I am in love with Queensland Australia. Absolutely.
I have been there several times now, and it has become one of my favorite vacation destinations in the world.
I just spent a week in far northern Queensland at Trinity Beach, which sits slightly north of Cairns. There is so much to do up there, but you can be perfectly satiated just lying around doing approximately nothing.
I can think of 100 reasons that you should vacation in Queensland, but instead I am giving you 5:
|The beach outside my vacation rental in Trinity Beach, Queensland|
They are spectacular. The east coast of Queensland runs along the Coral Sea, which is warm and beautiful. The coastline is comprised of endless golden sand beaches, most of which are unpopulated. The islands off the coast of Queensland, such as the Whitsunday Islands are famous for their pristine, white sand beaches. The water is clean, the swimming is glorious, and the sun always seems to be shining.
If you are a seafood lover you just cannot beat Queensland, both for the fish and shellfish that you already know, as well as the rare, sensational, Aussie-only species that you have never heard of before. Queensland is a seafood lover's dream come true.
The Weather.Queensland gets two seasons: the wet season and the dry season. Their summer (December thru March) is the monsoon or wet season, and is the best time to visit the rain forests and the barrier reef, the rest of the year is dry. Year round the temperature is lovely and warm.
|Bindi Irwin and her mother at Australia Zoo|
image credit Russell Shakespeare
Queensland zoos are wonderful, especially if you are traveling with children. Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo feels more like a safe haven for creatures than a prison. From the giant kangaroo range, which is more like a huge park where they can roam freely in amongst the wildlife, to the elephant enclosure the animals don't feel caged. One thing I noticed when I was there (several years ago on a different trip) was that every zoo worker seemed really happy. Like they really enjoyed their jobs and loved their animals. More telling was watching the interaction between the animals and their humans. I was particularly fascinated with the elephants and their handlers, and the playful and joyous way they communicated as they meandered from one area to the next. The elephants looked happy and as though they were having fun. It was magical.
The Great Barrier Reef.
No amount of National Geographic can prepare you for the majesty of the Great Barrier Reef. At 2,300 kilometers (1400 miles) in length the reef can be seen from outer space. One of the greatest experiences in my life has been snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef.
5 hours races past like 5 minutes when you are snorkeling on the reef. From the coral structures themselves to the unbelievable marine life swimming amongst them you feel like you are swimming through a visual technicolor explosion. It is almost surreal. The water is soft, warm and staggeringly clear. My first time snorkeling the reef was on a clear day with a crystal smooth ocean, so visibility was pristine. My second time, which was last week, the sea was rough which made for much harder work physically, but still you could see everything and the colors were so vivid it you could hardly believe they were real.
We used Reef Magic for our day excursion to the Great Barrier Reef. Read my TripAdvisor review here
Queenslanders are super friendly, happy, smiley folk. In that giant land mass there are only 4.6 million of them, so there is plenty of space to breathe in, to swim in, to stretch out a towel on the sand and get bronzed in. You never feel crushed, the beaches like the skies are wide open and vast.
There are incredible restaurants and the shopping is wonderful, if that's your pleasure.
You can lose yourself in Queensland, or find yourself, whichever you need, but you will return home relaxed, bronzed and happy.
Where to stay in Trinity Beach, Queensland, vacation rental
Where to stay in Palm Cove, Queensland, hotel
Check out flights to Cairns here
Read about Australia in Bill Bryson's hilarious yet super informative book In A Sunburned Country