The Sunshine State

When it comes to showing off Australia to the rest of the world and even interstate Aussies it is easy to pick one of Queensland’s bevvy of beautiful beaches, attractions and tropical rainforests.

Because of this, Queensland is also a backpacker’s haven, a place of long days lounging beside the sun-soaked beaches and trying the hundreds of adrenalin fill activities in what is an action-packed state.

Brisbane, the state capital, is often forgotten after the plan ride in as travellers make their way to popular and enticing destinations like the Sunshine Coast or further north to Cairns and the Whitsundays.

But as we have explained previously, that despite being overlooked Brisbane has much to offer to backpackers.

The vast expanse of rivers is a great way to not only get around town but to enjoy the views, travel on one of the free ferries for an excellent trip around town.

Southbank is full of things to do during the day, including the world’s only inner-city beach, so remember your bathers.

Music acts perform at the State Library, ironic I know, but Brisbane isn’t all that it appears to be. Ride the Wheel of Brisbane at night and take in views of the illuminated city.

Nearby has some great nightlife, or if you are on the north bank, there is Fortitude Valley, both providing an excellent scene for backpackers, from live music venues to more colourful nightclubs.

It would be a poor choice to discount the city of BrisVegas before trekking off along the beaten path!


Just south of Brisbane is the Sunshine Coast and Surfers Paradise.

The aptly named town of Surfers Paradise is situated right alongside the Gold Coast and combined they create Australia’s most famous beachside region.

With a luxury of beach choices, this area was made for surf lovers and sand huggers keen to lie down under the sun.

Days can pass-catching some of cleanest breaks you could find, or walking the beachside street shops and cafes.

It is a simple life, a cruisy life but a much-loved life amongst backpackers.

The fun only goes to another level at night, particularly in Surfers Paradise on Orchid and Cavill Avenue with an envious selection of clubs and bars that will carry you on to the early hours.

A true backpacker haven

For a good break from the sun and sand head to the theme parks.

Ride the crazy Superman Ride at Movie World, freefall on the Giant Drop at Dreamworld, get soaked at Wet n Wild Water World or check out the ocean-themed Seaworld.


With other great places like Hervey Bay and Fraser Island Queensland provides the traveller with an empty plate and a buffet selection.

With even more pristine beaches, now add rolling mountains of beautiful rainforests, the world’s best reef and the incredible islands of the Whitsundays you will be surrounded by amazing places to visit and of course places to party.

Relax on the beach looking out to the other islands or go for an excellent kayak.

With so many islands to check out, here is also the perfect spot for a sail with many many options available in which to bring out your inner skipper.

Airlie Beach, is the most accessible access point for the would-be Whitsunday sailors, is also a brilliant destination for backpackers.

With cheap accommodation, excellent nightlife Airlie Beach is a destination tailored in the backpacking spirit.

Far North Queensland

Cairns is the perfect base in which to explore the northern expanses of Queensland.

It is filled with a hoard of likeminded backpackers who have come here for much the same reason you have.

They have come to Cairns for great weather and chilled atmosphere, an easy passage to the Great Barrier Reef and also to the Daintree Rainforest and beaches to the north.

Chill out at the Lagoon or head to the Esplanade for a bite to eat and a drink later at the numerous pubs. With so many travellers around, there will always be a party just around the corner.

Just an easy drive from Cairns is Port Douglas, another beautiful beachside town, frequented by many to take in the sweet surrounds.

Just off the coast is, of course, the Great Barrier Reef with Cairns offering some of the best tours and close and easy access, it is a great place to embark on snorkeling or diving around the reef.


A decent drive – that is every bit worth it – north of Cairns is the fantastic Daintree Rainforest.

Containing almost a third of Australia’s marsupial and reptile animals including the largest concentration of rare plants in the world the Daintree is truly a special place.

Discover Mossman Gorge and the Daintree River, relax amongst the peaceful waters with chirping birds surrounding.

For a more action-filled activity go jungle surfing above the canopies for a different view of the rare environment, or go search for some crocodiles on one of the many riverboats.

With Cape Tribulation and the Atherton Tablelands nearby backpackers are spoilt for choice.

Such is the vast array of choices it could be a long time before you see other parts of this fantastic continent.

But we are guessing you wouldn’t have it any other way.