AUSTRALIA’S Sunshine State, Queensland, is one of the gems of a visit downunder. Here you’re guaranteed almost perpetual sunshine all year round, wonderful variable landscapes from the reef to the rainforest and outback, excellent fresh produce from the state’s many agricultural and horticultural industries and a laid-back ambiance to go with it all.
Perhaps the most famed natural wonder in Queensland is the 2,300km2 area of the Great Barrier Reef, an incredible coral expanse with islands, marine life, and a plethora of leisure activities by which to enjoy it. Stretching right along the northern part of the Queensland coast, visitors can enjoy ready access to it from cities and towns such as Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Airlie Beach.
The capital city of Brisbane in the state’s far south eastern corner is often the first or last port of call in Queensland, but it’s far more than just a hub to pass through. Apart from being a developing business and commercial centre, it has arguably the best weather and lifestyle of any Australian capital and is renowned for its outdoor lifestyle. This includes a plethora of parks, cycle and walking paths, and al fresco cafes and dining, many of which line the Brisbane River that snakes through the city. Brisbane also provides easy access to the beautiful sand islands of Moreton Bay, the dense rainforests of the Border Ranges and Scenic Rim and the wonderful coastal reaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Brisbane is also home to the world’s largest koala sanctuary at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
SEE ALSO: Five river journeys in Brisbane
In Queensland the beaches are never far away. Some of the most popular coastlines are the golden stretches of Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast that lie just an hour south of Brisbane. While renowned for its casinos, nightlife, theme parks and tourist scene it also has an array of sandy beaches and good surf breaks to enjoy. The Sunshine Coast to the north of Brisbane is the quieter cousin but is no less scenic with beautiful beaches and a verdant hinterland brimming with arty towns and cute cafes.
SEE ALSO: A night in the Gold Coast, Australia
Away from the coast there’s also plenty to see in regional Queensland, and a chance to really get to grips with the agriculture, farming communities and wild areas of the state that are almost untouched by other visitors. For natural wonders consider a visitor to the Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park in the gulf country for its deep gorges and limestone plateau where there’s excellent canoeing and camping. The Carnarvon Gorge near Roma is another excellent natural area renowned for its ancient aboriginal rock art and wonderful walking tracks, while Roma itself features the largest cattle selling centre in Australia. And if you venture a little further west, you can see a dinosaur stampede from 95 million years ago at Winton, also the home of the famed Australian ballad Waltzing Matilda.
Given all the wonders there are to see in Queensland it’s best not to rush your visit. If you’re travelling on business, or even just on holiday, and looking for a good compromise between the hostel scene and a hotel, apartment rentals can be an excellent choice.
Not only do they provide the comforts of home but they are more personal than a hotel, and can often work out quite a bit more affordable, particularly if you’re a family or large group of people.
Rentals tend to be quieter and offer plenty of privacy and as they include a kitchen you can cook your own food, and even entertain, which also helps to keep the costs down. In all they can often provide a better experience for your business or holiday trip. Here are three of the best serviced apartments to consider when visiting Queensland.
With two serviced apartments now operating in Brisbane, Meriton is the ideal choice for business or leisure travellers to the river city. Meriton offers 213 superb suites in their ultra-modern Adelaide Street complex. Everything here rings of style, comfort and modernity from the design to appliances and furnishings. The towering Herschel Street apartments, in Brisbane’s tallest building, have 260 luxurious suites and guarantee views you won’t find anywhere else. Both provide easy access to the business centre of Brisbane and provide an array of state of the art facilities such as a gym, lap pool, spa and sauna. Meriton also has apartments in Sydney and on the Gold Coast. Read the full profile …
Mantra’s two bedroom apartments cover both the Gold Coast beach and hinterland and are perfect for families seeking a bit of space in open plan living. The apartments all have their own kitchens and most have a laundry and indoor pool, air conditioning, balconies and tea and coffee making facilities. Most of the apartments are dotted around the central Esplanade area with ocean or hinterland views, providing ready access to all the major attractions of Surfers Paradise such as the Cavill Avenue shopping and dining precinct.
Located on Queensland’s beautiful Whitsunday Coast, the Airlie Apartments are centrally located in the resort town of Airlie Beach and just minutes walk from the beach. Airlie Apartments offers an array of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom accommodation that all have air conditioning and ceiling fans that are essential in the Queensland climate, plus self contained kitchen facilities for indoor dining and entertainment, and a bathroom with shower and toilet. All the apartments have either ocean or garden views and some are even located poolside. Airlie Beach provides visitors prime access to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.