Queensland is a state that we have always wanted to explore, and we finally made a trip down under for a fortnight of fun. The good people at Tourism and Events Queensland were more than hospitable, and we ate and saw so much.
We started our holiday at Brisbane, an upcoming city that is bustling in its own rights and home to many. Sunshine Coast was next. We experienced the hinterlands and fell in love with the picturesque Maleny. Then, we moved on to Noosa for a lot of feasting and to experience the laidback lifestyle. The last leg of our trip saw us spending a week at Gold Coast, the famous destination for a beach-in-a-city experience.
Having seen the bests of Queensland, we are certain that this is the place to take a fun-filled holiday at. For lovers, friends, families – there will definitely be something for everyone. Here, we share the memorable parts of our trip and we hope these will entice you to take a trip down under too!
B R I S B A N E
#1 SHOPPING AND DINING AT JAMES STREET
James Street in Fortitude Valley is easily our favourite area in Brisbane. It has an eclectic mix of lifestyle shops, Aussie labels boutiques, quaint cafes and coffee shops, and restaurants to boast.
#2 THE WHEEL OF BRISBANE
Hop on to the ferris wheel of Brisbane and catch a glimpse of the city from up above. Located within South Bank, The Wheel of Brisbane is a leisure ride of about fifteen minutes, and there are special prices for students, families and a private gondola.
#3 STAYING AT EMPORIUM HOTEL
Super chic and sexy, Emporium Hotel is where you should put up at when in Brisbane. It adds on to the city experience, we promise. Its vicinity is an enclave of restaurants and bars, and its prime location is of walking distance to James Street and Fortitude Valley.
#4 LONE PINE KOALA SANCTUARY
Getting chummy with koalas, kangaroos, emus, wombats, and dingoes, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is home to 130 koalas, and if you don’t already know, they just sent 4 koalas to Singapore recently. Definitely a must-visit spot in Brisbane, and you too shall have fun cuddling koalas and feeding kangaroos.
#5 CLIMBING THE STORY BRIDGE
The Story Bridge Climb offers a breathtaking view of the city. What we love most about it is that the bridge is located very near to the city – offering a close-up view of the city’s skyline. It is a relatively easy climb, so don’t be intimidated. It will be an experience to love.
#6 SPENDING A DAY EXPLORING BRISBANE WITH BRISBANE GREETERS
In Brisbane, there is this amazing group of volunteers called ‘Brisbane Greeters’, and they are locals who are so passionate about sharing their city. Their services are completely free of charge, and they will dedicate a few hours to bringing you around Brisbane based on your interests.
S U N S H I N E C O A S T
#7 SUNSHINE COAST HINTERLANDS FOOD TOUR
We spent a day to explore Maleny, Flaxton and Montville in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands with Mystic Mountain Town. Quaint towns where the air is fresher, and countryside experience with visits to a cheese factory, a chocolatier, a local gelato shop… and we milked cows and tasted the freshest custards at a local farm too!
#8 OUR FIRST TIME STAYING IN A RAINFOREST RESORT
It was quite an experience to stay at Narrow’s Escape Rainforest Retreat. We were not expecting a rainforest resort to be so modern and well-furnished – needless to say, it took us completely by surprise! Nature lovers, this is for you. Wake up to Australian King Parrots hanging out at your verandah, and enjoy life on a hammock while breathing in the freshest air.
#9 ARRIVE IN NOOSA IN STYLE WITH NOOSA DREAM BOATS
After leaving Sunshine Coast Hinterlands, we arrived in Noosa in style with Noosa Dream Boats. We went on a cruise with our super friendly host Michael along Noosa River to visit the river mouth, see gorgeous holiday houses, and even passed by Sir Richard’s private resort island.
#10 NOOSA BEACH
One of the most beautiful beaches we’ve seen in recent times, and it is little wonder Noosa Beach is such a hit among beach goers. The waters are calm and the skies are blue; what’s there not to love about this postcard-worthy place?
#11 EUMUNDI MARKETS – GOOD FOR THE SOUL, BAD FOR THE WAISTLINE
The many food stalls at Eumundi Market drove us crazy, and there was even a cronuts truck! Local commodities are also commonly found – artwork, clothes, homeware… If you ever find yourself in Noosa, Eumundi Market is open every Wednesday and Saturday.
#12 NOOSA FARMERS’ MARKET – A HEAVEN FOR FOOD LOVERS
Noosa Farmers’ Market is the dream place for all foodies. Apart from stuffing yourself silly with all kinds of food, indulge in the vast selection of local produce by proud Aussie farmers.
#13 DO THE STAND UP PADDLE LIKE THE LOCALS
We heard the locals lead awesomely balanced lives and they do the stand-up paddle every day. It was a first for us, and our patient instructor, Rick, guided us through. By the fifteenth minute, we were paddling around at ease on our own, and the liberation of being out in the sea is one you would love too.
#14 STAYING AT PEPPERS BROADBEACH – OUR DREAM HOME
Peppers Broadbeach, to describe simply, is like our dream house. White and bright, clean spaces, an amazing obstructed view of Broadbeach… it was a hospitality that we will always remember. Its vicinity – The Oracle – is one happening area that is home to many reputable restaurants. We would like to think that staying at Peppers Broadbeach completed our Gold Coast experience.
#15 A SPECTACULAR VIEW OF GOLD COAST BEACH FROM SKYPOINT OBSERVATORY DECK
Because no trip to Gold Coast is complete without heading up to the Skypoint Observatory Deck. There, you get a bird’s eye view of the entire city. It is incredible. You won’t believe how we were so fascinated, especially when we could see the whole stretch of gorgeous beach – that’s Gold Coast for you.
#16 DINING AT GOLD COAST’S FINEST RESTAURANTS
Gold Coast is a connoisseur’s heaven. We were actually surprised by the availability of so many fine restaurants, and you bet our bellies were pretty pleased. Not a single bad meal we had, and we have nothing but praises for the culinary standards. To name a few that we like: Social Eating House, Seaduction, Fish House Donto Japanese Restaurant, and Jamm.
This Queensland trip to Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast is made possible by Tourism And Events Queensland.