The tropical north of Queensland, encompassing the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree National Park, is a living landscape, home to one of the world’s oldest and most enchanting rainforests, along with wetlands, wildlife and indigenous tradition - and one of Australia’s 16 Ultimate Escapes Rainforests, reefs, rich culture, tantalising tropical foods and outback adventures – the Wet Tropics packs it all into one unforgettable package. It’s the only place in the world where two World Heritage sites exist side by side, from the turquoise paradise of the Great Barrier Reef to the Daintree National Park, a steamy, green wilderness of thunderous...
Score: 8.78 Lizard Island picked up its moniker after Captain James Cook sniffed, post-visit, that lizards were the only wildlife he encountered on the island. Alas, the good captain clearly had limited imagination... and no access to a snorkel. North of Cairns, smack bang on the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island is a marine wonderland with abundant white sand beaches, many offering off-shore snorkelling and tropical fish, and a resort so speccy that it’s attracted the likes of rock royalty, Hollywood royalty and… well, actual royalty. One for the dream list. From $1519 per night, including meals and beverages. More...
Score: 8.15 Talk about a love triangle – between the lively cultural city of Cairns, the laidback beachside village of Palm Cove and the trendy boutique town of Port Douglas, you’ll find the holiday with it all. There are endless things to do, with the reef (see #13) and the Daintree at your beck and call, but it’s also the ideal setting to do not much at all – much like this young lass here, reclining as she is at local retreat Thala Beach Lodge. Tough for some. More info: Cairns Tropical North Queensland Plan your Great Australian Holiday with...
Score: 7.97 “This walk goes deep into Queensland’s tropical wilderness, and the scenery is stunning,” explains Peter Everitt. “It’s definitely for more adventurous hikers, but the setting makes up for any blisters!” Although you can cover the 32 kilometres in four days, may we suggest you linger for seven. Only 40 walkers are allowed on the trail at any one time, and you’ll want to make the most of your permission to be here, sleeping in campsites near pristine beaches or beside magnificent mountain waterfalls... Plus, since you’re bringing all your equipment (nifty little camp stoves, lightweight weatherproof tents) you’ll...
Score: 7.92 Money-can’t-buy amazement meets old-fashioned fun. Lady Elliot Island, the southern-most coral cay of the Great Barrier Reef (accessible by air from Bundaberg or Hervey Bay) is set smack bang in the centre of marine national park. Stay in unpretentious, comfortable accommodation, with table tennis, beach volleyball, quiz nights, star gazing and turtle watching laid on. And swim with giant manta rays. Says Peter Everitt, “Lady Elliott Island is one of the only places on earth you can do this. Stunning beaches, crystal-clear water, and the surreal activity of experiencing the graceful manta rays in their natural environment – this...
Score: 7.852 We really couldn’t sum it up more appropriately than Fiona Harper who says the bi-annual Laura Dance Festival in Cape York, “is quite possibly the most significant cultural festival in Australia. It’s a foot-stomping, dust-raising melodic celebration of song, dance and stories shared by arguably the world’s oldest surviving culture.” In fact, it made our 2013 bucket list, and rightly so. More info: Laura Dance Festival Plan your Great Australian Holiday with our sponsors Discovery Holiday Parks Back to the 100 Holidays Subscribe...
Photographer Nick Leary carved out a global career shooting the word's most beautiful people before falling in love with the outback, as told to Georgia Rickard. Nick Leary has a pretty amazing job. “It’s true,” he admits with a laugh. “But I’m just doing what I love – taking pictures.” That’s a bit of an understatement. Leary has shot for the Giorgio Armanis, the Calvin Kleins and the Vogues of the world; sent on assignment to not only shoot fashion for the biggest brands on earth but the most famous faces, too (think Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Miranda Kerr…). And that means...
You don't need to venture too far away from the Sunshine State's metropolises to find a decadent bush retreat, finds Megan Arkinstall Glamp at a stunning secret: Boonah, Scenic Rim Nestled amongst the hills of the Scenic Rim is this recently-opened gem. Ketchup’s Bank Glamping consists of just two secluded eco-tents complete with plush, quality linen, pillow-top queen beds and electric blankets for cool nights. The real hero here is the setting: 100 acres of eucalypt forest, complete with wallabies, goannas, wedge tail eagles, koalas and king parrots. Get acquainted with them when exploring the hiking and riding tracks in nearby...
It’s our favourite summer fruit... but just what is the ultimate mango experience? Benjamin Law heads to Tropical North Queensland, to answer this difficult question Summer in Queensland can bring horrible things: brutal thunderstorms; killer mosquitos; and brain-deadening heat so intense, you’ll want to tear off your entire face. On the other hand, the endless sunshine also means family trips to the coast, indulgent beach-slothing and – most importantly – the abundance of sweet, fat, dripping mangoes. When I was growing up in the tropical state, my family and I would gorge on mangoes every summer, buying them in bulk...
These little critters will melt all but the steeliest of hearts. Heron Island is the place to go between November and March, when green and loggerhead turtles make their way from locales as far flung as the Solomon Islands and Cape York to lay their eggs on the beaches. The baby turtles start to make their long-awaited appearance around Easter, scuttling to the safety of the sea. Try these Heron Island has special packages during the turtle season, with three nights in a Turtle Room for $597 per person, including meals, snorkel hire, and boat transfers. Kids under 12 stay...
Do it before it disappears! The famed Sunlander train runs the coastal route between Brisbane and Cairns, and for 60 years has captured the romantic imagination of those who’ve taken the beautifully scenic 31-hour journey. The Sunlander is due to be replaced in 2014 by an upgraded tilt train. While it remains in service, it’s one of the country’s great rail journeys, and this is your last chance to experience the famed Queenslander Class service, with sleeper accommodation, on-board restaurant-quality meals and entertainment. The details Queensland Rail will be running special ‘Farewell the Sunlander’ offers to celebrate the end of...
This is one for the budding archaeologists out there: Dig the Tropic, a self-drive, geo-tourism trail that spans from Boulia in Queensland’s outback to Yeppoon on the Great Barrier Reef, following the Tropic of Capricorn. Along the way, you can stop at sites like the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum at Winton, see 95-million year old dinosaur footprints at Lark Quarry, fossick for ancient ‘volcanic birthstones’ at Mount Hay and drop in to the limestone Capricorn Caves near Yeppoon, before settling in for a nice refreshing beach holiday on the Great Barrier Reef to wash off the red dirt of...
After two years in the limelight, ‘a Sydney escape’ has been bumped right off the podium as Australia’s all-round favourite travel experience, trumped by summertime classic, the Queensland beach break. One in seven said this was your favourite experience of the year, whether you were unwinding by a coastal campsite or lapping up luxury in a luxe beach villa. As one reader described from their time on Stradbroke Island, “there was sun shining down, sand between my toes and ice-cream in hand, while I looked out across the ocean as migrating whales performed the most energetic breaches… it was truly magical.”...
Stealing the crown from BridgeClimb Sydney this year, it seems the world’s largest sand island is prime territory for fun – and with such a varied environment, ranging from undulating sand dunes over 200 metres high in places, towering cliffs and sweeping white-sand beaches, to lush rainforests, thriving wetlands and over 100 freshwater lakes, Fraser’s various 4WD tours can take travellers to the island’s most incredible destinations. Of course, there were favourite operators. Cool Dingo Tours, Trailblazer Tours and Fraser Explorer Tours received many mentions in your responses, but they were each praised for their “friendly guides”, “great local knowledge” and “skilled driving” as they...
This was shot at sunrise on a rocky outcrop at Currumbin,Queensland. It was actually a bit of fun trying to time the shutter and get the best formation of water. I used a Canon 500D with a Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 lens. It was shot at ISO100, 12mm, f/10 at 1.3 seconds. Andrew Caitens, Brisbane, Qld Calling all Australian Travellers! Think you’ve got a winning photo? Send us the best Australian travel image you’ve ever captured for your chance to win a great prize. In the first instance, email a low-res pic to: email@example.com For this incredible winning image AT reader Andrew Caitens has won a Tamron SP AF70-200mm...
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- The ‘ghost towns’ of outback NSW
- East coast country cottage chic
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #53 road trip the Legendary Pacific Coast, Sydney to Brisbane
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #63 take a beach break, Sapphire Coast, NSW
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #86 a beach break on The Shoalhaven Coast, NSW
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #19 escape to the Rowley Shoals, WA
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #23 a beachy road trip in WA’s South West
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #42 stay at Berkeley River Lodge, WA
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #59 trek with an elder, WA
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #61 drive the Coral Coast, Perth to Exmouth
- Ultimate Escapes: Queensland’s Wet Tropics
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #11 stay at Lizard Island, Qld
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #54 holiday in Queensland’s triple threat
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #78 walk Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #85 swim with Manta Rays, Lady Elliot Island, Qld
- Thalia Haven – the greatest ocean-view bathtub in sight?
- Ultimate Escapes: Tasmania
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #2 road trip Tasmania’s east coast
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #5 book into Saffire Freycinet, Tas
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #13 (a tie) walk the Freycinet Experience, Tas
- Ultimate Escapes: Timeless North, NT
- Get lost in style in the Northern Territory
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #18 see the wet season in the Top End
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #27 make the Red Centre pilgrimage
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #56 (tie) follow Larapinta Trail (World Expeditions), NT