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Our tour of Queensland is perfect for both first-time visitors to the “Sunshine State”, as well as returning visitors wishing to see its wonders again and again. Explore stunning islands, breath taking reefs, sun kissed beaches and a turquoise ocean filled with exotic marine life. A definite highlight is the Great Barrier Reef, where you have the opportunity to dive or snorkel with magnificent sea life amidst beautiful coral reefs. This 15 day itinerary also gives you the opportunity to sail around the Whitsundays, discover spectacular rainforest and get up close and personal with the local resident koalas.
Begin your tour of Queensland in the bustling and cosmopolitan city of Brisbane, the gateway to southern Queensland. Visit iconic sights such as the Story Bridge Adventure Climb and Wheel of Brisbane and be sure to sample the gourmet delights of its tantalising cuisine, as well as choosing a souvenir from the many designer boutiques. From there you can make your way to the exquisite Fraser Island for some 4WD adventures, before heading to the cattle farming capital of Australia, Rockhampton. Next stop is beautiful Airlie Beach and the stunning Whitsundays, before travelling north to Townsville, Magnetic Island and finally Cairns where there is the chance to discover the impressive Great Barrier Reef.
- 4WD adventure exploring Fraser Island
- Sail around the Whitsundays
- Magnetic Island koalas
- Great Barrier Reef tour
Start your Journey
Arrive in Brisbane and transfer to the impressive Pullman Hotel, which is located in the city centre. You can then spend the next three days at your leisure, discovering the highlights of this exciting city. Enjoy al fresco dining experiences in everything from Japanese and Italian eateries to authentic Australian restaurants featuring fresh seafood and kangaroo burgers. Shop in designer boutiques and buzzing markets as you explore the city at your own pace.
Take a stroll in the beautiful City Botanic Gardens and, for panoramic views of the city, climb the Story Bridge Adventure or hop on the Wheel of Brisbane. Visitors can also enjoy relaxing on the city’s surroundings beaches.
Brisbane - Fraser Island
Head out on the Bruce Highway as you travel 305km north to River Heads, which is your gateway to the world heritage listed Fraser Island. Explore the largest sand island in the world on a 4WD adventure. This area of outstanding natural beauty is home to pristine beaches, impressive shipwrecks, colourful cliffs and antique rainforests. Park your car securely at the harbour and cross on the ferry by foot.
Embark on a 4WD tour of Fraser Island along the sandy highway of Seventy-Five Mile Beach, which leads to exquisite lakes and majestic rainforest. Visit Happy Valley to witness crystal clear lakes, including Lake McKenzie and Lake Wabby, which are also perfect for swimming.
Visit Eli Creek and the fascinating Maheno Wreck, which provides opportunities to journey back in time into and experience the area’s inspiring aboriginal history. Natural wonders include the towering cliff of colourful sand at the Cathedrals and Lake Allom, where you can encounter native tortoises in picturesque rainforest scenery. Take a refreshing dip at the Champagne Pools and, if you travel between August and October, join a whale watching tour and admire these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
Fraser Island - Bargara
Head back to the mainland and travel 140km north up the coast towards Bargara. Pass stunning coastal scenery, including sandy coves, azure water and extensive sugar cane fields, before arriving in the seaside town of Bargara.
Explore the stone walls built by the local South Pacific Kanakas who worked in the cane fields. They also built the Basin, which is a sheltered swimming area developed from volcanic rock. The Hummock offers stunning views of the picturesque countryside, while Mon Repos Environmental Park is home to a tidal lagoon, exquisite beach and local sea turtles.
Bargara - Rockhampton
Leaving Bargara you will travel 301 kilometres to the cattle farming capital of Australia, Rockhampton. After arriving, eat some local tucker on the banks of the mighty Fitzroy River. Admire stunning sandstone architecture as you stroll through the streets filled with cultural delights.
Highlights include the Rockhampton Art Gallery and Dreamtime Cultural Centre and you can also take in a show at the Pilbeam Theatre. Explore the impressive Capricorn Caves and Mount Morgan, and be sure not to miss a stroll through the Botanic Gardens, which are said to be some of the best in Australia.
Rockhampton - Airlie Beach
Leaving Rockhampton, you will travel 481k north today to beautiful Airlie Beach where you can admire the spectacular sunset over the 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays. This is the perfect launch pad to discover the Whitsundays and a vibrant hub of fun.
Wander through the streets lined with quaint cafés and designer boutiques and take in the holiday vibe. Browse the Saturday morning market, which showcases impressive local arts and crafts. After a morning of exploring, relax by the Airlie Beach lagoon, try local water sports and admire the exquisite sea views.
Airlie Beach - Whitsunday Islands
Immerse yourself in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands as you spend the day by the Coral Sea. Take a tour around the islands and be sure not to miss Whitehaven Beach, which is regarded as one of the best in the world. There are plenty of opportunities to snorkel and scuba dive with the stunning marine life. If you prefer to keep your feet on dry land take a tour in the lush, green rainforest or relax and soak up the sunshine on the white sand beaches.
Hamilton island offers something for everyone right on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a bush walk to get close to exotic nature and, for the best views of the Whitsundays, head to One Tree Hill.
Whitsunday Islands - Townsville
Travel 274km north to Townsville where you will be greeted by the Strand, a 2.5 kilometre stretch of golden sandy beach with Magnetic Island in the distance. Take a dip in the ocean or paddle in the rock pools, and if you have a head for heights try skydiving for the best views of the city.
Step back in time and discover the rich history of Townsville at Jezzine Barracks. Riverway provides opportunity for swimming, or taking a stroll along beautiful walking trails which are home to exotic bird life and stunning flora. Be sure not to miss the Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium - the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium.
Spend your day at leisure in the home of the largest population of koalas in Australia. Walk around this spectacular island, which consists of a world heritage listed reserve of bays and beaches. Wander along Forts Walk and spot resident koalas in the trees and shrubbery. At its centre is Magnetic Island National Park, a hub for rock wallabies, bats and brushtail possums.
Koala fans should head to the Bungalow Bay Koala Village to enjoy a traditional bush breakfast with the local residents. Geoffrey Bay is a must for rock wallaby enthusiasts and there are also tours of the Great Barrier Reef available from here.
Townsville - Cairns
Leave the beautiful Magnetic Island behind and cross back to Townsville from where you will travel 348 kilometres north towards Cairns, the gateway to the tropical North Queensland. Journey along the Bruce Highway, known locally as the “Great Green Way”, passing several natural attractions, including the world heritage listed Wet Tropics, Paronella Park and Cape Tribulation in the Daintree Rainforest. On arrival in Cairns you will return your hire car and transfer to your hotel for three days spent relaxing at your leisure in the stunning city of Cairns.
Enjoy the last few days of your tour of Queensland at the brand new Riley hotel, which features modern and contemporary guest rooms in the heart of Cairns. Relax at the Eleme Spa or visit the attractions in and around the city. Take a stroll in the stunning Cairns Botanic Gardens and admire exotic flora and plant life.
Spend your days in Cairns wander along the waterfront boardwalk before lazing on the Esplanade Lagoon’s sandy shores and soaking up the sunshine. Cairns Marlin Marina is home to waterfront restaurants and bars ideal for watching the exquisite sunset with a happy hour cocktail. This is also a great place to join a Great Barrier Reef tour or an excursion into the Daintree Rainforest.
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
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The Hayes & Jarvis Way
We've been tailor making holidays for 65 years. With over 60 destinations to choose from, talk to us and we'll listen to your travel ideas to create unforgettable holiday experiences.