Wanting to escape winter this year? Plan a trip to North Queensland, where rain is rare and temperatures range from 24 to 31 degrees over winter.
Enjoy great deals from car or campervans rentals companies or use your own vehicle to freely explore the beautiful coastline from Brisbane to Cairns.
Exceptional nature and wildlife, stunning white-sand beaches, unique islands, and of course the world-famous Great Barrier Reef: it’s all here, in North Queensland!
We’ve put together a list of things to see and do in North Queensland: whether you’re a wildlife lover or an adventure seeker, there is something for everyone.
#1 Explore Fraser Island
Fraser Island (or K’gari which means paradise) is the largest sand island in the world and one of North Queensland’s major tourist attractions.
For touring the island, you will either need a 4WD that you can rent, or you can be part of one of the many organised tours. Once you step foot on Fraser Island, the choice is all yours:
– Driving on one of the many unsealed roads, inland or coastal; the Maheno Shipwreck is a must-see
– If you feel like stretching your legs, walk to Lake Wabby, a small freshwater lake bordered by a giant dune. Allow 40min walking time to get to the lookout
– After your efforts, you will be keen for a dip. You have some amazing choices: the vivid blue Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek and The Champagne Pools are all once in a lifetime experiences.
#2 Whale watching at Hervey Bay
On your winter trip in North Queensland, you cannot miss the opportunity to go whale watching. The Humpbacks whales visit Hervey Bay, on their way back from Antarctica to the sub-tropical waters of Eastern Australia and up to Fiji, every winter from July to November, offering a must-see spectacle.
Sighting these gentle giants during these months is almost 100% guaranteed no matter the tour operator you choose.
Weather and conditions permitting (and if you are brave enough!) tick ‘swimming with whales’ off your bucket list. This will be an experience you never forget.
#3 Relax at Bundaberg
Want to take your time and kick back in a beautiful place? The Bundaberg region is the ideal place for those who want to take the time to slow down.
Bundaberg is home to the Bundaberg Rum Distillery and Bundaberg Brewed Drinks – both are well worth a visit, and a stop to enjoy their relaxing cafes.
The town is also a 15-minute drive away to safe and tropical looking sandy beaches like Bargara Beach, where Palm trees line the foreshore.
As this is the region where the Southern Great Barrier Reef begins, you can also choose to explore the underwater world or visit Lady Island or Lady Musgrave Island.
#4 Hinchinbrook Island
There are many islands sprinkled along Queensland’s coastline. Why not head off the beaten track and explore the completely uninhabited Hinchinbrook Island, one of Australia’s largest National Park islands.
The island has been voted as one of the top 10 places to see by kayak in Australia so embark on a kayak adventure to discover the beautiful coastline and the extensive mangrove areas – a haven for turtles, dugongs and many other marine creatures.
The estuaries of the Hinchinbrook Channel are also a paradise for fishing amateurs so don’t forget your gear if you are one of them. Barramundi, mangrove jacks, King salmon and fingermark are all prime targets.
#5 Australia’s natural wonder: The Great Barrier Reef
A trip to North Queensland wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the World’s largest and Longest Coral reef system, home to around a third of the world’s protected marine life including 1,500 species of fish, more than hundred species of sharks and rays, threatened turtles and marine mammals such as dolphins, whales and endangered manatees.
Stretching approximately 2300 km along the coast, there are many departure spots from Bundaberg to Port Douglas, north of Cairns.
Once you have chosen where to explore from, you will be spoilt for choice with ways to experience the Reef: snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing, or flying above it.
Where to stay in North Queensland
Settle in at Poona Palms Caravan Park, overlooking Fraser Island, for a least a few days so you can make the most of this popular spot. The Poona Palms Holiday Park is set on five grassed acres offering units, generous size campsites and offers an off-leash exercise area for dogs.
Or make Trinity Islands Holiday Park your base to explore the region from Hervey Bay to Fraser Island. Trinity Islands covers 44 hectares of land, comprised of three private islands and is surrounded by a private 11-acre lake. Trinity Islands Holiday Park offers spacious lakefront and island camping and caravanning sites.
Bundaberg East Cabin & Tourist Park, set amongst 5 acres of tranquil tropical gardens, would be the ideal location to base your sightseeing adventures while exploring the Historical City of Bundaberg. The park offers a range of accommodation, including Private Ensuite Sites, Grass Ensuite Sites, Family Superior Cabin’s, Deluxe Cabin’s and a Family friendly Tourist Villa’s.
Riverside Tourist Park is only a 30-minute drive to Yeppoon, renowned for its beaches. If you are looking for a tent, caravan, motorhome site or even a cabin, they have a facility to suit your requirements.
Cardwell Van Park, south of Cairns, is a great place to base yourself and explore The Great Green Way and Hinchinbrook Island. This pet-friendly park boasts 45 powered sites and cabin style accommodation, laundry, camp kitchen, town water, T.V. connection.