Queensland is Where Australia Shines, the place you can feel the best you’ve ever felt. It’s a feeling that comes from the wonder of remarkable natural beauty, like swimming with thousands of colourful fish on the Great Barrier Reef to the natural exhilaration of walking through an ancient rainforest – feeling your pulse race from the sheer majesty and breathtaking beauty nature has to offer.
It’s where you can shine from the revitalising warmth of golden beaches and simple pleasures of feeling fine white sand beneath your feet. Or the vitality that comes with splashing in crystal clear waters to the excitement of fun-filled days at theme parks or getting amongst it with Australia’s native and exotic wildlife – cuddling a koala or hand feeding a kangaroo. It’s about the promise of big blue skies enjoyed from world class accommodation and spa retreats to energise and rejuvenate the senses. Queensland’s shine comes not just from the warmth of the sun but the warmth of the people and the smile on the face of every Queenslander. It’s where you’ll feel welcome, connected and alive.
Speak to one of our expert Travel Designers today to start planning your Queenland adventure.
Book your luxury Queensland Escape today
11 Days Luxury Scenic Rim Trail
from £2,649 pp
saving £100 per couple
We think holidays should offer you something that is completely different from your normal life and that’s exactly what this holiday package does. Enjoy the calmness, tranquillity and fresh air of Australia’s bush, but with world-class accommodation and excellent service thrown in. You’ll spend two nights in luxurious safari-style camping in the heart of Queensland’s beautiful Scenic Rim region. Surrounded by 5000 acres of private nature refuge and beneath a canopy of endless skies, staying at this hotel is the perfect way to begin a relaxing holiday. Your next accommodation will take to the height of luxury (literally!). Here, you will stay on a mountaintop, also in the Scenic Rim region, from where you can enjoy impressive views from the spectacular infinity pool. Next up is a stay in the coastal town of Agnes Water where you can see turtles up close at Bundaberg. The final stop on this trip is O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and we suggest you top off your trip of a lifetime with a relaxing massage at this resort. Throughout your holiday an experienced bush tour guide will be on hand to ensure you get the most out of this experience. Finally, one of the best aspects of this trip is the gourmet meals, so if you’re a foodie with a taste for adventure, then this one’s for you.
1nt Mercure Hotel, Brisbane
2nts Spicers Canopy
1nt Spicers Lodge
4nts Sandcastles 1770, Agnes Water
2nts O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
7 days car hire
Selected travel April & May 2015
9 Days Luxury Tropical North Queensland
from £3,195 pp
saving £250 per couple
Tour Queensland in style with this great offer. Your first stop is Port Douglas where you can take a trip to the world famous Great Barrier Reef and also spend time wandering through the village. From here, enjoy cruising to the tropical Low Isles which will bring you close to the desert island of many people’s imagination. Day trips to both Kuranda, a unique village situated in rainforest and Mossman Gorge are also included in this offer. With 4 nights here you will have time to take a splash in the resort’s stunning lagoon style pool. A short drive way will bring you to your next five-star luxury accommodation, this time in the style of a tree house nestled in a rainforest setting. Here you can enjoy being close to nature, unwind with a relaxing massage and in the evening enjoy dinner high above the rainforest. For those feeling active, there are lots of opportunities to get out and explore the nature trails. End your Queensland adventure with a completely different setting at Crystalbrook Lodge. Sit back and enjoy the essence of the outback, the rugged landscape, endless clear skies and remoteness of your surroundings. This resort accommodates just 10 guests, meaning you will truly feel like you are away from it all. This is a perfect pampering holiday full of activity and nature and we can’t think of a better way to discover Queensland. To book this offer speak to one of our Travel Designers today.
4nts The Sea Temple Resort & Spa, Port Douglas
2nts Silky Oaks Lodge
2nts Crystalbrook Lodge
4 days car hire
Quicksilver Low Isles day cruise
Kuranda day tour
Mossman Gorge day tour
Return international Economy flights with Qantas
Select travel November 2014
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The Great Barrier Reef
There are certain places in the world that take your breath away. Where you step back and simply smile in wonder. The Great Barrier Reef is one of those places. Internationally recognised as the world's largest and healthiest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef provides world-class experiences at a world-class destination. Scuba-diving and snorkelling, sailing, bare boating, cruise shipping and expedition cruising are just some of the world class water-based activities on offer. Stretching over 2,300kms - from Queensland’s tropical north, right down to Bundaberg in the south - the Great Barrier Reef is easily accessible from various access points, including Port Douglas, Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach, Seventeen Seventy and Bundaberg. Try this on for size: at approximately 350,000 kms² in size, the Great Barrier Reef is the only living structure on earth that can be seen from outer space!
Everyone knows the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world, but Queensland is home to many other World Heritage listed sites such as Fraser Island, ideal for 4WD and adventure holidays. See rainforest growing from the sand, freshwater lakes and a stretch of sand that is aptly named 75 mile beach.
And then there’s the rainforests…the Wet Tropics in the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef Region and the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia on the Gold Coast. The experience in the north is a truly tropical one, with towering canopies, abundant wildlife and stay in rainforest lodges. The southern experience is a sub-tropical one, where you can experience mountain stays and hidden country retreats.
Venture to the Outback and see the footprints of dinosaurs in a stampede site. Or spend time in remote areas at World Heritage listed Riversleigh Fossil Mammal Site, which offers extensive fossil exhibitions and the chance for you to try your hand at fossicking.
Lifestyle / Food and wine
Queensland has an enviable lifestyle with friendly locals, wide open spaces and year round sunshine. Picture yourself dining alfresco under the stars, overlooking the beach or enjoying a seafood smorgasbord while cruising over clear blue waters. Or perhaps you would prefer to imagine wandering through vineyards and savouring all the tastes of Queensland wines and gourmet foods. Whatever your dream food and wine experience, Queensland has something to suit any taste.
Queensland also offers a distinct flavour of its own, with mouth-watering juicy steaks, fresh sumptuous seafood and a colourful array of tropical fruits - and it’s all locally produced. Fuse this locally grown produce with a uniquely Queensland setting and your food and wine experience in Queensland is sure to be one to remember.
Spanning a massive 1.72 million square kilometres, Queensland is nearly six times the size of the United Kingdom. The State weaves together an incredibly diverse range of landscapes - from rocky desert outcrops to small coral cays, sprawling sand dunes and dense rainforests.
Spectacular rainforests and national parks border beach environments along much of Queensland’s coastline - perfect for scenic driving, beach picnicking and swimming. The highlight of the coastal landscapes is Cape Tribulation where the Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef - the only place in the world where World Heritage listed sites meet. Stroll along the beautiful sandy beaches fringed by lush vegetation of the 135 million year-old rainforest. From dense rainforests to dry scrubland and scenic gorges, the Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef region is as diverse as it is enchanting.
Stunning islands and atolls are dotted along the expanse of Queensland’s coastline. Explore ruggedly beautiful large sand islands in the state’s southeast and pristine coral cays in the Great Barrier Reef. The beautiful Whitsundays alone are home to 74 tropical islands, most uninhabited pristine national parks, scattered across its sapphire blue seas. Here you’ll also find tempting island resorts and idyllic sailing waters.
Queensland is home to a wide range of wildlife, and there are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures.
Scuba dive or snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living organism, and see firsthand the exotic, colourful and diverse marine life. An incredible 1,500 of the world’s 13,000 fish species call the reef home. It’s an unforgettable experience to hand feed dolphins in the wild on Moreton Island or join a whale watching cruise and watch these giant mammals put on a spectacular show only metres away.
On land, watch baby turtles hatch and take their first steps near Bundaberg at Mon Repos. Their fascinating journey is one of the great natural experiences to be had in Queensland. If you have always wanted to come up close and personal with the Australian icons, cuddle a friendly koala or hand-feed kangaroos at a wildlife sanctuary. Bird-lovers from all over the world visit the Daintree to spot cassowaries and rare rainforest species.
Islands & Beaches
Queensland is home to some of the best islands and beaches in the world. Choose the luxury of a world famous island and dive through the Great Barrier Reef or admire the view from your beachside balcony overlooking an endless stretch of sand. Dine on fresh seafood at a local surf club or take a surf lesson and try to catch your first wave. Build a sandcastle empire, learn the ropes and sail your own yacht, or simply relax while someone else does the work!
From your island resort, sail away to explore one or many of over 900 islands and coral cays, and 2,300km of wild and unique nature. There is nothing to compare to the amazement you will feel surrounded by breathtaking colours of the coral and abundant marine life. The sun will warm you. Pristine water will sparkle in your eyes. Your life will be filled with awe.
Find your own adventure in Queensland. Get off the beaten track in a 4x4 tour on Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. Take on a thrilling white water rafting expedition, dive into the blue depths of the ocean and discover the mysteries of the Great Barrier Reef, take a tree top view of the world’s most ancient rainforest by cable car or zip wire. Why not take a helicopter ride to a beautiful coral cay for a champagne picnic or take to the ocean wave sailing around the pristine waters of the Whitsundays. Your personal adventure can be as relaxed or adrenalin fuelled as you choose.
Icons of Queensland
Queensland, Australia’s sunshine state, embodies all that comes to mind when you dream of Australia. Soft, golden sands border city streets where the most common footwear is a pair of well-worn flip-flops, while oceans sparkle in the sunshine, beckoning you to discover the secret world beneath the waves. Venture inland from the coast to be rewarded with fertile rainforest and the endless, red plains of the Outback – a holiday in Queensland delivers beach relaxation and exhilarating adventure in equal measure.
But your adventure begins long before you touch down on Australian soil. The iconic Qantas Airlines provide the spirit of Australia from the moment you step aboard, so prepare for unrivalled service on your journey down under. As you recline in your seat to enjoy a tipple from the on-board wine collection recently named the ‘Best Cellar in the Sky’, you can relax in the knowledge that you’re winging your way to your perfect holiday.
As the Australia experts and winners of the British Travel Award’s ‘Best Holiday Company to Australasia’ award for two years running, we apply our unrivalled destination knowledge to create a holiday tailored to you. We know the experiences not to miss, and we know how to experience them stress-free. When designing your holiday, we always share our first-hand, tried and tested, Austravel secrets to bring you the trip of a lifetime.
We’ve teamed up with Queensland Australia and Qantas Airlines to bring you the holiday down under you’ve always dreamed of.
The Great Barrier Reef
Off the Queensland coast lies one of the world’s greatest treasures. A vibrant microcosm of colour that will fill you with wonder, the Great Barrier Reef stretches for almost 1,500 miles. Along its length turtles, reef sharks, dolphins and shoals of tropical fish swim among the coral. The chance to swim with them is an experience we don’t want you to miss; use our insider know-how to book the best tours in advance and ensure you have the complete Australian experience.
Step aboard a Quicksilver Cruise boat to sail out to this underwater wonderland. Under the blazing sunshine, jump in to snorkel or scuba dive among the more than 1,500 marine species. Don’t forget your underwater camera to capture photos you’ll treasure for a lifetime. If an afternoon isn’t long enough you can extend your time on the reef with a liveaboard reef cruise. After a day in the water, fall asleep under the star-strewn sky to the gentle rocking of the waves.
A helicopter ride with GBR Helicopters reveals a side of the reef the average tourist never sees. As beautiful from above as it is below, the coral cays paint swirling patterns over the ocean that stretch into the blue horizon. This exhilarating ride is followed by a picnic on your very own private beach of a remote sand cay. If there’s one experience our travel experts can’t recommend enough, this is it.
The Daintree Rainforest
Trek past verdant foliage heavy with moisture, dive into fresh water swimming holes and spot creatures you never knew existed; nothing brings out the explorer in you more than a trek into the heart of Daintree Rainforest. Our years of experience organising jungle adventures mean we know exactly how you can uncover the secrets of the rainforest.
Jump aboard a little piece of Australian history on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Taking you from Cairns to Kuranda village deep in the rainforest, this rail route has wound its way under the forest canopy since 1891 and continues to be a popular way to enter one of the oldest rainforests on earth. As you savour champagne, sweet mango ice cream and Anzac cookies, you can sit back as the journey takes you through valleys thick with Eucalyptus forest, along thundering rivers and up to great heights for views reaching to ocean.
Long before the train brought visitors to Daintree, indigenous tribes trod the forest paths. These communities may have adapted to modern life, but their deep spiritual connection to the forest remains. With an indigenous guide from the Voyages Mossman Gorge Centre, you can explore this ancient way of life and immerse yourself in the enchanting narrative of the forest on a Dreamtime Gorge Walk. Join in a traditional smoking ceremony to ward off bad spirits then follow your guide through the Mossman Gorge, all the while listening to the stories of the forest.
Inspired by the indigenous peoples’ respect for the rainforest, Silky Oaks Lodge blends luxury accommodation seamlessly with the environment. Stay in a cosy treehouse to feel at one with the jungle or indulge in the luxurious Billabong Suite. Set among the tropical foliage of the Mossman Gorge River, Silky Oaks Lodge is the perfect place to lay your head while exploring Daintree.
Many are surprised to discover that the Red Centre isn’t the only place to experience the Australian Outback. Inland from the Queensland coast the terrain opens out into endless plains, red hills and limitless skies. The trip there is as exciting as the destination with a scenic one-hour flight from the Cairns to Crystalbrook Lodge, an elegant collection of five private lodges set within the desert wilderness.
From your lodge, complete with magnesium infinity pool, you can explore the rugged landscape on exhilarating, complementary experiences. Glide across the lake via kayak, take a heli tour to see the undulating red sand from above or experience the outback way of life with afternoon tea at a traditional cattle ranch; however you choose to explore, your time in the outback is sure to be a taste of true Australia you won’t forget.
To discover Australia’s most famous wildlife, come to Queensland. As the country’s second largest state, Queensland’s terrain varies widely from rainforests to deserts to cool mountain ranges, providing the perfect habitat for the country’s unique animals. In Australia’s sunshine state you can meet kangaroos in Cape Hillsborough, see crocodiles on Wangetti Beach and swim with minke whales in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
You won’t need to look hard to discover Queensland’s wildlife. With such an abundance of animals and tropical foliage, you’re sure to spot something new while visiting one of the state’s five World Heritage Sites or simply strolling along the golden coastline. However, to be sure to see the best of Queensland, we recommend exploring further afield. Let our experts take you deep into the rainforest, high into the mountains and under the sea on the search for Australia’s most amazing animals.
Start your adventure in Cairns, the perfect launch off point for discovering Queensland. The Qantas Walkabout Pass lets you easily and affordably connect to Cairns on your journey from the UK. With the best domestic flights within Australia and great deals on flights down under from the UK, Qantas helps you see more in one trip.
Magical Marine World
Queensland is blessed with more than its fair share of Australia’s natural wonders – the Great Barrier Reef alone is reason enough to visit. This breathtakingly beautiful stretch of reef systems, coral cays and sun-soaked islands makes the Great Barrier Reef one of the seven wonders of the natural world. You can swim among the more than 1500 species of tropical fish that live among the corals on a scuba dive or snorkel tour. Time your visit right and you can also swim with some decidedly larger creatures.
Despite their name Dwarf Minke Whales can reach up to 7.8 metres in length and weigh over 6 tonnes. Swimming alongside these gentle giants as they effortlessly glide through the ocean is a magical experience. Silversonic, the Port Douglas based dive and snorkel company, are on hand to take you out to meet these inquisitive creatures.
The best way to explore the Great Barrier Reef is from the luxury of your own desert island. Heron Island Resort enchants visitors with its white sand and ocean as warm as bathwater. However, the island’s main draw is the annual arrival of thousands of sea turtles. Between November and February these fascinating creatures make their way up the beach to lay their eggs. From February to May, the hatchings can be seen emerging from their nests and scooting towards the ocean.
Lamington National Park is one of the most bio diverse areas in Australia. The park, which is part of the Gondwana Rainforest, is home to a vast array of tropical wildlife. Exploring the 160 kilometres of walking trails uncovers the beautiful waterfalls that the area is renowned for and the colourful wildlife that flits between the tropical foliage.
This area is a sanctuary for bird lovers and is internationally recognised as one of the country’s premier birdwatching locations. A stay at one of the O’Reilly’s Mountain Villas offers the perfect opportunity to meet some of these fantastic feather friends; either on the O’Reilly Tree Top Walk that takes you through the canopy of the rainforest, or simply from the comfort of your balcony in your rainforest villa.
Australia is home to species of wildlife you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Head to Mission Beach for the rare chance to see the endangered Cassowary bird, the country’s largest flightless bird. Identifiable by its striking blue head and black body, if you spy one, keep your distance! Although thrilling to see in the wild and notoriously shy, these beautiful birds’ powerful legs, incredible speed and dagger-like claw make them dangerous to approach.
Stretching from Brisbane to Tambourine Mountain, the semi-circle of mountains that form the Scenic Rim encompasses lush valleys, rolling hills and lone peaks on the horizon. This is where Brisbaners head on long weekends. The mix of camping spots, adventure activities and bushwalking trails against the backdrop of Australia’s most accessible rainforest, makes this the perfect destination for city folk seeking a break from urban life. Take a scenic drive to discover the Rim’s spectacular waterfalls, saddle up to explore the landscape on horseback or by bike, or glide down majestic rivers by kayak; the Scenic Rim offers abundant opportunities to reconnect with nature.
Scenic Rim Trail by Spicers is the best way to explore the Scenic Rim. This four-day adventure takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Australia, from rainforest filled valleys to high mountain ridges and long extinct volcanic plateaus. The trail experience perfectly melds adventure and luxury. During the day enjoy leisurely walks with a knowledgeable guide, spend the evenings enjoying gourmet dinners and at night rest your head in a safari-style luxury tent at Spicers Canopy followed by a night at the magnificent Spicers Peak Lodge. This is the perfect way to enjoy the best the Scenic Rim has to offer – breathtaking scenery, bountiful nature and exceptional local flavours.