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Experiences in Queensland

Home to Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns, and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland is among the most popular states in Australia. The reef, the world’s largest living organism, remains the biggest draw, and no experience in Queensland is complete without a closer inspection of this living expanse of ocean. It boasts hundreds of species of multicoloured sea life, including turtles and dolphins. Go snorkeling or scuba diving to become a part of this sensational section of Australian coastline.

Daintree National Park, about three hours by road north of Cairns, is an altogether-different but equally-stunning Queensland experience. It is easy to reach but is much less visited by tourists. The laidback landscape of tropical rainforests and mangrove swamps offers seclusion and the chance for exploration in equal measure.

Cairns itself is a thrill-seekers paradise, with scuba diving, sky diving and a host of other tours available along the beautiful stretch of coastline. Brisbane is an equally adventurous city, offering day and night climbing and abseiling at Kangaroo Point, the Story Bridge Adventure Climb with spectacular views of the city, and more sedate activities such as shopping and dining. Many tour operators here also offer boat cruises on the river, one of the more serene experiences in Queensland.

The best beach action in the state lies on the Gold Coast at the infamous Surfers Paradise, a destination that has become as much about its cafés, shopping and nightlife as it is about riding waves. For a more sedate beach experience, upmarket Noosa is a must-see getaway surrounded by unspoilt scenery.