Queensland’s best restaurants with views
If you’ve ever planned a holiday with your taste buds’ happiness as your main consideration, well, you’re in good company. I’ve used my stomach as a compass more times than I can count and it hasn’t let me down yet.
Chances are though, if you’ve made your way to Queensland for a holiday, you’re interested in more than just delicious eats – you want them served up with a generous helping of stunning views, too.
Luckily, Queensland is no stranger to dishing out epic visual feasts on the daily.
From coast to country, World Heritage-listed rainforests to the Great Barrier Reef, feast on Queensland’s best restaurants with to-die-for views.
Julaymba Restaurant & Gallery, Daintree River
Julaymba, or Daintree River in the local Indigenous dialect, is a native bush tucker champion situated inside Tropical North Queensland’s Daintree Ecolodge. Feast on some of the best of contemporary Aussie cuisine while turtles play, breaking the surface of a natural freshwater pond, fringed by ferns, as they come up for air.
Chirpy by name, chirpy by nature, Songbirds at Tamborine in the Gold Coast Hinterland wears its One Chef Hat with pride, among its myriad awards. Using organic produce from the garden as much as possible – and creatively incorporating ingredients like avocado and mandarin alongside curry plants – this is a menu (and view) worth singing about.
Whet Bar & Restaurant, Cape Tribulation
If the enticing menu, which includes gluten-free and vegetarian dishes, isn’t enough to whet your appetite, you’ll certainly be salivating over the killer looks boasted by Whet Bar & Restaurant. In the heart of Tropical North Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest, here you’ll also find local red claw yabby, barramundi and driftwood-smoked kangaroo loin on the menu.
Treehouse Restaurant, Mossman
Make like Tarzan amongst the treetops at Treehouse Restaurant at Silky Oaks Lodge. From this open-sided restaurant, the Daintree Rainforest and the rushing Mossman River are on brilliant display, as you gorge on the likes of lemon myrtle-poached crocodile, and mango soufflé.
Flames of the Forest, Port Douglas
For a quintessential Queensland dining experience that throws back hundreds of thousands of years, head to Flames of the Forest in the rainforest, 10 minutes from Port Douglas. Take in the stunning forest views while you experience Aboriginal culture and sample native delights like lightly-seared kangaroo loin carpaccio under a flickering candlelight-bathed marquee.
The Tamarind Restaurant, Maleny
A favourite fixture on the Sunshine Coast’s restaurant scene, The Tamarind, packs plenty of sweet and spicy into its delicious Thai punch. Modern Asian with a Thai twist is the order du jour here, and dishes like oysters with finger lime sorbet and spicy massaman curry are perfectly matched with the tidy wine and beer selection. Oh, and of course, the view out to Maleny’s hinterland rainforest.
The Peak Restaurant, Maryvale
Curing, smoking and fermenting food are just three of the techniques used at The Peak Lodge Restaurant, part of the stylish Spicers brand. What makes this establishment so special is its location; at 1180 metres above sea level, it’s Australia’s highest non-alpine lodge and has breathtaking views over Spicer’s Gap in Southern Queensland Country.
Spring Creek Mountain Café, Killarney
Local-loving Spring Creek Mountain Café sits proudly in Southern Queensland Country, serving only produce sourced from its home of Killarney. Nosh on fresh Killarney beef and lamb – transformed into pies, burgers, steaks and cutlets – while you take in the view out over the commanding hills of the Scenic Rim.
Kooroomba Vineyards, Mt. Alford
Follow the heady scent of lavender into Southern Queensland Country and this vineyard set among the beautiful purple herb. Dine on lamb, beef, pork belly, duck and game, while sipping a bottle of the award-winning Mt. Alford wine, and drinking up the purple-haze view. Finish with a unique digestif: the lavender tea.
Flame Hill Vineyard and Restaurant, Montville
Ethics, sustainability and authenticity are the cornerstones of Flame Hill Vineyard, a Sunshine Coast winery which prides itself on conscientious cooking served on its light and airy deck. All food is sourced locally or grown on this working cattle farm so expect a true paddock-to-plate experience, alongside serious #nofilter views.
Ocean View Estates, Ocean View
What’s in a name? Everything, at Ocean View Estates Winery & Restaurant where you’ll have oh-em-gee views of Moreton Bay from atop your vineyard perch, just 45 minutes north of Brisbane. This cellar door restaurant boasts an innovative menu with dishes like edamame poached in Asian broth, yuzu cured salmon, and an impressive cheese selection.
Ballandean Estate, Ballandean
Long considered The Godfather of Queensland’s wine industry, Angelo Puglisi and his family have turned Ballandean Estate into a dynasty. Dine on authentic Italian food by the fire, surrounded by huge, old oak barrels, in the heart of Southern Queensland’s wine country.
Water view dining
COAST Restaurant and Bar
The coastal dining dark horse, Hervey Bay is home to many a view out to Fraser Island and the quiet waters of the Great Sandy Strait but COAST knows how to woo food and view-lovers alike. Along the Esplanade at Hervey Bay, COAST trades on the laid-back lifestyle and local produce. A typical menu will feature Hervey Bay scallops, market fish, and dishes like Hervey Bay pineapple tarte tartin, all designed to be shared, in true local style.
Montes Reef Restaurant, Cape Gloucester
Worth the trek up to Cape Gloucester just outside Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays, Montes Reef Resort‘s restaurant is the perfect spot to get your fix of endless sundowners where palm trees line the shore and the sunset is resplendent. If you’d prefer DIY eats, grab fresh prawns and some mangoes (Bowen is just down the road, after all) and sink your toes into the sand.
Rick Shores, Burleigh Heads
Whoever Rick is, he sure knows his way around a good water view. Jutting out over the edge of the Burleigh headland on the Gold Coast, the Thai-based modern Asian menu is a spicy contrast to the sweet, sweet eye candy as the sun sets over one of Queensland’s most famous beaches.
Alchemy Restaurant, Brisbane CBD
So innovative is the menu at this riverfront Brisbane restaurant, you could be forgiven for thinking there’s a group of scientists in the kitchen. The extensive menu features loads of fresh seafood and meat, there’s also gluten-free and vegetarian options, and nine cheeses among its dessert list.
Salt House Bar & Restaurant, Cairns
You’ll get double the views at Tropical North Queensland’s Salt House Bar & Restaurant: straight into the kitchen (where the magic happens); and over Cairns Marina with views of the yachts, and out towards the Coral Sea. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll find plenty of modern Australian treats here.
Sails, Noosa Heads
If absolute beachfront feasting in front of one of Queensland’s most iconic spots is on the menu, head to Sails Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. You’ll find oodles of local produce on the modern Australian menu here, from Mooloolaba tuna to Fraser Island spanner crab, and hinterland zucchini flowers.
Seascape, Surfers Paradise
Above the hustle and bustle of Surfers Paradise, Seascape serves up amazing views and refreshing sea breezes alongside a relaxed modern Australian menu. Perfect for Sunday sessions, or post-beach recharge.
River Quay, South Bank, Brisbane
Behind a gently-sloped rolling green amphitheatre at South Bank, sits River Quay, home to a handful of Queensland restaurants with drop-dead gorgeous views. Stokehouse Q, Popolo, The Jetty, Aquitaine and Cove Bar + Dining hug the bend of the river, with views back to the metallic shards of Brisbane’s CBD, sunlight glinting off them during the day, replaced by the bright lights of the city landscape at night.
Noosa Boathouse, Noosaville
Built out over the calm waters of the Noosa River, Noosa Boathouse is a local’s fave for its seasonal menu bursting with fresh produce and seafood. Wash it down with views out over Noosa North Shore as the sun sets, casting a delightful golden hue over sailboats and stand-up paddleboarders. Sundowners have never looked so appealing.
Private Dining, One&Only Hayman Island
Luxury is One&Only Hayman Island‘s middle name and their private dining experiences just prove it. Here, you can choose from a gourmet picnic – wherever takes your fancy – or a twilight dinner with a personally-tailored menu. It’s a meal well worth travelling for.
Pterodactyl Helicopters, Scenic Rim
No prehistoric flying creatures here, just pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming opulence. Hop aboard a private helicopter near Brisbane to be whisked away on the Total Indulgence Country Wine Tour, which includes a limousine transfer to your flight, tastings at three wineries, before lunch at an 18th-century mansion (where else?) with more wine, obviously.
Cape York and the Gulf Country on a plate
Hop aboard Rod Dyer’s Air Adventure Australia tour of Tropical North Queensland’s Cape York and Gulf Country region for a trip you won’t forget, ever. Stand on the tip of mainland Australia, paddle through Lawn Hill Gorge, feast on fresh mud crabs and prawns and have a cold beer at the iconic Birdsville Hotel.