Eight must-dos in Queensland’s beautiful backyard

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In partnership with Tourism Australia

Bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic have spelt disaster for many regional businesses across Queensland. So when you take a well-earned break this summer, put affected destinations at the top of your list. Try a few top local experiences to help give these communities the boost they need to bounce back.

GO WHERE THE RAINFOREST MEETS THE REEF

Get a taste of the tropics at Cape Tribulation, Picture: Jesse Lindemann/TEQSource:Supplied

As the spot that marks the threshold between two natural World Heritage sites and untouched by urban development, Cape Tribulation is a remarkable place. Situated about 150 kilometres north of Cairns, the remote headland of Cape Tribulation is where the dense Daintree Rainforest pushes up against a narrow strip of sand before meeting the Great Barrier Reef. Explore this unique region by going on a 4WD tour, hiking through the rainforest to spy cassowaries, snorkelling in the Mackay and Undine Reefs, or even riding a horse along the beach.

More information: tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au

STAY ON TOP OF THE WORLD

Spicers Peak Lodge.Source:Supplied

Elevated at 1100 metres above sea level, Spicers Peak Lodge thankfully was unaffected by the 2019 bushfires. The surrounding heritage-listed national park, however, did not fare so well. Now, when guests take the guided Wallaby Walkabout tour, the commentary focuses as much on fire ecology and bush regeneration as it does on the red-necked wallabies that call the area home. A stay at the Lodge involves extreme indulgence, with spa treatments at Spa Anise, and culinary magic at hatted restaurant The Peak, where local seasonal produce is the hero.

More information: spicersretreats.com/retreats/spicers-peak-lodge

BECOME ONE WITH NATURE

Songbirds Rainforest Retreat.Source:Supplied

To stay at Songbirds Rainforest Retreat at Mount Tamborine is to completely immerse yourself in the beauty and serenity of its surrounds. Six spacious villas are spread over 20 hectares of rainforest, which is also home to a rich variety of Australian flora and fauna. While there, make sure you take advantage of the rejuvenating massage and spa treatments on offer. Pets are welcome.

More information: songbirds.com.au

WITNESS THE SPIRITS

Spirits of the Red Sand in Beenleigh offers a 2.5 hour live theatre evening experience. Through vivid storytelling and live sets, journey from Dreamtime to the 1800s as Aboriginal culture, songs, dances

and chants are brought to life. This experience will leave you with

a true sense of connection to land and culture

More information: spiritsredsand.com

WINE AND DINE

The warm climate and fertile soil of the Scenic Rim region provide ideal growing conditions for fruity, full-bodied wine grapes. Sarabah Estate, at the foothills of Lamington National Park in Canungra, is a famous for its rosé made from merlot grapes. The estate is also home to cabernet sauvignon and shiraz grapes, as well as verdelho and viognier vines. Meals can be enjoyed in the Chalet, out in the Secret Garden, or as a picnic hamper for two. Kids can feed the alpacas, mini horses, pigs and dogs, and pets are welcome.

More information: sarabahestate.com.au

GO FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE

Always wanted to try surfing? The Gold Coast’s beginner-friendly breaks and welcoming water temperature make it one of the best places to paddle out and pop up for the first time. Go Ride a Wave offers lessons for kids, adults, and groups at many of Queensland’s internationally renowned beaches including Kirra, Broadbeach, and of course, Surfers Paradise. Everything you need for a safe and unforgettable experience is provided, and lessons are available seven days a week, year round.

More information: gorideawave.com.au

CAMP IN STYLE

Camping never looked so good.Source:News Regional Media

Nightfall is nestled in a secluded pocket of Lamington National Park and comprises three tents accommodating

up to eight guests. This is luxury camping at its most exquisite. Less of a place to rest your head and more of a rejuvenating and healing experience, the focus is on delicious organic home-cooked food, fine wine, and spa treatments. With twin bathtubs and a rotating fireplace, each tent offers total privacy.

More information: nightfall.com.au

DISCOVER MAGNIFICENT WATERFALLS

Set in the Barron Gorge National Park in the Wet Tropics Heritage Area, Barron Falls

is a breathtaking series of waterfalls that become even more spectacular during the summer wet season. The falls are best viewed from the Din Din Barron Falls lookout near Kuranda. To get there from Cairns, take the Kuranda Scenic Railway for a two-hour journey through the mountains, and on the way back, you can take in more incredible views on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.

More information: parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks

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