When most Australians think of holidays in Queensland they picture the Gold Coast with its expanse of sand and high rise buildings towering beyond.
For many Australian families the theme parks are the major draw card here, in the same way that Disneyland entices families to California. With several to choose from, there is something to suit most kids. Young ones are star struck with all their favourite characters at Movieworld or love Seaworld with its polar bears, sharks and dolphins. Older kids can’t wait to cool off at Wet’n’Wild while the gut wrenching rides at Dreamworld have become rather a rite of passage for teens.
It’s not all about adrenalin, however. The Gold Coast Queensland is also a region with stunning beaches, world class surf, calm water boating, and waterfront cycle paths. There are so many different tours, you could choose one per day. Join the crew of a pirate ship, run amuck on an all terrain vehicle (ATV), slide into the water on a gigantic duck or fish for yabbies in the mudflats.
Offshore lie North and South Stradbroke Islands boasting pristine environments and family friendly eco resorts. They create a calm water playground (the Broadwater) between them and the mainland that is perfect for water sports.
Look inland and the sparkling green of Lamington National Park awaits. With thundering waterfalls, hidden swimming holes, glowworm caves, adventure high ropes and colourful bird life, it’s hard to imagine you are so close to civilisation. This has been an eco-tour destination for a hundred years, and it’s easy to see why.
Even further south, the outback meets the coast at Girraween National Park. Like a giant’s bowling alley, huge boulders teeter on mountain tops. From here gaze across the border into New South Wales where, in the summer, residents rise one hour later!
Photo courtesy Tourism Queensland