Is this the year you finally grab summer with both hands? If that means taking a plunge into tropical waters, sipping on a sunset cocktail or enjoying a meal by the river, then Queensland could be the paradise you’ve been looking for. Home to soft white beaches, lush rainforests, and lively bars and restaurants, your summer is waiting. Find out more as we chase summer from Hervey Bay and Bundaberg to Cairns and Mackay,
Known as the whale-watching capital of the world, Hervey Bay is home to an unspoiled coastline and gorgeous beaches. It’s also home to one of the longest jetties in Australia – the iconic Urangan Pier. This is an ideal spot to enjoy the panoramic summertime setting, as well as a stunning sunset or two. Wiggle your toes in the nearby soft sands of Pailba, Scarness or Torquay beach before taking a plunge in the beautiful clear water.
You can also find a variety of cafes and restaurants nearby. Enjoy a meal or sunset cocktail at Enzo’s On The Beach, one of the most popular restaurants in Hervey Bay.For some seaside tapas, you can’t go past The Dock Hervey Bay. Sea Breeze Cafe is another popular and relaxed venue that serves delicious Asian Australian. Point Vernon Beach is a serene option for those who prefer a quieter beach experience, with parks and picnic spots nearby for a relaxed lunch.
Where to stay
Stay at Comfort Inn on Main and enjoy all the best things to do in Hervey Bay right on your doorstep, including the WetSide Water Park.
Famous for its Bundaberg Rum Distillery and fresh produce, is a top summer destination brimming with warm-weather delights. Bargara Beach is a picturesque spot for sunbathing and swimming. You can also take a scenic walk along the coastline. The peaceful Kelly’s Beach and Elliott Heads Beach are two of the other best beaches in Bundaberg.
The historic Bundaberg Distillery offers a great excursion into the world of rum production. Learn about the distillation process and savour the unique flavours of Bundaberg’s finest rums. For restaurants in Bundaberg, treat yourself at Pappar’Delles– a favourite known for its authentic Italian. Grunske’s by the River is a seafood lover’s paradise, with a fish market and restaurant offering seafood dishes and an excellent view of the river.
Where to stay
Econo Lodge Park Lane is conveniently and centrally situated and features a large outdoor pool and on-site restaurant.
Situated on the central coast of Queensland, Mackay offers the perfect blend of nature and culture. Settle in and soak up some summer vibes at Harbour Beach, a delightful spot for a beach day that is close to the heart of town. Bucasia Beach is a serene and family-friendly beach, perfect for picnics and water activities. Lamberts Lookout is another great spot to soak in a summer view.
For some creativity and inspiration, Artspace is a contemporary art gallery that hosts exhibitions and workshops and showcases visual arts, crafts, and design. And for an exhibit of living brilliance, don’t miss the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens incredible Orchid Display House. Reward yourself at the end of the day at Sorbellos Italian Restaurant – your go-to for authentic Italian cuisine, from pasta dishes to wood-fired pizzas, and delectable desserts.
Where to stay
The Econo Lodge Beachside offers central Mackay accommodation in close proximity to many popular things to do in Mackay, including beach attractions and the WetSide Water Park.
A tropical haven in far North Queensland, Cairns is known for its lush rainforests and world-famous Great Barrier Reef. Catch some summer at Cairns Lagoon, close to lively Cairns Lagoon Esplanade near popular local beaches and wooden decking. For an exotic and refreshing escape – and one of the best things to do in Cairns for free – Cairns Botanical Gardens is home to stunning gardens, tropical plants and thriving exotic bird life
For a taste of local flavour, head to Rusty’s Market, famous for fresh produce and street food. Seafood lovers can savour the catch of the day at Ochre Restaurant, while cozy venues like Ellis Beach Bar & Grill provide excellent wood-fired BBQ meats amid rainforest backdrops. For an upscale experience and one of the best places to eat in Cairns, Salt House offers stunning waterfront views and gourmet cuisine.
Where to stay
Centrally located within 500 metres of the city centre, The Comfort Inn Cairns City is ideally situated and can also organise hot air balloon rides and tours to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.