The 8 Best Places to Visit in Queensland You Should Check Off Your Bucket List

Klook Team
Klook Team
5 Oct 2021
Image credits: @jamesvodicka from @tropicalnorthqueensland, @greatbarrierreefaustralia, and @matt_laycock from @sailingwhitsundays

Image credits: @jamesvodicka from @tropicalnorthqueensland, @greatbarrierreefaustralia, and @matt_laycock from @sailingwhitsundays

Ever wondered why Queensland is called the Sunshine State? Aside from the fact that it gets 300 days of sun on average (can you imagine!), its abundance of unique and fun activities will surely keep your holidays brighter than any other vacation!
Searching where to visit in Queensland depends on what kind of traveller you are. From golden shores to vibrant rainforests, you will never run out of unique places to visit in Queensland. Each spot will show you a different side of this tropical paradise!
At the majestic Whitsundays and the Gold Coast, you can spend hours getting sun-soaked by the beach. If you’re into scuba diving and snorkelling, the Great Barrier Reef can be your Queensland destinationBrisbane is perfect for those looking for big city amenities with a local town's warmth and charm. Into the wilderness and 4WD adventures? Hear Fraser Island and Daintree Rainforest calling your name. 
Keen on spending the holidays in this sunny state? Here are the 8 best places to visit in Queensland for every kind of traveller:
  1. The Great Barrier Reef
  2. Brisbane
  3. Gold Coast
  4. Whitsundays
  5. Cairns
  6. Sunshine Coast
  7. Fraser Island
  8. Daintree Rainforest

1. The Great Barrier Reef

Explore the Great Barrier Reef! Image Credits: @greatbarrierreefaustralia
Explore the Great Barrier Reef! Image Credits: @greatbarrierreefaustralia
With thousands of marine species and technicolour coral cays, the Great Barrier Reef is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Queensland. To have your own share of fun in the World Heritage Site, you can access the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns, Port Douglas, and Airlie Beach.
This diving tour takes you to two exclusive reef sites!
This diving tour takes you to two exclusive reef sites!
If you’re coming from Cairns, you can quickly join this full-day diving tour that lets you explore two exclusive reef sites. Start your cruise aboard a 35-metre superyacht and enjoy up to 5 hours of reef time. You can choose to snorkel or participate in an intro scuba diving lesson that will teach you the basic skills to dive down to 12 metres.
Once you’ve had your fill of vitamin sea, a delicious barbecue lunch prepared by a chef awaits you! You can also enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and light snacks on the return trip back to the terminal. 

2. Brisbane

Be inspired as you conquer Flinders Peak near Brisbane! Image Credits: @camilla_coaldrake from @visitbrisbane
Be inspired as you conquer Flinders Peak near Brisbane! Image Credits: @camilla_coaldrake from @visitbrisbane
Queensland’s capital Brisbane offers a more relaxed pace for those who still want to enjoy big-city attractions. It is also a great starting point for those still deciding their preferred places to visit while in Queensland. While you’re there, you can enjoy leisurely strolls along its parks, gardens, and animal sanctuaries, or take a cruise along the Brisbane River.
One thing you shouldn’t miss out on is this Story Bridge Adventure Climb experience. You don’t need to have previous climbing experience to conquer this one.
All smiles when you conquer Story Bridge! Image credits: @tiago_helloaustralia
All smiles when you conquer Story Bridge! Image credits: @tiago_helloaustralia
Story Bridge is entirely safe and can easily be climbed by people of all ages and fitness levels. Choose which time of the day works best for your 2-hour climb. You’ll be taught the basics of climbing and provided with safety gear before you start your journey. On the way up, an expert guide will let you in on Brisbane secrets that most residents don’t even know! 
Once you’re up there, you’ll realise why Brisbane is one of the best places to visit in Queensland. Prepare to have your breath taken away by the panoramic view of the entire city that is stunning no matter what time of day it is. Their most popular climb is the Twilight Climb, where you can watch the city lights come to life as the sun sets on the horizon.

3. Gold Coast

Attempt a hang 10 while you’re in Gold Coast! Image credits: @tower20one from @goldcoast
Attempt a hang 10 while you’re in Gold Coast! Image credits: @tower20one from @goldcoast
Not far away from Brisbane is the Gold Coast, an idyllic tropical haven. It’s one of the most unique places to visit in Queensland, where the beach and forest make an unexpected pair! 
Staying in the city centre will make you feel as though you're transported to a tropical Las Vegas. Here you can visit its wide array of seaside clubs, bars, and restaurants where you can enjoy fine plates of seafood and wine. Meanwhile, a drive to Gondwana Rainforest brings you to a different side of the Gold Coast with its majestic rock formations and mesmerising waterfalls. 
Kids will definitely love Dreamworld! Image credits: @ashleyboothphotography
Kids will definitely love Dreamworld! Image credits: @ashleyboothphotography
If you’re in Gold Coast for the thrill, head over to Dreamworld, where exhilarating rides, wildlife encounters, and a fun water park are all in one place! You can choose a 1-day entry ticket to Dreamworld to enjoy the Pandamonium or Buzz Saw to your heart’s content, or go for a 3-day pass that lets you in on all the best things to do in the theme park!

4. Whitsundays

Awe-inspiring coastal views await you at Hill Inlet Lookout! Image credits: @matt_laycock from @sailingwhitsundays
Awe-inspiring coastal views await you at Hill Inlet Lookout! Image credits: @matt_laycock from @sailingwhitsundays
Still not sure where to visit while in Queensland? Whitsundays’ 74 Islands might do the trick! 
Breathtaking coastal views and pearly white sands await you in Whitehaven Beach at Whitsunday Island; luxury resorts and world-class golf courses in Hamilton Island; vibrant native flora and fauna in Long Island; and exciting water facilities and a relaxing spa in Daydream Island!
Paradise takes form in Whitehaven Beach! Image credits: @marawyrs
Paradise takes form in Whitehaven Beach! Image credits: @marawyrs
This half-day tour cruise will show you the best Whitsundays’ 74 Island Wonders plus free time to roam around Australia's most photographed beach: Whitehaven Beach!
Hop aboard a luxurious and comfortable cruise vessel departing from either Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island while listening to the local insiders commentary provided by a friendly skipper en route to the island. Once you’ve landed, you can spend hours exploring the 7-kilometre stretch of pristine shores and aquamarine waters! 

5. Cairns

What’s not to love about Cairns? Image credits: @ashleydobson from @cairnstourism
What’s not to love about Cairns? Image credits: @ashleydobson from @cairnstourism
A list of the best places to visit in Queensland isn’t complete without mentioning Cairns, a well-loved holiday destination and Australia’s tropical capital. Cairns paints a picturesque scene with its laid back vibe and stunning stretch of beach.
Choo choo! Climb aboard Kuranda Scenic Railway! Image credits: @jamesvodicka from @tropicalnorthqueensland
Choo choo! Climb aboard Kuranda Scenic Railway! Image credits: @jamesvodicka from @tropicalnorthqueensland
Aside from being the doorway to the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is also one of the iconic Kuranda Scenic Railway stops! The rail journey winds through Cairns all the way to Kuranda, a charming rainforest village. Along the way, you can soak in breathtaking nature views as you pass through surrounding mountains and waterfalls and into the magnificent Barron Gorge!
Your journey comes with an excellent local commentary and a guidebook that includes all essential facts and tidbits about the history of the railway and Kuranda.

6. Sunshine Coast

You certainly can’t resist a dip at Noosa Fairy Pools! Image credits: @squashnsquats
You certainly can’t resist a dip at Noosa Fairy Pools! Image credits: @squashnsquats
The Sunshine Coast is one of the best places to visit in Queensland for people who absolutely adore wildlife! Animal lovers will surely have a blast in this sunny region with its dog-friendly beaches like Currimundi Beach and the historic Australia Zoo. You can extend the nature immersion by bushwalking along Mount Coolum or strawberry-picking in Palmview!
 Follow the Irwin family and learn about Australia Zoo’s efforts to protect wildlife. Image credits: @australiazoo
Follow the Irwin family and learn about Australia Zoo’s efforts to protect wildlife. Image credits: @australiazoo
Speaking of Australia Zoo, did you know you can book a general admission ticket right here on Klook?
Wander along 700 acres of parkland and experience close encounters with local birds and reptiles. You can even hand-feed a giraffe or a kangaroo! With a ticket, you’ll get a sneak peek at the zoo’s in-house Wildlife Hospital dedicated to treating sick and injured native animals.
Other services you can enjoy include entry to Laughing Frog Waterpark, free teacup and hop-on-hop-off Safari Shuttle rides, and daily shows in the Crocoseum!

7. Fraser Island

Spend a day out in the sun at Fraser Island! Image credits: @monicabrychova
Spend a day out in the sun at Fraser Island! Image credits: @monicabrychova
Venture into Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world. Did you know that it is one of the most unique places to visit in Queensland? Its rainforest grows on the sand! 
Head over to 75 Mile Beach, where you can bask under the sun, swim in crystal clear water in Lake McKenzie, or sail down the Sand Dunes located east of the island!
Stop by Maheno Shipwreck during your Fraser Island tour! Image credits: @victorcamposf
Stop by Maheno Shipwreck during your Fraser Island tour! Image credits: @victorcamposf
Unsure which Fraser Island to visit first? Personalise your day tour around the sandy island on a 4WD instead
Your itinerary is up to you. But don’t worry, a personal guide will be there to help you make the most out of your chosen places. All you have to do is sit back on a comfy 4WD vehicle that fits up to 4 people and explore the island at your own pace!

8. Daintree Rainforest

Enjoy the best of both worlds at Daintree Rainforest! Image credits: @mycolourfulworld_ from @10travlr
Enjoy the best of both worlds at Daintree Rainforest! Image credits: @mycolourfulworld_ from @10travlr
Stuck choosing between the beach or the rainforest? Daintree Rainforest gives you the best of both worlds. Daintree Rainforest is one of the world’s oldest rainforests and is one of the well-loved places to visit when in Queensland. Not only will you get miles of vibrant greenery, you’ll also encounter the most unique wildlife species in the world, like bearded dragons and the famous Saltwater Crocs!
One of Daintree Rainforest’s main attractions is the Mossman Gorge, which is home to local flora and fauna. The other is Cape Tribulation, where you can stroll barefoot along the unspoiled beach. 
Mossman Gorge is a magical sight to behold! Image credits: @thegingerwanderlust from @tropicalnorthqueensland
Mossman Gorge is a magical sight to behold! Image credits: @thegingerwanderlust from @tropicalnorthqueensland
If Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation, and Mossman Gorge are on your bucket list of places to visit in Queensland, we highly recommend this day tour from Cairns!
Make sure to wear your trusty shoes because your day is filled with exciting activities. Your tour starts with a traditional smoke ceremony of the Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal People at Mossman Gorge, then a meet-and-greet with crocs at a Crocodile and Wildlife Cruise. Afterwards, you can continue the nature immersion with a guided Rainforest walk at Marrdja Boardwalk before stopping at Daintree Ice Cream Company for a refreshing scoop!