马里巴岛的一些亮点是众多咖啡种植园和毗邻的商店。 Coffeeworks甚至对全世界的咖啡历史都有着浓厚的兴趣。 There is also a distillery just south that has won numerous awards for its Gins and Rums. With bonus peacocks it is well worth a visit but designate a driver first.
Granite Gorge is a great place to visit and camp for the weekend. It can become very crowded in the peak seasons. If you’re lucky and in Mareeba, for July you can check out the rodeo that is held every year. There is also a wheelbarrow race that takes place annually. Recreating the original miner’s route to Chilligoe.
Located just south of Mareeba this part of Queensland could be called the bread basket of Cairns and surrounding areas. Volcanic soil with plenty of great weather it is here that a lot of the produce in thte area is grown. From beef right down to lettuce it can be found here. But that is only a small part of Atherton.
The tablelands has lots to offer and it is diverse in what it offers from adventure to culture to food and drink. These are just some of things you could do from the tablelands. Some of them you could do as a day trip from Cairns but staying up here would give you more time.
Milaa Milaa Falls
Wineries, chocolate, wine and coffee
Herberton Historic Village
Herberton Mining Museum
Tarzali Lakes where if you’re lucky you’ll a platypus or two.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef stretches from Bundaberg in the Southern QLD all the way up to the tip of Cape York. 2300 km long and with 2900 individual reefs and 800 islands it is the largest living coral system in the world.
Most people access the GBR, as it is also known from far north Queensland. Cairns and Port Douglas being the most well known and accessible areas. It helps that it is extremely close to shore here with a high concentration of good reefs.
Live aboard trips also leave from Cairns and head north. Some of the reef north up towards Lizard Island is spectacular and very isolated and pristine. Back towards Cairns and Port Douglas you can catch helicopters out to the reef and quite a few have pontoons that they pull up to.
A lovely seaside village made famous after Christoper Skase built the Sheraton Mirage back in the 1980s. Since then it has grown significantly and become a world class tourist destination.
With a huge palmed fringed sandy beach it is the perfect place for a relaxing or active holiday.
Restaurants and cafes line the main street and side streets with accommodation suited for every level. From backpacker hostels and campsites to 5 star luxury resorts, you’ll find all kinds of accommodation in Port Douglas.
From Port, as the locals call it you can explore Mossman Gorge, the Daintree River and rainforest and of course the reef. Further afield you can access the tablelands on day trips and even get as far as Cooktown if you don’t mind a long day in the car.
Check out our post on trips to The Great Barrier Reef, for snorkelling or scuba diving, from Port Douglas Queensland
Daintree village is a small village located on the southern side of the Daintree River. It houses a few shops and restaurant and crocodile viewing tours leave from here. If you have time it is worth popping in and having a look.
Just south of the village there is a turn to the right which will take you to the ferry that takes cars and buses across the Daintree River into the Daintree Rainforest which is more what people mean when they talk about the Daintree.
It is approximately 38 km on narrow winding roads to get to Emmagen Creek which is where you’ll need a 4wd to continue. Along the way you’ll pass through rainforest and beaches and even tea plantations. Give yourself a good day up here to explore the area.
If you want you can even stay in The Daintree. There are camping options, backpacker hostels, and boutique hotels all offering great experiences. If you get time, try and climb Thorton Peak located behind Thornton beach. We have a full post on visiting The Daintree Rainforest here.
As the name suggests this town held an important part in captain Cook’s voyage along the northern Australia coast. It was here that having run aground on the reef, he had to pull in and repair his ship, the Endeavour.
Endeavour River was named by Cook after his ship but the town was just called Cook’s Town.
It would be 50 years after Cook landed that Europeans came back. And not until over 100 years later when the Palmer River gold rush started that it became Cooktown in 1874. Along with Maytown it became a thriving town with a huge port where trade and people came and went from around the world.
Located on the only road that heads north to Cape York Laura has seen aboriginal people living here for over 50000 years. Laura holds the world’s largest collection of prehistoric rock art in the world. Some of which you can still see today as it is open to the public.
There is a sealed road from Cairns and Cooktown to Laura although north of Laura the road becomes a mix of sealed and dirt. It is from Laura that you can head east to Lakefield National Park.
There is Quinkan Rock Art and Aborignial musuem here which is well worth a visit. The Laura festival is also held here every two years and includes all the aboriginal tribes from across the Cape and further south.
Lakefield National Park
Lakefield is the second largest National park in QLD and covers 537,000 ha. Access is either from the northern or southern end and there is just one dirt road that runs through the park. During the wet season it is closed as the road becomes impassable.
With over 100 permanent watering holes through out the park it is perfect for both fishing and bird watching. Just remember crocodiles could be anywhere as during the floods of the wet season they move around and can become trapped well inland from the coast.
Giant termite mounds called Cathedral Mounds litter the landscape with smaller magnetic mounds scattered among or near them. As the name suggests the magnetic hills point north/south with their thin edge allowing the mound to regulate its temperature all day long.
There are two campsites with toilets and showers in the park and numerous bush camps where you’ll need to be self sufficient. During holidays and peak season the park gets very busy so book early. Camp permits are compulsory before you stay and telephone coverage is patchy at best and non existent for many carriers including optus.
Cape York – The Tip
The furthest northernmost park of Australia’s mainland is the tip of Cape York. Located just north of Bamaga it is over 1000 km from Cairns on both sealed and unsealed roads that vary in degrees of roadworthy state. The ruts and corrugations could shake a car to pieces at times.
You’ll have to walk the last part to the tip of Cape York which is under a km from the car park. There is a lot to see and do on the drive up to the tip including Fruitbat Falls and the Jardine River crossing.
Phone coverage is spotty to non-existent and there are large patches of empty road and bush. Be prepared and always keep your car fully fueled and with enough water for all occupants.
Driving on the dusty roads can be challenging and sharing the road with roadtrains even more so. Be careful.
There are a few towns to stay in as you head north and plenty of campsites along the way. Depending on whether you do the old telegraph track or pennisular development road will set how long it takes to get to the tip. Most people will spend a week at least heading north but it can be done from Cairns in two days if you want some long days in the car.
Heading home people tend to go faster and take less time. There are also more accidents because of this.
A mining town in the remote inland area Queensland, Mount Isa only came into existence due to the large mining deposits found here. The Isa is one of the most productive single mines in the world today.
As you can imagine, the biggest thing to see in Isa is the mine and related musuem. But if you fancy a walk or drive up then you can get a view across the whole area from Telstra Hill.
Mount Isa is just under 700 km east of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory and there is just one road. With few options along the road, make sure you’re self-sufficient with fuel and water before starting out.
From Tennant Creek you can either head north to Darwin or south to Adelaide via Alice Springs.
Heading east from Mt Isa you can catch a train over 1000 km to Townsville twice a week or drive along the single road. Again there isn’t much along the road so be fuel and water self-sufficient.
Queensland Bucket List – Staycation Tips
As luck would have it, we already have a full post stuffed with tips on how to not break the bank while holidaying in Queensland. Yes, this part of the world may be expensive, but you probably just saved yourselves a lot of money by not hopping on a flight to Bali. Maybe your dollar can stretch to a few treats.
Find The Best Tips On How To Save Money On Your Queensland Holiday Here. Likewise you can read some General Staycation Tips here.
Activities For Your Queensland Bucket List
Queensland is a huge state and filled with adventure and adrenaline activities. All of the activities listed below are available in Queensland, so if you’re done with places to visit in Queensland you can try some adrenaline adventures instead. Where appropriate, we’ve added links for further information.
White Water Rafting
Hot Air Ballooning
Snorkelling on The Great Barrier Reef
Sail the Whitsundays
4 Wheel Driving on Fraser Island
4 Wheel Drive to “The Tip”
Scuba Diving Reefs and Wrecks
Sand Dune Surfing
Wakeboarding & Water Skiing
SUP Paddle Boarding
We hope you found this Queensland bucket list of amazing, fun, cool and interesting places to visit in Queensland Australia useful. Enjoy your Aussie staycation, weekend break, roadtrip or holiday. If you know of any other awesome places that should be on our list, pop them in the comments and we’ll do our very best to visit, check them out and get them on our Queensland travel blog.