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A family favourite for generations, the Gold Coast covers 57km of beaches, from Coolangatta in the south to South Stradbroke Island in the north. Beaches south of Surfers Paradise are popular with families, including Currumbin, Palm Beach, Burleigh, Mermaid Beach and Broadbeach. North of Surfers Paradise are Main Beach and Southport.
The Sunshine Coast, located north of Brisbane, offers a more laid back alternative to its southern cousin. Popular family holiday destinations include Caloundra, Marcoola, Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore, Cotton Tree, Coolum, Peregian Beach, Sunshine Beach and Noosa. This region also includes the Glasshouse Mountains (Maleny and Montville) and stretches as far north as Gympie.
Queensland's Tropical North, also known as FNQ, is popular with families for its warm winter climate and stretches from Mission Beach in the south, to Cooktown in the north. The Great Barrier Reef is the major drawcard, with reef trips from Cairns and Port Douglas. Cross the Daintree River into Cape Tribulation and head up to the Atherton Tablelands with its beautiful waterfalls.
Famous for Whitehaven Beach and its heart shaped coral, the Whitsundays region showcases the Great Barrier Reef. Home to 74 islands, Hamilton, Daydream and Long Islands are popular with families, while Airlie Beach is a great holiday base too. A sailing trip is a perfect way to discover the jewels of this region.
The Fraser Coast is best known for two things - whale watching and the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. Take a day trip or stay on the island for a night or two. Whale watching cruises leave from Hervey Bay. Head south to Rainbow Beach, another departure point for Fraser Island, and Tin Can Bay. Historic Maryborough is becoming known for its connection to Mary Poppins.
The capital of Queensland, Brisbane is a family friendly city, with its ferry river transport system making it easy to get explore. Stay in the city centre or South Bank, New Farm or Kangaroo Point. Greater Brisbane includes Stradbroke, Bribie and Moreton Islands, Ipswich and the Scenic Rim, which includes Mt Tamborine.
The Townsville region covers the area around the city of Townsville, Burdekin, Hinchinbrook and historic Charters Towers. Magnetic Island is a popular drawcard for families and the Great Barrier Reef is also accessible from Townsville, which has a great foreshore area with free waterpark for the kids.
Mackay city is the centre of this region, which offers a more laid-back tropical holiday experience. More than 30 beaches surround the town. A number of islands lie off the coast which can be explored via charter boat. See the wallabies on the beach at Cape Hillsborough and try fishing at Eungella Dam in the Pioneer Valley.
Part of the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, and including Great Keppel Island, the Capricorn region is not just about the water - there are also some magnificent landscapes to explore, including the spectacular Carnarvon Gorge National Park and the sapphire gemfields. The main city in this region, Rockhampton, is known as the beef capital of Australia. Yeppoon and Emu Park are popular beaches.
Also known as the Discovery Coast, walk in the steps of history at 1770, where Captain James Cook first landed in Australia. Stay at Heron Island. Visit Quoin Island (just off Gladstone) and visit the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre. Boyne Island and Tannum Sands are popular destinations for watersports. Take a cruise to Lady Musgrave Island and lagoon.
The name Bundaberg is synonymous with the alcoholic drink by the same name (you can include a distillery tour on your itinerary). This region is also famous for turtles, which come ashore between November and March to lay their eggs at Mon Repos. Bargara is a popular beachside location, while inland towns include Childers and Gayndah, home to the Big Orange.
Now part of Southern Queensland Country, Toowoomba Darling Downs is where the Darlings Downs meets the Great Dividing Range. This is the place to visit for nature and rural heritage with a number of quaint historic rural towns. Toowoomba is home to the Cobb & Co Museum and Oakey, to the Australian Army Flying Museum.
The Southern Queensland region encompasses Toowoomba and Darling Downs, Warwick (known for its roses and rodeo), the Granite Belt (known for its food and wine), South Burnett (home to the Bjelke-Petersen Dam) and Western Country, which starts at Goondiwindi on the border and includes towns such as Dalby..
Outback Queensland includes Mt Isa, Charleville and Longreach, the home of Australia's national airline, Qantas. Follow the Dinosaur Trail from Winton or fossick for gems at Opalton. Here the stars shine bright. Time your visit with a unique event, such as camel or yabby racing. Stay at a cattle station and experience outback life.
Images on this page were kindly provided by Tourism and Events Queensland. Photos by Adventure Mumma (Tropical North), Brook Miles Photography (Mackay), Pirie Bath Photography (Outback and Whitsundays), Jewels Lynch (Fraser) and T&GWSBT (Toowoomba).