Great Barrier Reef
No visit to Cairns is complete without spending time at the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system — made up of nearly 3000 individual reefs over an area of 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 square miles), it’s even visible from outer space.
Fast-track fun on the Gold Coast, where the high-rises are built around superb surf beaches like Surfers Paradise. Dive into lively nightlife, international theme parks and designer boutiques, see the coast from a Spitfire plane and cheer on competitors in the Coollangatta Ocean Swim.
Warner Bros. Movie World
Warner Bros. Movie World is where your favourite movies come to life. Meet the stars and go on thrilling rollercoaster rides such as the Green Lantern Roller Coaster and Superman Escape and others based on your favourite Warner Bros. movie characters and super-heroes. At the Kids’ Fun Zone meet your favourite Looney Tunes characters including Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
WhiteWater World has some of the best water attractions in the world, including the top four water slides. Hire a private cabana for your family and cool off from the tropical Queensland heat. Surf lessons are held Cave of Waves under lights after the park closes, several times a week.
Wet’N’Wild Water World
Wet’n’Wild Water World is Australia’s biggest water theme park and combines the latest in fun-filled water slides and leisure pools for all the family. Plunge seven stories down a speed coaster or simply laze in the giant wave pool. There’s also around 20 acres of shaded subtropical gardens for relaxing.
Sea World and has been a family favourite theme park for over 35 years. Sea World has more than exciting rides, attractions and shows. It is also committed to marine research and rescue, and a place where visitors can learn about and make contact with a variety of marine animals. See the delightful Dolphin Discovery show; polar bears and penguins swimming underwater; and get up close to a fearsome shark.
Dream World Gold Coast
Australia’s biggest theme park, with rides, slides and wildlife all in one place on the Gold Coast, Australia’s playground. Dreamworld hosts around one million visitors each year with a staff of more than 1200 include ride operators, life guards, engineers, entertainers, animal carers and many more.
Antherton Tableland – Cairns
Find cooler temperatures and a whole different vibe in the stunning Cairns highlands, the Atherton Tableland. Set 1000 metres (3280 feet) above sea level, you’ll find quaint townships and coffee, honey, fruits, artisan dairy products and macadamia nuts. Don’t miss the Tarzali Lakes platypus park and the 800-year-old Curtain Fig Tree.
Fitzroy Island Cairns
Fitzroy Island is a tropical paradise of rainforest and beaches within the calm sheltered waters of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. A listed National Park the island is ideal for families or a romantic gateway. The island facilities include a diving school, conference and wedding venue, restaurant, Foxy’s Bar, walking trails, kayaking and snorkelling.
Make the crossing to Green Island, a coral cay less than 30km off the shore, for snorkelling and diving all year round, as well as helmet diving that lets you walk along the sea floor. Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises specialises in discovering the Great Barrier Reef. Visitors are encouraged to view the wonderful underwater world of marine life and corals by participating in snorkelling, glass bottom boat or semi-submarine tours.
South Bank is Brisbane’s premier lifestyle and cultural destination. Located on the southern banks of the Brisbane River, its 17 hectares of lush parklands, world-class eateries, stunning river views and hundreds of delightful events all year round make it the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)
Explore GoMA, Australia’s largest gallery of modern and contemporary art and the iconic Queensland Art Gallery. The galleries are architectural wonders themselves, boasting a diversity of Australian and international art as well as two galleries devoted to contemporary Indigenous work. Friday nights are perfect for drinks with friends in GoMA’s stylish bar.
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
Discover where Australia begins at Tjapukai. Explore the rich history of the world’s oldest living culture, dating back over 40,000 years. Whether you visit the park by day or night, you’ll enjoy a unique cultural experience with performance, dance, food and arts. Tjapukai is all-weather, wheelchair and pram friendly, offering unique experiences in one location.
National Park status has seen Hinchinbrook Island remain relatively uninhabited and in pristine condition. Activities on the Island include hiking through the stunning rainforest, bird spotting, relaxing on the many beaches, and visiting the Island’s lookout to watch the sunset. Keep an eye out for dolphins and turtles that maybe swimming by.
Gold Coast’s Lush Hinterland
Turn away from the beach and explore the magic of the Great Hinterland Walk. Pass through World Heritage rainforests Lamington and Springbrook, where you access an ancient volcano and spectacular waterfall amidst incredible beauty and native wildlife.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Voted one of the Gold Coast’s most popular tourist destinations, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is the crown jewel of the National Trust of Australia (Queensland) [NTAQ] properties. As one of Queensland’s earliest nature-based tourist destinations, the Sanctuary is a physical embodiment of everything the NTAQ represents: dedication to conserving our nation’s Indigenous, natural and historic heritage and culture.
Betty’s Burgers and Concrete Co.
The Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co. concept is a classic burger shack, serving the freshest, juiciest and mouth-watering burgers around. As with any great burger, it needs a supporting cast and in this case, is our house-made frozen custards or “concretes”. Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co. has a very unique menu and clear points of difference that make it stand out from the rest.
Hard Rock Cafe Surfers Paradise
Experience the beauty and glamour of Australia’s Gold Coast when you visit Hard Rock Cafe Surfers Paradise. Our central location in Australia’s hottest international tourist destination makes us the perfect place to eat, drink, and unwind during your trip. Our cafe features a stylish dining room, indoor bar, balcony with outdoor seating, and a retail store with collectible Hard Rock gear.
Walrus Social House
From the golden fields of cane, a legend was born. Walrus Social House is a tribute to James and his trusty SS Walrus. This is why we are a heritage inspired establishment built on traditional sugar cane earth that bore the fruits of the Walrus stills – the very steamship moored in the Nerang River on our back doorstep.
Kurrawa Surf Club
The best way to compliment a picturesque view is with a mouth-watering meal, which is exactly what Bistro @ Kurrawa strives to achieve for all our members & guests. We use only the freshest ingredients to provide a broad range of meals including vegetarian & gluten free options, nipper meals for the young ones & the old timers’ favourite ‘Chicken Parmi’; dinner for the whole family has never been easier!
One50 Public House
One50 Public House is located on the beautiful waterfront with stunning views of the Surfers Paradise skyline. Our seasonal menu features authentic pizzas, innovative burgers, street food inspired share options and of course, our take on classic main meals. We take great pride in preparing our dishes from the freshest local produce!
Sage Cafe Restaurant
Sage Café’s menus feature traditional favourites mixed with contemporary flavours and we specialize in high quality steaks, fresh seafood, gourmet pizzas and tapas style plates. Sage’s steaks are Meat Standards Australia certified and are 90 day aged and grain fed. With it’s northerly aspect, Sage Café Restaurant is one of the few venues that enjoys full sun all day, making it the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely breakfast or lunch and has a bustling pace enhanced by the action of the open kitchen.
The Cuban Bar and Lounge Dining
The Cuban bar and lounge dining, located at the exclusive Oracle, Broadbeach, is inspired by the original party island of Cuba. Best known for its cocktails & mouthwatering cuisine, we’re proud and excited to bring it to the Gold Coast. With flavours inspired by Latin America, Spain and the Caribbean, world renowned cocktails and rum punches, and of course a rich and unique Cuban coffee experience, The Cuban Oracle is fast becoming one of the hottest spots to be seen on the Gold Coast.
Ochre Restaurant and Catering
Dining at Ochre Restaurant is like a virtual tour through the culinary delights of Australia. With a dedication to local produce and experience like no other in crafting native foraged ingredients into modern exciting cuisine, Ochre Restaurant offers a range of exquisite dishes, specialising in sustainable Australian regional produce, for tourists and locals alike.
Dundee’s Restaurant On The Waterfront
One of the best “Cairns Waterfront Dining” spots is Dundee’s Restaurant on the waterfront in Cairns. We serve the finest steaks from the grill, seafood, pastas and Australian specialist foods. Located beneath Cairns Harbour Lights Hotel. You can watch the Reef boats go to and from the Great Barrier Reef.
Black Hide Steakhouse
A showcase of the very best in fresh local produce, Black Hide Steakhouse Brisbane is the only restaurant in Queensland to provide an exclusive selection of world-class steak cuts from Stanbroke Beef, Australia’s most esteemed beef breeder & producer. With one of the most extensive selections of prime Angus, Wagyu and Organic steak cuts, and a mesmerising selection of share plates, Black Hide offers steak fans a truly unique dining experience.
Like many of the classic enoteche in Italy, we’ve incorporated a restaurant, wine bar, a basement level cellar for private dining & a small wine store. We serve modern Roman cuisine that is made to be enjoyed with the wine from our extensive wine list. There are many unique, rare, artisan producers on our list with a strong focus on natural wines & we offer many of these by the glass.
ARIA Brisbane, located on Eagle Street Pier, provides the quintessential Brisbane dining experience, with striking views from the restaurant across the Brisbane River. Owned by chef Matt Moran and MorSol business partner, Bruce Solomon, ARIA boasts a well-balanced seasonal menu, featuring local and Australian produce and an award winning wine list, served in an elegant dining room.
Black Bird Bar and Grill
Blackbird Bar & Grill opened its doors in February 2014. It is owned by the Ghanem Group, and it has quickly grown to become Brisbane’s finest bar and restaurant. Blackbird restaurant features river views and two intimate private dining rooms. Our bar is situated on the Brisbane riverfront and boasts 180 degree views of the Brisbane River, form the iconic Story Bridge to the Kangaroo Point Cliffs.
To much anticipation by Philip Johnson’s strong local following, ecco bistro opened its doors in 1995, starting what has turned out to be a Brisbane landmark restaurant. Almost twenty years on, ecco underwent a total refurbishment in October of 2014, giving it a contemporary look, yet preserving the inviting, warm bistro feel that has stood the test of time. As Philip says “We do as little as possible with the best ingredients available.”
Stingray mixes industrial chic with splashes of pop art to create a Californian oasis on the Gold Coast. Settle in to admire ocean views or be tempted by a cocktail, inspired by one of our 50 in house tequilas. Designer furniture surrounds the industrial style bar, where our talented staff can mix up a drink for any occasion.
FIX Cocktail Bar
The must-visit cocktail bar in Surfers Paradise, FIX at Hilton Surfers Paradise is the city’s sexiest spot for a great night out. Sink into a plush armchair and be transported back in time – FIX takes its name from the tall cocktail that became a sensation in the ‘30s. Designed with absolute attention to detail, the bar showcases chic vintage-style interiors – right down to the glassware and furnishings.
House of Brews
House of Brews is the hottest new taphouse and dining venue in the heart of Surfers Paradise with local, and international craft beers being featured on the unique 32 beer tap feature wall. Live music is also a staple at House of Brews and will be a regular fixture throughout the week featuring rock and solo blues artists playing from the afternoon into the late evening.
Overlooking the sparkling waves of the Pacific Ocean, and complete with designer furnishings and rich decor, the Pearls Bar has transformed into a sophisticated cocktail bar and lounge oozing relaxation. Mesmerizing views of the horizon, together with the relaxed beachside atmosphere present a beautiful setting for you to wind down with a cocktail or a glass of wine.
Cock & Bull
You’ll find our friendly staff are waiting to take your order and pour your next drink. Enjoy a beautiful meal from our bistro menu with family or friends, a quiet drink, or get rowdy in the bar. Come on down and say hi and relax with a game of pool and a few cold ones. Enjoying a big, hearty meal at the Cock & Bull is a Cairns tradition. This iconic Cairns pub offers patrons the charm and style of a traditional English tavern, the atmosphere of a vibrant country bar and a décor that is unique… alone worth a visit!
Hidden down a red brick laneway in the heart of the Cairns CBD, Three Wolves offers patrons a unique and premium restaurant and bar experience. Proudly supplying a speciality whiskey, spirit, cocktail, wine and beer selection to folks who enjoy exceptional beverages!
Hemingway’s Brewery Cairns Wharf is a heritage listed venue located at the Cruise Liner Terminal in Cairns with views across Trinity Inlet. A newer and much larger venue with ten times the brewing capacity of its Port Douglas sister venue, Hemingway’s Brewery Cairns Wharf boasts a 19 metre long bar and 20 taps that offer at least 10 Hemingway’s brewed beers, guest beers, and ciders as well.
Eleven Rooftop Bar
Eleven Rooftop Bar is the jewel in the crown of Brisbane’s rooftop bar scene, offering sensational views in a sophisticated setting. By day, the space has a relaxed laid back vibe, perfect for a chilled ale, a glass of wine or a refreshing cocktail, while by night, the Cristalo Quartzite marble bar top illuminates the night sky and transforms the rooftop into a sophisticated, cutting edge late night venue.
Soleil Pool Bar
Taking its name from the sun, Soleil Pool Bar wraps around the Rydges South Bank Brisbane pool and peeps over Grey Street. Combining timber features with a palette of gold and white, the venue offers a warm and inviting space to linger with glass in hand, as DJs create a pool party atmosphere.
Elixir Rooftop Bar
Nestled above Brisbane’s busy Ann Street, Elixir offers a hidden tranquility, avoiding the hustle and bustle of busy Fortitude Valley below. This exclusive rooftop sanctuary makes for a perfect setting to mingle with friends and family, celebrate special occasions or simply wind down after a busy day at work.
Hidden bars, live music, pool tables, pinball machines, pan-Asian street food, cocktails and dimly lit corners – you’ll find it all secluded away under bustling Brunswick Street in Heya’s maze of sights, sounds and flavours. Gather in a cosy lounge and sit down to an intimate feast of flavoursome street eats or lose yourself in the delights of one our unique bars while you sip carefully crafted cocktails and curated spirits.
Eat Street Markets
Eat Street Markets is a world of food vendors set in converted shipping containers on an old historic disused wharf. A magical atmosphere is created by thousands of fairy lights and festoons that fill the all weather domes and trees. A “real grass” park is part of the venue that is great for hot summer nights and cool winter days.
Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre
The date has been set with Australia’s largest Outlet Shopping Centre ready to get bigger with 25 new outlet stores opening 27 May as part of Harbour Town’s $20 million expansion. A number of stores will open as ‘firsts’ in Australia, Queensland and the Gold Coast, giving Harbour Town another unique point of difference!
Gold Coast Art and Craft Sunday Markets
Shopping for gifts, souvenirs, art, craft, the ingenious, the weird and the wonderful, has never been easier. Just come along to the Gold Coast’s famous art and craft markets, held on Sundays on the fabulous Broadbeach, Coolangatta, and Burleigh Heads beach-fronts. Large, colourful and a-buzz with atmosphere, these markets boast over 150 stalls showcasing the best and most original of Australian-made products, fresh produce, yummy food and live entertainment every Sunday.
Pacific Fair is the premier shopping destination in Queensland, with an enviable selection of international fast fashion stores, global luxury brands and Australian designers. The centre is centrally located in the heart of the Gold Coast and the Broadbeach retail and accommodation precinct and features several visitor and tourism facilities to ensure that your stay is exceptional.
For over 30 years Carrara Markets has been a major Gold Coast tourist attraction. Centrally located at Carrara on the beautiful Gold Coast, only a stone’s throw from Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, Carrara Markets is the biggest permanent weekend marketplace in Australia. With over 400 stalls covering 10 acres it’s a treasure trove of the curious and the unusual.
Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets
Cairns Central is the largest shopping centre in Far North Queensland and has been servicing the local region since 1997. The centre is fully enclosed and offers an extensive range of stores and services. It has over 180 stores together with Myer, Target, Coles, and Vmax screens at Event Cinemas.
The Pier Cairns
Come down to The Pier Cairns for a refreshingly different shopping and dining experience. Overlooking Trinity Bay and the Marlin Marina, we’re located between the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon and the International Reef Fleet Terminal.
The Cairns Night Markets
Come and visit the World Famous Cairns Night Markets, there is something for everyone. Open every day of the year from 5pm in the Night Markets till late. We never close. We are the first Night Markets in Australia. Our shops often change, so although you may have visited us in the past call in again and you may be surprised what we have on offer from our 70 plus markets shops for some great last minute shopping before you fly out of Cairns.
Situated in tropical Far North Queensland, DFO Cairns is a destination outlet Centre anchored by Coles, with fashion bargains, family fun and food. Home to international brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Oakley and Oroton, this well-established retail outlet comprises 57 specialty stores, with up to 70% off original prices. As well as fashion, food and bargain hunting, Cairns DFO has a new medical centre, offering the best in health care from top professionals. Whether it’s homewares, coffee, shopping or just some weekend fun…DFO Cairns has something for everyone.
Queen Street Mall
The Queen Street Mall is a vibrant shopping and lifestyle precinct that lies at the heart of Brisbane City and is Australia’s most popular pedestrian mall, playing host to more than 26 million visitors a year. The Queen Street Mall is not merely the state’s shopping hotspot, it is also Brisbane’s heart – the place you head with friends and family if it’s fun and entertainment you seek.
Indooroopilly Shopping Centre
The One The Only Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, located in Brisbane’s affluent Western suburbs, is home to over 330 specialty stores, major retailers and premium dining outlets, and is dedicated to providing customers with a unique and enjoyable shopping and dining experience.
The Collective Markets @ Southbank
Discover objects you’ll treasure forever at The Collective Markets. Embracing artisan culture, the market is a haven of unique goods – from eclectic and effortlessly cool fashions, to handmade jewellery, art and stylish homewares. More than 100 local creatives set up shop in the bustling Stanley Street Plaza on weekends, creating a vibrant atmosphere.
Direct Factory Outlets
With so many stores with up to 70% off, there’s something for everyone at DFO. From shoes and luggage to sunglasses and perfume, DFO has got you covered.
Westfield Chermside is a large shopping centre in Queensland, located in a Brisbane inner northern suburb. It is the 2nd largest in Australia by number of stores, behind Chadstone Shopping Centre and is operated by Scentre Group. Entertainment facilities include an Event Cinemas 16-screen cinema complex.
Brisbane Arcade is the city’s oldest shopping arcade and home to awarded fashion and jewellery designers, gift stores, beauty experts, cafes and more.
- Agnes Blus Roots and Rock Festival (21st Feb – 23rd Feb)
- Brisbane Cycling Festival (12th Mar – 5th Apr)
- Mooloolabatri Triathlon (13th Mar – 15th Mar)
- CMC Rocks Music Festival (20th Mar – 22nd Mar)
- Port Douglas Carnivale (22nd May – 24th May)
- Gold Coast Marathon (4th Jul – 5th Jul)
- Boulia Camel Races (17th Jul – 19th Jul)
- Vodafone Gold Coast 600 Supercars (30th Oct – 1st Nov)
Australia National Public Holidays
|1st January||New Year’s Day|
|26th January||Australia Day|
|2nd Monday in March||Labour Day (VIC, TAS)|
|March/April||Good Friday/Easter Monday|
|25th April||Anzac Day|
|2nd Monday in June||Queen’s birthday|
|25th December||Christmas Day|
|26th December||Boxing Day|
Australia’s currency is Australian Dollars (AUD) and currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. The most commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and their affiliates. Try this handy currency converter.
The emergency number for police, ambulance and or fire brigade is 000.
International Airports in Queensland
Gold Coast Airport, OOL
Address: Terminal Dr, Bilinga, 4225
Phone: 07 5589 1100
Brisbane Airport (BNE)
Address: Airport Drive
Phone: 07 3406 3000
Cairns Airport, CNS
Address: Airport Avenue, Cairns, 4870
Phone: 07 4080 6703