Planning a five day vacation to a state as vast as Queensland is quite a challenge. It
is particularly challenging for the Vintage Traveler who likes to take her time, often
staying one month at a time. However, when I read about a contest for bloggers on my
favorite website, Johnny Jet, I decided to rise to the challenge.
Queensland encompasses 668,207 square miles in northeastern Australia, it's more than four times larger than California. It is home to six World Heritage Sites, most notably the Great Barrier Reef . The reef stretches over 1600 miles along the coast of Queensland, Australia in the Coral Sea, and is the world's largest coral reef system. It encompasses over 900 islands (most are uninhabited), and about 3,000 reefs.
Here are my plans:
---GREEN ISLAND AND GREAT BARRIER REEF TRIP FROM CAIRNS
Ride the luxury catamaran 16 miles to Green Island for a two night stay at the Green Island Resort, located on the fringe of the Great Barrier Reef. The first day allows leisure time to explore the island's rainforest, and to enjoy the many beach activities like snorkeling, windsurfing and kayaking. I would go immediately for the snorkeling, followed by a good walk on the beach, circling the island.
On Day two, a catamaran departs Green Island for a 50 minute cruise to the Outer Reef—for snorkeling, scuba diving, or a visit to an underwater observatory. I would take this opportunity for a much anticipated day of snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. Later in the day, returning to the resort for a relaxing sunset dinner and a guided night nature walk.
Day three includes a return to Cairns on the catamaran and some time to explore Cairns and ride the old Kuranda Scenic Rail to historic Kuranda.
--- FRASER ISLAND FOUR WHEEL DRIVE TOUR
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and another UN World Heritage Site. It is on the southern coast of Queensland and located 120 miles north of Brisbane. The island is 75 miles long and 15 miles wide and includes over 100 freshwater lakes, some of the cleanest in the world. Attractions include colored sand cliffs, dingoes (Australia's wild dog), reptiles, birds (350 species), flora, and rainforests. The tour departs from Harvey Bay and involves a two day adventure on 4WD's—there are no roads on the island. It has a Seventy Five mile beach—the world's most amazing beach highway. This is the most fascinating island I have ever heard of. I can hardly wait to explore it.
---FINAL STOP IN BRISBANE
A trip to Queensland would not be complete without spending one last evening in Brisbane. Located on the meandering Brisbane River, it is the largest city in Queensland. I look forward to walking along the river and exploring historic buildings, followed by an exciting night out on the town.