovingly known as the Sunshine State, is home to the world’s most famous reef, to pristine beaches, to dinosaurs in Outback Queensland and vibrant cities and quaint towns. There are so many places to visit in Queensland for a holiday. And your Queensland holiday can be as active or relaxing as you want it as you can choose plenty of things to do in Queensland that suits the type of holiday you want.

Whether you want a Queensland romantic getaway, family holiday or discover something new, let’s help you visit Queensland. Here are 13 of the best places to visit in Queensland!

 

Daintree, Far North Queensland

Favourite Queensland holiday spot of Lanie from Make More Adventures

 

Cape Tribulation. Where the ocean meets the rainforest.
Daintree Rainforest.

Where the rainforest meets the ocean

 

Whether you are looking for an active holiday or a relaxing one, and even if you need it to be kid-friendly, the Daintree in Far North Queensland is one of the best holiday destinations in Queensland.

Cape Tribulation is home to the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef and is the only place on earth where two World Heritage sites meet up.

The Daintree Discovery Centre is the perfect place to learn about the area while you try to spot wildlife including cassowaries.  Entry includes an audio tour and they have a kid-friendly audio tour and hands-on exhibits.

If you prefer to explore the wild, you can hike in the rainforest,  the beach, and along boardwalks including Madja Boardwalk, a beautiful yet easy circuit walk.

While it isn’t safe to swim in the ocean due to crocodiles and jellyfish, Mason’s swimming hole is a good place to cool down.  After your swim, you can try one of the unique burgers at Mason’s Cafe, including crocodile, emu, and kangaroo.

Another way to cool down is at Daintree Ice Cream Company or Floraville Ice Cream Factory.  Both shops have flavors based on local fruit and Floraville even has a flavor called Daintree Rainforest.  Daintree Ice Cream Company is located at a fruit farm where you can explore. Cape Trib Farm is another fruit farm and they offer fruit-tasting tours.

If you want to relax by the hotel pool, take a boat to the Great Barrier Reef, hike through the rainforest, or spot unique Australian wildlife, head to one of the best destinations, the Daintree in Far North Queensland.

 

Whitsunday Islands

Favourite Queensland holiday destination of Raksha Nagaraj of Solo Passport

 

Whitsunday Islands one of Queenslands best holiday destinations.

Whitsundays

 

One of my favourite holiday destinations in Queensland is the mesmerising Whitsunday Islands. Situated off the coast of Queensland, the Whitsunday Islands is an archipelago on the Great Barrier Reef with 74 islands, some of which are inhabited.

With turquoise blue waters and sun-kissed beaches, the Whitsunday Islands are a heavenly place for couples. It is the most romantic place I have ever been. The laid-back island vibe is perfect for a relaxing getaway, allowing you to unwind and recharge in the natural beauty.

The Whitsunday Islands offer many experiences and unique things to do. For adventure enthusiasts, there are plenty of hiking trails with stunning views of the islands. And for scuba divers, there are many beautiful dive sites with abundant marine life and vibrant corals. Many tour operators conduct snorkelling and scuba diving excursions to various islands.

One of the most spectacular beaches is Whitehaven Beach. Known for its white sand and pristine crystal-clear waters, this beach has been rated as one of the world’s most picturesque and photographed beaches. The Whitsunday Islands also have coral in the shape of a heart. This natural wonder is a breathtaking sight; you can take a seaplane or helicopter to see it from above.

 

Winton, Outback Queensland

Favourite Queensland holiday destination of Annette of All Around Oz

 

Discover Dinosaurs in Winton and learn how they walked around Australia.

discover dinosaurs in Winton

 

The outback Queensland town of Winton is famous for being on Queensland’s Dinosaur Trail. It is a family-friendly town with lots of things to see and do for both adults and children.

The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum and the Dinosaur Stampede Lark Quarry are must-visits. You will see and touch dinosaur bones from ninety-five million years ago, see the footprints of several species of dinosaurs, and the history of Australian dinosaurs. 

Dinosaurs aren’t the only attractions at Winton, it is also the birthplace of Waltzing Matilda. Banjo Patterson wrote Waltzing Matilda while staying at the nearby Dagwoth Station.

To honour Banjo and Waltzing Matilda, a museum opened in 1998. Sadly, it caught fire and burned down in 2015, rebuilt in 2018, and re-opened.

The museum takes you through the story of Waltzing Matilda and provides an insight into living in the Queensland outback.

Winton is also the Birthplace of Qantas. The company was first registered there in November 1920.

The North Gregory Hotel is also worth a visit. When we visited, a poet, Gregory Norman, told stories about Banjo Patterson. Entry is free, and Gregory tells three different stories. He’s a great entertainer, and we recommend seeing one of his performances.

There are many other things to do and see in Winton that are free, low-cost, or paid, so make sure Winton is on your Aussie holiday destinations list.

 

Brisbane

Favourite Queensland holiday destinations of Shandos of Travelnuity

 

Story Bridge is the main bridge in Brisbane over the Brisbane River.

The Story Bridge, Brisbane

 

While the capital city of Queensland is often overlooked, Brisbane is one of the best places to visit in the state, with plenty of choices for a fun, active holiday.

Located on the banks of the picturesque Brisbane River, a great introduction to the city is the Riverwalk. Starting in the suburb of New Farm, walk along this boardwalk above the river, past the Story Bridge and Howard Street Wharves. Continue on past the city skyscrapers to the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. Or spend some time at Kangaroo Point and Southbank. You can even use one of the free CityHopper ferries to return to your starting point.

Just west of the city centre of Brisbane is the beautiful Mt Coot-tha Forest. Drive up to the summit of Mt Coot-tha for great views across the city. Perhaps choose from the many bush walking trails. Alternatively, there’s a wide variety of tourist attractions in Queensland just off the coast of Brisbane.

North Stradbroke Island is accessible by vehicular ferry and a great spot for camping on the beach. Alternatively, drive across the bridge to pretty Bribie Island, home to one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Brisbane.

The city is home to plenty of excellent cafes, and a growing number of craft breweries. Then choose to stay the night in one of the caravan parks close to the coast or a luxury hotel in the city centre.

 

Magnetic Island

Favourite Queensland holiday destination of Linda from Muy Linda Travels

 

Magnetic Island one of the best Queensland destinations for a holiday.

beautiful tropical Magnetic Island

 

Magnetic Island is a beautiful tropical island on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and is one of North Queensland’s favourite holiday destinations. The island has many stunning beaches and hidden coves with golden sands and turquoise waters. It’s the perfect escape if you want to relax and get away from it all.

Located in the Coral Sea just offshore from Townsville, Magnetic Island is surrounded by coral reefs. It’s known for its snorkel trails and dive sites.

But wildlife spotting is top of the list of activities for many visitors. The island is home to a large colony of endangered koalas and the chance of spotting a koala in the wild is high. Butterflies flit through the forests, Sea Turtles nest on the beaches, and Rock Wallabies hop around the coastal headlands.

Much of the island is a National Park and a network of hiking trails connects the settled areas and the more secluded beaches. There are stunning lookout points with panoramic views and the remains of a World War 11 Fort to explore.

Magnetic Island has something for everyone and is just a short ferry ride from Townsville. It’s the perfect holiday destination for families, couples or solo travellers looking for a relaxing beach holiday and for those who like to be more active.

You can visit Magnetic Island on a day trip or stay for a few days to enjoy all that this lovely island has to offer.

 

Great Keppel Island

Favourite holiday spot of Maja of Away with Maja

 

Great Keppel Island with beautiful white sandy beaches and blue water.

Shelving Beach, Great Keppel Island

 

GreatKeppel Island is a beautiful island off the coast of Yeppoon, on the Capricorn Coast in Queensland. This slice of paradise is one of the best places to visit in Queensland – or even all of Australia! 

It’s a small island, with just a few choices for accommodations. There’s no cars allowed (besides local vehicles). It’s best for a relaxing beach holiday – but there’s plenty to do here to keep you busy! 

The beaches are stunning, most with white sand and few crowds. Fisherman’s Beach, Putney Beach, Shelving Beach, and Long Beach are some of the best to visit. 

Great Keppel Island is at the very tip of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, so it’s a prime spot for snorkeling, too. You can explore the reefs and spot wildlife straight from the beach. Shelving Beach is my favorite for snorkeling, but Monkey Bay and Butterfish Bay are good, too. 

There are also some great bush walks around the island for any active hikers looking to explore the outdoors. The full day hike to the lighthouse is one of the best. For a shorter walk head up to Mount Wyndham, the highest point on the island, for great views. While you can visit for a short day trip or a weekend, I recommend spending three to five days to really enjoy island life on Great Keppel Island.

 

Agnes Waters

Favourite holiday destination of Victoria of Guide Your Travel

 

Laid back town of Agnes Waters Queensland.

laid back Agnes Waters

 

Agnes Water is located in Queensland, Australia. It is a hidden gem and a favorite Queensland holiday destination for many. This coastal town is situated along the stunning Discovery Coast and offers a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and natural beauty.

One of Agnes Water’s main attractions is its pristine beaches. The main beach is a long stretch of white sand, perfect for relaxing and soaking up the sun. It’s also a great spot for swimming, surfing, and fishing. The town is known for its laid-back atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for those looking to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Agnes Water offers plenty of activities for those seeking adventure to keep you entertained. You can explore the nearby national parks, go kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding in the crystal-clear waters. Or take a scenic hike to enjoy breathtaking coast views.

Agnes Water is also an excellent destination for families, with its safe swimming beaches and range of family-friendly activities. Kids will love exploring the rock pools, spotting wildlife, and trying water sports.

 

Sunshine Coast

Favourite holiday spot of Peta of Exit45Travels

 

White sandy beach on the Sunshine Coast.

kick back at Mooloolaba Spit 

 

The Sunshine Coast in Queensland stands out as one of the best holiday destinations in Australia (it is our home town though we may be a little biased). It offers the perfect blend of sun, surf, and relaxation. With its pristine beaches, lush hinterland, and vibrant coastal towns, the Sunshine Coast caters to a wide range of travellers seeking diverse experiences.

One of the top draw cards of the Sunshine Coast is its stunning beaches. Noosa Main Beach, Mooloolaba Beach, and Coolum Beach, where visitors can soak up the sun, take a dip in the ocean or go surfing. For nature enthusiasts, exploring the Sunshine Coast hinterland with its scenic hiking trails, refreshing waterfalls, and panoramic lookout points is a must-do activity.

The Sunshine Coast boasts a warm and sunny climate year-round, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities. With summer temperatures averaging 17 – 28 degrees Celsius from December to February and autumn temperatures falling between 13 – 25 degrees Celsius from March to May, travellers can enjoy beach days, water sports, and al fresco dining throughout the year.

The Sunshine Coast offers a diverse restaurant scene. There’s plenty of restaurants showcasing fresh seafood, farm-to-table cuisine, and international flavours. Notable dining spots include Rickys River Bar & Restaurant on the Noosa River. Spirit House in Yandina for contemporary Thai cuisine, and The Surf Club Mooloolaba for casual beachfront dining.

The Sunshine Coast caters to travellers of all kinds. From those seeking a relaxing beach getaway to active adventurers looking for outdoor activities. It’s perfect for couples seeking a romantic escape, families in search of kid-friendly Queensland activities, and solo travellers seeking both adventure and relaxation.

Whether you’re looking to unwind on the beach, explore the natural beauty of the hinterland, or indulge in gourmet dining experiences, the Sunshine Coast offers something for everyone.

 

Rail Trip – Brisbane to Cairns

Favourite holiday thing to do of Anne of Packing Light Travel

 

Spirit of Queensland rail bed. A seat that reclines on the train.

lie back in a reclining bed and watch Queensland unfold

The Spirit of Queensland RailBed experience is about the journey AND the destination. Operating between Brisbane and Cairns, passengers have several coastal towns to choose as their destination or travel the entire route to end in either Cairns or Brisbane.

What is the RailBed experience? It’s like flying in the business class cabin of a plane. Each passenger receives an amenity kit of organic toiletries from Queensland, and meals delivered to their seat that converts to a lie-flat bed for sleeping. There’s also a Club Car to grab a snack, enjoy a drink, or mingle with other passengers.

The ride is quiet and smooth, with conversation possible at a normal volume. After settling in, a more social atmosphere prevails, especially while watching staff make up the beds. For passengers who prefer solitude, each seat has a standard power point, USB port, earphone socket, and an 18.5-inch screen on the back of the seat in front. Movies, music, and audiobooks are on demand. However, with daylight, it’s more interesting to enjoy the constantly changing coastal Queensland landscape.

For anyone who enjoys train travel, the RailBed experience is an interesting and enjoyable choice for a Queensland holiday. 

 

Toowoomba

Favourite Queensland holiday spot of Belinda of Journey Discover

 

Tabletop Mountain Toowwomba.

The summit of Tabletop Mountain offers spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding countryside

 

Toowoomba is a fantastic vacation spot that provides the perfect blend of city meets country. Sitting 130km west of Brisbane at the intersection of 3 national highways, the Warrego, New England and Gore, Queensland’s largest inland city is always one of my favourite regions to visit because it is suitable for those looking for an active day adventure, a relaxing weekend getaway or a dynamic road trip way point.

Its greatest asset is its elevated position 700m above sea level. The city sits atop the continent-spanning Great Dividing Range, so it has no shortage of gorgeous lookouts to drop by, such as the must-visit Picnic Point Lookout, which overlooks the Lockyer Valley, including the easily distinguishable Tabletop Mountain. 

This unique peak is not just a sight to see. It is also home to one of my favourite walks, offering even more magnificent views of the rural landscape. Another incredible viewpoint is Koonin Lookout inside the neighbouring Crows Nest National Park, which showcases the mesmerising Valley Of The Diamonds. 

Meanwhile, the heritage Cobb and Co Museum has numerous exhibitions showcasing different aspects of the region’s history while Spring Bluff, an old railway station has been transformed into a stunning sprawling picnic ground. Speaking of transformed, one of my favourite times to visit this beloved Queensland holiday destination is in September when the famous Carnival Of Flowers event turns this the city into a vibrant floral heaven for three unforgettably colourful weeks.

 

Cairns

Favourite Queensland holiday destination of Holly from Four Around the World

 

Cairns marina full of yachts.

the marina in Cairns

 

Cairns in far North Queensland has been a favourite of ours for many years. As Queenslanders ourselves, we know how lucky we are to have so many beautiful places to visit but Cairns ticks so many of the boxes.

Easily one of the best places to visit the Great Barrier Reef from, with day cruises galore to snorkel, dive and explore this natural wonder. Cairns is equally great for couples as it is for families, with something to cater to all ages.

While it’s not a destination you visit for swimming beaches, you can day trip to some incredible islands that have nice beaches. Or take a cable car or historic train into the mountains of Kuranda where you can wander markets, visit the Butterfly Sanctuary or see a waterfall.

There is a free lagoon along the Esplanade for a swim or have a splash at Muddy’s Playground. A day trip to Green Island is a great option for a first snorkeling experience for kids as there’s a lifeguard and shallow water snorkeling beach area.

And even for foodies, there are some fantastic restaurants and some of the freshest seafood to taste your way around. Plus Hemingways Brewery for a beverage by the water.

 

Fraser Island

Favourite Queensland holiday destination of Leah At Officer Travels

 

The Fraser Island Shipwreck is a boat washed up on the shores of Fraser Island.

SS Maheno Shipwreck

 

As the world’s longest sand island, and a Unesco World Heritage Site, this Queensland destination should be on everyone’s bucket list. Did you know you can visit Fraser Island without a guided tour?

It’s the perfect destination for a family adventure. Those who love to get lost in nature, do a bit of wildlife spotting, unwind on the beach or relax at the side of a pristine lake will love Fraser Island.

We hired a jeep, hopped on the ferry and spent 3 days exploring the island at our own pace. This let us make the most of the on-beach camping away from the crowds.

Keeping our eyes open for wild dingo, we spent the first day exploring the ancient rainforest and inland perched lakes. This included Lake Boomanjin which is the world’s largest perched lake. Yep, there are so many records on this incredible island!

One of the most popular spots on Fraser Island is the SS Maheno Shipwreck. It washed ashore in 1935, but at sunrise it’s practically deserted and offers great photo opportunities.

A highlight for us was hiking to Indian Point where we saw humpback whales, tiger sharks and manta rays passing close to the cliffs. Tours don’t often include this area on their itinerary so you’re almost guaranteed a crowdless experience.

 

Gold Coast

Favourite Queensland holiday spot of Sharyn of Live Work Play Travel

 

Sharyn meeting Bugs Bunny at Movie World on the Gold Coast.

my new best friend at Movie World

 

The Gold Coast is one of Queenslands best holiday destinations. You could even say it is one of Australia’s best holiday destinations. And when you visit, it is easy to see why with such a variety of Queensland tourist attractions to see and do making it friendly to families with kids, solo travellers and even those looking for a romantic getaway.

A Gold Coast holiday can be whatever you want it to be. The beaches are to die for with golden sands being lapped by blue water most days. And if god forbid, you get sick of the beach, you can kick back in one of the cafes or restaurants. If after some action head to one of the best Queensland attractions – the theme parks. There are a number to choose from. From Sea World to Movie World to Dreamworld, each with their own uniqueness and things to see and do. Or just enjoy your Queensland holiday resorts in-house offerings.

Perhaps hire a car and head inland to the Gold Coast hinterland to explore the rainforest and see waterfalls before returning to the coast to enjoy an evening amongst the hustle and bustle. Whatever you decide to do on the Gold Coast, it makes one of the best holiday destinations in Queensland.

 

Are you ready to Discover Your Next Queensland Destination?

 

I hope you are ready to discover Queensland on your next holiday. Whether it is a weekend escape, a one or two week holiday, a train ride or a slow road trip around the state, enjoy one of the best Australian holiday destinations – the state of Queensland!

 

Queensland holiday destinations pin.

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About Me

Bells Beach Surfing Recreation Reserve Sign shaped like a big white wave with Sharyn McCullum On the Great Ocean Road.

G’Day! Sharyn here, an Aussie loving discovering Australia. Let me show you around so you can discover Australia too.  Read my story here.

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