Queensland has everything.
The climate, the rainforest, the reef and the beautiful mountain and tablelands. Here are 10 Great things to look out for and to do, when you are in Queensland.
1. Immerse yourself in Art
the super talented Alick Tipoti
The Canopy Artspace is a must not miss, print studio and exhibition space for contemporary indigenous work, free from both the material limitations of tradition and the fluff of postcolonial theory. It is a great place to learn about the Indigenous culture of Queensland. It is a privately run space combining galleries, artist’s studios and a printmaking workshop that are dedicated to showcasing Queensland’s indigenous artists and providing the facilities to nurture the region’s artists of the future. The famous artworks of Dennis Nona, Alick Tipoti and Wynne Prize winner Joanne Currie can be seen here, along with newer artists.
Alick Tipoti was born on Waiben (Thursday Island) in the Torres Strait Islands (north of Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula). As early as 1990 he developed a deep interest in art and has since become a dynamic contemporary printmaker. Tipoti looks to his elders for permission to retell, in linocut prints, narratives of earlier times when warrior heroes reigned. These images are often inspired by traditional motifs, once incised on ritual artefacts. Considered one of the leading indigenous artists in Australia, Alick Tipoti is a winner of the 2007 Telstra Prize for Works on Paper, and is ranked as one of Australia’s top 50 Most Collectable artists. Along with his contemporary, Dennis Nona, he has revolutionised the modern practices of linocut and etching.
aboriginal art prints
Dennis Nona is widely acknowledged as one the most important Torres Strait Islander artists. Born on Badu Island in 1973 he was taught as a young boy the traditional craft of woodcarving. This skill has been developed and translated into the incredibly intricate and beautiful linocuts, etchings and sculptures created by the artist.
2. Take a Helicopter Ride to the Outer Reef at Low Tide
choppers on the reef
this little guy, was spotted on the reef at low tide
Fly from the heart of the city over Trinity Inlet and the rainforest clad coastline of False Cape, with GBR Helicopters, and soak up amazing views of the stunning coral gardens surrounding Green Island.
On the Island, we enjoy the tropical surrounds before continuing our journey back to the mainland, via helicopter, but not before we made a surprise pit-stop. With the helicopter’s ability to land in tight places, we got to fly out and land on the outer reef, where the tide had gone out. We even spotted a shark or two!
3. Indulge in a Spa
me and Jackie of Scubadviser.. waiting for our spa treatment. She was also my dive buddy on the trip
ah… getting rid of the aches and pains are a welcome!
What a beautiful resort, right in the rainforest and perfectly located between the Daintree National Park and Port Douglas. The ambiance at Silky Oaks Lodge is authentic, set in pristine surroundings, luxurious as well as intimate, cosy and friendly. The sounds of nature all around and the river right below, make it an idyllic place for a spa. The lodge blends casual and contemporary design, with treehouses featuring wide verandahs and spa baths. Ensure you visit The Healing Waters Spa, with the rejuvenating power of water and the tranquil sounds of the rainforest or dine in The Treehouse Restaurant, where walls and windows have been replaced with the Mossman River and surrounding rainforest.
4. Dive the Great Barrier Reef
my dive pose – L – R, Kara, Jackie, Jess and Me! Also Ben, the skilled cameraman! (see below)
No trip is complete without diving the great barrier reef! From the word go, we knew we were in great hands. The staff on Poseidon were friendly and efficient. Our divemaster Harold was a lovely and patient man and had tons of experience under his belt. We had a great time diving with him. The boat we were on was a 24 metre, high speed luxury catamaran. The vessel was designed and built by the owner, with over 20 years of local knowledge and experience, specifically for this type of reef trip. Poseidon has been awarded one of the few permits to swim with Dwarf Minke Whales. These friendly mammals are regularly encountered from May to August, while their larger cousins, the Humpback Whales appear from July to September. Diving with Poseidon was definitely one of the big highlights of my trip!
Ben Southall, of The Best Job in the World, our fantastic photographer:)
5. Jungle Surf the Rain Forest
Another great one for the thrill seekers – flying through the canopy of the Cape Tribulation Daintree Rainforest on a zip line flying fox, enjoying spectacular views, along the way with the heart stopping adrenaline rush of jungle surfing. There is no better way to experience the exotic tropical rainforests of Cairns and Tropical North Queensland than high up in the canopy of the Daintree and Cape Tribulation rainforest trees with the birds. The views are awesome!
6. Ride the Rapids by White Water Rafting
The Barron River is conveniently located just 20 minutes away from Cairns. This white water rafting adventure takes up only half a day – the Barron River has grade 2 or 3 rapids, which means they are perfect for first time rafters. Finish off with raft surfing (dependent on water levels) and a swim in Lake Placid.
7. Get Close to a Croc
Bruce Belcher’s Daintree River Cruises is a great way to get close to a crocodile! This one-hour wild life cruise, on the banks of the Daintree River is deal for birdwatchers and avid croc spotters. Our guide was well-informed gentleman, and we learned that the fauna of Australia consists of a huge variety of animals; some 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles, 90% of fish and insects and 93% of amphibians that inhabit the continent are endemic to Australia. This high level of endemism can be attributed to the continent’s long geographic isolation, and the effects of an unusual pattern of climate change on the soil and flora over geological time. Consequently the marsupials, a group of mammals that raise their young in a pouch, including the macropods, possums anddasyuromorphs, occupy many of the ecological niches placental animals occupy elsewhere in the world.
Australia has two species of crocodile. The Saltwater Crocodile, known colloquially as the “salty,” is the largest living crocodile species; reaching over 7 m, and weighing over 1,000 kg, they can and do kill people. They live on the coast and in the freshwater rivers and wetlands of northern Australia, and they are farmed for their meat and leather. Freshwater Crocodiles, found only in northern Australia, are not considered dangerous to humans.
8. Have Dinner at Flames of the Forest
I really could go on for weeks about how great Flames of the Forest is, but I will try to make it concise! First off, the location is stunning, totally beautiful, peaceful, remote and gorgeous. The rainforest setting is the natural, authentic backdrop for this spiritual and mystical culture, a performance unique to Flames of the Forest, where you will learn about their timeless Aboriginal traditions over drinks and dinner. This is a great place to learn about the connection between the rain forest and the Aborigines, that is explored through story telling and music. I was really impressed with the food too, especially the kangaroo meat! A fab time indeed.
9. Explore Port Douglas on a hired bike
Look out point – Port Douglas
Port Douglas is a spectacular one hour drive north of Cairns along one of the most scenic coastal roads in Australia. Home to some of Tropical North Queensland’s most exclusive resorts, award winning restaurants, beautiful galleries and boutique shopping. The most popular time of year to visit Port Douglas is between June and October, and I find that the most fun way to do it, is on a bike. Don’t forget to go up to the look out point for a photo moment, as the view is just spectacular.
10. Have Cocktails and watch the Sunset
Ah.. there’s no better feeling, than to drag your exhausted, adventure battered but happy body, to a place where you can have cocktails and witness the sunset from the bar, and one such place is none other than, On The Inlet Seafood Restaurant Port Douglas. It is right on the bay where you see boats coming back from snorkel/dive trips. I love watching the sky turn different shades of red as the sunsets over the horizon, and you sip on a fantastically well made Midori cocktail!
On The Inlet Seafood Restaurant Port Douglas has an unbeatable location with breathtaking waterfront views of the Coral Sea, Mossman Ranges and Daintree National Park. A winning combination of the freshest local seafood and a deliciously tropical cocktail list makes On The Inlet Seafood Restaurant Port Douglas, Cairns a great place to enjoy lunch or dinner.
A big thank you to Tourism Queensland and Problogger, for bringing these 10 international bloggers to experience Life on the Great Barrier Reef! Thanks Tourism Queensland for taking the photos we could not take as well, whilst on the adventures!