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    5 Apr 2016

    32 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In Queensland

    For everyone who's always wanted to go melon skiing.

    1. Visit a castle in the jungle.

    A Spaniard built this majestic house for his young wife back in the 1930s, about 120km south of Cairns. Since then, nature has kind of taken over, but it's a beautiful place to explore and spend a day. It's also a popular wedding destination.

    2. Travel through the state on the Great Inland Way.

    Starting at the NSW border town of Hebel (670km west of Brisbane), this road snakes up north through the beautiful Queensland outback up to coastal Cooktown in Far North Queensland. You'll pass national parks, heritage-listed architecture, old bushranger towns, waterfalls, and gemfields. You can take as long or as little as you like to complete it, but a week is encouraged as a minimum.

    3. Go whale watching.

    You're guaranteed to see a whale when you go out on a boat at Hervey Bay, about three hours north of Brisbane. Most boats will take you out and serve you food and drinks while you watch the whales and their calves frolic in the water.

    4. Go to the world's biggest melon festival.

    Chinchilla is known for its amazing watermelons, so every two years, they dedicate a huge festival to the fruit. You can watch or partake in events like pip spitting, melon tossing, and melon skiing. Oh and melon eating, of course.

    5. Or go to a camp oven festival.

    OK, it doesn't sound nearly as fun or glamorous as a melon festival. But this two-day event, held an hour's drive from Toowoomba, is basically just one big campsite, with food stalls, damper-throwing contests, bush poetry readings, sheep shearing demos, and miniature racing pigs.

    6. Hand-feed wild dolphins.

    At Tangalooma Resort on Moreton Island (75 minutes from Brisbane), you can feed wild bottlenose dolphins who come swimming up to the shore at night.

    7. Go sand tobogganing.

    While you're on Moreton Island, head over to the Big Sand Hills which has dunes as high as 90 metres. There are smaller dunes as well for kiddies and for people who don't fancy plunging down huge hills at breakneck speeds on a piece of wood.

    8. Kayak through gorge county.

    Boodjamulla National Park, in the state's north-west, is a stunning national park with ample places to swim, kayak, camp, and enjoy nature. You can discover ancient, World-Heritage fossils and pitch a tent near an oasis pool which is perfect for swimming.

    9. Whip your hair back and forth at Millaa Millaa Falls.

    These falls in Far North Queensland are probably one of the most iconic in Australia. After a Herbal Essences ad was filmed here, every visitor has tried to recreate the classic ~waterfall hair flick~ for their Insta feed.

    10. Watch camel racing.

    Did you know that there are 1.2 million feral camels in Outback Australia? Well, if you go to the Camel Festival in Tara, 300km west of Brisbane, you can watch them being raced! Similar events are also held in Boulia, Bedourie, and Winton.

    11. Or just eat one in a pie.

    At the Birdsville Bakery, you can eat a curried camel pie. Though it's a little out of the way (1500km west of Brisbane), it is the perfect pit stop on a road trip.

    12. Cuddle a koala.

    Queensland is one of only two states where you're actually allowed to hold a koala. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is less than an hour from the Gold Coast, and also has a bunch of other Aussie wildlife with which you can get up close and personal. Also, Taylor Swift has visited here, nbd.

    13. Wander through underground caves.

    Capricorn Caves, north of Rockhampton, are a series of breathtaking underground caves through which you can tour. If you're so inclined, you can also abseil and do wild cave exploration. Keep an eye out for bats!

    14. Watch baby turtles hatching.

    Mumma turtles come lay their eggs on Mon Repos beach near Bundaberg and then, between January and March each year, you can see all the babies hatch and take their first trip into the water.

    15. Go apple picking.

    Head to Stanthorpe, on the NSW border, and visit Sutton's farm, which has over 10,000 apple trees. You can pay $10 for a big bag which you fill with as many apples as you can pick, then head to their cafe to enjoy homemade apple pie.

    16. Swim with manta rays off Lady Elliot Island.

    There are huge numbers of these kite-like rays that swarm around the island in the winter months. Manta rays aside, Lady Elliot Island is probably one of the best places in the country for diving, with a huge diversity of marine life.

    17. Ride in an old-timey stagecoach.

    Whether you want to take a slow amble through the outback or get the ~pioneer~ experience of galloping through the bush, a stagecoach is a pretty cool way to see our country. They operate out of Longreach, which is pretty far out of the way, but totally worth it.

    18. Hang out with kangaroos on the beach.

    In Cape Hillsborough National Park, an hour north of Mackay, you can hang out with adorable and native animals in a beautiful surrounding. Either go for a day trip and take a hike, or camp overnight on the beach.

    19. Dive a shipwreck.

    Off the coast of Townsville, a huge shipwreck sits on the sea floor waiting to be explored. It's a must-see for anyone who knows how to dive.

    20. See where the rainforest meets the reef.

    At Cape Tribulation, two World Heritage sites meet, and goddamn is it stunning. You can position yourself on the sand between the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef and take some amazing Insta photos.

    21. Ride a quad bike through the rainforest.

    While you're near the rainforest, why not rent a quad bike and zip between the trees, across paddocks, and through shallow rivers?

    22. Drive a topless car around Magnetic Island.

    Magnetic Island, a 20 minute ferry ride from Townsville, is definitely worth a visit for the beautiful white-sand beaches. Two-thirds of the island is national park, and it's situated on the reef, so you know you're in for a good time. Rent a pink and white topless car to see the sights.

    23. Eat Australian animals.

    Cairns restaurant Ochre is pretty damn fancy. What makes it so unique is the presence of emu, crocodile, wallaby, and kangaroo on the menu. Choices range from emu carpaccio to kangaroo tail jam and slow-cooked wallaby.

    24. Hike Carnarvon Gorge.

    Carnarvon Gorge, six hours west of Rockhampton, offers up stunning views of sandstone cliffs and trees as far as the eye can see. Hikes and walks range from 30 minutes to 8 hours, and there are places you can camp, swim, and BBQ.

    25. Live like a rich person and charter a yacht.

    The best way to experience the beauty of the Whitsunday Islands is by boat. Spend your days lying in the sun, taking refreshing swims in the ocean, diving with marine life, and enjoying beautiful sunsets.

    26. See alien lights*.

    The mysterious Min Min Lights is a phenomenon where balls of light will randomly appear in the pitch black night of the outback. It was first noted in 1918, and ever since, visiters have travelled to Boulia, in the state's central-west to see the spooky apparition. It's said that any man who chases the lights doesn't live to tell the tale. You can read more about them here.

    *Probably not aliens.

    27. Camp on Fraser Island.

    Fraser Island, 15km off the coast of Hervey Bay, is the world's largest sand island and the perfect place to get away from life and enjoy nature. With rainforest, a lake, and beautiful white beaches, you'll honestly never want to leave.

    28. Stay in a rainforest treehouse.

    The beauty of the Daintree is best absorbed while sitting on your private balcony up in the trees, sipping on wine. There are a number of treehouses in the Daintree that you can stay in, including here, here and here.

    29. Ride a Segway through the forest.

    Travel through dense rainforest and eucalypt forest to arrive at the stunning Moran Falls deep within Lamington National Park. Definitely way more fun than walking!

    30. Go on a glamping safari.

    In the Mareeba Wetlands, west of Cairns, spend some time on safari spotting kangaroos, emus, wild pigs, and wallabys. Then retreat to your "tent" which is more of a deluxe cabin and wind down with a champagne and a dip in the hot tub.

    31. Get scared shitless on a ghost tour of Brisbane.

    There are a bunch of different ghost tours operating around Brisbane, all as scary as the last. Choose the crime and murder tour, a cemetery visit, or go see some haunted gallows. A mix of history and chilling urban legends and myths, these tours are definitely something you won't forget for a while.

    32. See dinosaur footprints.

    In the outback town of Winton, 180km north-west of Longreach, is the only known evidence on Earth of a dinosaur stampede. View the fossilised footprints and learn the rich geological history of the area and how the footprints were discovered.

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