Queensland Travel Guide
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Here at home we’ve always just assumed that there’s one and only Sunshine State—Florida. A quick Wikipedia search reveals that the nickname has also been used for New Mexico, California, and South Dakota, but we just guess those locations aren’t as good as marketing the fun and the sun.
Well upon our arrival down under we quickly learned there’s another Sunshine State, and now it's definitely our favorite—Queensland. We’re hardly experts on the region, as we pretty much limited our exploration to Far North Queensland and spots in and around Cairns. However, with the Great Barrier Reef just off shore and more national parks than one knows what to do with we can only assume the rest of the area only adds to the state’s awesomeness.
If you find yourself in Far North Queensland with a trip to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in mind, be sure not to overlook some of the area’s other gems—especially the beaches. One such detour is Palm Cove, as it’s only 30 minutes north of Cairns right off the Captain Cook Highway.
We figured the beaches in this area were going to be pretty darn nice, but we don’t think we realized they would be this nice. It’s not surprising that this spot was named one of the country’s cleanest—and therefore best—beaches only a few years ago. Palm trees line the shore, and there’s plenty of sand, sun, and surf to go around.
The main drag along Williams Esplanade is only about a kilometer in length, but it’s dotted with boutiques, restaurants, and even a place to grab a bag of foreign flavored chips and a soda—we got honey soy chicken.
February marks the birthday month for Australia's most famous conservationist, Steve Irwin. There might be no better way to celebrate the life of the zoo-keeper than to head off to his very own zoo, aptly named, Australia Zoo.
Located about 60 minutes north of Brisbane, the 100-acre park was originally started by Steve's parents as solely a croc and reptile park. In 1992, Steve took ownership of the zoo and he escalated it to become one of the best zoos in the country, featuring a unique 'Crocoseum' for putting on demonstrations for visitors with live crocodile hand-feedings and a full animal show.
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The mercury is beginning to drop and autumn is right around the corner. At the same time, things are doing the opposite and heating up Down Under. Soon, the sun will be shining with the southern summer in Australia
We come to you now from the Gold Coast of said continent. The name of the specific city: Surfers Paradise. With beach after beach as far as the eye can see, we understand why it's considered the playground for the nation. Sun, sand and surf are some of the more popular attractions for the region, but nature walks, wineries and paragliding are all part of the fun.
Queensland Travel / Plane Spotting / Hamilton Island / Great Barrier Reef / Jetstar / Virgin Australia / → All Tags
We admit to heading to the airport with a few minutes to spare so we can watch airplanes take off and land. Sometimes we get lucky and we spy a new aircraft of a foreign carrier or just one in a new paintjob. On a recent trip to the tropical island of Hamilton Island in Queensland, we took note of the proximity of the airport to...well, everything.
While chowing down on a seafood lunch, we watched a Boeing 737 so close we could practically see the whites of the passenger's eyes peering out. So naturally, we hopped in our golf cart there are no cars on the islandto get a closer look. This place sees some arrivals from Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar, with most flights arriving around the same time.
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Tucked away in the heart of sugar cane fields on a tropical island is a little gem for those preferring a jolt in the morning or a little buzz throughout the day. Yes, friendsit is coffee, and the place is called Whitsunday Gold Coffee Plantation.
The plantation, one of the largest down under, is located in a small rural town of Proserpine in north Queensland. While the majority of the land here is devoted to sugar cane fields, the founder of the plantation took a chance to grow coffee bushes and got lucky that the climate and soil was just right. The region is not best known for fields and fields of green leafy plants; it is considered the start of the Whitsunday Region which is the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef. So, naturally, it's far better known for its ocean than its land.
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We've shown you the carriage of Queensland Rail's luxury train The Sunlander. We've even spoken about the destination on our recent culinary experience on board the train. Now, we highlight the dining options while we traveled; we hope you aren't hungry.
The theme of the tour, Masterclass Experience, revolved around food. DUH. More specifically, the focus fell on local produce from Queensland, a state that plays host to perfect climates for growing tropical fruits and vegetables, wide open spaces for beef cattle, and coastal waters for plenty of seafood.
When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!
This time, we didn't have to go to a grocery store, since we right to the farm. On a recent trip up the eastern coast of Australia, our train stopped in a small town named Gympie. Our train maitre 'd handed us a glass of verdelho as we stepped onto the train platform to sample a local freshwater shellfish called red claw crayfish
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We admit, traveling can become a real pain the in the ass sometime. That's why when luxury travel becomes accessible to the masses, we get excited. We have already told you about what the people down under at Queensland Rail have been up to by creating unique travel journeys to scenic destinations. Now we can show you a bit more.
The 146-year old Queensland Rail is the largest regional rail system Australia offers, and it's one that opens up the opportunity to explore a part of the sprawling continent, without having to go and from airports. Specifically we mean the state of Queensland, called the fruit bowl of Australia.
Now, onboard the Sunlander! The train commenced services in 1953, so it maintains the romantic vintage air of train travel while incorporating the modern luxuries of today.
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There are very few things that can beat a tropical island. Today we came to you from a tropical island in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. More specifically, a group of islands called the Whitsundays. The exact island name is Hamilton Island, also known as the home of the Best Job in the World.
The group of islands were discovered by Captain Cook right after he "found" Australia. The infamous explorer's detour around the giant barrier reef led him smack dab into the middle of these palm-covered volcanic islands. The primitivity of the Whitsundays has long since disappeared, replaced by a whole crop of tasteful luxury resorts, but it's still very much paradise.
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In one of the most famous areas in Australia there sits a special little airport with a special little secret. Well, it's not so much a secret as it is a unique feature. We're talking about the Gold Coast Airport located just to the south of Surfers Paradise.
Gold Coast Airport, or OOL for you #avgeeks, is a normal medium-sized international airport that serves a good majority of major Australian cities and a list of short- to medium-haul international destinations. It's also a hub for Jetstar.
Towering over 1,000 feet above the most iconic beach in Australia and situated about an hour south of the third largest city, Brisbane, stands the Q1 Building. Back in 2005, when the building was completed, it was named the tallest residential building in the world but has since been shifted to number five. Not too shabby when you think about living 900 feet in the air.
Q1 regularly casts a shadow over Surfers Paradise beach and, with the newly opened SkyPoint observation deck, now lets up to 400 on-lookers scale that shadow daily. This tourist deck recently opened up to the public, affording 360-degree views from Brisbane to the Pacific Ocean.And, if looking at miniature beach goers sounds a bit boring, the deck offers a cafe and bar to nibble and sip while taking in the breathtaking views.