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The best places to see in Queensland

The Sunshine coast and Hinterlands

Brisbane City 

Annerley

 

Queensland has a warm climate and mild temperatures all year round. The beaches here are stunning and the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast attract visitors from all over the world. Inland there are plenty of other places to explore. 

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The Seven Best Places to see in Queensland

Queensland is diverse with a huge range of activities but its greatest asset might just be the warm tropical climate and sunshine. There is plenty to see in Queensland.

1. The Great Barrier Reef. One of the greatest wonders of the world. Take a boat trip, dive the tropical waters or fly over the reef on a helicopter or plane.

2. Whitsunday Islands. Whitehaven, Long Island, Daydream Island and hundreds more islands follow the Eastern coast. Expect pristine white sand on beautiful sweeping beaches. Other notable islands are Fraser Island and Thursday Island.

3. The Gold Coast (or Sunshine Coast or Noosa Heads) Beautiful beaches and a range of cafes, shops and activities make these very popular places for tourists. There is plenty of accommodation, including beach front skyscrapers.

4. Theme Parks. The Gold Coast is theme park heaven with five world class theme parks within 15 minutes of each other. Movie World and Dreamworld have all the thrill rides while WhiteWater World and Wet’n’Wild are water theme parks. Sea World has marine shows plus gondolas, boats, and more adventurous rides.

5. The Glasshouse Mountains are situated in the hills behind the Sunshine Coast and are best viewed from the Mary cancross Park or the McCarthy lookout, both on Mountain View Road. (More information below.)

6. Inner City Brisbane and Southbank manmade beach in a beautiful spot right on the riverfront, opposite the inner city and surrounded by museums, galleries and theatres. (More information below.)

7. Australia Zoo. The legacy of Steve Irwin the "Crocodile Hunter"  and his family. This huge zoo covers 72 acres and provides access to a huge variety of Aussie wildlife.

More ideas

other highlights of central Queensland are the Bundaberg Ginger Factory and Aussie World, a theme park for th younger kids. Also look out for tours of old mines, penal institutions and ghost tours.

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5. The Glasshouse Mountains and the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands

One hour north of Brisbane City is the Sunshine Coast with its beautiful beaches and sparkling sea. But if you want something cooler and greener, head inland over the low mountains to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and you are in a whole new world of winding roads and spectacular views.

This area is perhaps the most reminiscent of New Zealand with its rolling hills, lush forests and grazing cattle but there are two key differences. The wildlife here is loud and insistent. It is loudest at daybreak, and as night falls. Since the sun rises around 4.30am, don’t be surprised if you get woken by the kookaburras cheerful laugh or maybe a family of parakeets or cockatoos. Dusk brings out the persistent chorus of frogs and cicadas.  

There are some beautiful tourist routes through the Glasshouse mountain range and the Blackhall mountain range. The road takes you up over ridges and views are spectacular. In many places the road follows the ridge and there are beautiful views across both sidesThere are lots of pretty and interesting communities to explore. Landsborough is the historical centre of the region with a thriving little museum. Visit the Gossip café across from the station and try their range of sparkling organic drinks that include lemon myrtle either alone or combined with ginger or peppermint Maleny has been a quiet farming community but the town has blossomed and the small group of shops has become quite busy. People come in from miles around for the organic produce or the eclectic little markets in the steep little lane behind the main shops.Mary Cairncross Park is at the northern end of the aptly named Mountain View Road and is a good place to stop on your trip. The view of the Glasshouse Mountains is spectacular from here. Each mountain stands alone as if some huge hand has randomly dropped them across the valley and at the entrance to the park there is a handy sign to explain which one is which. There is a café that sells café food and cold drinks including the local organic range. The park is staffed by volunteers and they have created a lovely display in the entrance buildings. Keep your eyes open because as well as Brush Turkeys and other colourful and noisy local birds there is a community of Pademelons living there. These delightful creatures are a tiny form of Wallaby with rat like heads and large bouncy hind legs. They come quite close to visitors and are not too shy. But don’t feed them. Australians are very keen to keep their ecosystem in balance and there are signs in most of the parks advising against feeding the local wildlife.

Montville is a delightful touristy spot with very English inspired buildings. The shopping here is eclectic with lots of antique and craft displays and stores selling local art. The view from the café at the top is worth a trip alone. You can see right across the valley to the sea many miles away. It definitely feels like the top of the world and the afternoon teas are delicious.

There is lots to discover in the hills behind the Sunshine Coast so take a GPS or a good map and set off and explore.

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6. Brisbane City

Brisbane is a wonderful city. Built around a winding river there are wonderful places to explore, particularly along the riverbank. Southbank is a beautiful area with a large manmade beach, pretty walks under vibrant purple trees and interesting market stalls on the weekends. There are museums and exhibition spaces here and cafes and restaurants to suit all tastes. To get the best overview of the area I recommend a ride on the giant ferris wheel.

If you tire of the shops and beauty of southbank, the city is just a short walk across one of the bridges, but my favourite way to explore is to take one of the ferries that regularly criss cross the river. These can take you on a sightseeing trip up or down stream for a modest fee. For best value consider a day pass. At $1.00 more than a single pass it gave me freedom to see more of the city and cross the river as many times as I liked.

On the other side of the river from Southbank are the Botanical Gardens and the inner city itself with all its shops, malls and exhibits. It is a busy vibrant city and worth visiting or perhaps exploring by one on of the bus tours.

One last suggestion..... check out the river views at night time. The weather is mild enough to make an evening stroll very comfortable and seeing the city lights reflected in the river at night is stunning.

Looking across Southbank man-made beach to Brisbane City

 

Brisbane – Annerley

 

Annerley is an older suburb just four kms south, and a 5 minute car ride, from the centre of Brisbane. The houses here range from the lovingly restored to the sadly neglected and are interspersed with brand new complexes where developers have crammed as many units as they can on one piece of land.

Even with the houses so close together, there are magnificent shade trees everywhere. Maybe that is why there are so many birds. All day you are likely to hear cooing pigeons, musical magpies, twitters and tweets and whistles and caws, all overlaid with the clatter of passing trains and the rushing sound of planes overhead as they prepare to land at Brisbane Airport.

 

Annerley is bisected by the busy Ipswich Highway and bordered on the one side by Fairfield, home to the local shopping mall and Yaronga and Yarongapilly which have beautiful large parks.

 

The parks in Annerley are smaller but interesting. The first is tiny and easy to miss. At first glance it looks like the usual small but beautiful park with a playground and shaded seating. But stay a little longer and you are sure to see one or more of the small flock of bush turkeys that have made this park there home. If you walk right into the park, you come across a little wooden bridge which spans a small ravine. Down below is a track through the bush which is paved with now old and grey carpet. In another park on the other side of Annerley are huge trees covered with hundreds of dangling strings of sausage like growths.

 

 

It is surprises like these which make these suburbs so much fun to explore.