1. THE WHITSUNDAYS
Picking your way through the Whitsundays on a boat is just about one of the most spectacular things you can do anywhere in the world, and sailing these islands hovers pretty close to the top of most backpackers’ must-do lists. People come here for different reasons, but one of the main lures is the majestically beautiful Whitehaven Beach, which stands out among Australia’s thousands of beaches. It is located on Whitsunday Island and its isolated nature means that getting there requires some planning. A greatbase is Airlie Beach, an attraction in itself.The legendary town is geared towards two things – Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef tourism and backpackers. The big hostels all have bars and are rammed year round with travellers hoping to get out and experience their very own piece of the islands and reef, as well as make some friends over a beer or two. From Airlie you’ll be able to find all manner of companies willing to takeyou out into the Whitsundays, theBarrier Reef and beyond, catering to alllevels of budget and experience.
Queensland’s capital affectionately goes by the nickname Bris Vegas. While the label was originally used ironically to mock Brisbane for its slow pace of life and lack of after dark excitement, times have been a-changing, but most self-deprecating locals are more than happy to stick with the name. Now, though, the nightlife is where this city really shines. As the sun sinks, partygoers head for the swanky Elixir Rooftop bar, the cosy Walrus Club and the crazy Cloudland among others.
3. FRASER ISLAND
Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island and one of the shining stars on the Unesco’s World Heritage List. It’s a place where you’ll enjoy sun, sand, whale-watching and dingos. Yes,dingos, although numbers are declining. Sad face. The inland lakes are some of the best swimming spots you’re likely to find, and driving up the beach and through the subtropical rainforest is an unforgettable experience. Psst, wannaknow a little secret? Check out nearby Rainbow Beach, too. It’s awesome.
Noosa is the jewel in the Sunshine Coast’s crown and very popular with us here at TNT.It is one of Queensland’s most beautiful towns and its name comes from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘place of many trees’. And what a place it is. Perfect any time of year. The sunny climate and warm locals make relaxing a very easy option. Must-dos are Noosa National Park and shopping on Hastings St.
5. GOLD COAST
Last but by no means least we have the Gold Coast, a must-visit known for its culture of ‘fun in the sun’. There is loads to do here. Surfer’s Paradise is famed for its nightlife – it’s main strip is always full on sultry evenings with people out for a few stiff drinks (although beware of schoolies week mid-November, they party a little too hard). By day, head into the hinterland for a taste of nature.
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