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This week on our Holiday Here This Year Summer Road Trip series, we take you on a coastal Queensland adventure thanks to our Friends of Jayco, the Cartella family from Going Here, There and Everywhere.
The Cartellas are a family of four who love exploring the countryside in their Jayco Starcraft, along with their dog Chachi! With so many stunning beaches to check out and the kind of tropical paradise only Queensland can offer, we know you’ll love this one!
Stop 1 – Noosa
Starting from Brisbane, venture up along the Sunshine Coast 157 km until you reach Noosa. This world-renowned surfing location is a wonderland of expansive beaches, rainforests and abundant wildlife.
Hit the water with a surfboard, kayak or even try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding. With its stunning white sand, sparkling waters and surrounding nature, the Noosa Main Beach is the perfect way to kickstart your adventure and set the holiday mood. The Noosa National Park also features plenty of exciting walking tracks and swimming opportunities at some secluded beaches. We recommend the Coastal Walk to experience some breathtaking coastal viewpoints such as Boiling Pot, Dolphin Point and Hell’s Gates. Many native animals also live in the park, so keep an eye out for koalas from above or even dolphins and sea turtles along the coastline.
During your stay, you’ll also have access to Noosa’s vibrant food scene. Noosa is also home to many restaurants, bars and cafes where you can sit down for a meal and treat yourself with delicious cocktails. The pleasant seaside village known as Noosaville is also a special quality to this area with its gorgeous views and the Noosa Waterfront Restaurant and Bar.
Other points of interest include 4WD along the Great Beach Drive, the many cycling trails or even a beach horse ride. Lastly, if you’re here on a Wednesday or Saturday, you won’t want to miss the Eumundi Markets which is a short drive from Noosa.
Stop 2 – Hervey Bay
Continue your voyage 159km up the coast to arrive in Hervey Bay. Known as the first World Whale Heritage Site, there’s some great whale watching opportunities in the cooler months.
Relax on the golden beaches of Hervey Bay – a 13km stretch with lovely ocean views and plenty of great swimming spots. Adventure out on a hired jet ski or take part in a dolphin tour with Blue Dolphin Marine Tours. Next, jump on a ferry to visit the World Heritage Listed Fraser Island. With its spectacular beaches, incredible sand dunes and tall rainforests there is so much to explore. Wander along the many walking trails, climb the Lake Wabby dunes, explore the Maheno Shipwreck and 4WD the 75-mile beach.
Stop 3 – Seventeen Seventy
Your next destination is another 239km to Seventeen Seventy, via Bundaberg. Stop for lunch in Bundaberg then head over to the Bundaberg Rum Distillery for a tour and tasting. When you reach Seventeen Seventy you will be met with a charming seaside village.
Book a boat tour to Lady Musgrave Island and explore the colourful Southern Great Barrier Reef by snorkelling or scuba diving. Back on the Seventeen Seventy foreshore, have fun stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing or swimming in the pristine waters. There’s also plenty of picnic areas and a children’s playground for a relaxing afternoon by the beach.
Jump aboard the bright pink ex-military amphibious vessel with 1770 LARK Tours for an incredible history lesson while exploring the picturesque land. Then, discover the magical Paperbark Forest Boardwalk on the outskirts of Agnes Water before wrapping up your day at the Getaway Garden Café.
Stop 4 – Yeppoon
Continue 272km to reach Yeppoon on the Capricorn Coast, just 40 minutes from Rockhampton. With tropical beaches and Keppel Island just out on the bay – you’ll really be relaxing in paradise here.
Embark on a cruise around Great Keppel Island – with your choice between a day, sunset or night cruise. Explore the Great Barrier Reef some more with a snorkel around Keppel Island then enjoy a drink at one of the delightful Yeppoon cafes. If you’ve got kids, be sure to check out the Blue Lagoon infinity edge pool with endless fun swimming, diving, and playing in the fountains.
You also won’t want to miss adventuring through the Byfield National Park, north of Yeppoon. Go walking, swimming, biking or hiking while taking in the breathtaking costal scenery. There’s also a few 4WD tracks to try out so be ready to spend plenty of time in this exciting location.
Stop 5 – Mackay
Gear up for a 353km tour along the coast to reach Mackay; home to Australia’s largest expansion of sub-tropical rainforest.
Take the kids (and yourselves) for a dip in Bluewater Lagoon. This free facility overlooking the Pioneer River includes three tiered lagoons covering an area equalling three 50 metre swimming pools. With a waterfall connecting the two main lagoons, a 19.5 metre waterslide, barbecue facilities and the Bluewater Lagoon Café – be prepared to spend a huge chunk of your day here.
The Mackay Regional Botanical Gardens are also well worth the visit. Discover tropical rainforests and stunning beaches while breathing in the lovely fresh smells.
Stop 6 – Airlie Beach
The final 150km on your road trip will take you to Airlie Beach. Here you can wrap up your trip perfectly by experiencing the famous Whitsundays.
Adventure out with endless water sport opportunities! Go stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, jet skiing, scuba diving or book a memorable cruise around the breathtaking waters. There is also plenty of seaplane and helicopter tours which is a must for exploring the Whitsundays and The Great Barrier Reef from above.
Fly or boat over to Hamilton Island and spoil yourself on the stunning beaches. Indulge in a meal at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, have a hit at the Golf Club or jump aboard a cruise to the neighbouring beaches.