Australia’s tropical Sunshine State awaits
Experience the spirit of Australia in Queensland where life revolves around the great outdoors. Explore tropical rainforests teeming with some of the continent’s most unique wildlife, including kangaroos, koalas and kookaburras. Lounge on idyllic beaches and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of remote coastal villages and bustling cattle towns. We’ve included such must-do experiences as treetop walks in Lamington National Park, a 4×4 adventure on Fraser Island and a heritage train ride from the travellers’ mecca of Kuranda.
13 nights in hotels and 2 in flight
14 meals: 13 breakfasts and 1 lunch
Excursions and visits
- Bird walk and glow-worm tour in Lamington National Park
- 4×4 tour on Fraser Island
- Dreamtime Cultural Centre in Rockhampton
- Townsville Aquarium Reef HQ
- Museum of Tropical Queensland
- Atherton Tablelands tour
- Babinda Boulders
- Paronella Park
- Journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway in Gold Class
*Tourist visa for full British Citizens resident in the UK. See the Essential Information for details.
UK to Brisbane
After taking Saga’s included UK door-to-door travel service to Heathrow, fly overnight to Brisbane.
Brisbane to Lamington National Park
Travel into the heart of Queensland’s Lamington National Park for a two-night stay at the eco-friendly O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (4Q). This family-run retreat has provided travellers with a spectacular mountain setting from which to enjoy the surrounding rainforest for over 90 years. The park is part of the UNESCO-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia that comprises exceptional examples of geological and biodiversity, which you can learn more about during informative talks in the retreat’s lounge.
Lamington National Park
Early risers can join a guided walk around the guest houses to witness the daily flurry of regent and satin bowerbirds and green catbirds feeding. After breakfast, head to the Discovery Centre where guides can help you plan your day’s activities, such as a rainforest walk, treetop walk or optional wine tasting in the Canungra Valley. Just some of the quirky wildlife you may see whilst exploring the ancient forests include pademelon wallabies and koalas. After nightfall, discover the rainforest’s nocturnal sights on a glow-worm walk (just remember to bring a torch to help light the way). B
Lamington National Park to Fraser Island
Head north to Fraser Island for a two-night stay at the Kingfisher Bay Resort (4Q), a pioneer in ecotourism that has the Green Travel Leader award. B
Join a thrilling full-day 4×4 tour of Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island at 122 kilometers long – it’s said that all the sand from the east coast of Australia is eventually washed ashore here. This beautiful and unique island has over 100 freshwater dune lakes and is covered in ancient forests, earning it a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The island is also famed for its pure breed of dingoes thought to be descended from the Indaian wolf – just remember, if you see one, these are wild animals and feeding them is ill advised. Discover the 90-year old pine and gum trees at Central Station, once the headquarters for the island’s forestry operations, and perhaps take a walk along the boardwalk which runs beside Wanggoolba Creek. Also visit spectacular Lake McKenzie which is surrounded by powder-soft white sand – it’s also a good place to see massive lace monitors basking in the sun. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure and perhaps go swimming in one of the resort’s pools. B
Fraser Island to Rockhampton
Travel back to the mainland by ferry for your onward journey to the self-declared ‘Beef Capital’ of Australia, Rockhampton. Founded in 1853, the main avenue showcases Victorian-era buildings from its brief gold rush although the larger-than-life bull statues dotted around town often attract more interest. Perhaps visit the active Rockhampton Heritage Village, a replica township offers a glimpse of the hardships of Australian life during the 1850s to 1950s. Spend two nights at the Rockhampton Travelodge (3Q). B, L
Gain a fascinating insight into Australia’s Aboriginal culture at the Dreamtime Cultural Centre which is set in 12 hectares of native plants and trees. Enjoy listening to the didgeridoo, watching Djarn Djarn dancers and see if you have the knack for boomerang throwing! Nature lovers can enjoy a visit to the dry rainforests of Mount Archer National Park where you may see glossy black-cockatoos. Set 600 meters above sea level, its summit offers glorious views over Rockhampton and the coast. B
Rockhampton to Airlie Beach
Travel north, passing through the sea of sugar cane fields surrounding Mackay en route to Airlie Beach for a two-night stay at the modern Airlie Beach Hotel (3Q), close to Airlie Lagoon. B
A magnet for boating enthusiasts, Airlie Beach is a gateway to the paradisal Whitsunday Islands, a group of 74 mostly uninhabited islands fringed with beautiful beaches. A multitude of exotic birdlife roost in the trees of these densely vegetated islands while kangaroos hide in the bush. You can appreciate the islands’ outstanding natural beauty on a choice of optional cruises. B
Coral Reefs |
Cruise the coral reefs surrounding the Whitsunday Islands and admire shoals of tropical fish creating a kaleidoscope of changing colours in the crystal-clear waters.
Join a memorable sailing adventure to feel the cool sea breeze on your face whilst looking out for such marine life as turtles and manta rays skimming beneath the ocean surface.
Whitehaven Beach |
Cruise to Whitehaven Beach, a seven-kilometer long stretch of ivory sand washed by azure water.
Airlie Beach to Townsville
Continue to Queensland’s ‘Tropical Capital’ of Townsville which is backed by the 290-metre high granite monolith of Castle Hill and boasts an average of 300 days of sunshine each year. Spend the afternoon at leisure and perhaps enjoy a stroll along The Strand, a beachfront esplanade from where you can enjoy fine views of the busy port and Magnetic Island, known locally as ‘Maggie’. Stay overnight at the Comfort Inn Robert Towns (3Q). B
Townsville to Mission Beach
Enjoy a window into the Great Barrier Reef’s underwater world at the Townsville Aquarium Reef HQ. The showpiece display is an impressive living coral reef that’s home to hundreds of colourful tropical fish and other marine wildlife including sharks and rays. You can also visit the Museum of Tropical Queensland to see the treasures recovered from HMS Pandora which sank off the coast of Cape York in 1791 after pursuing the mutinous crew of the infamous Bounty. Continue to Mission Beach for a two-night stay at the beachfront Castaways Resort & Spa (4Q), conveniently close to the village centre. B
Explore the fertile plateau of the tablelands, famed for its tumbling falls and tree kangaroos, on a sightseeing tour. This afternoon, visit to Babinda Boulders, a picturesque swimming hole set amid the rainforest. Also look forward to visiting a mango plantation and a coffee farm before returning to Mission Beach, which is stretched out over 14 kilometres of the Cassowary Coast. B
Mission Beach to Palm Cove
Explore the fantastical Paronella Park which has an idyllic setting beside Mena Creek Falls and is surrounded by five hectares of tropical plants and trees. Inspired by the Catalan castles of his childhood, Spanish immigrant José Paronella built his estate in the 1930s for the enjoyment of all. After closing in 1977, it was rediscovered in the 1990s by new owners who have restored it so José’s dream can live on. Continue this afternoon to the picturesque mountain village of Kuranda, with a little free time to explore, before a magical ride through the rainforest aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Afterwards, travel to Palm Cove for the final two nights of your tour staying at The Reef House Hotel (4Q). B
Enjoy a day at leisure or perhaps join an optional walkabout in Daintree or embark on an optional cruise to the Marine World Pontoon in the Outer Great Barrier Reef. B
Great Barrier Reef |
Cruise to the Marine World Pontoon in the Outer Great Barrier Reef, part of the world’s largest marine park. Take the opportunity to go snorkelling or see the marine life on a trip by glass-bottom boat. Optional guided snorkelling tours and a scenic helicopter flight are also available. Morning and afternoon tea, and a buffet lunch are included.
Palm Cove to Cairns to UK
Travel to the airport for your return overnight flight back to the UK. B
Arrive the following day for your included UK door-to-door travel service.