Yearning for that break from the concrete jungle? Enter Queensland, this lesser-known cousin of Sydney. The warm climate all year round coupled with the slow-paced lifestyle definitely helps to warm your souls. With farmers markets, health food and gyms readily available, it’s all about looking and feeling good, #goodvibes only!
From the many cities that make up Queensland, Brisbane and Gold Coast are perfect for unwinding. Gold Coast is known for its coastal habitat, with stretches of white sandy beaches. Imagine the warm sun reflecting off the sparkling teal waters, soft sand between your toes, plus cafes galore; how can one not help but feel like they are on a vacation every day!
Brisbane, on the other hand, is great for the perfect road trip! Get lost in nature and immerse yourself in new experiences. Take a hike or even a night of glamping, and connect with the native wildlife.
Get bang for your buck with the iVenture pass
#Klook Tip: For a cost-effective way of enjoying the different Queensland attractions, Klook the iVenture pass and enjoy entry to 100 different available activities across the different cities. There are even special “Skip The Line” queues in certain attractions! For reference, activities covered under this pass are marked with this symbol: ℹ️
1. Conquer a different type of fear – Skydiving
Afraid of oversleeping for work or worst still, making a huge mistake and costing the company huge sums of money? Well, put those fears away and conquer your fear of heights instead! Tick off your bucket list this holiday with the ultimate skydive adventure in Brisbane! Feel the adrenaline rush as you leap off at an altitude of 12,000 feet, before free-falling through the clouds faster than a Ferrari.
You will get all kinds of mixed feelings at first; nervous, scared, excited, and when you finally take the jump, be prepared to have your heart fall out as you scream your way through the 60-second drop!
However, as your parachute deploys, you will start to calm down and truly take in the breathtaking views of the city. You’ll be guided by the instructor to steer the direction and speed, gliding through the open sky and live out all your childhood dreams of being a superhero! This is truly an exhilarating experience of a lifetime. With moments like these, who cares about unanswered emails?
All jumpers must register online at APF (Australian Parachute Federation) prior to their skydive and new members will be required to pay a membership fee of AUD35.
Because there are many different skydiving companies out there, it is important to find one that is reputable and experienced (considering you’re literally going to put your life in their hands!). Our experience with Skydive Brisbane was great! The instructor on our Tandem Dive had over 20 years of experience and helped calm our nerves every step of the way.
Address: Gold Coast Skydive, 1/78 Musgrave Street Kirra, QLD 4225, Australia
Getting There: 30 minutes drive from CBD
Opening Hours: 7am-9pm
2. Catch the sunrise on a hot air balloon
Up up and away! We know having to wake up at 3am in the morning is no easy feat, but getting to catch the mesmerizing sunrise up on a hot air balloon is definitely worth giving up your snooze for. Soak up the sweeping views of Tamborine Mountain and Lamington National Park as you drift up into the cloud, away from the bustle of city life. A peaceful yet exhilarating ride not to be missed!
Klook your Gold Coast Hot Air Balloon Ride and enjoy free hotel pick up from hotels and accommodations around Gold Coast city centre, making your adventure that much more convenient.
#Klook tip: Don’t underestimate the cold! Even though Gold Coast is warm for the most part, you’ll want to dress warm for the early morning call.
Gold Coast Hot Air Balloon Ride
Meet up Point: Mercure Resort, 64 Palm Meadows Dr, Carrara QLD 4211, Australia
Meet up Time: between 3:30-5:00am (varies seasonally)
3. Let your worries drift away on a Parasail ℹ️
For a different view of Gold Coast, try out Parasailing at the Sea World Resort! Feel the breeze caress your skin as you capture 360° views, ranging from the Surfers Paradise skyline to South Stradbroke and WaveBreak Islands.
It truly is a freeing experience as your legs dangle over the ocean while you drift through the wind; even your fear of heights will be forgotten as you rake in the breathtaking views of the surroundings. Live in the moment and forget all your worries momentarily!
Can’t get enough of that adrenaline rush? #YOLO and unleash the daredevil in you with more thrilling activities in Queensland!
Gold Coast Watersports (using iVenture)
Address: Sea World Resort, Sea World Drive, Main Beach, QLD 4217, Australia
Opening Hours: Daily, 8-6pm
Getting There: 20 mins drive from Gold Coast
4. Have a hopping good time with the Kangaroos ℹ️
Head up to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and immerse yourself in 27 football fields worth of Currumbin rainforest. Experience open animal enclosures such as the aviaries, and be in close proximity to many native species like the Dingos and Wombats.
We highly recommend allocating a bulk of time to visit the Kangaroo field. Rub their bellies, feed them, and feel like a kid again as you hop around with these kangaroos! Many of these cuties are soooo comfortable around humans, lay side by side with them and utter “paint me like one of your french girls”. Ain’t nobody got time to worry about life!
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (using iVenture)Address: 28 Tomewin St, Currumbin QLD 4223, Australia
Opening Hours: Daily, 8-5pm
Getting There: 30 mins drive from Gold Coast
5. Spend some Koala-ity time
Nothing is more therapeutic than hugging a warm Koala close to your heart. You can almost hear your heart squeal with excitement as the keeper rests the furry Koala in your arms!
And what better place to cuddle one but at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary? As the name suggests, it is truly a sanctuary for Koala lovers, housing over 130 Koalas and is the world’s first and largest Koala sanctuary as recognized by the Guinness Book of Records.
Also, did you know that Queensland is one of the only two states in Australia whereby one is even permitted to touch a Koala?
Besides up close and personal with the infamous Koala, there are also a variety of Australian wildlife such as the Dingos, Wombats, and Tasmanian Devils waiting for you.
Klook your way to some Koala-ity good time now and skip the queues, entering directly with your printed voucher!
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Address: 708 Jesmond Rd, Fig Tree Pocket QLD 4069, Australia
Opening Hours: Daily, 9-5pm
Getting There: 15 mins drive from Brisbane or 1-hour drive from Gold Coast
6. Delicious vegan food even non-vegans can’t resist
Sick of sitting by your computer in the office and eating take-outs? Well change all that now with some wholesome vegan food from Greenhouse Canteen & Bar.
The restaurant serves mostly organic food, locally sourced from eco and coastal farms. When the food you’re eating is as fresh as it can get, your body will definitely feel rejuvenated.
P.S. the establishment has gotten so popular that even non-vegans can’t stay away!
The Mac and Cheese is made up of rice noodles (yes the restaurant is fully gluten-free too!) and velvety cauliflower cheese, bringing you all the flavour without any of the guilt. Dusted with cashew parmesan and breadcrumbs, there is almost no telling that there is no actual cheese involved in this dish!
Two of the highly-raved about mains were the Jackfruit Enchilada and Deconstructed Beetroot Burger, and both were massive when it comes to portion size. The enchilada uses smoked jackfruit as a meat substitute, wrapped with turmeric rice and black beans and topped off with a massive dollop of avocado sour cream and tangy pickled cabbage slaw.
The Beetroot Burger patty had a sweet and nutty flavour coming from the combination of beetroot and quinoa. The crispy kale that came on the side was well-seasoned and tasted amazingly like seaweed, while the roasted sweet potato were both crunchy and addictive.
Don’t forget to pair your meal with a cocktail from the botanical bar! Think blueberry and thyme mojitos, spiced rum and mint served in a coconut, and a selection of sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines.
Greenhouse Canteen & Bar
Address: 1916 Gold Coast Hwy, Miami QLD 4220, Australia
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri, 5-9pm. Closes on Mon.
Getting there: Just a 5 min drive from Burleigh Heads National Park
7.Nothing heals the soul like a hearty plate of freshly made pasta
Craving for some comfort food on a night out?
Vapiano is the place to be! With an open-concept kitchen, see what goes into your dish as the chefs whip up your meal right before your eyes.
Did we also mention that this European restaurant chain prepares their pasta and pizza fresh daily?
#Klook fun fact: Every Vapiano restaurant across the world houses an olive tree as well as a herb garden, so you can be assured that you’re getting only the freshest herbs in your dish.
The aglio e olio with prawns was simple and hearty. Tossed in aromatic garlic and olive oil, the noodles were al dente, with just the right amount of bite. You could also tell that the prawns they used were fresh; bouncy and juicy with a light sweetness to it.
The pollo e spinaci is cooked with the in-house basil pesto, and tasted refreshing despite having cream added. The chicken breast was juicy and succulent, and the generous serving of pine nuts added a different dimension to the dish.
Remember to grab your soulmates and share a night of laughter with some of the best stress medicine – pasta!
Address: Soul Boardwalk T208, Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217, Australia
Opening Hours: Sun-Thurs, 11-11pm, Fri & Sat: 11-12am
8. Reward your body with farm to table food
Why not try a hand at cooking your own meal? Hop on down to one of the many farmers’ market during the weekends and purchase seasonal produce grown lovingly by the locals.
The Bundall Farmers’ Market is one of Gold Coast’s first and largest food markets! With over 80 different stalls selling organic fair-trade local produce, you’ll definitely find food good for the soul here
There are also various stalls that with ready prepared food. We’d recommend buying a variety of produce, heading to a nearby lake for a picnic and sharing the love with your loved ones.
Klook tip: As Australia has recently imposed a nationwide ban on single-use plastic bags, do remember to bring your own recyclable bag when visiting the market.
Bundall Farmers’ Market
Address: HOME OF THE ARTS, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217
Opening Hours: Every Sunday, 6-11.30am
Getting There: 10 mins drive from Gold Coast
9. Relive childhood camping days!
Many of us have childhood memories of camping under the stars. Well,who says you can’t do that as an adult! Disconnect from the city for a day and spend the night under the stars.
Take a drive out to Sunshine Coast or the Great Ocean Road and glamp in style. With numerous companies out there such as Glamping Days Hire Co. to help you setup your dream glamping retreat, you can be assured that you will not need to get your hands dirty.
Create new memories by the campfire before falling asleep under the stars. The next morning, you’ll even be gently awoken by the sound of waves and beautiful views of the sunrise. This is truly an experience that will take your mind off your stressors and allow you to appreciate the little things around you.
Klook tip: Do get in touch with the camping company as early as possible as they might take quite a while to respond, plus they will need some buffer time to prepare for any special requests you might have.
10. Have a chill picnic by the beach
The best way of relaxing is simply doing nothing. Lay on a beach and just enjoy the sun.
Take a morning out of your itinerary and picnic by the many amazing beaches such as Surfers Paradise, Sunshine Coast or Mermaid Beach. Be sure to pack some snacks and drinks along as there might not be food stalls around.
Surfers Paradise Beach
Address: 10 Beach Road, QLD 4217, Australia
Opening Hours: 24 hrs daily
Address:10 Electra Lane, Marcoola, QLD 4564, Australia
Opening Hours: 24 hrs daily
Address: Gold Coast Highway, Gold Coast Area, QLD 4218, Australia
Opening Hours: 24 hrs daily