QUEENSLAND: Amazing diving on the world's largest coral reef system

  • QUEENSLAND: Amazing diving on the world's largest coral reef system
  • QUEENSLAND: Amazing diving on the world's largest coral reef system
  • QUEENSLAND: Amazing diving on the world's largest coral reef system
  • QUEENSLAND: Amazing diving on the world's largest coral reef system
Queensland, in the North East of Australia, is the second largest state in the country, and is often thought of as one of the most beautiful. The state, which was named in honour of Queen Victoria, is known as the Sunshine State, thanks to its warm, temperate climate and miles of gorgeous beaches. Queensland is home to 6 world heritage sites, and is a very popular holiday destination in Australia. It is renowned for having some of the best scuba diving in the world, and the region has hundreds of diving centres to choose from.
Queensland highlights
A visit to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef is without a doubt the climax of a trip to Queensland. The immense beauty and diversity of the region makes it one of the best places in Australia to partake in outdoor adventures. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef, and boasts some of the best scuba diving locations on earth. With exceptional visibility, warm sea temperatures, and a wealth of marine life, including manta rays; sea snakes; sharks; turtles; and octopi, it is hardly surprising that the area has become extremely popular for diving holidays. For visitors not wishing to scuba dive, snorkelling and trips on glass bottomed boats can be arranged. This region is also home to Daintree rainforest, the oldest surviving tropical rainforest in the world, where many species of indigenous animals and plants can be found.
The Fraser coast is rich in natural wonders, and is home to a huge variety of animals. Hervey Bay is the best place in Australia to go whale watching, as 7000 humpback whales migrate to the area every year. The world heritage listed Fraser Island is situated just off the coast, and is famous for its four wheel drive camping holidays. Visitors can drive along a series of beach and forest tracks, which link some stunning lakes, creeks, sand dunes and rainforests. The Great Sandy Strait, which separates Fraser Island from Hervey bay, has some great shallow scuba diving spots, where divers can expect to see turtles, dolphins and even dugongs.
The Queensland Outback is a fascinating part of the state to visit, and is a true contrast to the beautiful beaches and excellent scuba diving sites on the coast. Tourists can try their luck at searching for opals or other gem stones at one of the fossicking locations; they can work on an outback farm, helping to herd cattle, shear sheep and fish for food; or they can visit the remnants of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, dating back to more than 25 million years ago.
The Whitsundays are a collection of 74 breathtakingly beautiful islands in the crystal clear waters of the Coral Sea. The islands are largely uninhabited and offer some of the best beaches in the world, such as the magnificent sweeping sands that are Whitehaven Beach. The Whitsundays are perfectly located for access to the Great Barrier Reef, and have some of the best scuba diving sites in Australia.
The city of Brisbane is the capital of the ‘sunshine state’, and offers a modern blend of markets, excellent restaurants, culture and outdoor activities. The South bank area has the only inner city beach in Australia, and is a popular place to cool down in the strong Southern-hemisphere sun.
Some of Australia’s best surfing beaches can be found along the Sunshine Coast. The area also boasts pristine lakes and beautiful waterfalls. The largest arts, crafts and produce market in Australia takes place every Wednesday and Saturday in the charming town of Eumundi.
The Gold Coast is a vibrant, happening area, offering some of the best beaches in the world; an excellent selection of restaurants; exhilarating theme parks; pristine golf courses; pretty vineyards; and great surfing conditions.
Townsville is nestled between the Outback, the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforests. Off its coast are more than 20 beautiful islands, such as Magnetic Island, where the largest wild koala colony in Australia can be found. The warm waters and dramatic headlands provide good diving conditions, and scuba divers can expect to sea a wide variety of fish and marine life. This area is also a popular place to learn to dive in Australia, as it offers better value for money than some of the other diving hotspots.
Bundaberg has a wealth of beautiful sandy beaches, as well as being located next to the Southern Barrier Reef, where there are some magnificent diving sites. The region has some excellent national parks where visitors can enjoy bush walking and nature trails. Mon Repos, in Bundaberg, has the largest mainland concentration of turtles in the South Pacific, and it is possible to see the annual turtle nesting during the night tours that take place between November and March. No trip to Bundaberg would be complete without tasting the world-famous Bundaberg rum, which has been distilled in the area since 1888.
The region of Capricorn has some interesting history, including traditional towns, ancient caves and aboriginal art paintings. There are also some lovely National Parks, including the Byfield National Park and the Blackdown Tableland National Park, where visitors can find some excellent walking trails.
The town of Gladstone is situated at the centre of the Southern reef, where there are a series of little coral cay islands, which provide some brilliant scuba diving opportunities. The region also has many beautiful secluded beaches for visitors to enjoy.
The region of Mackay enjoys year round sunshine, making it a perfect place in Australia to get involved with outdoor activities, including rainforest trekking, scuba diving and snorkelling. The Eungella National Park offers visitors a chance to see platypuses in the wild, or to swim in beautiful fresh water swimming holes.
The Southern Downs region is home to the Granite Belt area, which is renowned for being Queensland’s premier wine production district. With over 45 superb vineyards, there is some excellent wine tasting to be enjoyed. The town of Warwick has some fine examples of historic sandstone buildings, as well as some picturesque gardens. There are some stunning national parks in the area.