The best places to visit in Queensland in 2019
It’s that time of year when new diaries are purchased, annual leave is plotted, and everyone wants to know the best places to visit in order to map out their next getaway.
From new outback experiences to emerging destinations and revamped classics, here are 7 of the best holiday destinations to put on your radar – and into your travel plans – in 2019.
The Whitsundays isn’t just “having a moment” as Conde Nast Traveler put it when they included the 74 islands in their round-up of the best places to visit in 2019. It’s undergoing a complete rebirth.
New island resorts – including the highly anticipated re-opening of Daydream Island Resort and the new Intercontinental Hayman Island, a $40 million airport upgrade, $6.3 million foreshore revitalisation (due to be completed in March 2019), and a sizzling food scene (hello, two chefs’ hats!), are just some of the reasons 2019 is the year to holiday in the Whitsundays.
Whether you stay at the exclusive new Elysian Retreat on Long Island, which opens this month and is accessible only by helicopter, or charter your own yacht there are myriad new ways to experience this island wonderland.
Keep an eye out for a new pontoon which will – for the first time ever – allow you to land and snorkel over the iconic Heart Reef!
The Queensland capital is almost unrecognisable to those who haven’t visited in the last 5-10 years and Brisbane is only going to get bigger and better in 2019.
While construction of the Brisbane Airport‘s second runway, a $158 million new mega cruise ship terminal, and Queen’s Wharf continues to power on, the city is already celebrating a slew of new luxury hotels, and new dining and entertainment precincts like Howard Smith Wharves, underneath the Story Bridge.
Adding to the already impressive accommodation line-up of The Calile Hotel on James Street, Ovolo The Valley, Australia’s first W hotel and the first Westin Hotel for Queensland, next year will herald the arrival of the new Art Series hotel championing four-time Archibald People’s Choice Award winner, Vincent Fantauzzo in March.
Calling all adventure seekers and 4WD enthusiasts (or wannabes) – 2019 is your last chance to drive to Cape York with red dirt on your wheels (unless you tackle the back roads).
In 2020, the official opening of a bitumen highway all the way from Cooktown to Queensland’s northernmost tip will mark the end of an era, but also a huge step forward for residents in isolated communities.
Yes, Queensland has a wine scene. A damn fine wine scene actually. But while it may not have the global name of some other Australian wine regions (yet), the Granite Belt produces some cracker wines and experts are starting to sing their praises.
Mike Hays, the chief winemaker from the Granite Belt’s Symphony Hill, surprised the big names down south in November 2017 by taking out the National Winemaker of the Year award. Six months later, Matt Moran’s Aria Brisbane was crowned with the best wine list in the country thanks to the little-known but highly impressive wines from the Granite Belt.
Jump in the car and discover the best vineyards in the Granite Belt for yourself with this guide.
Mount Mulligan Lodge
One-hundred-and-seventy kilometres west of Cairns, Mount Mulligan Lodge is an outback station stay like no other, sitting in the shadow of a spectacular 18 kilometre sandstone ridge (10 times larger than Uluru!).
The 28,000 hectare outback property has opened for a sneak peek this month, before it officially opens in April 2019, with 12 luxury suites and villas all with majestic views of the 400m high cliff face. All villas come with their own ATV for guests to explore the 1400-head cattle station.
Located on the edge of the weir and adjacent to an abandoned township, a maximum of 24 guests will be able to relax in spacious luxury with their private patio overlooking both the waterway and mountain.
If it’s good enough for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, then Fraser Island is good enough for our 2019 ‘best places to visit’ list.
Ever since the royal visit in October this year, the FOMO factor has gone gangbusters and a stay at Kingfisher Bay Resort, the crowning jewel in the world’s largest sand island, is high on everyone’s bucket list.
And it seems the hype will only increase, with the announcement of a $1.8 million refurbishment – the first of a series of investments from the SeaLink Travel Group, who purchased the Fraser Island business earlier this year.
Need more convincing? Here’s 9 reasons why Fraser Island should be at the top of your list.
Just two hours south of Cairns, Mission Beach remains one of Queensland’s best-kept secrets but a new accommodation offering opening mid-January 2019 is set to shine a spotlight on this chilled beachfront town.
The Bungalows are the brainchild of Bedarra Island Resort owners, Sam and Kerri-Ann Charlton, to provide luxurious mainland B&B accommodation for their guests pre- and post-island stay.
The property comprises three private beachfront villas with a central lounge area and pool. Each of the villas are free-standing and offer beautiful views of the beach, Coral Sea and the Family Islands, and will be 100% solar powered.