50 fun things to do this summer
Summer, is that you knocking at the door? Our favourite season of the year is upon us and you can’t half tell we’re excited. Our suggestion for a ‘wear your bikini to work’ day, however, wasn’t as popular as we would have hoped.
The days are longer, hemlines are getting shorter (or is that just us?), morning coffees have been swapped for the iced variety and everyone’s got an overwhelming urge to feel the sand between their toes.
Bikini ready or not, you’ll want to make the most of these long balmy days, so we’ve rounded up 50 of the best things to do this summer in Queensland.
Tropical North Queensland
1. Get down and dirty hunting for mud crabs the traditional way with the Walker brothers at Cooya Beach north of Port Douglas.
2. Hitch a ride to Fitzroy Island and spend the day like a castaway, discovering secret beaches and hiking to lookouts.
4. Dine under chandeliers in the middle of the rainforest while listening to Aboriginal storytellers and tasting bush damper at Flames of the Forest.
5. Witness one of the oldest and best-preserved lava tube systems in the world at Undara Experience.
Townsville North Queensland
7. Pack your swimmers and chill out with a natural shower under the Niagra Falls of Queensland – Wallaman Falls. It’s the tallest permanent single drop waterfall in Australia, and it’s only 90 minutes from Townsville.
9. Go topless as you cruise the 52 square kilometres of Magnetic Island in a pink moke.
10. Take a dip in the rooftop pool and follow it up with some lazy cocktails while lounging in one of their luxury poolside cabanas at Rambutan Resort.
11. Hit the holidays for six when the Goldfield Ashes comes to Charters Towers. This is the largest cricket carnival in the Southern Hemisphere. Whether you’re having a hit or just watching, head out west for a weekend of Aussie cricket every year in January.
The Whitsundays and Mackay
12. Feel the solitude of the reef without the tourists and camp out on Reef Sleep pontoon with Cruise Whitsundays. From $499 per person twin share, you get two days on the reef, comfy swags and a million stars at night.
13. Slather on the sunscreen (wait 20 minutes for it to absorb) and jump into the Airlie Beach Lagoon. Bring BBQ supplies and make a day of it.
14. Go swimming with platypus! Rainforest Scuba is the only place on earth where you have the chance to swim with these little Aussie icons.
15. The rock pools at Finch Hatton Gorge were purposely built by nature to make swimming extra relaxing, then it threw in baby turtles to make it cute as well.
16. At Cape Hillsborough National Park you can camp, fish, hang out with Wallabies, and if you’re an early riser (you should be) add a sunrise to the equation.
Southern Great Barrier Reef
18. Dance under a natural disco ball when the Summer Solstice hits the Capricorn Caves throughout December and early January.
19. Swim with the manta rays and get a turtle selfie and discover everything there is to know about Lady Elliot Island.
25. The ultimate cool cat driving experience? A day tour in a pimped-out Hummer with Fraser Experience Tours. You’ll come home with an Instagram feed of hero shots from Lake McKenzie, the coloured sands and Maheno Shipwreck.
26. For the ultimate James Bond experience, choose to fly with Air Fraser Island with a charter flight onto the island, before picking up your own 4WD.
27. Reel in a summer whiting, one of Hervey Bay’s most sought-after fish. Not into fishing? Book a beach-side table at Coast Restaurant and Bar and order up whiting with a side of local scallops.
28. Go on a canoeing and camping safari through the Noosa Everglades.
29. Explore the smooth waters of Pumicestone Passage and narrow mangrove-lined marine channels into the tranquil Tripcony Bight on an epic jetski tour of the Sunshine Coast.
30. Head to the Eumundi Markets on a Wednesday or Saturday morning to browse their 600+ handicraft stalls under the shade of magnificent fig trees.
34. Swap the surfboard for a toboggan and hit the slopes of Moreton Island’s sand dunes for a thrilling downhill ride.
35. Get ‘court’ up in a week of tennis as the big hitters battle it out at the Brisbane International.
36. Tour the home of XXXX and taste Queensland’s golden ale at the XXXX Brewery or sleuth your way around some of the city’s best craft beer bars with Hop On Brewery Tours.
37. Dive into Brisbane’s history with a dip at the Spring Hill Baths, built in 1886 as Brisbane’s first in-ground pool or head to South Bank to spend a day on the sands of the only CBD beach in Australia.
38. Cool down with a day trip to some of the best waterfalls in south-east Queensland.
39. Head to Moreton Island, a 70-minute jaunt to paradise, and get up close to marine life while you hand feed wild dolphins at Tangalooma Resort.
40. Take a yacht to South Stradbroke Island, use a Segway to break through the bush trails and then drive over the sand dunes in your own buggy, and just when you think you’ve done it all? Sand boarding! Gold Coast Island Buggy Tours will help you do it all.
41. Sizzle up a snag on the Tweed River when you hire a BBQ boat.
43. Take a break from the heat, beach and watersports to chill out and go ice-skating at Planet Chill.
44. Join Kayak the Gold Coast for a day out on the water or take the sunset option, which includes champagne and cold beer.
Southern Queensland Country
45. The Coomba Falls waterhole at Maidenwell is icy most of the year, so is the ideal place to cool down on a hot Summer’s day.
47. Eat a Fruito Weis bar in the birthplace of Queensland’s favourite ice-cream in Toowoomba while you suss out its impressive street art scene.
48. Nothing says ‘road trip’ like an iconic shot along the highway in front of one of Queensland’s ‘Big Things’. And there’s no big thing quite as tasty looking as the Big Apple in Stanthorpe!
49. With 14 river crossings scattered across the Condamine River track, prepare to get muddy and bouncy in your 4WD. It’s a great track for any novice 4WD’er and there’s plenty of wildlife and stunning backdrops for the whole family to enjoy.
50. For a wilderness walk like no other visit the majestic Bunya Mountains. But first, drop by the Bunya Mountain Markets (on the last Sunday of each month) to pick up some homemade cakes and local Bunya nuts to power your hike ahead.