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50 (more) things to do this summer

Summer comes and goes faster than Usain Bolt, so if you want to make the most of it, you’ve got to have an action plan.

If you’ve already ticked all of these off your summer must-do list, here are 50 more ways to get the most out of those long days and balmy nights. Ready, set, go!

Tropical North Queensland


1. See the spectacular Barron Falls among the ravines, rugged mountains and rainforests of the Barron Gorge National Park.

2. Barefoot Tours in Cairns will take you swimming in volcanic craters, under waterfalls and down natural waterslides.

3. Fly around with jets of water shooting out of your feet, just like Ironman but without the goatee. Flyboard Cairns has you covered so you can beat the heat and gravity at the same time.

4. Play out your high-roller fantasies with a helicopter, a secluded beach on the Great Barrier Reef and a picnic. Yes it’s real, and it’s spectacular.

5. Battle the rapids with a full-day White Water Rafting trip on the Tully River, south of Cairns.

Townsville North Queensland

6. Stroll along The Strand – Townsville’s answer to “What are we going to do today?” Skydivers even land on the beach here, so it’s pretty boss.

7. Spend seven days kayaking around the Jurassic landscape of Hinchinbrook Island. Don’t worry, there aren’t any real dinosaurs… that we know of.

8. Take a digital detox and day-trip it to the rainforest village of Paluma to wander the cozy cafes and nooks for local craft and produce.

9. Set sail on your circumnavigation of Magnetic Island on board a beautiful 58-foot sailing yacht with Pilgrim Sailing.

10. Head to Reef HQ’s turtle hospital in Townsville where you can be Dr House but with shells and flippers instead of hands and feet.

The Whitsundays and Mackay


Photo by Carly Brown

11. Tuck into a local crab claw, the biggest and the best outside Singapore, and slug down a mojito at Fish D’vine.

12. Cast off from Shute Harbour and kayak to White Rock. The water is so clear that whether you are looking at an eagle or a giant turtle the visibility is the same. Salty Dog Sea Kayaking also dish up a beach-based buffet to fuel your return trip.

13. Who needs a movie star life and St Tropez when you can grab your own groupies and sail the coral blue waters on a 14-metre fantasy powerboat.

14. Reel in a trophy-worthy fish in Mackay.

Southern Great Barrier Reef


15. If you needed another reason to go to Heron Island, they now have a semi-submersible to show you everything under the sea.

16. Grab a rod, head out past the breakers and see what real fishing is like at Seventeen Seventy.

17. Want to know one of Queensland’s best-kept secrets? Get yourself to Great Keppel Island, off the Capricorn Coast, and enjoy its 17 pristine beaches, pretty much all to yourself.

18. From January to March, head to Bundaberg to watch baby turtles emerge from their nests and make their way to the water for the first time.

19. For a trip you will never forget, jump aboard the pink LARC – an amphibious craft that will take you across deserted sandy beaches as you make your way to the isolated Bustard Head Lighthouse.

20. Take a day trip to the giant lagoon near Lady Musgrave Island and snorkel to your heart’s content with fish, manta rays, turtles and more beautiful coral than you can fill a GoPro with.

21. Go on a whirlwind photo adventure around the Gladstone region and get snap-happy at these 8 must-see places.

Fraser Coast


22. Spend three days off the coast of Fraser Island fishing on a luxury catamaran.

23. Break open the bubbly on a sunset cruise in Hervey Bay. You might get lucky and have a ‘cheers’ with a dolphin. We hear they drink like fish!

24. Put your feet in the air and float down Eli Creek on Fraser Island on an inflatable tube. The water is so clear it will put your contact lenses to shame.

25. Set up camp on Fraser Island in one of the many National Parks camping areas, including a secluded camping spot along eastern beach.

26. For the ultimate adrenaline rush, jump aboard Aquavue’s Hervey Bay to Fraser Island jet-ski safari tour.

27. Swap the four wheel drive for two and give Segways a go on Fraser Island. Catch the ferry across to Kingfisher Bay, hire a Segway from the jetty and make tracks down the eastern beach.

Sunshine Coast


28. Hike to the peak of one of the Glass House Mountains. There are trails for both beginners and more experienced climbers.

29. Learn to ride the waves at Happy Valley with the pros from Coolum Surf School.

30. Go underwater and stay dry in Sea Life Mooloolaba’s ocean walk-through tunnel, alive with over 50 species of fish in 2.5 million litres of water.

31. See the coloured sand cliffs and the beauty of Fraser Island from the air while paragliding over Rainbow Beach.

32. Swap the beach day for a trip to Bindi’s Island at Australia Zoo in Beerwah. And, here’s how you can make the most of a day at Australia Zoo.

33. Grab a big bottle of water and venture through the natural beauty of Noosa National Park, stopping for swims along the way.



34. If you went to Eat Street Markets 10 times you wouldn’t even come close to trying half of the food, so get thee to Hamilton in Brisbane any Friday or Saturday night. And make sure you get a Cronut.

35. Swim with giant manta rays at the Bommie Dive Site off North Stradbroke Island. They’re like Batman, but underwater.

36. Grab a beanbag and a blanket and watch a movie outside, at night, in New Farm Park or South Bank. It’s much more hip than those inside cinemas.

37. Pick a spot at Kangaroo Point to watch the skies come alive with vibrant colours at sunset or during the firework display on New Year’s Eve.

38. Spend the day at Suttons Beach in Redcliffe then kick back at the Mon Komo Hotel for a Sunday session.

Gold Coast


39. Venture out when the sun goes down to spot fireflies, glow worms and luminous mushrooms in Springbrook National Park.

40. Grab your togs (swimmers) and get your stair-climbing legs ready. The ‘Constrictor’, the ‘Blackhole’, the ‘Kamikaze’, the ‘Mach 5′ are all massive slides waiting for you to throw yourself down. Wet’n’Wild is every slide junkie’s dream.

41. After a lazy day at Kirra Beach, take a walk along The Strand and treat yourself at one of the many trendy cafes and ice-cream bars along the strip.

42. Quench your hard-earned thirst with a tour of the award-winning Burleigh Brewing Company and pick up a six pack of the most contentious ale in town: My Wife’s Bitter.

43. Scream. Cry. Swear. Then conquer the ‘Big 9’ thrill rides at Dreamworld.

44. Retreat to a natural spa that costs nothing – Currumbin Rock Pools are the easiest way to get that pampered feeling without the big bill.

45. Ignore TLC and DO go chasing waterfalls at Kondalilla National Park and Gardeners Falls in The Hinterland.

Southern Queensland Country


46. Get trekking on the Queen Mary Falls circuit. It’s a short walk and the 40-metre falls are too good a prize for such a small effort.

47. Spend four days spent hiking between glamping at Spicers Canopy and living it up at Spicers Peak Lodge in Southern Queensland Country… sounds like a death march. Yeah, sure.

48. Escape the holiday frenzy and venture into Girraween National Park just outside Stanthorpe to see the huge granite boulders.

49. Indulge your tastebuds at the Granite Belt Brewery in Stanthorpe.

50. Stop in at The Bramble Patch in Stanthorpe where they turn your favourite berries into delicious made-to-order ice-cream. Best served in a crunchy waffle cone!

Handy Tip: If you want the full must-do list of the top 101 things you need to do this summer in Queensland, this is where you can find it.



This post was originally published in 2014 and was updated on the 19th of December 2017.