Queensland is the north eastern most state of Australia and is home to some of the most incredible travel in the world. Majority of what you will want to see here will be along the coast line and to get around, you can either hire a car and drive it or buy a hop on hop off Greyhound bus pass that allows you as many stops along the way as you like as long as it is in one direction. There are a lot of hostels along the way here, some towns with more than others, but the whole area is very popular so book at least a couple of days in advance.
If starting in the north, head up to Cape Tribulation and explore the jungle and the site where Captain Cook tried to get to land with his ship the Endeavour and struck the reef instead. The Daintree National Park is worth a visit in this area as well as it is home to some rare flora and fauna.
As you head further south, spend a couple of days chilling out in the quiet of Port Douglas. While it is more popular with backpackers to do their Great Barrier Reef dive out of Cairns, you will be able to access more pristine reef with the tours from Port Douglas so make your way north to do it. Cairns is about an hour south of here and you will find this to be an enormous backpackers hub with heaps of hostels and a massive nightlife.
Continuing on you will find the city of Townsville, which is where you catch the ferry over to Magnetic Island. Both of these places are worth taking some time to explore and chill out if you have time.
Airlie Beach is the gateway to the Whitsundays, a group of around 80 islands in the area. While the town of Airlie Beach itself is not much more than a tourist strip filled with pubs, clubs, fast food joints and backpackers hostels, the islands themselves are some of the most spectacular things you will ever see. Take a couple of boat trips out sailing and visit the famous Whitehaven Beach with its pristine white sand and the Hill Inlet. There is also some amazing snorkelling to be had around this area.
As you continue south, you can stop in Mackay and Rockhampton which are larger cities but you will not need to spend too much more than a day in each to break up the bus ride and explore the areas.
Agnes Water / Town of 1770 should be your next stop. It is a great surf town with a few hostels in it and is a little off the beaten track for the tourists. Some people come to visit and get stuck here for months at a time it is such a nice town to visit.
One place that you should not miss is Fraser Island. You can get onto a 4WD tour from either Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach. All three places have hostels, however hostels on Fraser Island are far and few between and many people camp in other places about the island where there aren't hostels.
Next you will encounter Noosa, which is an upmarket area that is popular with surfers before you hit the capital city of Queensland, Brisbane. Brisbane is a beautiful port city where there are an abundances of hostels on one main street of the city. There is some great partying to be had and a great outdoor café culture about the city.
The last stop on your way south and one of the most popular destinations in all of Australia is the Gold Coast, home to the famous Surfers Paradise. There are also a large number of hostels here to stay in while you visit the theme parks, learn to surf and relax before making your way to New South Wales.
This whole trip could take you a couple of weeks to a couple of months depending on time, money and how much time you want to spend. It can be expensive, but staying in hostels will make it a little cheaper.
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For the three days I was in Cairns I realized it's truly beautiful. I suggest that that everyone go snorkeling and/or scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef.
Brisbane is a fantastic city! We loved our stay here. Brisbane was fabulous - South Bank (wow!) the river (wow) and great feel for a city. We saw some great AFl with the Brisbane Lions too!
Maroochydore is a great place to do fruit picking as it is so close to the beach, has lovely weather, plenty of charity shops, and great drinking holes!
Mount Isa is real grubby place, since it is a mining community. Every house seems to have a mean barking dog.
Cardwell is the most beautiful place I may have ever been on Earth! The main street has mountians on one side and a simple, untouched beach on the other! It is in "croc country", so no swimming, but the view is enough to fall in love with Cardwell!! There are cute cafes and wonderful locals. The local Catholic …
There's nothing to do in Hervey Bay. Make sure you get on a three-day, two-night 4x4 tour, which actually works out cheaper anyway.
Mission Beach is a great little beach town. Its away from the hussle and bussle of other tourist areas so one can actually enjoy the place they are at.
I have fantastic memories of Bundaberg and would go back. I loved the hillbilly feel of the town. Beats the cities any day. Work is hard but well worth the experience.
Innisfail is a good place for a stop over and to earn some cash on the fruit picking but hard ass work...
I think Airlie Beach is a wonderful place to relax and it has the most beautiful scenery.
I worked in Surfers Paradise for 14 months from Sep 2002-Dec 2003 for a backpackers hostel, and it's my favourite place in Australia. There's so much to do, the weathers always great, and you meet tons of people very easily. You can go to theme parks, watersports, skydiving, zorbing, nature walks in the hinterland (I …
Mackay is a safe town to walk and explore. Non-touristy and friendly locals.
I had a brilliant time in townsville. It's a place where you can go to get a real feel of Ozy life as there isn't a huge backpacker appeal. It's just a really nice town and I look forward to going back. Another bonus is that it is a base for the Oz army so there were plenty of fit young men around. This was way back …
Rainbox Beach was just too lovely to describe with any justice. Anybody who wants a little paradise should definitely go to Rainbow Beach.
Biloela was a great party town, small but good. Grew up there.