If you've seen all my other photo journals, you'll know that I'd been to almost everywhere in Australia except the picturesque Whitsundays. Last month that all changed when I paid a visit to the eastern state of Queensland following a week in Papua New Guinea. We stayed in cities, mountains and islands experiencing 'winter' in this region and doing some very cool activities along the way. Here are a few of my favourite photos from the trip!
Not knowing what to expect, our first stop in Queensland was the cosmopolitan city of Brisbane, and we were pleasantly surprised. It was still a balmy 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius) and the city itself is ideally set up for enjoying the outdoors. We spent the morning strolling along the gardens of the South Bank where there are plenty of restaurants and a public man-made beach and pool area. Like other Australian cities, Brisbane had a cool, laid back feel to it… immediately relaxing!
We picked up a car and drove an hour and a half out of the city to Spicers Tamarind which is located about 45 minutes inland from the Sunshine Coast. After a scenic journey up into the hills, the temperature dropped and we were spoiled by incredible views across the verdant landscape. When we arrived at Spicers, the individual lodges are set amongst the trees with the sound of a waterfall in the distance. All of this can be enjoyed from your hot tub on the balcony.
Although as a company we don’t encourage visits to many zoos, we did pop in to Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, which is home to many native species including this adorable wombat.
The zoo is heavily involved in conservation, all enclosures are large and the animals well cared for.
After visiting the zoo, we drove about an hour up to the pretty coastal town of Noosa.
The picture perfect sandy beach is beautiful and there are lots of lovely cafes and restaurants where you can just sit and watch the world go by.
After a return to Brisbane for a short flight up to the Whitsundays, our final stop was Hamilton Island where we were treated to champagne on arrival at our the hotel.
This view is from the Long Pavilion at Qualia, my new favourite Luxury Lodge in Australia.
The resort and island is predominantly car-free, making it a cleaner and safer environment for everyone.
Instead, the main mode of transportation is an electric golf buggy, which, as you can imagine, we had a lot of fun driving around! Just don’t forget to charge it up at the end of the day.
The fiery sunsets on Hamilton Island are truly spectacular, perhaps some of the best I’ve ever seen. This was taken from the terrace at Qualia as we enjoyed a lovely champagne reception and One Tree Hill is another great spot to watch the sun go down with a glass of bubbles or two.
Without a doubt, Whitehaven beach is the most beautiful beach I’ve ever visited. It has the whitest sand in the world and is easily accessible across the turquoise water by boat from Hamilton Island. This view is from Hill Inlet which allows you to take in the full panorama of the beautiful swirls. My picture does not do it justice! Also, a handy tip, if you have any jewellery you need cleaning take it here, the fine sand is 98% silica so it will polish it up a treat. Be careful with your electronics though!