6 Hidden gems of Queensland
Palm-fringed beaches, coral reefs, thrilling adventures, the world’s oldest rainforest, and an endless summer.
This is probably the image that Queensland conjures up in your mind. It was for me until we spent several months exploring what lies on the inside of Australia’s second biggest state. You’d be surprised at the hidden gems waiting for you to love just as much as the coral reefs.
1. Winton, Outback Queensland
If you’re looking for that quintessential Australian Outback town – one that overbrims with culture and friendly people – then Winton is it.
Winton quickly became our favourite Outback town on our road trip around Australia. It’s the home of dinosaurs, Waltzing Matilda, and Gotye music inspired by his visit to the Musical Fence. Plus you’ll find great pubs, good food, beautiful sunsets, and country charm.
2. Boodjamulla National Park
This has to be Queensland’s best kept secret. Tucked away down a dusty Outback road lies this tropical oasis of palm trees, waterfalls and swimming holes. Spectacular views can be enjoyed either from your canoe or on one of the many walks along the river or up above on the cliff tops.
Camping in the National Park under the starry skies is a must. Kick back and relax Outback Oasis style.
3. Bunya Mountains
Snow in Queensland! Can you believe it? It might happen only once every 10 years, but the Bunya Mountains offers Queenslanders that wintry retreat they long for. The Bunya Mountains lies three hours west of Brisbane and offers a cheap cottage getaway with a sub-tropical rainforest to explore through many walking trails and scenic lookouts. This area is about relaxing and getting back to nature and reconnecting with loved ones.
Just below the mountain is the growing South Burnett wine region. Yes, Queensland also has quality wine to savour!
4. Town of 1770/Agnes Waters
Sleepy Town of 1770 and Agnes Waters do not receive as much love as other beachside paradises in Queensland. These dual towns have an abundance of beauty, fun and laid-back living for you to love. Agnes Waters is the last place on the East Coast you can catch a surf break before heading north. It’s also one of the few places on the East Coast you can enjoy the sun setting over the water at the Town of 1770. Enjoy it with a kayak trip or on the infamous pink LARC tour. This region also has a lot of history being the place where Captain Cook lay anchor in… yes 1770. The natural beauty of the region has been virtually left untouched since his arrival.
5. O’Reilly’s Rainforest, Gold Coast
You might know of the Gold Coast for its theme parks, nightlife and surf culture. Going inland a bit takes you to the top of the Lamington National Park. Don’t worry, if you still want Gold Coast thrills, the windy, narrow road in the middle of the forest up there will give it to you.
Once up there, you can partake in activities like tree top walks, hiking, Segway tours, zip lining, and glow worm gazing. You can camp, but we recommend staying in a villa and enjoying a glass of wine in your private spa overlooking the rainforest.
6. Great Keppel Island
You want island life at a reasonable price and far from the tourists that crowd the most well-known Great Barrier Reef locations?
Then escape to your own beach bungalow on Great Keppel Island. Just a short ferry ride from Yeppoon a very chilled island holiday awaits. Hire a stand up paddle board, see the reef from a glass-bottom boat or snorkelling just off shore, or relax on a sunset cruise.