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Friday, October 7, 2016

Guest Post: 5 reasons why Queensland should be on your bucket list

Variety is the spice of life, and variety is one thing I strive for in my day to day life (and this blog!).  Today I am off to Vermont for a weekend in the mountains but in the name of spicing things up, we are taking the blog to Australia. 

I love to feature different travelers on this blog, especially the fierce female off-to-see-the-world variety. Nicole is an avid traveler and yoga aficionado passionate about healthy living, interior design and fashion. She is a contributor to several lifestyle blogs and editor at HighStyLife magazine. When Nicole reached out to me to share her article on my blog, I jumped at the chance to share her experiences and photos with you all.   Australia is at the top of my bucket list and Nicole is here to tell you all why Queensland specifically should make the list. 

Unless you live in New Zealand or Papua New Guinea, Australia is probably a far destination for you. Still, it has an amazing tourist offer and almost 8 million tourists visiting it annually, with Queensland being one of the most popular destinations. Also called the Sunshine State, Queensland has everything you can imagine: from vivid urban areas, indigenous cultural experiences, World Heritage sites, dreamy paradise beaches, to mesmerizing biodiversity that cannot be found anywhere else in the world and amazing activities that help your experience the land down under in a way you’ll never forget. Here are five reasons why it should be on your bucket list.

Explore the Gold Coast: along with chilling on the beach, there are a lot of things you can experience here, such as the theme parks (Dreamworld, Wet ‘n’ Wild, and Sea World) and other activities. While you’re there, don’t miss out on going to the highest tourist attraction, SkyPoint Climb, where you can enjoy the ‘360 view of the Gold Coast from 270 m high! If you’re not that eager for an adrenaline raising activity, go to the observation deck where you can enjoy exquisite meals and beverages in the lounge while soaking in the amazing views. For a true wildlife-experience, visit the Casuarina beach. Located on the border between the national park and the sea, this beach gives you an opportunity to meet and greet kangaroos, wallabies, and other animals. If you’re seeking that nirvana feeling, go to the Noosa main beach and enjoy its tranquility. This beach is known for local fresh seafood and has on-the-spot massage therapists for a spa-like treatment in the sun.

Gondwana Rainforests and Wet Tropics of Queensland are protected as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. See for yourself why half a million tourists visit Lamington National Park each year: sign up for guided tours and learn about lush rainforests and 300 million years old grounds and landscapes; enjoy the off-the-tracks walking or bushwalking, and if you’re up for a challenge – take the long-distance walks and explore the Scenic Rim and Tweed Caldera. Tamborine National Park is another hot tourist spot, but it’s never overcrowded. It has many different trails you can try out and a Thunderbird Park where you can enjoy many adventure activities (e.g.  zip-lining, tree-top walking, bushwalking, bird feeding, swimming in the pools within Cedar Creek). Daintree Rainforest is the oldest one in the world and has an important ecological significance.

Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, surely won’t let you down and there are ways to enjoy the city completely free. Other activities can be arranged to be wallet-friendly, the possibilities are endless! Don’t miss visiting the famous Brisbane festival, or others such as the Paniyiri Greek Festival, Caxton street food and wine festival, or savor in gourmand food from local farmers coming from all parts of Queensland at the Regional Flavors festival. There is a wide choice of hotel options in Brisbane, but to save a few bucks – you may want to share accommodation, so you can organize your budget and spend more on experiences than on your staying place. You’ll get to meet new people, which is always a plus!

Fraser Island is an absolute must see - the biggest sand island and the World Heritage Site. It has over 100 freshwater lakes you can swim in (e.g. the famous Lake McKenzie), rainforests you can walk through, and a Maheno shipwreck you can visit. A ferryboat ride can take you to Hervey Bay, where you can head off to experience Great barrier reef. Other popular islands worth visiting include Orpheus island, Hamilton island, and Bedarra island, all very approachable.

Hervey Bay is the most popular destination for whale watching. It gives you a precious opportunity to see these gentle giants up from close. Offers usually leave you a choice of going on a smaller boat tour or a bigger one, with prices varying between $160 and $350, depending on the chosen package. There are also safari tours, natural centers, zoos, and koala’s sanctuaries you can explore in Brisbane or in the nearby area. Of course, discovering the marine life via scuba diving and snorkeling is irreplaceable, as well as encountering real wildlife in their natural habitats.
These are the five reasons you don’t want to miss visiting Queensland when following your wanderlust. Keep in mind this isn’t an exhaustive list and enjoy the beauty of discovering the Sunshine State!

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Nicole is an avid traveler passionate about yoga and healthy living. She always seeks new adventures and enjoys sharing her experiences with others. You can see more of Nicole's work as a travel blogger here: Top 7 eco-resorts in the world and Amsterdam, the city of many colors. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

If you have a passion for travel and the outdoors and want to be featured as a Guest Blogger on Katie Wanders, email me some ideas at


  1. SO SO high on my bucket list!!


  2. Rain forests and paradise-esque islands sound awesome to me! I've always wanted to explore Australia- Heather @

    1. Me too! Its on my impossibly long bucket list :) hope to get there soon!


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