5 Solo Travel Experiences in Queensland
Solo travel is more than just alone time. It’s a holiday from someone else’s routine. There’s no such thing as late or early, because you’re always exactly on time for exactly what you want to do. That in itself sounds like paradise. As far as solo travel in Queensland is concerned, we’re a trove of adventure for the lone traveller. Our natural splendour plus reputation for being one of the safest places on the planet makes us ideal for the lone roamer in search of a well-earned break.
The only problem is there’s just so much to do, so the most important thing is to research ahead of time. If you’re not sure where to begin, let us start you off.
Lose yourself in Toowoomba’s urban art scene
The perfect option if you can’t decide between a city or country escape, as Toowoomba is nestled within the natural wonders of the Darling Downs. With cool temperatures, an emerging cafe culture, and a colourful street art scene, this elevated Queensland city is starting to look remarkably like a Melbourne suburb.
Its public walls feature over 80 urban artworks within a 2km radius of the CBD, making Toowoomba more like an open-air art gallery than a country town.
Its public gardens are pretty special, too. Thanks to the almost British weather, Toowoomba’s parks are always a vibrant, floral display. While Toowoomba’s horticulture really shines during the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, it’s also an ideal city for solo travellers to lose themselves in any time of the year.
Case in point: its swathe of thrift stores. Thanks to the colder temps of the Darling Downs, Toowoomba’s second-hand stores always turn up the best winter wear, and a massive win for sustainable shopping.
After a morning mining through all that, continue the Melburnian tradition with a fuel stop at laneway establishment Ground Up Espresso, or grab lunch at local breakfast favourite, The Finch. (Assuming of course you’ve already been to the Baker’s Duck for a breakfast of pastry and people-watching).
While you’re in the Darling Downs, you might as well get a lungful of mountain air. For that, we recommend the Tabletop Mountain hike. This well-trodden track snakes up the mountain, ending with a rocky scramble and the most glorious, sweeping reward at the top. It’s a favourite of local hikers, so there’s always plenty of people around if you need to borrow some Aerogard.
For a stay that feels like home, book a room at Quest Toowoomba Serviced Apartments. These ultra-modern apartments offer everything you need, including a memorable first impression at their reception desk, which operates out of an old church.
Paddle through the Noosa Everglades
Known for being the Sunshine Coast’s social hub, Noosa is famed for wining and dining. But escape the crowds and you’ll discover a whole new side of the Sunshine Coast filled with active adventure.
Bike On Noosa offers several options, including a bicycle delivered to your accommodation, or you can join them on an adrenaline-fuelled Mountain Bike Tour of nearby Tewantin National Park.
For something more aquatic with less chance of grazed knees, join the women from Kanu Kapers Australia on a half-day tour of the Noosa Everglades that will take you on a paddle through the natural beauty of the coastal marshland and mangroves. For a more sedate eco-tour of the Noosa River, ride with the Noosa Ferry Cruise Company.
Pick up a skill for life with a few classes at Noosa Learn to Surf. Their knowledgeable instructors will kickstart your love of foam, which will come in handy at the Noosa Festival of Surfing.
And when you’ve done all that, nothing beats a decent trek through the Noosa National Park. The winding coastal walk will take you through lush forest and all along secluded little beaches for you to duck down and take a dip.
Naturally, if leisure is what you’re after, Netanya Noosa is the ultimate resort. Sleep soundly right on the beachfront in one of their rooms where you can cook your own balcony barbeque from Providore on Hastings without ever leaving the comfort of your room.
Ready to book? We’ve prepared a 48-hour itinerary for you.
Find yourself in two world heritage-listed wonders at Cape Tribulation
Fancy snorkeling among millions of sea life in one of the seven wonders of the natural world? Or how about wandering through the world’s oldest rainforest? You can do both at Cape Tribulation.
Located in Tropical North Queensland, and being so close to both the Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef, the Cape is the ideal place to get back in touch with nature when you’re travelling solo in Queensland.
Cape Trib Beach House Resort is about as close to nature as you can get before falling off the face of the earth. They let you sleep right in the heart of the rainforest, kept company by the gentle hum of wildlife all night long. Wake refreshed, and head out on a day trip to the with Ocean Rafting for a day of snorkelling around the sea life of the precious Great Barrier Reef. Ours is the oldest coral reef system on earth and supports almost 9,000 species of marine life, which really puts things in perspective.
Where the rainforest is concerned, the best place to start is at the Daintree Discovery Centre which offers five different walking tours that will enhance your appreciation for this World Heritage-listed forest. Keep the discovery going with a Daintree Safari tour.
Unwind in Port Douglas
Long considered Tropical North Queensland’s playground for the rich and famous, if you want to get your style on, head to Port Douglas.
First thing is to check into your room at Shantara Resort. Complete with all the mod-cons, Shantara is a tranquil adults-only escape guaranteed to facilitate a serene retreat for solo travellers. If it’s an even deeper relaxation state you’re after, book a stay at the Thala Beach Nature Reserve. This eco accommodation will take you off grid to a private headland between Cairns and Port Douglas.
Back in town, the Port Douglas Sunday Markets are well worse a browse, with a range of wares and coconut water available straight from the husk. Or, dial up the adventure with a visit to the Barracuda Bommie Dive Site on the Agincourt reefs.
Meet in the makers in Bundaberg
Being so far from the source of our favourite foods, it’s easy for city dwellers to lose sight of where our food comes from and the effort that goes into producing each and every bite. For a chance to appreciate that process with an authentic paddock-to-plate experience, Bundaberg is the place to go.
Where fresh produce is concerned, Bundy Food Tours will take you on a literal and metaphorical journey. Roaming around to different farms, you’ll get a chance to shake hands with growers and feast on their home-grown produce.
Then at the Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience, there’s the chance to learn the finer intricacies of how to make Queensland’s favourite spirit. The Blend Your Own Rum Experience is exactly what it sounds like, as Bundy’s top makers help you create a bottle of your very own blend of rum. Sure beats a fridge magnet.
For prime accommodation, book a stay in one of Zen Beach Retreat’s beachfront rooms. We know it’s your holiday, but setting an alarm for daybreak is well worth watching the sun rise over the Pacific from the comfort of your room.
Become an eco-tourist at Lady Elliot Island
Here you won’t find Netflix, fluffy towels or even WiFi. Lady Elliot is about connecting with an untouched landscape, and the only souvenirs are the experiences that will stay with you for life. Experiences like swimming with turtles, snorkelling with manta rays, and diving into the wonders of their coral reef.
It’s not all about the accommodation, but you do need somewhere to rest your head. Check in to one of the island’s private and secluded glamping tents for maximum comfort with minimal footprint.
January to late March is turtle-hatching season when baby turtles make their way down to the water. It’s absolutely breathtaking sight and well worth organising your annual leave around it.
Ready to book? Here’s how we’d spend 48 hours on Lady Elliot Island.