Mission Beach is a Queensland coastal destination that is known for its close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, stunning tropical rainforest and some of the east coast's best beaches.
An ideal destination to take part in holiday activities like snorkelling, diving, bushwalking, shopping and exploring, Mission Beach is a must-see for any tourist seeking the best of Australia's beaches.
One of the most popular attractions in these parts is the well known, Dunk Island. From South Mission Beach, water taxis and launches operate daily from Clump Point to the Island, which is situated 20 minutes off the mainland. Dunk Island is a rainforest island paradise located within the Great Barrier Reef and is a must-see while in the area.
Where to Stay:
Beachcomber Coconut Caravan Village
This tourist park is a paradise right on the beach, offering a tranquil rainforest setting, with striking views of Dunk Island. A wide range of powered sites are available, and with the added bonuses of a tennis court, resort-style pool and TV and games rooms, you are guaranteed to enjoy your stay here. (www.beachcombercoconut.com.au)
Experience the wonder of Paronella Park and you will discover the dream of one man, turned into a reality. This park was inspired by Spanish castles and boasts dazzling waterfalls and exquisite rainforest settings, making it one of the state's most frequented destinations. (www.paronellapark.com.au)
Sky Dive Mission Beach
Begin this adventure of a lifetime with a scenic flight over the area's amazing tropical rainforest and sections of the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy these remarkable views from an entirely different point of view as you throw yourself out of the plane and glide safely back to earth, all while absorbing the stunning coastal setting that makes this area so breathtaking. (www.skydivemissionbeach.com.au/)
Considered the unofficial capital of North Queensland, Townsville is a lovely Australian city that boasts some of the state's most intriguing attractions.
Another fantastic aspect of the city is its ability to retain its elegant Victorian architecture. In the suburbs you will find fine examples of the Queenslander style houses that were built with timber and boast wide verandas.
Where to Stay:
Walkabout Palms Townsville
Boasting unbeatable views of Townsville's tallest mountain, Mount Stuart, this Big 4 holiday park is the ideal place to stay while visiting Townsville. Set close to Strand Beach and Magnetic Island, this park offers first class facilities and a recreational atmosphere that is unsurpassed. (www.walkaboutpalms.com.au OR www.big4.com.au)
Reef HQ Aquarium
Reef HQ is the world's largest living coral reef aquarium, and is widely visited by tourists from far and wide each year. It offers the perfect introduction to the Great Barrier Reef, with its brilliant colours, shimmering waters and abundance of bright and lively marine life. (www.reefhq.com.au/home)
Museum of Tropical Queensland
If you are seeking to discover some of Townsville's natural history, archaeology and history, the best place to do it would have to be the Museum of Tropical Queensland. Housing artefacts from the HMS Pandora, this is a great place to discover some of Australia's marine past and get a taste of what times were like in days gone by. (www.mtq.qm.qld.gov.au/)
Mackay is a Queensland city surrounded by lush green cane fields and bisected by the broad Pioneer River. The best way to discover what it has to offer is to take a stroll along the Heritage Walk, which will introduce you to several National Trust structures.
It is also worth crossing the river to explore the city's northern section, the stunning harbour, the multi-million-dollar marina development and white sand Harbour Beach.
Other popular options include taking a cruise to Brampton Island or the Whitsunday Islands, and the scuba-diving spots off Credlin Reef.
Where to Stay:
Andegrove Van Park
Relax a little when you visit the Andegrove Van Park, located in central Mackay. This park is unlike most Australian caravan parks, as it offers a relaxing atmosphere and tranquil tropical setting that truly make you feel like you are on holiday. (www.andergrovepark.com.au/)
Discover the arts and culture of the Mackay region with a visit to the Artspace gallery, which is located right in the heart of town. This art gallery has hosted many travelling national and International exhibitions and is the hub of the city's cultural activity. (www.artspacemackay.com.au/)
It sounds like a lot, but it is true that Mackay is home to some 31 beaches. Take some time to discover at least a few of them and either relax by the calming waters, take a dip, try your luck at surfing or simply work on your tan.
Nestled on the banks of the Fitzroy River, Rockhampton is a rural Queensland city that offers a wealth of fun and exciting places to visit. Boasting over 300 days of sunshine per year, Rockhampton is a city that incorporates coastal and rural life to provide a pleasant blend between the two and offering the perfect Queensland destination for any holiday.
Where to Stay:
Discovery Holiday Parks
Set on 10 acres of tropically landscaped gardens, with nature trails and tranquil water features, you'll feel like you're in a rainforest when you stay at the Discovery Holiday Park in Rockhampton.
Home to a wide variety of animals, the Rockhampton Zoo is a great attraction for any family fun day out. This is a place where wildlife is at its best as it is home to animals such as koalas, kangaroos, wombats, dingoes, snakes and crocodiles, ensuring there is something for everyone. (www.rockhamptonzoo.com.au/)
These stunning gardens represent the Australian bush at its best, offering a more relaxed and less formal environment to traditional botanical gardens. Enjoy a family picnic in the beautiful grounds and soak up the splendid colonial architecture, lush rainforests and sprawling waterfalls. (www.kershawgardens.tripod.com/)
Agnes Waters and 1770 are towns known for many things but perhaps none more so than for relaxation. Home to unspoilt beaches, untouched coral reefs and a serenity that is unsurpassed by any other Queensland town, 1770 and Agnes Waters cannot simply be passed through.
Where to Stay:
Captain Cook Holiday Park
Highly regarded as a natural paradise, the Captain Cook Holiday Park is undoubtedly the best place to stay in town. Boasting an award-winning restaurant and bar, this holiday is perfect for couples and families alike, offering first class facilities and great sites to park a campervan on. (www.1770holidayvillage.com/)
Lady Musgrave Island
One of the Great Barrier Reef's most talked about highlights, Lady Musgrave Island and Lagoon is full to the brim with colourful coral, magnificent marine life and crystal clear, turquoise waters. Board the Spirit of 1770 and you will be transported to a whole new world that will simply take your breath away. (www.spiritof1770.com.au/)
Embark on an amphibious adventure when you take a ride on the Larc, arguably one of the area's most recognisable icons. Taking you along the coastline of the Eurimbula National Park right up to the Bustard Head Light station this is an adventure that the kids are sure to love. (www.1770larctours.com.au/)
Named by Captain Cook in 1770, Hervey Bay is made up of numerous tiny townships, and is the gateway to Fraser Island. Considered one of the best places in the world to spot humpback whales, the area has numerous outdoor recreational opportunities, and a plethora of caravan parks.
Where to stay:
Fraser Lodge Holiday Park
Located in Hervey Bay just a short walk to the beach, Fraser Lodge features two swimming pools, a tennis court, two camp kitchens, a game room with televisions, Internet access, spa, tour desk with booking services, and turtle and duck watching at the Sanctuary Dam. Choose from couple's retreats, spa villas, two bedroom villas, holiday units, studio units, ensuite cabins, ensuite sites, powered sites and unpowered sites. (www.fraserlodge.com.au)
BIG4 Point Vernon Holiday Park
Located just outside of Hervey Bay, the Point Vernon features a library with television and Internet, a saltwater swimming pool, children's playground, tour desk with booking services, and camp kitchen. Choose from ensuite and park cabins; the park also has drive-through sites. (www.pvhp.com.au OR www.big4.com.au)
Whale Watching Tour
Every year from July through November, Hervey Bay is home to thousands of migrating humpback whales. More than 20 companies operate whale-watching tours out of Urangan Boat Harbour. You can choose full-day, half-day, and three-quarter-day tours. Check with the Whale Watch Industry Association of Hervey Bay for more information.
Hervey Bay Historical Village & Museum
Step back in time as you explore the 19 buildings that make up the Hervey Bay Historical Village & Museum. Thousands of artefacts date back to the 1800s, and the site includes a church built in 1910, a railway station built in 1920, a slab cottage built in 1900, and a school built in the 1800s. Some of the buildings are fully furnished. On Sundays you can see a demonstration from a blacksmith and wood turner.
Fishing Off of the Scarness Esplanade
Hervey Bay is also well known for fantastic fishing opportunities. You can hire a fishing charter, but if you simply want to put a line in for a few hours, make your way to the Scarness Esplanade. About 18 km long, the Esplanade has numerous jetties perfect for fishing.
This small settlement is tucked into a landscape of forested slopes and hills dotted with black-and-white Fresian cows. Maleny traces it timber-getting beginnings to around 1870, and its streets are named after various trees - including Maple, Myrtle and Cedar, in memory of those early days.
The village is a local centre for craft activity and there are several specialist outlets with handcrafted jewellery, wood sculptures and hand-blown glass among the objects for sale.
Where to stay:
Tranquil Park Mountain Resort Maleny
When you stay at the Tranquil Park Mountain Resort you will undoubtedly experience stunning views of the Glasshouse Mountains and its surrounding beauty. With picturesque views surrounding you at a 360 degree angle, this is the perfect spot for a romantic retreat for two. (www.tranquilpark.com.au/)
Tree Frog Gallery
Showcasing a wide variety of Australian Indigenous art, ceramics, jewellery and contemporary art, the Tree Frog Gallery is guaranteed to be an art lover's paradise. (www.treefroggallery.com/)
Situated just off Maleny-Montville Rd, Maleny Cheese is a must see for lovers of cheese. (www.malenycheese.com.au/)?
Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and Australia's fastest growing city. Located on the Brisbane River, between the Great Dividing Mountain Range and Moreton Bay, Brisbane is a lush city with spectacular gardens and wonderful beaches.
Brisbane offers visitors a wealth of sightseeing and dining opportunities, and you will need at least a full day to explore cultural and historical landmarks in Brisbane, and perhaps do some shopping at one of the outlet centers in and around the city.
Where to Stay:
BIG4 Brisbane North side Caravan Village
Located about 12 km from the heart of Brisbane in Aspley, the BIG4 Brisbane features a well-equipped recreation room with an Internet kiosk, a swimming pool, tennis courts, golf putting green, and laundry facilities. Guests can easily walk to a nearby shopping centre and to public transportation into Brisbane. Choose from self-contained, air-conditioned villas and cabins, all of which include kitchens, telephones, televisions, and toilets. (www.caravanvillage.com.au OR www.big4.com.au)
Gateway Village Resort
Located about 16 km south of Brisbane in Rochedale, the Gateway Village features a recreation room, tennis court with floodlights, swimming pool, children's playground, laundry facilities, landscaped gardens, and Internet kiosks and wireless throughout, camper's kitchen, and free video games. Buses run from the resort into Brisbane and to the major regional shopping centres. Choose from one- to three-bedroom villas, and full-serviced, powered sites. (www.gatewayvillage.com.au)
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Located just outside of Brisbane in Fig Tree Pocket, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is home to over 130 koalas. Stop by on the way to your accommodations near Brisbane, and you can enjoy some actual koala cuddling, feed kangaroos from your hand, and see parrots, kookaburras, emus, wombats, a Tasmanian devil and an Eastern water dragon! You can have your picture taken with a koala; eat at the on-site restaurant or in the picnic area. (www.koala.net)
St. John's Cathedral
Under construction for the past 100 years, this 19th century Gothic-Revival cathedral was designed in 1888 and features the only stone vaulted ceiling in Australia. Take the Stained Glass Tour, watch as masons cut stone using medieval methods, and see more than 200 needlepoint cushions hand-stitched by art students. www.stjohnscathedral.com.au
The Queensland Cultural Centre
Situated on the banks of the Brisbane River, the Queensland Cultural Centre is a series of buildings celebrating the arts. Visit the Queensland Arts Gallery and the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (www.qag.qld.gov.au), both with Aboriginal collections. Also in this arts complex is the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (www.qpac.com.au), where you can take a tour of the four separate theatres, and backstage areas. The Queensland Museum (www.qm.qld.gov.au/) is the place to see fossils, models of a blue whale and dinosaurs, and even a German tank from WW1.
Queensland's Gold Coast is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the state. Home to the fabulous Surfers Paradise and the known destination for ultimate family fun, the Gold Coast boasts the country's best theme parks, including Dreamworld, Movieworld, Seaworld and Wet'n'Wild.
The Gold Coast offers something for everyone, whether it is a romantic coastal escape or the family holiday of a lifetime.
Where to Stay:
Ashmore Palms Holiday Park
This resort-style caravan park is one of the Gold Coast's best. Offering guests a wide range of accommodation options, this park boasts first class facilities and is in close proximity to attractions such as Southport, Main Beach, Surfer's Paradise and all the major theme parks. (http://www.ashmorepalms.com.au)
Known as the park with all the worlds in one, this theme park is a must on any Gold Coast holiday, for both those young and young at heart. Experience the thrills of the Claw, the Giant Drop and the Tower of Terror and cool off in the afternoon when you pop next door to the ultimate water theme park, White Water World. (www.dreamworld.com.au)
The name kind of gives it away, but Surfer's Paradise offers so much more than surfing. Explore the many shops and cafes that line the beaches and spend an afternoon frolicking in the water or simply relaxing in the sun. (www.surfersparadise.com/)
Byron Bay is one of New South Wales' premier tourist destinations. As a town relying solely on the tourism industry, Byron Bay certainly offers a lot, with superb beaches, a laid-back lifestyle, surrounding green hills and the rocky Cape Byron rising in the distance.
Main Beach is a short walk from the town centre and is where all the action takes place. It is not unusual to see dolphins and their calves feeding not far from the shores or jumping through the breaking waves.
Where to Stay:
Clarkes Beach Holiday Park
Situated right on the beach front, this park is the ideal place to stay for those seeking the complete ocean living experience. Located within a close proximity to the town centre and Cape Byron lighthouse, visitors can enjoy the peace and serenity of this incredible area in style and comfort, while still avoiding the hoards of crowds. (www.clarkesbeach.com.au/)
Byron Bay is home to many beaches, and while some can't escape the draws of commercialism, many have remained untouched. Catch some rays as you enjoy the calming effect of the lapping waters or take a dip, do a spot of snorkelling or simply enjoy watching the windsurfers cruise by. (www.byron-bay-beaches.com/)
The Cape Byron Lighthouse
Known as Australia's most easterly lighthouse, the Cape Byron Lighthouse offers everything a traditional lighthouse should. Visited by half a million people every year, the most enjoyable aspect of the lighthouse is perhaps the spectacular views of the coastline that surround it. (www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/nsw/Cape Byron/Cape Byron.htm)
Beaches and balmy weather brings tourists to this area. Make your way down to Jetty Beach to enjoy a lovely strip of coast that looks out to Mutton Bird Island and the Pacific Ocean beyond. You can even take a stroll up and over the Island to have a feeling of being on the edge of the world. From August to April the island is an important seabird colony crammed with the burrows of more than 10,000 pairs of mutton birds, hence the name. If visiting from June to November keep an eye peeled for humpback whales as they pass offshore on their migrations to and from tropical calving grounds; cruises allow a close-up view.
Where to Stay:
Darlington Beach Holiday Park
The largest holiday park in the state of New South Wales, Darlington Beach Resort Park is only a 25-minute drive north of Coffs Harbour. The resort is bordered by Split Solitary Marine Park and Wedding Bells state forest. This resort offers two swimming pools, a golf course, two tennis courts, six kilometres of beachfront, a playground, cafe, Internet, movie and bingo nights, and is close to public transportation. Choose from ensuites, powered and unpowered sites, and self contained units priced from deluxe to value. (www.darlingtonbeach.com.au OR www.big4.com.au)
Emerald Beach Holiday Park
This award winning beachside park is located only minutes north of Coffs Harbour. Nearby are the beautiful Moonee Beach Reserve and the famous "Big Banana." This park offers disabled access, convenience store, video rental, playground, a solar heated pool, a game room and basketball court. Accommodations include ensuites, self-contained units, and powered and unpowered sites. (www.emerald-beach.com)
Pet Porpoise Pool
Close to the Jetty is the Pet Porpoise Pool with much marine life including dolphins, seals and penguins as well as Cockatoos, Peacocks, emus and many more. If you ever wanted to swim with the dolphins or seals for an up close and personal encounter you can! We would recommend pre-booking to avoid disappointment. (http://www.petporpoisepool.com/)
The Big Banana
The Big Banana is a banana plantation and much more. The theatre shows films of life on the plantation. You will visit a hydroponics glasshouse, the banana packing shed and historic exhibits, the toboggan ride, the ice skating rink and much more. A favourite with the kids would have to be the candy shop. (www.bigbanana.com/)
Port Macquarie, at the mouth of the Hastings River, is a Mecca for water sports. The Hastings and Camden Haven Valleys are scenic wonderlands. Port Macquarie is rich in history, too. St. Thomas Church is one of the oldest in Australia. Life here is geared very much towards tourism. Experience things like boat hire, mini-golf, camel rides and scenic flights and also shops, cafès, restaurants and theme parks.
Where to stay:
Sundowner Break wall Tourist Park
Located right in town, adjacent to lifeguard-patrolled Town Beach in Port Macquarie, this four-star rated park features the largest resort swimming pool on the mid north coast. Other amenities include free Internet, camp kitchen, children's playground, kiosk, and free kid's club during NSW school holidays. Accommodations include bayside and riverside cottages, spa cottages, conventional cottages, superior and small ensuite cabins, powered sites and units for backpackers. Take the free Koala Hospital Tour. (www.sundownerholidays.com)
The Cassegrain Winery is just south of Port Macquarie on the Pacific Highway near the Hastings River. The Cellar Door opens early for wine tasting. Reserve ahead for special private instruction in oenology. The Ca Marche restaurant is award winning, or you can picnic at the vineyard. The Winery has frequent special events and often hosts concerts in its natural amphitheatre. (www.cassegrainwines.com.au)
The Sea Acres Rainforest Centre
Begin your visit to the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre with a stop at the ecology display to deepen your understanding of the flora and fauna and how they interact. Then take the long boardwalk to see the rainforest up close. You can purchase a souvenir or educational material at the shop, and dine at the Rainforest Cafe.
The local Aboriginal guide, Wiruunngga, from Gambaari Tours, will guide you from nearby Bellingen to see the Promised Land and the Never Never. He will tell you the story of Old Man Dreaming and teach you the skill of ochre painting. You also learn a traditional dance and sample bush tucker. While you are in Bellingen, visit Heartland Didgeridoos, to learn how this instrument is made. (www.heartdidg.com/Cultural/gambaarri.htm)
This pretty little town is situated on the southern coastline of Port Stephens. Acting as an ideal base to explore this remarkable region of New South Wales, Nelson Bay is home to an interesting variety of attractions, with spotting dolphins high up there on the list. Whale watching is another popular pastime here, ensuring that nature is a prominent aspect of this sleepy little town.
Where to stay:
Halifax Beachside Holiday Park
Nestled in natural bushland right on the water, this incredible holiday park is located just 15 minutes outside the town centre of Nelson Bay. Offering top class facilities, this park is ideal for those seeking a quiet place to stay, right by the water's edge.
Dolphins frequent the bay area most of the year round so be sure to head down there one afternoon to catch these clever creatures having the time of their lives.
In Sydney, you can indulge in some of the Emerald City's "Mod Oz" cuisine and a little of the city's famous nightlife. This is where you may wish to extend your trip once you return your rental, and stay at a hotel in the Rocks Historic District long enough to take in Sydney's many world-class attraction
Where to Stay:
Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park
Located 25 km north of Sydney's central business district, this resort offers connections by ferry and bus to Manly, Palm Beach and Sydney's attractions. Amenities include a seven-day reception and tour desk, disabled access, a coastal environment centre, landscaped gardens and garden walkways. Choose from ensuites and drive through suites with or without power. (www.sydneylakeside.com.au OR www.big4.com.au)
Sydney Opera House
Located in Sydney Harbour, the roof of this iconic structure was designed to resemble sailboats. The Opera House features five performance venues, as well as shops, restaurants and bars. The basic tour includes tea and coffee, but the real treat is the backstage tour. A little pricey, but an experience you will not soon forget. (www.sydneyoperahouse.com)
Royal Botanical Gardens
Enjoy a tour of more than 45,000 plants at this 80-acre park. You can also explore on your own, but do make time for the Rare and Threatened Plants Garden, and a meal in the Botanic Gardens Restaurant surrounded by flowers.
Several attractions are located in this popular spot, including the Harbourside Festival Marketplace, the Sydney Aquarium, the Powerhouse Museum, and the Australian National Maritime Museum. Dozens of fantastic restaurants operate out of Darling Harbour; don't forget to check out those located in the area hotels. (www.darlingharbour.com)