Contrary to what those Mayans believed, the world didn’t come to a crashing halt last December. Yup, we’ve officially made it through to the New Year and since January is the month of list-making and resolution-setting, we decided to add one more to the pile (that should be a hell of a lot more fun to tick off than those squats and lunges).
Herein lies 100 things everyone should do in Queensland before that creepy reaper comes a-knocking. How many can you tick off already?
1. Devour a Bowen mango – bonus points if you grab it straight from the tree.
2. Walk or ride the Caloundra Coastal Walk stopping off for a swim (or a coffee!) at each beach from Currimundi Lake to Bulcock Beach.
3. Realise just how many stars are out there when you gaze up at the clearest night sky in Outback Queensland.
4. Witness hundreds of tiny turtles bursting from their eggs and racing their brothers and sisters to the ocean at Mon Repos.
5. Rub shoulders with your favourite master chefs and taste your way through the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival.
6. Pick you own apples in Stanthorpe, Queensland’s apple capital.
7. Do a road trip from Brisbane to the tip (of the Cape, not the rubbish dump).
8. Experience all the action of an Aussie surf carnival.
9. Tuck into fish and chips on Burleigh Headland and watch surfers slice through rolling sets as the sun goes down.
10. Drive the beach highway and venture to the middle of Fraser Island to swim in freshwater Lake McKenzie.
11. Watch the maroons smash the blues (history has a habit of repeating itself, you know) at a State of Origin game at Suncorp Stadium.
12. Squeak your way along the white silica sand on Whitehaven Beach.
13. Dive alongside graceful manta rays at Lady Elliot Island.
14. Visit Dusty the baker and sink your teeth into one of his curry camel pies at the Birdsville Bakery.
15. Watch the sun set over the reef and islands with a drink in hand on the cliff top at Eimeo Pub, near Mackay.
16. Spot a wild dingo on Fraser Island.
17. Get ‘mugged’ by the humpback whales in Hervey Bay (they don’t call it the whale watching capital of the world for nothing).
18. Ride in one of the last Cobb & Co. horse-drawn stagecoaches in Longreach.
19. Spot platypus at sunset from the Broken River viewing platform in Eungella National Park.
20. Watch the kangaroos on the beach at Cape Hillsborough National Park.
21. Walk the Brisbane River loop, starting at Fortitude Valley and heading under the Story Bridge, along Eagle Street Pier, through the Botanic Gardens, over Goodwill Bridge and up the Kangaroo Point cliff stairs and back across the bridge.
22. Swim with the elusive yet curious minke whales on a liveaboard off the coast of Port Douglas.
23. Discover dinosaurs in Winton.
24. Dive the renowned 102-year-old wreck of the S.S. Yongala, off the coast off Townsville.
25. Walk in the footsteps of Captain Cook up to Grassy Hill lookout and lighthouse in Cooktown.
26. Strap a watermelon helmet on your head and go watermelon skiing at the wacky Chinchilla Melon Festival, held every two years.
27. Polish off a plate of Hervey Bay scallops with a glass of wine, sitting on the deck of Coast Restaurant & Bar in Hervey Bay.
28. Surprise someone with a seaplane or helicopter scenic flight over the Whitsunday Islands and Heart Reef.
29. Surf Queensland’s most northern break at Agnes Water.
30. Walk the beach where the rainforest meets the reef at Cape Tribulation.
32. Join in a Friday night ‘Paddle & Prawns’ on the Brisbane River.
33. Take the plunge with a tandem skydive and land on the beach.
34. Catch a barramundi in the Endeavour River in Cooktown.
35. Drive the Bloomfield Track and have a beer at the Lions Den Hotel.
36. Pitch a tent behind the sand dunes at Double Island Point.
37. Hand feed wild dolphins on Moreton Island.
38. Conquer the ‘Big 8’ thrill rides at Dreamworld.
39. Tuck into a chicken ‘parmy’ on the deck of Currumbin Surf Club.
40. Go hunting for mud crabs through the mangroves then cook up your catch with Kuku Yalanji brothers, Linc and Brandon Walker.
41. Sit back in old-fashioned canvas chairs to watch a movie under the stars in Winton, in the middle of Outback Queensland.
42. Dress up in your country finest for the Roma Races.
43. Grab a bag of peanuts from the Peanut Van in Kingaroy.
44. Cruise around Magnetic Island in a topless car.
45. Put your swimming skills to use and challenge yourself to an ocean swim – try the Great Barrier Reef Swim off Heron Island or the Green Island Swim.
46. Have a beer on the balcony of the Regatta Hotel, overlooking the Brisbane River.
47. Treat yourself to some well-deserved RnR at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat.
48. Battle the rapids with a full-day white water rafting trip on the Tully River, south of Cairns.
49. Do a Thai cooking class at Spirit House in Yandina.
50. Tour the castle ruins at Paronella Park, built as a shrine for a Spanish cane farmer’s wife in the ‘30s, since surviving cyclones, floods and fire.
51. Pitch a tent at Cylinder Beach on ‘Straddie’.
52. Go stand-up paddle boarding at Palm Beach.
53. Bet on a roach in the Australia Day Cockroach Races at the Story Bridge Hotel.
54. Spend a Sunday afternoon chilling on the lawn, listening to live music at Peregian Originals.
55. Rip your way around rainforest tracks on a quad bike at Daintree Station near Port Douglas.
56. Walk the path of a volcano at Undara Lava Tubes and sleep in a converted train carriage.
57. Hire a dingy in Cairns and go boating with the crocs
58. Bring out your inner hippie at the Woodford Folk Festival.
59. Get a massage and drink a freshly pressed sugarcane juice at the Port Douglas markets.
60. Roll out a swag and bring your best beer-drinking game to the Birdsville Races.
61. Taste the tropics with freshly churned ice cream infused with tropical fruits like black sapote and soursop at Daintree Ice Cream Company.
62. See the coloured sands at Rainbow Beach.
63. Visit the home of the macadamia nut in Bauple.
64. Spot koalas sleeping in the tree tops on the Forts Walk at Magnetic Island.
65. Stand up at least once on a surfboard (even if it’s only for two seconds, it still counts).
66. Milk a cow, feed the chickens and ride a horse at a farmstay in the Scenic Rim.
68. Put on your dirndl and lederhosen and party at the most remote Oktoberfest in Jundah – 1100 kilometres west of Brisbane.
69. Taste crocodile and kangaroo meat at Ochre in Cairns.
70. Get stuck into those squats and lunges and compete in the best butt competition at the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival.
71. Get cultured with a world-first in Brisbane at the Gallery of Modern Art.
72. Tour the home of XXXX and taste Queensland’s golden ale at the XXXX Brewery in Brisbane.
73. Climb through the clouds to Queensland’s tallest peak – Mt. Bartle Frere.
74. Do a mine tour to see the engine room of Queensland.
75. Throw on an Akubra and watch a rodeo (in a pub) in the beef capital of Rockhampton.
76. Watch the world’s best surfers carve it up at the Quicksilver Pro on the Gold Coast.
77. Complete the 21-kilometre walk through Carnarvon Gorge to discover ancient Indigenous art galleries.
78. Grab a schooner and sing Waltzing Matilda at the North Gregory Hotel – the first performance space of Banjo Paterson’s iconic prose.
79. Take a natural spring mud bath at Eulo.
80. Throw on your captain’s hat and charter a yacht to sail the Whitsundays.
81. Climb up and abseil off the side of the Story Bridge.
82. See the elusive Min Min Lights (or just tell everyone that you did).
83. Join in the preparation and feast on a traditional kupmurri at Mungalla Station.
84. Do the Waterfall Circuit and cool off under Millaa Millaa Falls.
85. Take the plunge at AJ Hackett Cairns – the only bungy site in Australia.
86. Go sand tobogganing in 1770.
87. Order the Road Train Burger from the Nindigully Pub and take a few friends with you to polish it off.
88. Dive with the grey nurse sharks at Wolf Rock near Fraser Island.
89. Head to Charleville to see a bilby (not the chocolate kind).
90. Join a liveaboard to dive the Cod Hole off Lizard Island and come face to face with giant maori wrasse.
91. Eat a Fruito Weis bar in the birthplace of the ice cream in Toowoomba.
92. Swim at a beach in the city at South Bank.
93. Join the postman on his 400-kilometre mail run across Outback Queensland.
94. Get shivers down your spine when Aboriginal elder Willie Gordon escorts you to ancient rock art sites near Cooktown, and tells you the stories of his ancestors.
95. Immerse yourself in tradition, colour and celebration at the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival.
96. Take a tour of the Bundaberg Rum Distillery to see, smell and taste your way through the famous drop’s production process.
97. See a red sunset from the dunes in Birdsville.
98. Trek and camp your way along the entire Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island.
99. Channel your inner cattle rustler on the Harry Redford Cattle Drive.
100. Learn how to abbreviate everyone’s name and end it in ‘o’ (think Steveo, Robbo…).
So, how many have you done?