Go epic in Queens­land

Ex­pe­ri­ence Aus­tralia’s great­est icons, best-kept se­crets, an­cient cul­tures and fresh­est cities in the glo­ri­ous Sun­shine State – guar­an­tee­ing an un­for­get­table ad­ven­ture for every vis­i­tor

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Queensland & Flight Centre / Promotional feature -

They call Queens­land the Sun­shine State – but that golden weather is just the start of it. This fa­bled stretch of Aus­tralia is so rich in nat­u­ral beauty and di­ver­sity, so lay­ered with ad­ven­ture and spec­ta­cle, that its rep­u­ta­tion among trav­ellers has be­come as vast as the state it­self. The twin pulls of the Sun­shine Coast and the Cairns & Great Bar­rier Reef re­gion make it the kind of place trav­ellers want – and need – to ex­plore for weeks.

It’s eas­ily vis­ited, too – a straight­for­ward flight into Bris­bane and out of Cairns, or vice versa. It’s even more stress-free if you book with a com­pany in the know. Flight Cen­tre’s decades of ex­pe­ri­ence means its Travel Ex­perts are able to tai­lor the per­fect Queens­land itin­er­ary for trav­ellers, com­bin­ing the very best of what makes the state such an ir­re­sistible prospect – from those head­line des­ti­na­tions to the se­cret spots that aren’t on most peo­ples’ radar yet.

The lovely prob­lem for trav­ellers is that there are op­tions for un­for­get­table travel ex­pe­ri­ences at every turn. The Sun­shine Coast re­mains the quin­tes­sen­tial Aus­tralian coast ex­pe­ri­ence – a beach for every vis­i­tor’s needs, whether sun, surf, cul­ture or cui­sine.

Mean­while the Great Bar­rier Reef is the jewel in the east coast’s crown. Stretch­ing along the coast for some 2,300km, the planet’s largest co­ral reef sys­tem is a bona fide won­der of the world. As many as 10% of the world’s fish species in­habit its wa­ters, as well as 30 species of whales and dol­phins. Both chilled-out, mul­ti­cul­tural Cairns – the un­of­fi­cial cap­i­tal of Trop­i­cal North Queens­land – and laid-back Port Dou­glas serve as easy, in­stant ac­cess points for vis­i­tors seek­ing to sink into this realm of shim­mer­ing is­lands, seal­ife-rich beds and thrilling ac­tiv­i­ties.

Whether you’re un­der­wa­ter in worl­drenowned dive sites, in­ter­act­ing with minke whales in the wa­ter (an ex­pe­ri­ence unique to Trop­i­cal North Queens­land), taking a scenic flight above the seascape, strap­ping on a mask and snorkel, or just kick­ing back with a cold beer and a sun­set beach bar­be­cue, you’ll soon slip un­der the spell of the place.

Luck­ily for vis­i­tors, the ac­com­mo­da­tion matches the spec­tac­u­lar land­scape, with stays rang­ing from se­cluded Silky Oaks Lodge to the beach­front eco-re­treat of Thala Beach Na­ture Re­serve. It’s all part of an ethos about cre­at­ing un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ences, and that’s be­fore you get to the In­sta­grammable sand cays, peer­less ma­rine life – which in­cludes the likes of ma­rine tur­tles and manta rays – or thrilling coastal trop­ics.

Of course, it’s hard to over­state how im­pres­sive the snorkelling and div­ing op­tions are; how­ever, above the waves the re­gion’s blend of wa­ters, white sands and lush veg­e­ta­tion – and the myr­iad ways to ex­plore them – are every bit as de­serv­ing of your time. So breathe deep, loosen those shoul­ders and give the place as much time as you can: the ul­ti­mate Aus­tralian ad­ven­ture vir­tu­ally de­mands it.

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