Queensland's beautiful beaches
From the Gold Coast to Port Douglas, Queensland is no stranger to long stretches of beautiful sandy beaches as far as the eye can see.
Add in a climate that includes sunshine nearly all year round, you have all the ingredients for an incredible beachside holiday. You’ll have no shortage of fabulous destinations to choose from – these are some of our favourites.
The Gold Coast (known as the Goldy to the locals) is “famous for fun” with plenty on offer for all walks of life – and we’re talking much more than theme parks!
Take to the waves at the many surf beaches which are famous for surfers worldwide, including national pros and championship competitions. There’s Surfers Paradise, Burleigh Heads, Kirra and Coolangatta (also known as ‘Cooly’).
Have a go at learning how to surf or go for gold with your own board. You’ll especially love the beach culture of Cooly, where you’ll find a surfer with board tucked under arm in just about every nook and cranny of town: whether it be at the resorts, in the parks, skateboarding or biking along the waterfront, at the local cafés and even in the supermarkets!
For those keen to indulge in a bit of retail therapy, try your luck at Harbourtown, Pacific Fair or Robina Town Centre for a multitude of outlets, mainstream brand names and luxury boutique shops.
Fancy a night on the town? There’s a plethora of restaurants, lounge bars and nightclubs to choose from. Consider bar hopping with the Gold Coast Hummerzine Nightclub Tour where you can taste the high life with a nightclub tour around Surfers in a stretch Hummer or Chrysler, including drinks and free entry into clubs, pizza and even a pro photographer!
Just north of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast offers a laid-back beach atmosphere – the perfect setting for a chilled-out break.
Here, you can tempt your tastebuds on a local food trail, lounge on the plethora of beaches or get back to nature in the Hinterland, which offers brilliant opportunities for perusing the famous Eumundi Markets or enjoying a latte after browsing some galleries in the quaint villages of Montville or Maleny.
The kids will love a trip to the nearby Australia Zoo – made famous by the late Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin – where they’ll get up close and personal with the country’s most exciting, yet terrifying creatures.
Whether you’re keen to set sail on a Pacific adventure or you prefer to take it easy on dry land, don’t miss a visit to the Whitsundays.
Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, there’s a whopping 74 islands here which are best explored by boat. Luckily, there are plenty of fun sailing tours to choose from – whether you’d prefer an overnight stay or a day trip, the choice is yours.
Don’t miss the stunning sunrise over Whitehaven Beach, considered the jewel in the crown of the Whitsundays and regularly tops lists of the world’s best beaches.
There is an array of resorts in the Whitsundays that cater to all types of holiday makers; for those who want to relax, family holidays and intimate honeymoons, there’s fabulous dining, day spas, golf and every water sport you can imagine.
Magnetic Island (or ‘Maggie’) is the perfect place to get away from it all. More than half of the island is made up of protected nature reserves, and as a result, you’re likely to see more than your fair share of rock-wallabies, echidnas and koalas during your stay.
Maggie is also home to 23 fabulous beaches and bays – so whether you want to get active on the water or laze on the sand, you have plenty of options. It’s home to the largest jet ski area in Eastern Australia and there’s also plenty of fishing, snorkelling and diving to try.
Tropical North Queensland
Queensland’s Tropical North is like no other place on Earth. This is where rainforest and reef collide, giving visitors a unique opportunity to experience a little bit of everything.
Port Douglas, approximately 70km north of Cairns, offers a gateway to Daintree National Park, Cape Tribulation and the Great Barrier Reef, as well as the stunning Four Mile Beach.
If you’re thinking of a more intimate retreat with a white sandy cove and palm fringed shores, find your small slice of paradise at Palm Cove. Head straight to the Esplanade which has a fantastic line-up of beautiful resorts, boutiques, cafés and restaurants to tempt you into absolute relaxation.
Add the remarkable Great Barrier Reef to your bucket list, where you’ll discover the world’s largest coral reef which is a World Heritage Site.
This marine park stretches over 2,000km and is home to thousands of tropical fish species, hundreds of coral types, sea turtles, and birds – providing divers and snorkellers with the most spectacular underwater experience imaginable.
For those who don’t want to get wet, head to an outer reef permanently-anchored pontoon, go for a helmet dive or scuba-doo ride, cruise in a semi-submersible or glass bottom boat, or take a flight over the reef in a seaplane or helicopter.
Feeling inspired? Get in touch with your local HOT holiday specialist to find out more about sunny Queensland. Call 0800 838 747, visit houseoftravel.co.nz or come instore.