Summer, is that you knocking at my door? My favourite season of the year is upon us and you can’t half tell I’m excited. My suggestion for a ‘wear your bikini to work’ day, however, wasn’t as popular as I would have hoped.
The days are longer, hemlines are getting shorter (or is that just me?), morning coffees have been swapped for the iced variety and I’ve got an overwhelming urge to feel the sand between my toes.
Bikini ready or not (lord knows I’m not!), you’ll want to make the most of the next 90 days, so we’ve rounded up 50 of the best ways to have fun this summer in Queensland*.
1. Learn to ride the waves at Happy Valley with the pros from North Caloundra Surf School.
2. Order arguably the best fish and chips on the Gold Coast from Peter’s Fish Market and have a picnic on the beach.
3. Take the family to the Brisbane International 2013 and watch Serena Williams, Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova in action.
4. Spend the day at Suttons Beach in Redcliffe then kick back at the Mon Komo Hotel for a Sunday session.
5. Stop in at the Bramble Patch in Stanthorpe where they turn your favourite berries into delicious made-to-order ice cream. Best served in a crunchy waffle cone!
6. Spend your Christmas cash on one-off fashions and quirky vintage buys at The Village Markets in Burleigh Heads.
7. Get cultured at QAGOMA when they showcase 77 artists from 27 countries in ‘The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ from 8 December 2012 – 14 April 2013.
8. Catch loggerhead turtles nesting and hatching at the Mon Repos turtle rookery near Bundaberg from November to March.
9. Channel your inner hippie and ring in the New Year at the Woodford Folk Festival from 27 December – 1 January, 2013.
10. Swap sunbaking for saddles with Equathon’s horse riding tours on the beach at Noosa North Shore.
11. Snorkel or dive with wobbegongs, kingfish and trevally at the Tangalooma Wrecks.
12. Get revved up and ride your very own Sea-Doo on a jet ski tour from Airlie Beach to the Whitsunday Islands.
13. Go behind the scenes and get on the ice with those tuxedo-wearing birds as part of Sea World’s Penguin Antarctic Adventure.
14. The Coomba Falls waterhole at Maidenwell is icy most of the year so this is the ideal place to cool down on a hot day.
16. Set up camp on Fraser Island in one of the many National Parks or at a camping spot along the eastern beach.
17. From December you can watch stars of the screen under stars in the sky at Moonlight Cinema in New Farm Park.
18. Fly through the canopy of the majestic Daintree Rainforest on a giant flying fox AKA Jungle Surfing.
19. Take a Stand Up Paddle lesson at Currumbin Creek with world champ Justin Mitchell.
20. When the mercury drops, head to Cowboy Up Trail Riding at Emu Creek near Toowoomba and saddle up for a sunset trail ride followed by champagne and a cheese platter.
21. Slip, slide and smash your way through the Chinchilla Melon Festival from 14-17 February, 2013. This wacky event has to be seen to be believed!
22. Make like Torvill and Dean and skate on thin ice at Ice World in Brisbane.
23. Paddle up the Brisbane River on a Friday night and enjoy a well-earned feast of prawns and ice-cold drinks afterwards with Riverlife.
24. Run like a hamster on a wheel inside a 3.5-metre plastic ball full of water at OzBall, just north of Surfers Paradise.
25. Zipline over Goliath, the four-metre croc, who enjoys his residence at Cairns Wildlife Dome on the new ZOOm challenge ropes course.
26. Head into the rainforest to explore the spectacular Mossman Gorge. Kick your day off at the new Mossman Gorge Centre and join one of the Ngadiku Dreamtime Walks.
27. Quench your hard earned summer-induced thirst with a tour of the award-winning Burleigh Brewing Company on the Gold Coast.
28. Bet on a cocky at the Story Bridge’s infamous Australia Day Cockroach Races on Saturday 26 January, 2013.
29. Forget the plane ticket to Sydney and enjoy Tropfest streamed live under the stars at Surfers Paradise Beach on 17 February, 2013.
30. Celebrate the Year of the Snake at the Chinese New Year Festival in Cairns on Saturday 9 February, 2013.
31. Check out an art gallery made of sand at the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships in Surfers Paradise from 15-24 February, 2013.
32. Make a road trip must-stop just off the highway near Childers to sample the tasty treats from Mammino ice cream.
33. Catch a CityCat over to South Bank to enjoy a waterfront lunch in the city and then take a dip at Streets Beach.
35. Take a dip in the pool at Bunnyconnellen Olive Grove and Vineyard in Crows Nest while sipping on homemade Pimm’s and snacking on cucumber sandwiches, followed by a game of croquet.
36. Battle the rapids with a full-day White Water Rafting trip on the Tully River, south of Cairns.
37. Get down and dirty hunting for mud crab the traditional way with the Walker brothers at Cooya Beach north of Port Douglas.
38. Go under water and stay dry in UnderWater World’s new ocean walk-through tunnel, alive with over 50 species of fish in 2.5 million litres of water.
39. Enjoy the uber-luxurious Beach Valet service with Hilton Surfers Paradise where you can hire your very own staffer to stay on the sand and cater to your every whim.
40. Get a birds-eye view 30 metres above the Cedar Creek National Park on the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
41. For the ultimate adrenaline rush, jump aboard for Aquavue’s Jet Boat Thrill Rides on the waters of Hervey Bay.
42. Cool off at the Finch Hatton Gorge freshwater swimming hole just outside Mackay.
43. Dance under a natural disco ball when the Summer Solstice hits the Capricorn Caves throughout December and early January.
44. Swap the surfboard for a toboggan and hit the slopes of Moreton Island sand dunes for a thrilling downhill ride.
45. See the coloured sand cliffs and the beauty of Fraser Island from the air with a paragliding flight over Rainbow Beach.
46. Bite the bullet snorkel mouthpiece and descend on a learn-to-dive trip on the Great Barrier Reef.
47. Venture out when the sun goes down to spot fireflies, glow worms and luminous mushrooms in Springbrook National Park.
48. Spend the day relaxing on the beach then toast the sunset during a sunset kayak at Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island.
49. If the ocean is too balmy to cool you down, head inland to discover spectacular Millaa Millaa Falls in Tropical North Queensland.
50. Take to the warm Whitsundays waters with Twilight Yacht Racing every Wednesday night at Whitsundays Sailing Club – they’re always looking for extra crew members, even if you’re a novice.
*Drink responsibly, slip slop slap, no hat no play… and all that jazz.
Feature image: 101 Fundraising