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Australia - Our Great Itinerary

Hi everyone!
We have just gotten back from an absolutely amazing vacation in Queensland, Australia. Many of you had provided suggestions to us as we were planning our trip, and we wanted to share our final itinerary with you in the event others are looking for suggestions. Feel free to reach out for more info regarding our stops or where we stayed. Here we go:

Day 1 - Brisbane. Stayed at Rydges South Bank for the night. Awesome location and nice hotel. SB is packed with restaurants, cafes, choclaterias. Young, town, high energy feel. The river promenade is lovely with surprises along the way - ferris wheel, rainforest walk, lagoon, and more. Walked to the Botanic Gardens - beautiful!
Day 2 - Flew from Brisbane to Proserpine / Airlie Beach. Stayed at Airlie Waterfront B & B, out of the hecticness of the main street in Airlie but right across from the water. Lovely B & B - tell Chem we sent you! Airlie is a backpackers town - a drinking town with a sailing problem. Gateway to Whitsunday Islands. Abell Marina good area to stay.
Day 3 - spent good part of day in Airlie Beach - hung out at the man made lagoon in town. Met the crew and other passengers who would be sailing with us for the next 3 days/night aboard the Whitsunday Getaway II to the Whitsunday Islands and sailed off on our adventure
Days 4-6 - Highly recommended if you want to snorkel and dive on the fringes of the Great Barrier Reef - less crowded, undisturbed, just as beautiful. Whitsunday Getaways is awesome. 3 other couples and a crew of two - Chris and Morgan. Visited islands and coves no one else was at. Waters were amazing as were the coral and fish. Highlight - White Haven Beach - a must see. Price was well worth it - Upon return, picked up our rental car and we started our journey back south.
Day 6 - evening - drove straight through to Mackay (about 2 hours). Not much to do at all but for a stopover - perfect. Stayed at MacKay Clarion - lovely hotel
Day 7 - left Mackay and back-tracked to hit Eungella Park and Finch Hatton Gorge for awesome bushwalks, waterfalls with pools - well worth it. Stopped in Pinnacle for Pinnacle Pies - a must. Down to Rockhampton for the night. Not much again, but good place for a stop over. Stayed at the Empire Apartments - really nice contemporary hotel.

Day 8 - Left Rockhampton and worked our way down to Hervey Bay via Agnes Water and 1770. Lovely places to stop for a few hours.

Day 8 -Pulled into Hervey Bay for 2 nights. Stayed at Oceans Resort and Spa - OMG, amazing hotel right on the water with two pools on the Urangan Pier side of the bay.
Day 9 on Hervey Bay - went to Fraser Island for one day tour with Unique Fraser - the guide plus 6 people max. Only way to do this. Don't take the bus with 40 people. Much more personalized. Full day, but you get to see the main sites plus more. Glad we only dd the one day trip.
Day 10 - Morning in HB, than drove down to Rainbow Beach via Maryborough - the birthplace of the author of Mary Poppins. Fun place to stop for an hour or so.
Day 10 - Late afternoon in Rainbow Beach and the night at Debbie's Place - B & B without the breakfast! A MUST is Carlos Sandblow - not well marketed but you will stand with your mouth wide open as you take in the amazing sight in front of you. Also- Coloured Sands (lightning started so we never made it)
Day 11 - Off to Goomborian for a full day Horseback Ride in the country with Rainbow Beach Horse Rides - absolutely incredible day. Tell Andrew, the owner, we sent you. MUST DO if you like to ride - other rides available.
Day 11-14 Noosa Heads - stayed on the Noosa River at Noosa Harbour Resort (family oriented with beautiful units) away from, but close enough to Hastings Street - the main hub. Love it here! Great shopping, cafes, restaurants and overall vibe. Kayak or SUP around the river, Equathon for Beach Horseback Riding.


Posted by
703 posts

it sounds like you had a good time, so glad to hear you enjoyed it. thanks for the report. hope you can get back to Australia again and enjoy other places, there is plenty to see.

Posted by
7124 posts

It does sound like you had a great time, and I'm so pleased you stretched beyond the 10-12 days originally planned, as well as including the flight from Brisbane to Proserpine to minimise the amount of long distance driving. The weather in November, though, was hotter than normal, so I hope that wasn't detrimental.

Posted by
38 posts

Hey David-
We had an incredible time. Thank you for all your help! The weather actually was quite perfect for us. As we were spending a lot of time by the water, or on the water, we couldn't have asked for more. Also, switching up our itinerary so that we flew into Proserpine at the beginning of our trip was certainly the way to go. We did so much, that by the time we made it to Noosa, where we half lots of plans, we decided to just relax for the last few days. It was a perfect ending.
Hope to get back to Australia one day. My son is actually planning on doing his semester abroad in Sydney next maybe :-). Take care and have a wonderful holiday season!