Amazing Australia

Lee-Anne van Vuuren on 11 February 2005

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We travelled extensively throughout Queensland, the “sunshine state”. It has so much to offer. You can be the only soul on a spectacular beach and the next day might see you rediscovering yourself at a mountain top, sampling fresh seafood by the sea, or diving & cruising in the Great Barrier Reef. Everything is within easy reach of Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. Here I’d recommend you visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where you can cuddle a koala and get up close to all kinds of Aussie wildlife. Enjoy splendid views of Brisbane City from Mount Coo-tha lookout. You can also dine at the Summit Restaurant amid lovely daytime views or against a magical backdrop of glittering lights at night. A must is a visit to Southbank Parklands. Here you’ll find riverside parklands and tropical gardens with cafes, restaurants, weekend markets, cycle paths, walkways and even a man-made beach with a swimming lagoon. A definite must is a trip to The Gold Coast (about a 45 minute drive from Brisbane). The busiest and best-known stretch of the Gold Coast is Surfers Paradise. It has a perfect swimming beach and is a hive of activity. Surrounded by cafes and shops, it is a favourite of surfers, sunbathers, locals and tourists. If you prefer a quieter beach then head further south to areas such as Rainbow Bay and Burleigh Beach. SeaWorld Gold Coast is where you can get up close to dolphins, seals and polar bears. Don’t miss Shark Bay, the world’s largest shark lagoon! Dreamworld theme park is a wonderland of rides and attractions. Try some of the world’s tallest and fastest thrill rides, cuddle a koala, or get up close to Nickelodeon favourites such as SpongeBob SquarePants. Experience the movie magic at Warner Bros. Movie World, as you cosy up to your favourite superheroes and cartoon characters, including Batman, Wonder Woman and Bugs Bunny. You can also enjoy exciting rides and entertaining shows. Also venture into the lush hinterland of the Gold Coast, just an hour drive from Surfers Paradise, and enjoy the great outdoors. Stroll along a treetop boardwalk or go bird watching at O’Reilleys Rainforest, or explore cosy tearooms and quaint shops at Gallery Walk – Tamborine Mountain. Just an hour North of Brisbane, is Sunshine Coast is one of Queensland’s hidden gems. Its chic coastal towns such as Mooloolaba and Noosa are great beach holiday destinations with many resorts & beachfront apartments making it easy to enjoy the sun, sand and surf. Restaurants and cafes make the most of the lovely climate and the splendid ocean views. In the hinterland, you will find majestic mountain ranges i.e. Glass House Mountains and rolling hills among pineapple and sugar cane farms. Quaint country towns overlook green valleys. Stay in a cozy bed & breakfast cottage and enjoy true country hospitality. The world's largest sand island, Fraser Island, is a World Heritage Listed site that is truly breathtaking. It offers exceptional beauty, pristine white beaches, strikingly coloured sand cliffs, and freshwater lakes. Explore the island, its ancient rainforest, awesome sand dunes and crystal clear creeks. It is the only place in the world where tall rainforests are found growing on sand dunes at elevations of over 200 metres. It is home to all kinds of wildlife including possums, wallabies and dingoes. It offers plenty of activities including fishing, canoeing, ranger-guided tours, sunset champagne cruises and more.

We visited the Whitsunday Islands, surrounded by the world’s largest natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef, known around the world for its superb sailing waterways, breathtaking beauty, blue sea, pristine beaches and magnificent islands. About 66 of the islands are virtually untouched and provide the perfect setting for a day of exploring or simply relaxing on the secluded beaches and coves. One of the most famous spots in the Whitsundays is the beautiful Heart Reef. Fly over the reef in a sea plane or helicopter and marvel at this breathtaking composition of coral that has been formed naturally into the shape of a heart. Another jewel in the Whitsundays’ is Whitehaven Beach, consistently voted as one of the world's best beaches. Don't miss the experience of walking along this 6km stretch of pure white silica sand. Airlie Beach is the gateway to the Whitsundays, a colourful holiday town along the shores of a palm fringed beach overlooking the calm waters of Pioneer Bay dotted with yachts. Queensland truly has so much to offer. Go find out for yourself why it’s Australia’s holiday state!!

For more information contact me Regards Lee-Anne

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