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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Five Adventurous Ways to Explore Queensland Without Spending Hours on the Road

Don't feel like driving? There are plenty of other ways to explore the Sunshine State, from cruises to beautiful nature walks.
By Tamille Head
March 25, 2021
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By Tamille Head
March 25, 2021
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in partnership with

With international travel on the back burner for the foreseeable future, we're really leaning into the idea of holidaying a lot closer to home this year. With its pristine beaches, idyllic islands and lush rainforests, Queensland has much to offer — and there's never been a better excuse to explore it. But let's face it, the state is huge. If the thought of spending hours driving doesn't exactly sound like a holiday, why not take advantage of the myriad other ways to explore the Sunshine State?

We've teamed up with P&O Cruises to get you out from behind the wheel and find your inner adventurer. Because life's too short to spend hours in the car. 

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Tourism and Events Queensland

GO ON A WHALE WATCHING TOUR

Summer might be over, but things are starting to heat up in Queensland in other ways. From autumn through to spring, humpback whales migrate to the Queensland coast, providing locals and visitors with ample opportunity to catch a rare glimpse of the majestic mammals. There are plenty of dedicated whale watching tours that operate from Brisbane as well as from the Gold Coast, Hervey Bay, The Whitsundays and the Tropical North.

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Manta Ray Bay, Tourism and Events Queensland

HIRE A BOAT AND EXPLORE THE STUNNING WHITSUNDAYS

Prefer to choose your own adventure? The islands off the North Queensland coast are definitely having a moment right now — you've probably seen them popping up all over your Instagram feed. Just a quick one-and-a-half hour flight from Brisbane, The Whitsundays is home to a whopping 74 tropical islands. And with so many to choose from, why not hire a boat so you can visit as many as you can? Take your pick from a number of operators offering charter vessels to explore the region at your leisure. While Hamilton, Hayman and Daydream are the most notable of the islands, and a great spot to base yourself, lesser-known gems like Haslewood and Hook Islands are definitely worth stop.

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SET SAIL ON A P&O CRUISE

Always wanted to get better acquainted with the Great Barrier Reef? P&O's Barrier Reef Discovery cruise (from $749 per person) is the best way to do just that. The week-long adventure, which begins and ends in Brisbane, provides the perfect launching pad to discover our very own world-famous natural wonder, with stops at Airlie Beach, Cairns and Willis Island along the way. While onboard, you can enjoy the full suite of P&O's A-class amenities, including plush accommodation, seriously good dining options and indulgent spa treatments.

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Tamborine National Park, Tourism and Events Queensland

TAKE A STROLL THROUGH ONE OF OUR MANY NATIONAL PARKS

We're blessed with beautiful natural landscapes all over Australia, but we Queenslanders are particularly lucky. Brisbane itself is surrounded by national parks, each one more beautiful than the next. Gheebulum Coonungai (Moreton Island) National Park is teeming with sweeping views of the Coral Sea, as well as sandy beaches, clear waters and wild marine life. If lush rainforest is more your scene, Lamington National Park should be right up your alley, with its ancient treescapes, majestic waterfalls and over 160 kilometres of walking trails. Elsewhere, Tamborine National Park, Queensland's first national park, offers relatively easy walking trails and a diverse range of wildlife in its natural habitat.

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Tangalooma Wrecks, Tourism and Events Queensland

SNORKEL AMONG SHIPWRECKS AT TANGALOOMA

It sounds like something out of a Disney movie — 15 shipwrecks anchored to the bottom of the ocean floor, ready to be explored. Set amongst the national and marine parks of beautiful Moreton Island, Tangalooma is an adventure seeker's playground. In addition to the underwater vessels, a trip to Tangalooma can include feeding dolphins at dusk, quad biking sand dunes and parasailing over crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches. Getting there couldn't be more simple — it's just a 75-minute ferry ride from Brisbane.

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For more information about P&O Cruises, head to the company's website.

Top image: Whitsundays Coral Beach, Gareth McGuigan

Published on March 25, 2021 by Tamille Head

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