Queensland Attractions

Places to visit, points of interest and top things to see in Queensland

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Great Barrier Reef

Stretching around 2,300 kilometers along the northeastern coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the Earth’s largest living organism. It’s home to more than 600 types of hard and soft corals, together with a staggering array of tropical fish, mollusks, turtles and sharks.

One of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, the Great Barrier Reef is Queensland’s most visited destination, with everything from boat excursions to scuba diving trips and helicopter tours available. But with increasing stresses on its ecosystems and organisms, responsible tourism in the region is become a pressing issue and should be a deciding factor in how you visit the Great Barrier Reef.

Certified scuba divers can join day trips to experience the Great Barrier Reef’s underwater landscapes, with tours led by experienced divemasters and instructors. In addition to the myriad of tropical fish that can be found here, there are many other fascinating marine creatures to observe... read more arrow

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Daintree National Park

Set within North Queensland’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Daintree National Park is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity, home to a prolific birdlife and a number of endemic species found nowhere else on earth. It is also home to the oldest rainforest on the planet and the closest living example of the rainforests that once covered the ancient supercontinent of Gondwanaland.

The area that is now occupied by the Daintree National Park belongs to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people, with many sites of spiritual significance. More than 18,000 plant species have been recorded within the park, together with an impressive wildlife that includes flightless cassowaries, musky rat kangaroos, Boyd’s rainforest dragons and crocodiles.

The park is divided into two sections, with the towns of Mossman and Daintree Village situated within an agricultural area between the two. The Mossman Gorge is home to a visitors center that provides one entrance to the park, while the older section of the Daintree rainforest is found north of the Daintree River... read more arrow

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Fraser Island

The largest sand island in the world, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fraser Island is situated just off the Queensland coast between Bundaberg and Brisbane. It is protected within the Great Sandy National Park and boasts spectacular landscapes that include untouched beaches, crystal clear lakes and sacred Aboriginal sites to explore.

Fraser Island is one of the only places in the world where ancient rainforests are found growing on sand dunes, with the rainforest of Central Station particularly impressive. “Wallum” heaths ignite with wildflowers during the spring months, while eucalyptus woodlands and mangrove forests provide a habitat for the island’s wildlife. Australia’s purest strain of dingo is found on Fraser Island, together with around 300 bird species, wild horses and saltwater crocodiles. Tiger sharks, dolphins and whales can all be spotted in the offshore waters, while the Great Sandy Strait that separates the island from mainland Australia is listed by Ramsar as a Wetland of International Importance and home to endangered dugongs, sea turtles and migratory shorebirds... read more arrow

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Gold Coast

Famed for its endless stretches of beach, legendary surf and family-friendly theme parks, the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s favorite holiday destinations. It centers around the high-rise hub of Surfers Paradise, stretching north from here to Southport and south to Coolangatta. An elaborate system of canals and waterways extends inland, lined with upmarket residential housing and private jetties.

Take in the views from the top of Surfers Paradise’s Q1, the tallest building in Australia, which boasts a 230-meter-high observation deck that offers panoramas north to Brisbane and south to Byron Bay. “Surfers” is renowned for both its shopping and an enviable stretch of sand, as well as it’s scantily dressed Meter Maids who were instituted to prevent parking fines.

The Gold Coast is scattered with theme parks, including the rides and attractions of Dreamworld, the marine life entertainment at Sea World, as well as the Hollywood-themed Warner Bros... read more arrow

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Whitsunday Islands

Scattered between the northeast coast of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays include 74 idyllic islands that are ringed by picture-perfect beaches and colorful coral reefs. These continental islands are part of a subsurface coastal range, with all but five declared national parks, and the Great Barrier Reef provides them with naturally protected waters.

Eight of the islands are home to luxury resorts that provide the perfect base for exploring the turquoise waters, dense rainforests and hiking trails of the Whitsundays. Select from the family-friendly Hamilton Island and Daydream Island resorts, the luxurious One&Only on Hayman Island or one of the boutique eco-resorts on Long Island. Most resorts feature gourmet restaurants that highlight Australian produce and wine, as well as indulgent spa facilities where you can get a massage or treatment and infinity pools.

Airlie Beach on mainland Queensland is the main gateway to the Whitsundays, with islands excursions and resort transfers launched from Shute Harbor... read more arrow

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Nestled within the Atherton Tableland to the northwest of Cairns, Kuranda is a charming rainforest village on the edge of beautiful Barron Gorge National Park. It’s famed for its rainforest markets that take place every day and feature a range of locally-crafted produce, handicrafts and clothing.

Getting to Kuranda is all part of the experience. You have the option to travel along the Kuranda Scenic Railway that takes you past rugged peaks and waterfalls within the World Heritage-listed rainforest or fly above on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Gondolas transport visitors along the 7.5 kilometer-long cableway, with stops at the Red Peak Station and at Barron Falls Station where you can soak up the views. Both end at the tiny station in Kuranda where you can wander the tropical palm-lined streets and explore the local street art.

Spend a day walking through magnificent Barron Gorge National Park on ancient trails that were originally established by the Djabugai people... read more arrow

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Sunshine Coast

Stretching from Caloundra in the south to Noosa Heads in the north, the Sunshine Coast is one of Queensland’s premier beachside getaway. It’s renowned for its charismatic beach towns and great surf, as well as a lush hinterland that provides a worthy diversion from the coast. The Sunshine Coast is less commercialized than the Gold Coast to the south and particularly popular with Australian holiday makers during the school breaks.

Noosa Heads is one of the most popular areas along the coast, clustered with upmarket boutiques and trend-setting restaurants. It boasts a magnificent stretch of sand, as well as being on the doorstep of Noosa National Park, with its walking trails and koala sightings. Noosa makes a good base for visiting the Eumundi Markets, which take place each Saturday, as well as day trips to the smaller resorts of Sunshine Beach and Peregian Beach to the south.

Maroochydore is the main commercial hub of the Sunshine Coast and home to its largest shopping mall, as well as a picturesque coastal walking trail and scenic river cruises... read more arrow

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Lamington National Park

Situated within the McPherson Range on the Queensland/New South Wales border, Lamington National Park features magnificent tracts of subtropical and tropical rainforest, steep gorges and more than 500 waterfalls. This World Heritage Area is deservedly one of Queensland’s most popular national parks and within easy access of both Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Lamington National Park is home to more than 190 species of birds, including colorful parrots, bowerbirds, Coxen's fig parrot and Albert’s lyrebird. It also provides a habitat for red-necked pademelons that are often spotted near the edges of the rainforest and shy platypus that like to swim in the river rock pools. Numerous skink and frog species also find refuge in the park, including giant barred frog, cascade tree frogs and Fleay’s barred frog.

There are more than 150 kilometers of walking trails for hikers to explore, many of which were designed by Romeo Lahey during the Great Depression. You can opt for short jaunts or longer hikes, including the Border Track that follows the top of the McPherson Range along the border between New South Wales and Queensland... read more arrow

* Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

You can also rate and vote for your favorite Queensland sightseeing places, famous historical landmarks, and best things to do in Queensland by visiting the individual Queensland attraction pages.