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Queensland has a laidback, eclectic style all its own, plenty of quirky customs (cane toad and cockroach racing among them) and the warm climate is matched by the welcome you’ll get from the locals.


Head to the top of Mt Coot-tha to put the city of Brisbane in perspective – then release your inner child outside the city at the Gold Coast theme parks. Dreamworld, Sea World, Warner Bros Movie World, Wet  ‘n’ Wild and White Water World will keep you busy for days. For a tiny taste of Aussie heritage, check out the horsemanship at the Outback Spectacular.

Whitsunday Islands
Want romance and prefer the simple things in life? Then walk barefoot on white, powdery beaches on an island getaway – there are 74 islands in the Whitsunday group, alone. Try the Awesome Foursome at Airlie Beach – jetboat, helicopter, parasail and quad bike or feed the wild dolphins at Tangalooma. The Sunshine Coast, to the north of Brisbane, offers another escape route and is perhaps not as peopled.

North Queensland
North Queensland has its own magnetism and an array of back-to-nature attractions. Diving or snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef is a must (Port Douglas makes a great base) and the lure of the lush rainforest canopy brings wildlife to the fore. Go bushwalking with a guide or take a 4WD safari in the Daintree Forest to see some of the region’s dazzling flora and fauna. It’s an awesome natural habitat, and natives in these parts include pythons, crocodiles, fruit bats and every kind of exotic bird and insect.

Plot your rainforest adventures: chuck on your hiking boots, buy a snorkel or take one of the many guided nature walks and forest treks (day or night) on offer. Cruise down the Daintree River and spot the passing crocs, go on a 4WD safari, try jungle surfing (zip line flying), kayaking or horse riding. If that's all a bit too high-octane, you can simply swim (depending on the time of year) off a deserted beach.


The Daintree region comes alive for the Reef and Rainforest Carnival – a celebration of life in the tropics.

Powerboats ride the waves in the Lexmark Indy 300 races.

Take a sunset gondola ride from Main Beach on the Gold Coast.

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