Queensland - Cities and locations


Queensland is the most popular state in Australia. The capital of Queensland is Brisbane and more than one third of the people in the state live there.

More about Queensland in Australia

Brisbane - Around Brisbane

Brisbane - Around Brisbane

Moreton Bay

At the mouth of the Brisbane River is the Moreton Bay. It is reckoned to have some 365 islands. The first white settlement in Queensland was Redcliffe, 35 km north of city. Aboriginal people called it Humpy bong (Dead Houses).

Most popular for its great beaches and surfing is North Stradbroke. At Tangalooma on Moreton Island you can participate the dolphin feeding. The most inviting coastal suburb is Manly, with its large marina and pleasant cafés. It has actually the largest marina in the southern hemisphere after Fremantle in Western Australia.

There are yacht races out in the bay every Wednesday and many of the captains take guests on board free of charge. You can ask about that at one of the Yacht Clubs along the waterfront. The “Moreton Bay Lodge” offer a night in a dorm for A$ 19.

North Stradbroke Island

The quit town of Cleveland is the main access point for North Stradbroke Island. It’s a 30-minute ferry ride to this lovely sand island, popularly known as Straddie. There are excellent surf beaches and some good places to stay and eat. A playground for 4WD drivers is on the wild south eastern coast, for example the “Eighteen Mile Beach”.

Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout are three small settlements on the island, all on the northern end. The nicest place to stay is Point Lookout, on the main surf beach. “Blue Lake”, nearby Dunwich, is reached by a sandy 4WD track. There is a pleasant 2,7 km walking trail through the forest and this freshwater lake is a beautiful spot for swim. This island is also famous for sand surfing, fishing and snorkelling. The “Straddie Hostel” offers a night in a dorm for A$17 and the “Stradbroke Island Guesthouse” for A$ 22.

Moreton Island

Moreton Island is north of Stradbroke and comes a close second to Fraser Island for excellent sand diving and wilderness.

There are a few rocky sand headlands and the highest coastal sand hill in the world, the Mt Tempest towering to 280m. The birdlife on this island is prolific and there is a very old lighthouse on the northern tip, built in 1857. There are also a number of artificial shipwrecks off the west coast, like the “Tangalooma Wrecks”, which provide good snorkelling and diving. Moreton Island has no paved roads, but you can drive the 4 WD vehicles.

You can join the wild-dolphin-feeding in Tangalooma, every day around sunset. Bulwer, Cowan Cowan and Kooringal are the other settlements on Moreton Island. The “Big and Little Sand Hills” are on the southern end of the island.

St. Helena Island

St Helena Island was a high-security prison until 1932. This little island is 6km from the mouth of the Brisbane River and now a national park. You can see the remains of several prison buildings and parts of Brisbane’s first tramway (built in 1884) on the prison island tour.


Bundaberg has a coral-fringed coast and fields of waving sugarcane. The “hummock” is the only hill in this flat landscape. The sugarcane is the source of the famous Bundy rum.

There were some bad press in recent years because of the murder of British Backpacker Caroline Stuttle, but this typical Australian country town still attracts travellers looking for work from avocado to zucchini – picking.

You can watch the turtles nearby Mon Repos or snorkel off Lady Musgrave Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef. You can sleep in the “Bundaberg Centre Backpackers & Travellers Lodge” and in the “City Centre Backpackers”. The costs for a night in a dorm are between A$ 19-21.


Cairns is lain up north on the east coast and it plays both a tourism and business key role in Australia. In 2003 Cairns was given enough cosmetic surgery to rival the population of Hollywood.

Cairns is the destination from where you can start your Australian outback tour.


Gladstone’s waterfront industries on the Capricorn Coast are a prime example why the Great Barrier Reef is dying. There is a little bit beauty between all the industry buildings. The most visitors are here on business or in transit to Heron Island. 7km south of the city are the “Tondoon Botanic Gardens” and a nice beach is at Tannum Sands, 20km south of Gladstone. The “Gladstone Backpackers” offers a night in a dorm for A$ 22.


With its once-rich gold Gympie likes to promote itself as the “town that saved Queensland”. It’s lain on the Fraser Coast and there is the weeklong “Gold Rush Festival” every October.

Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay is on the Fraser Coast and a popular pensioner’s paradise and holiday destination for Queensland families. The 10km of sand stretching from the beautiful suburb of Point Vernon to the overcrowded areas of Pialba, Scarness, Torquay and Urangan offers plenty of opportunity for swimming, fishing and staring at Fraser Island across the water. Hervey Bay is the gateway to the island, because it has the most developed touristic infrastructure for ferrying people across.

There is the possibility to fly to Lady Elliot Island and you can go whale/dolphin-watching in winter and autumn. The “Reef World” aquarium offers a chance for visitors to swim with lemon, whaler and other non-predatory sharks. It has also fish, coral and touch tanks where you can pet turtles and stingrays. High recommended for staying overnight are “A1 Fraser Roving” with A$ 18 per night and dorm and the “Colonial Log Cabins” with pool offer a night in a dorm for A$ 20. Popular for its party atmosphere is the “Koala Beach Resort” with A$ 19 per night and dorm.


Mackay is on the Whitsunday Coast and is very pretty. It has a vibrant café and bar scene among its lush, palm-lined streets. Very popular is the rainbow lorikeets chatter at sunset time. You’ll need a car to make terrific back-to-bush experience, scenery and walks. West of town are the “Pioneer Valley” and “Eungella National park”, “Brampton” and “Carlisle Islands” are up north. The world’s largest sugar-loading terminal boasts Port Mackay.

The best swimming, close to town, is on “Harbour Beach”. A glorious stretch for swimming and long walks is “Bucasia Beach” further north. For staying overnight is the “YHA Larrikin Lodge” with A$ 17 per night and dorm recommended.


Maroochy is a lively town on the Sunshine Coast with lovely beaches. To see it at the best you should arrive in low season and during the week. The “Underwater World” is the largest oceanarium in the southern hemisphere, featuring an impressive shark tunnel, plus seal shows. The “Scuba World” offers dives with the Underwater World sharks and coral dives off the coast. The “Cotton Tree Beachhouse”, “Palace Backpackers Mooloolaba” and “Maroochydore YHA Backpackers” offers a night in a dorm for A$ 19-21.


Maryborough is on the Fraser Coast and its best attraction is its National-Trust-classified “Brannan & Geraghty’s Store”. It’s a historic general store since 1871 and has been preserved as a museum. There is nothing more to tell about Maryborough.

Mount Isa

Mount Isa is an authentic Outback town of striking beauty, with stark red ridges and olive-green clumps of Spinifex. There is a mine rich in copper, silver, lead and zinc west of town. The name “Mt Isa” is coming from the Western Australia goldfield “Mt Ida”. The former US Open tennis champion Pat Raffer is born in Mt Isa. Spectacular views of the mine and town are possible at the “City Lookout”, off Hilary St. You can also visit the “Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitors Centre” and the “School of the Air”, which teaches its lessons per radio to the isolated children in the Outback.

A popular recreation area is the “Lake Moondarra”, 16km north of town. On the second weekend in August is the Mt Isa’s annual rodeo. The “Travellers Haven” offers a night in a dorm for A$ 18.


Noosa is a popular surfing spot on the Sunshine Coast with a string of fine breaks around an unspoilt national park. It became one of Australia’s most exclusive resorts and major foodies’ mecca. All the stunning beaches are easy to reach. The name noosa comes from a group of communities around the mouth of Noosa River. Most popular there are the Noosa Heads.

Uphill from there is Noosa Junction. The “Noosa National Park” has fine walks, great coastal scenery and popular bays for surfing. “Alexandria Bay” has the best sand and is also an informal nudist beach. You can get a beautiful panorama view at the “Laguna Lookout”. For staying overnight are the “YHA Halse Lodge”, the “Koala Beach Resort” and the “Coast Bella” recommended. The cost per night and dorm are between A$ 20-25.


Rockhampton is a straight-talking, true-blue Aussie town on the Capricorn Coast. You should go there, if you want to get the real, unburnished Australia. “Rocky” is an administrative and educational centre on the topic of Capricorn. There are a lot of students, graduating students and other merry makers. The “Rockhampton’s Botanic Gardens” are in the city’s south with a small but interesting zoo and the best is, the admission is free.

The “Dreamtime Cultural Centre” is one of the largest Queensland displays of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. You can sleep in the “Downtown Backpackers” or in the “Rockhampton City YHA” for A$ 19 and A$ 23 per night and dorm.

Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is on the Gold Coast and if you love party nights and lazy days, you’re almost guaranteed to have a good time here. The little surf town turned into a beachfront urban jungle, not only because of the popularity of surfers, but also because of the shopping and nightlife.


Toowoomba is lain in Darling Downs on the edge of the Great Dividing Range. You can get breathtaking views of the Lockyer Valley 700m below. It has a temperate climate and is popular for the healthy mountain air. Toowoomba is a renowned garden city with some stunning view points at “Picnic Point”.


Townsville is on the tropic north coast and the Great Barrier Reef lies two hours east. The city is known for its gigantic inland agricultural and mining regions, for resident army boys and for its students. There is a lively esplanade and thriving nightlife. Only a 20-minute boat trip away is the gorgeous “Magnetic Island” you shouldn’t miss. A must to see is the “Reef HQ”, a living coral reef aquarium, with marine beasties and beauties. A vibrant beachfront esplanade is “The Strand” and at its top end is the enormous artificial “Coral Memorial Rockpool”, the admission is free.

The “Australian Institute of Marine Science” is a fascinating marine-research facility on “Cape Ferguson” that conducts free, two hour tours. Australia’s most famous shipwreck is probably “Pandora”, which you can visit in the “Museum of Tropical Queensland”. Information about the shipwreck “Yongala” are in the “Maritime Museum”.

Diving and snorkelling are very popular here and the most stunning and spooky thing is the “Yongala” shipwreck. There are seriously scary White-Water-Raftings on the “Tully River” or else the Coral Sea Skydiving. You can stay for overnight in the “Civic Guest House”, the “Globetrotter Hostel”, the “Reef Lodge” and the “Townsville Transit Centre Backpackers”. The costs are between A$ 17-20 per night and dorm.


Townsville is a cosmopolitan city, in the heart of the tropics with the Great Barrier Reef on its doorstep.

Local features include the world renowned Reef HQ, the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium, the Billabong Sanctuary where you can learn about Australia’s native wildlife, and the Brolga Dreaming Aboriginal Centre.

The rocky granite headlands of Magnetic Island merge with 23 bays and beaches where you can explore surrounding coral reefs, tropical fish and marine life.

Magnetic Island is also home to Northern Australia’s largest colony of koalas living in
the wild.


Warwick is in Darling Downs, 162km southwest of Brisbane. It’s a good stopping place with some parks like the “Jubilee Rose Gardens”. A major event every October is the rodeo. You can sleep in the “Backpackers of Queensland” for A$ 25 per night and dorm.


Whitsunday is the coast at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park beneath irresistible waters and you’ll need a lifetime to explore the exotic within. It is also Queensland’s water-sports playground and Airlie Beach its capital. Because of the life-threatening jellyfishes you have to wear a stinger safety suit from October to May. Bush camping and rainforest walks are also popular here.


Gladstone is a harbour city where natural beauty and prosperous industry combine to offer an awesome experience to students.

Schools in this region are very modern with a dynamic and inclusive school community and numerous extra curricular activities.

Gladstone’s natural deep-water harbour is the largest in Queensland and the world famous Great Barrier Reef and idyllic Heron Island are close by.

Here you can swim straight off the beach to an endless garden of coral where
the waters are literally packed with beautifully coloured reef fish, turtles and marine life.

Hervey Bay

Get ready for a little whale watching, turtle hatching and koala spotting at the clean and safe seaside city of Hervey Bay.

Bordered by 40 kilometres of pristine beaches and well known for its relaxed atmosphere, Hervey Bay is located on the Fraser Coast 3 ½ hours drive from Brisbane.

From Hervey Bay, students can watch humpback whales frolic in the calm blue waters and access world famous eco-tourism areas such as the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage listed Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world.

You will be amazed by Fraser Island’s spectacular coloured sands, freshwater lakes
and towering rainforests.

Other attractions include the surrounding farmlands, old mining villages, and beautiful Bunya Mountains.


Discover the Atherton Tablelands, just 90km from Cairns, in the heart of Queensland’s tropical North where you will see tree kangaroos, wallabies, possums, sugar gliders and the reclusive platypus.

Highlights include Australia’s widest waterfall, Millstream Falls, the deep blue waters of extinct volcano crater lakes, and the ancient Bromfield Swamp.

The region offers students the opportunity to live in a farming community and discover what country hospitality is all about. The school incorporates a fully operational farm with cattle, poultry, goats, and horticulture.


There’s plenty of things to do around Mackay with some of the most unspoiled rainforest and waterfalls in Australia.

At Finch Hatton Gorge, just minutes from Mackay, take a ride over the rainforest on a flying fox or walk out to the Wheel of Fires waterfall.

At Cape Hillsborough, you’ll see wallabies feed on the beach grazing on whatever the
tide brings in.

Schools boast programs of excellence in music, art and golf, along with technology centres, a rock climbing wall and even a marching band!

South Queensland

Escape the hustle and bustle in the unique rural community of South Queensland’s Maleny, situated in the heart of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and only 30 minutes from the Sunshine Coast beaches.

Famous for its rainforests and amazing views, the beauty of the district attracts sculptors, painters, crafts people, potters, writers and musicians, and the area is home to a number of galleries which contribute to the local economy.

The richly artistic and cultural essence of this community is ideal for students interested in arts, drama, dance and music.

Maleny is also a great location for students interested in eco-tourism with Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve home to numerous species of wildlife and popular with bushwalkers and birdwatchers.

You can also enjoy water sports at Lake Baroon, visit the largest ginger factory
in the Southern Hemisphere and shop at the famous Eumundi Market.


Pack your swimmers and walking gear and come and discover Yeppoon, the gateway to the Capricorn Coast.

The whole coastline is protected by the Great Barrier Reef and the Keppel Bay Islands and boasts some of the most picturesque and safe swimming beaches in Australia
where you can go snorkelling, sailing and fishing.

Head inland to the Carnarvon National Park with Aboriginal rock art paintings, Mt Scoria, the mountain that rings like a bell and take a canoe down the Byfield River.

Gold Coast

Going to the Gold Coast for an epic family holiday!

There is without a doubt one place in the entire state of Queensland that gets more visitors than most places. In fact it is one of the most visited places in all of Australia. That place is the Gold Coast, and with over 3 million visitors annually it's easy to see why! The Gold Coast has some of the best beaches in the world, and your kids will be amazed at just how great they are to swim and play at. With many towns scattered across the coast, you will have a wide variety of places to choose from when it comes to staying in them. Why not make a bit of an adventure out of it and visit a few of them scattered up the coast?

When in Surfers Paradise, take the trip to the top of Q1, one of the tallest buildings in the Southern Hemisphere and the tallest building in Australia. You will get some amazing views of the coast and inner Queensland, stretching right up to Brisbane. But of course one of the main attractions to the Gold Coast is its theme parks, and this is no doubt what your kids will want to see the most! Try out Dreamworld and White Water world right next door. At Dreamworld you will see some of the fastest and scariest rides in the world and also get a chance to see some amazing animals in their zoo areas. At White Water world, you will experience some of the best water slides in the country and be able to cool off from the hot Queensland sun. Nearby too you will experience the other 3 theme parks of Sea World, Movie World and Wet N' Wild. At Sea World, you can get up close and personal with a wide variety of sea creatures from dolphins to sharks. There are even some fast and scary rides for the thrill seekers.

Movie World is your one stop shop for everything to do with movies, with interactive movie displays through to fast rides to tickle your taste buds! And then there is Wet N' Wild, another water based theme park to get you wetter than you ever thought possible! So whether you are after a beach getaway or a thrill seeking trip to a theme park, you won't want to miss a trip to the Gold Coast in Queensland!

Sunshine Coast

Going to get some rays on the Sunshine Coast

If you head out of Brisbane and head north you can find the perfectly named Sunshine Coast. Here you will experience a wide variety of sun soaked sand, trees and accommodation that you and your entire family will be able to enjoy! The nearby Glasshouse Mountains make the scenery even more spectacular and you will wonder why you have never visited this stunning place before in your lifetime! One place on the Sunshine Coast is Caloundra which has one of the most kid friendly beaches in the entire world.

Your kids will love swimming in the water and being in the sand, making sand castles and having an amazing time at the beach! You can also head to Noosa and try some of the famous local cuisine and laidback lifestyle of this cute little resort town. A visit to the Sunshine Coast with kids wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Australia Zoo. This zoo was the former home of the internationally famous 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin, and you can find a wide variety of merchandise based on Steve in tribute to the national celebrity. The zoo is also home to a wide variety of animals, and also houses the 'Crocoseum' where you can see many different live animal shows performed daily. If you keep heading north of the Sunshine Coast you will find the Fraser Coast, which has some of the most iconic scenery in all of Queensland and the World Heritage listed Fraser Island. Here you can get up close and personal with a wide variety of sea creatures, including some amazing Humpback Whales.

It is often regarded as one of the best whale experiences in the entire world to get close to these amazing animals. So if you are wanting to venture out of Brisbane and experience something amazing and beautiful, head north to the Sunshine Coast. Your kids will be amazed at the experience and get to see a wide variety of things that they never thought possible. And of course it's not just all about the kids! You too will find yourself in idealist surroundings and never wanting to leave!