Queensland is a popular holiday hotspot any time of the year, but Easter is one of the busier times to head to the Sunshine State. However, there are plenty of places in Queensland you can visit – even at the last minute – that offer ample accommodation and activities in abundance.
Shelley Winkel from Tourism Queensland offers insider tips on the best spots to visit over Easter.
Easter. We all know what that means: last chance for a summer swim. So, while most Queenslanders (and visitors to Queensland) put the beach at the top of their Easter dance card, savvy travellers will know that just beyond the rolling surf of the state’s most popular destinations – but still within striking distance of it – lies a swathe of towns more likely to have ‘vacancy’ on their shingle. Here are some ideas:
The other Sunshine Coast: Noosa North Shore and Mary Valley
Think Noosa Mooloolaba and Caloundra. Then think again. Within 30 minutes’ drive of the golden arcs of sand that make up Queensland’s cutest surfside towns are some of nature’s best and lesser known playgrounds.
Noosa North Shore
Make no mistake. There’s something about a $7 car ferry that severs Noosa North Shore from the latte set. Only 20 minutes from Main Beach via the shores of Tewantin, this seaside stretch really is worlds away, and filled with weathered shacks, camping grounds, endless dunes, and a few lovely beach homes. Perfect for the fishing, kayaking, 4WD crowd.
Where to stay?
Beach Road Holiday Homes
Take a road less travelled in this bustling tourist town. A hop, skip and ferry ride away from Hastings Street, Beach Road Holiday Homes is bordered by native bushland, unspoilt beaches and sparking ocean waters. Their eco-inspired homes sleep from two to 10 people.
Eumarella Shores Lake Retreat
Hidden away in the Noosa hinterland just minutes from Noosa’s main beaches on the shore of pristine Lake Weyba is the tranquil eco-accredited Eumarella Shores Lake Retreat.
Noosa North Shore Retreat – Habitat Noosa
Nestled on 65 acres of natural bushland, with a 500m beachfront on Noosa River, Habitat Noosa is home to a large eastern grey kangaroo population and offers paperbark tents, cabins and wilderness tents as well as powered or unpowered sites for campers, motorhomes and RVs. Habitat Noosa is located at a five minutes’ boat ride from Noosa Everglades, or a 25-minute drive to Noosa Heads. Visit here.
Alternatively, further inland lies the Mary Valley, a series of rolling hills, farmlands, cabins, farmstays, towering hoop pine forests and the gurgling Mary River. This is the place for nature, platypus, hiking and mountain biking.
Tropical Pleasure: Mission Beach
Heading to the tropics? Most sunseekers land in Cairns and stay put. Or, turn right at the Bruce Highway and set the GPS for Palm Cove and Port Douglas – bypassing the quaint villages of Holloways and Trinity Beaches, which have plenty of apartments available for savvy holidaymakers.
Still, for a holiday of a difference, hit the mighty Bruce Highway and head south of Cairns, 140km to Mission Beach, where travellers can stretch out on arcs of sand and peep through palm fronds to blissed-out views of Dunk Island. Mission Beach also serves up thick rainforest (with heaps of walking trails) and pristine reef systems plus the added bonus of being the best place to spot Australia’s largest bird, the prehistoric cassowary.
Where to stay?
Castaways Resort and Spa, Mission Beach
Located on the absolute beachfront of the palm-fringed Coral Sea at Mission Beach, the resort features Mission Beach’s only day spa, a 25-metre lap pool and an infinity pool beside the cocktail bar and modern al fresco dining facilities. Accommodation options include three penthouses and one holiday house, all of which have beachfront views, framed by swaying palm trees.
Scenic Rim and Southern Queensland Country
Finally, if you want somewhere with a point of difference, 70 minutes southwest and inland from Brisbane is the Scenic Rim and Toowoomba, both stunning rural destinations known for incredible farmgate experiences, quaint B&Bs, and friendly people.
Where to stay?
Spicers Hidden Vale (near Ipswich)
Just an hour’s drive from Brisbane and situated on a 12,000-acre country farm in South East Queensland, Spicers Hidden Vale is centred around a 1920s grand old homestead and features Homage Restaurant, a dining experience that showcases the best in local produce.
Bunyip Scenic Rim Resort
Nestled into the Mt French National Park, the complex includes an expansive, high-ceilinged building known as The Great Room and an ozone pool. Activities on offer include scenic vintage aircraft joy flights, learning to glide, a gourmet picnic at the stunning Mt French lookout, visiting Kooroomba Winery and Lavender Farm, in-room massages, and even taking a hot-air balloon ride from the resort’s front yard.
Binna Burra Mountain Lodge
Binna Burra is an authentic heritage listed lodge offering a genuine Australian experience in nature. The Lodge has been welcoming guests since the early 1930s, and still retains its original charm and character. Positioned 800 metres above sea level amidst the sub-tropical rainforest of Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Binna Burra is centre stage to some of Australia’s most spectacular natural features.
Binna Burra Sky Lodges
Sky Lodges are Binna Burra’s award-winning new accommodation – spacious one, two and three-bedroom apartments offering a stylish contemporary alternative to Binna Burra’s traditional lodges. These eco-friendly apartments are in keeping with the Lodge’s use of stone, slate and wood, and the views from the balconies across the Coomera and Numinbah Valleys are unrivalled.
Mt Barney Camping
Located just two hours from Brisbane, Mt Barney Camping is nestled among 130 hectares of mountains and forest. Accessible by 4WD only, the trip there may be a little challenging, but is certainly worth it when you come across this spacious and facilitated camping ground for just $25 a night.
Do you have a favourite place to visit in Queensland?