Beaches & islands
Head out from the coast on a diving day trip on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, or snorkel for multiple days from Great Keppel, Heron, or Pumpkin Island. Out here, other natural wonders to add to that island to-do list include the sea caves of the Keppel Bay Islands, and hiking the islands’ picturesque walking trails.
For gorgeous natural swimming holes, head to Byfield National Park near Yeppoon. Picnic and swim in the clear, turquoise waters of Stoney Creek, pitch a tent at Waterpark Creek, camp out at Five Rocks Beach (accessible by 4WD only), check out parabolic sand dunes and 4WD over Nine Mile Beach.
Attractions & activities
Try your hand at unearthing an expensive souvenir, and go on a local gem tour at the Sapphire Gemfields. At the Mount Hay Gemstone Tourist Park, look for gorgeously patterned thundereggs while fossicking at an extinct ancient volcano.
Make a snap(py) decision and book yourself onto a tour of the Koorana Crocodile Farm. Educational and thrilling for kids and adults alike, at this commercial crocodile organisation you’ll be able to get up close (but not too up close) to the shining smiles of some of the farm’s 3000 toothy residents.
National parks & caves
Take a tour of the ancient limestone Capricorn Caves. It is an accessible entry by a tour to the stunning Cathedral Cave, giving you a chance to experience the incredible cave acoustics. Go caving in Mount Etna Caves National Park, keeping one eye out for rare bent-wing and ghost bats.
Whether you’re after a quick stretch of the legs or awe-inspiring multi-day hikes, Carnarvon National Park has it all. Take the 87km Carnarvon Gorge Great Walk or break it down, with smaller treks that go via sites like the majestic Amphitheatre, Moss Garden and Art Gallery.
Rise to new heights at the sandstone plateaus of Blackdown Tableland National Park, where the art of the Ghungalu people can be seen on the rock faces of their traditional lands. Take the Gudda Gumoo Lookout and Gorge walk to admire the sparkling Rainbow Falls.