Although there are so many things to see, in general there are two type of vacation you can have in Queensland. First, the outback type of Vacation (gorge, mountain, Savannah, etc) where you can camp in outback, riding a jeep, mingle with wilderness. And this is basically done in the middle and west part of Queensland. The second one is the beach vacation which take up Queensland’s coastal line from north to south. Along the shoreline are mind-blowing and beautiful beaches you could ever dreamed of.
At first, my plan was to have a beach vacay. After thoroughly researched other point of interests, I got so tempted to explore the outback. Buuutttt, since I only have 8 days, and camping in the outback take at minimum five days (while my initial plan was to have beach vacay), I pedal my urge to go west. Hence, my itinerary was to explore Queensland’s coastal line from north to South (including Great Barrier Reef). Beside, it's famous for its beach.
From Indonesia, there are frequent flight to Australia. But, at that moment, the one and only AirAsia-X had a sale, so I bought ticket from Kuala Lumpur – Goldcoast. Airasia offers regular flight from Kuala Lumpur to Queensland Gold Coast. There are also budget airline such as tiger airways and jetstar. Remember to use airplane hunter website such skyscanner.com (and many other) to get the best price for your flight. It takes 8 hours flight from Kuala Lumpur to Gold Coast/Brisbane.
At first, I thought it was cool if I could reach Cape York to the "Tip of Australia". But the drive from Cairns (most populous city in the far-north island) takes 1 day by car, although we can take airplane from Cairns to north by Skytrans (commercial flight serving locations north to Cairns), or by chartered flight. This diminished the idea pretty soon, so I thought the northern part is a different story and take up some focus to explore.
With that facts, I chose Cairns as the first point of exploration after Gold Coast, and then going south along the shoreline and back to Gold Coast before heading home. Of course, I took transfer flight from Gold Coast to Cairns on the same day I arrived in Gold Coast. In summary: Depart from Gold Coast, and then went back to Gold Coast. So here’s my 8-days route in Queensland. It was really a beach vacation slash coast-hopping back then.
Cairns is the fifth-populous city in Queensland, and the only populous city in far-north Queensland. It is also one of the many cities in Queensland where regular boats to explore Great Barrier Reef Depart. It’s more popular departure point for Great Barrier Reef, because its shore very near to the Reef. Beside, it also close to the next best thing: The rainforest and several national parks. Some attractions in cairns include:
- Great Barrier Reef
- Cape Tribulation
- Daintree National Park
- Barron Gorge National Park
- Green Island and Fitzroy island
- And many others
Because it’s the gate to the whitest beach I’ve ever seen on planet. Yap, the famous Whitsunday Island. Several tour provider have regular departure to Whitsunday Island and Hamilton island. The king in this area to me is the Whitsunday Island.
Why Hervey Bay?
Because that’s the departing point if you want to visit Fraser Island. It is the world’s largest sand island with the coastal line spread along 120 km. And, it’s also the place if you want to see dingo and Maheno ship wreck.
Because of course, it’s Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland (Not Gold coast, ladies and gentlemen).
There are many other beach that you can visit such as:
- Mission Beach. This is another popular tourist spot. You can also go to Dunk island from Mission beach.
- Townsville. From this town, you can see Great Barrier Reef living in giant aquarium in Reef HQ, and you can enjoy Magnetic Island as well.
- Mackay. You can enjoy the Bluewater Lagoon or Eungella National Park where you can meet Platypus
- Rockhampton/Capricorn Coast. Many attraction you can enjoy here including Heron Island, Lady Elliot Island, or going to Southern Reef island.
- Noosa. From noosa you can visit Fraser Island as well, exploring Noosa National Park or if you’re willing go further up north, you can explore Great Sandy National Park. If you just want to relax, simply enjoy Sunshine beach and Coolum Beach.
Have a great beach holiday!