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Things To Do in Queensland


 Gold coast Image source: Queensland image gallery

Queensland is in the north east corner of Australia and has been nicknamed the sunshine state for its tropical and subtropical climates. If you’re looking to call Queensland home, even just for a short holiday, we guarantee there will not be a shortage of things to do. Queensland is home to a one-million-year-old rainforest, a vast desert filled with dinosaur bones and the world famous Great Barrier Reef. With over a thousand national parks, rainforests, surf spots, picturesque islands, and a beautiful coastline dotted with golden beaches to explore. There are plenty of things to do in Queensland. What you need to know about travelling

Queensland in a motorhome 

The weather in Queensland

As the second-largest state in Australia, Queensland's climate differs significantly from one end to the other. In the north, tropical climates such as Cairns, Townsville and Port Douglas, you can expect hot and humid summers and mild dry winters, with the average temperature sitting around 29°C. In summer, when the heat peaks with 30° weather, so too does the rainfall. January-March average around 380mm of rain. As such, winter is often the best time to visit these northern cities.

On the other hand, the southern areas like Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast have four definite seasons. These coastal regions are influenced by the warm ocean waters and don’t see extreme temperatures or rainfall in the summer months. This makes them an ideal destination for a summer getaway.

The roads in Queensland 

When driving in Queensland, there are a few safety considerations to be aware of.

During Queensland's wet season, some areas can experience flooding, causing damage to the roads. It is important to check roads regularly to ensure that they are safe to drive and, where possible, plan around these seasonal conditions. If you plan to drive the more remote outback areas of Queensland, you may encounter dirt roads that can become corrugated or covered in bulldust, a fine layer of powdery dirt, which can be dangerous to drive on.

Overall, it's a good idea to observe all the same precautions you would in a regular vehicle as well as a few additional precautions such as taking your time, parking in suitable places, checking weather reports, understanding road rules etc.

What to pack for Queensland 

Weather can change suddenly in certain parts of the state. It's worthwhile looking up the weather ahead of your trip. Be sure you pack these essentials:

  • Sun protection: Even though you might experience cooler weather, it’s still good to bring sunscreen and a hat
  • Bug spray: Enjoy the rainforests but be sure to protect yourself from bug bites.
  • Light layers: If the temperature fluctuates, you can easily layer up.
  • Beach gear: Pack all your beach gear in the camper so you can enjoy the sand, including beach tents, cooler etc.

Things to do in Queensland on a budget 

Visit free museums 

Queensland Museum

Queensland Museum is located in south Brisbane and features a range of exhibits showcasing science, culture and natural history specific to the Queensland region. Come enjoy the exhibits, grab a bite to eat and wander through Brisbane’s CBD.

Museum of Brisbane

Located just across the river from the Queensland Museum, you can find the Museum of Brisbane. This museum showcases both contemporary and historical Brisbane and its people through a series of exhibitions, workshops, talks, tours and children's activities.

Wander the markets 

marketsImage source: Queensland image gallery

Carrara markets

Carrara Markets are Australia's biggest permanent weekend markets. With over 300 market stalls covering a whopping 10 acres, you can find anything from fresh produce, homewares, pots, plants, arts and crafts and more. This is the perfect family-friendly day out with activities such as pony rides, a baby animal farm, and face painting.

Gold Coast art and craft market

If you’re looking for gifts, souvenirs, Australian-made products, and local produce, as well as colourful and buzzing live entertainment, then do not miss the Gold Coast Art and Craft Market. Held on Sundays, this beachfront market alternates between some of Gold Coast’s most popular beaches: Broadbeach, Coolangatta, Paradise Point, and Burleigh Heads - so be sure to check the market website for more details on location.

The Village Markets 

Since 2008, the Village Markets have been committed to sharing the very best boutique craft, clothing, and creative small businesses. Stop by on the first and third Sunday of each month at the Burleigh Heads State School to soak up the ambience of this boutique market.

Check out the beaches 

Burleigh BeachImage source: Tourism and Events Queensland image gallery

Beach Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach is found on Whitsunday Island - the largest of the 74 Islands in the Whitsundays. This pristine white sandy beach is often noted as one of the top ten beaches in Australia, and it’s little wonder why. Spend a day soaking up the sun and wandering down to the northern end, where you can also view the incredible tidal formation of Hill Inlet.

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is a popular coastal town in the Whitsundays region. Come here to enjoy the year-round tropical weather, alfresco restaurants, and incredible marine parks.

Burleigh Beach

Nestled between Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta, Burleigh Beach is the perfect place to wander along the foreshore, eat alfresco style in the barbeque areas, grab a bargain at the Village Markets and enjoy a swim in the sheltered waters of the beach. It also has a great headland break for anyone looking to go surfing.

Rainbow Beach

In the Gympie area just north of the Sunshine Coast, you will find another one of Queensland’s most popular beaches: Rainbow Beach. This beach is a 4WD driver's paradise and the gateway to Fraser Island.

Surfers Paradise Beach

Located in the heart of the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise Beach boasts a two-kilometre stretch of golden sand against the iconic backdrop of skyscraper buildings. Hire a surfboard and go surfing, swim along the expansive beach or wander into the foreshore precinct for food, markets and more.

Things to do in Queensland with kids 

Visit the wildlife parks 

 ZooImage source: Unsplash (Alexander Ross)

Rockhampton Zoo

Rockhampton Zoo is home to over 30 species of native and exotic animals that take refuge on the 10 acres of forested land located within the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens. Spend the day meeting the animals and wandering the surrounding gardens for a perfect day of family fun.

Cairns ZOOM

Cairns ZOOM is the world’s first challenge ropes course in a wildlife immersion exhibit. Perched on top of the Reef Hotel Casino, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of Cairns beaches and the surrounding area while choosing between an adrenaline-packed free-fall jump, packed zipline courses and getting up close with the wildlife in the dome.

Australia Zoo

What started as the humble two-acre ‘Beerwah Reptile Park’ has since grown into the over 700-acre Australia Zoo. This zoo was made famous by Steve Irwin and his family, who have a mission of conservation through exciting education. As such, it is one of the best places in Queensland to learn about the diverse native and exotic wildlife that call this zoo home.

Check out the wildlife sanctuaries

koala sleeping

Pine Koala Sanctuary

Located in Fig Tree Pocket, just a short way from Brisbane, is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary - the world’s first koala-focused sanctuary. While it was originally designed as a refuge for sick, injured, and orphaned koalas, here you can meet over 70 species of native Australian animals.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Immerse yourself in a wildlife experience like no other as you wander through over 27 hectares of rainforest at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Spend the day exploring the Wildlife Hospital Precinct, touring the kid-friendly Wild Island with its huge outdoor playground, and meandering through the five hectares of stunning rainforest in the Lost Valley.

Billabong Sanctuary

Queensland’s Billabong Sanctuary boasts one of the best interactive wildlife experiences in Australia. This small boutique park, just 20 minutes south of Townsville features an array of eucalypt forests, rainforests, and wetlands to cater to the native residents. Spend your day immersed in this beautiful sanctuary and take the opportunity to interact with the animals in their natural habitats through one of many personalised experiences on offer.

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

Only a short walk from Kuranda Scenic Railway station you will find the largest butterfly flight aviary and exhibit in the Southern Hemisphere. The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is home to over 1500 butterflies and is well worth the visit.

Enjoy marine life experiences

Whale watchingImage source: Tourism and Events Queensland image gallery

Whale watching on the Fraser Coast

Whale watching on the Fraser Coast is a bucket list experience when visiting the Hervey Bay area. Fraser Coast is the preferred stopover along the migration route, it is one of the few places in the world offering an immersive humpback whale experience. During their 10-day stopover, you have a unique opportunity to see the whales as they rest, play and socialise. However, the whales can be seen anytime between July to November.

Swim with turtles

A trip to the Great Barrier reef wouldn’t be complete without swimming with turtles. There are so many places to swim with these peaceful creatures, including Great Keppel Island, Herron Island, and Lady Elliot Island, to name a few. With the help of some of the award-winning eco-tours operating in these regions, you can tick this one off your Australian bucket list.

See dolphins at Tin Can Bay

Tin Can Bay’s sheltered coast is one of only a few places in Australia where you can see and interact with wild dolphins in their natural habitat. Under the supervision of Barnacles Dolphin Centre, you are able to stand in the water and watch their daily feeding tour between 7-8 am. Seeing dolphins at Tin Can Bay is a must when passing through this region. 

museum Queensland

Museum of Tropical Queensland 

Museum of Tropical Queensland is an eclectic mix of temporary and permanent exhibitions exploring science, our oceans, first nation cultures, and tropical north Queensland's natural environments. Located in the inner city of Townsville, and tickets for a family costing only $38 AUD, it is the perfect family day out.

Check out the Cobb and Co Museum 

Tucked away in Townsville, just a few hours inland of Brisbane, is the Cobb and Co Museum. Home to the national carriage collection, this museum will take you back in time to when road trips were horse-drawn and guide you through the history of this Garden City.

See the Museum of Underwater Art 

Just a short way off the coast of Townsville, you can experience MOUA: the only underwater museum in the Southern Hemisphere. Designed by Jason De Cairns Taylor, this submerged museum features over 20 ‘Reef Guardian’ sculptures in various locations around The Strand, Palm Islands, Magnetic Island and John Brewer Reef. A day trip typically costs around $260 AUD per person, departing from Townsville.

Things to do in Queensland in nature 

Cape HImage source: Tourism and Event Queensland image gallery

Visit the National parks 

Undara Volcanic National Park 

On the western slopes of the McBride Plateau, you will find the remnants of a volcano eruption in Undara Volcanic National Park. ‘Undara’ is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘long way’ and very accurately describes the long lava tube cave system that remains. Wander through the tangle of vines, seeing if you can spot some of the wildlife that takes shelter in these ancient caves.

Daintree National Park 

Cape Tribulation in the Daintree National Park is the only place in the world where two World Heritage sites meet. Explore this ancient protected landscape on boardwalks through these magnificent rainforests, take a stroll along the beach and be sure to be cass-o-wary of Australia’s most dangerous bird as you make your way around.

Cape Hillsborough National Park

There are two iconic Kangaroo beachside experiences in Australia not to be missed. The first is the famous Lucky Bay, and the second is located in Cape Hillsborough National Park, just a short drive from Mackay, Queensland. Wake up early and head down to the beach to meet the friendly wallabies and kangaroos as they meander along the water's edge until dawn.

See the famous Great Barrier Reef 

Snorkeling Great Barrier ReefImage source: Queensland image gallery

Visit the research station 

Heron Island Research Station is the largest island-based station in the Southern Hemisphere. Visit the research station on a tour to learn about how the station operates and the research that is conducted there.

Go on a cruise

Quicksilver’s Great Barrier Reef Cruise is an award-winning experience for swimmers and non-swimmers alike. The cruise takes you to the Agincourt Reef, where you can learn from passionate marine biologists about marine life from a semi-submarine underwater observatory, or grab a snorkel and experience these beautiful coral gardens up close.

Take a glass-bottom boat tour

Love the thought of enjoying the very best of the Great Barrier Reef without getting your feet wet? Then be sure to book in for a glass-bottom boat tour. With a section of the boat made of glass, you can sit and marvel at the sea creatures and coral that inhabit these pristine waters.

Best things to do in Queensland in Spring 

Visit the Brisbane festival 

Celebrate spring with sunshine, flowers and, when in Brisbane, the Brisbane Festival. Discover a lineup of award-winning performances, art experiences and show-stopping musical numbers across a staggering 223 locations across the city.

Visit Hervey Bay to see Humpback whales 

Whale watching is a bucket list experience, and Queensland delivers. As the preferred stopover along the migration route, the Fraser Coast is one of the few places in the world offering an immersive humpback whale experience between July to November. Don’t miss the opportunity to see these whales as they rest, play and socialise in the calm bay waters of Hervey Bay.

Pick your own strawberries in Bundaberg 

Get a little closer to nature and experience the joy of picking your own strawberries. Tinaberries Farm is one such place in Queensland open to the public. They are located just outside Bundaberg central and are open for picking from June to October.

Best things to do in Queensland in Summer 

Gold Coast SurfingImage source: Queensland image gallery

Try your hand at surfing 

With so many incredible surf spots in Australia, a trip to the mild and temperate waters of Queensland would be incomplete without trying your hand at surfing. Whether you’re looking to take up the sport or just enjoy a fun afternoon activity, plenty of great surf schools offer beginner lessons.

Find a waterfall to cool off in 

Hidden inland from the sugarcane town of Ingham is Australia’s tallest single-drop waterfall. After a few hours of descending the steep track down into the world’s oldest rainforest, you will reach Wallaman Falls. Take in this beast from the safety of the viewing platform or venture out across the slippery rocks to take a plunge in the icy waters of the pool below.

Best things to do in Queensland in Autumn 

Head to the country 

Just a short 90-minute drive from the hustle of Brisbane city and you experience the slower pace of life of country Queensland. Perched on the edge of the Great Dividing Range, the garden city of Toowoomba is the perfect place to come enjoy the booming food scene, colonial history and Queensland-style country charm.

Check out the Noosa Anywhere Festival 

Described as one of the top must-see international festivals, the Anywhere Festival is unlike every other festival you may have been to. Instead of large theatres and performance spaces, the festival is held in the nooks and crannies of this oceanside town. This festival is bound to impress with comedy performances in alleyways, cabaret on buses, walking tours with historical figures, and more.

Best things to do in Queensland in Winter 

Rodeo

Explore the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 

If you are looking for things to do in Cairns in July, don’t miss the opportunity to experience the vibrant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures of Queensland at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. This annual ethical art marketplace was born to create cultural exchange and economic opportunity and has since grown to attract collectors from around the world looking to experience the culture and art of Australia’s First Nations people.

Head inland for the Mount Isa Rodeo 

When wandering inland to the more remote parts of outback Australia, chances are you will stumble on the mining town of Mount Isa. If you’re here in the more temperate month of August, don’t miss the chance to experience a true-blue Australian Rodeo. The Mount Isa Mines Rodeo features live entertainment, markets, music concerts and classic cattle rodeo acts.

The best way to see and do more is with a Mighty camper 

Queensland really does have it all. With so much to see and do, renting a campervan makes a road trip around this tropical state simple, convenient and cost-effective. With a bed and kitchen on board, there is no need for the hassle of moving in and out of hotel rooms, so you can focus your energy on exploring this sunshine state.

If you’re looking to rent a van to travel to see the natural beauty on offer in Queensland, Australia - then check out all our latest deals and book your Mighty camper today. If you’re looking for other ways to get the most out of your Australian road trip, check out our blog and download the thl Roadtrip app.

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