Heron Island jetty aerial

Queensland News: 15/05

In among the uncertainty of our current reality, our Queensland spirit has certainly not diminished. If anything, it’s made us stronger – and definitely challenged us to think on our feet.  

There’s a demonstrated resilience, adaptability and passion in our Queensland community to make things work, keep our heads held high and a smile on our faces.

And these inspiring stories are what keeps our community spirit and natural life alive.

Read on for the latest good news stories in Queensland.

Queenslanders on the Road

Bunya mountains

Keen to connect with nature again? As of Saturday 16 May, Queenslanders can travel up to 150km for recreational day trips, meaning you’re free to sink your toes into a walk on the beach, hike your way up to a waterfall, or have a picturesque picnic in the country.

With so much to see and do in Queensland (with social distancing precautions, of course), we’ve helped you out by compiling some of the best day trip options from Cairns, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. We’d love to see what you’re getting up to, so don’t forget to tag your Instagram snaps with #thisisqueensland.

Spirits of the Red Sands Returns

Over in Beenleigh, Australia’s award-winning Aboriginal live theatre experience — Spirits of the Red Sands — is set to re-open on 12 June for 20 guests at a time. As a world-first in authentic Aboriginal storytelling, this performance tells the epic story of an Aboriginal family on their life-changing journey as the British and Aboriginal ways of life collide.

With live theatre performances, indigenous song and dance, and a 3-course meal, this is a completely immersive evening that will open your eyes to the history, beauty and vibrancy of the Aboriginal people. Book your evening out here.

Mapleton Springs

Mapleton Springs

Photo by Mapleton Springs via Facebook

While you might be aware that Mapleton Springs on the Sunshine Coast provides luxury accommodation with spectacular views of the Hinterland (plus a pool, sauna and spa… bliss), it may be a surprise that its team are also licensed wildlife carers who work closely with Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.

Over the past couple of months, this five-star bed and breakfast has been sharing a bunch of cute wildlife content on its Facebook page, including plenty of adorable joeys to put a smile on your face. And while you’re there, bear in mind that this beautiful accommodation is taking bookings from 12 June for guests who live within 250km.

At Home with QAGOMA


Photo by QAGOMA

Looking for more online activities to keep you busy at home? Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) continues with its #homewithQAGOMA virtual events where you’ll find something for everyone. From exciting tours for kids, to interactive workshops and talks exploring artworks, this is a great opportunity to stay connected with the gallery.

Starting on Saturday 16 May, a 3-part series of virtual talks with Dr Louis R Mayhew kicks off, titled ‘Confronting Contemporary Art: My Child Could Have Done That!’ which shows us there’s far more than meets the eye to abstract and conceptual art.

Scenic Rail Trail

Cycling or walking between Caboolture and Wamuran is about to get a whole lot easier. In a fortunate stroke of serendipity, the Caboolture to Wamuran Rail Trail is finally open to the public after three years of construction — just as we’re able to expand our recreational travel up to 150km.

Built to showcase the history of the Caboolture to Kilcoy railway corridor, this 10.5km trail is an ideal eco-friendly commute, and perfect for getting the wind in your hair on the weekend, too. Learn more about the trail here.

Sea you later

In heart-warming news at Sea World yesterday, the team released seven endangered loggerhead turtle hatchlings about 15km offshore from the Gold Coast Seaway.

Found at Tugun Beach last week, these little guys spent five days resting at Sea World, before making their way out to the deep blue. One piece of advice — ‘just keep swimming!’

Be a Part of History

Koala at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

While Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has been closed over the past couple of months, the team has productively used its downtime to spruce up the sanctuary. Introducing “The Sleepy Koala”, a new space inside the beloved general store will soon be home to an art platform, exclusive t-shirt range and a Lone Pine history display.

The most exciting part is that you can join in with this renovation. Share your Lone Pine photographs or story memories from over the years to service@koala.net and become a part of the sanctuary’s history.

Live From Aus

Starting on Saturday 16 May, ignite your wanderlust with Tourism Australia’s first-ever live program of virtual events. Tune in throughout the weekend for a program of live entertainment, hosted by some of Australia’s most iconic personalities.

Join an underwater reef tour with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, work up a sweat with Chris Hemsworth’s fitness team in Byron Bay, or learn more about the ‘day in a life’ of a wildlife carer at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. RSVP now to be inspired for your next Queensland adventure.

Explore Virtual Paradise

Over on Fraser Island, caretakers have been working hard to capture some wonderful real-time island moments, including nature-inspired videos and stunning sunset time-lapses for you to enjoy.

Or, if you’d like to take a closer look at the island’s most loved spots, Kingfisher Bay Resort has launched a video collection of 360-degree experiences, including Central Station Rainforest, Lake McKenzie, and a sunset session along the western beach.

Want to immerse yourself even further? Download a range of Fraser Island virtual Zoom backgrounds and connect with friends and colleagues in paradise (and don’t forget about our collection from right across Queensland, too!)

Foodie Roadmap to Easing Restrictions

Pizzeria and Gelato bar

We can hear your tummies rumbling for your favourite restaurant dishes from here. So in wonderful foodie news, Queenslanders can dine in restaurants, pubs and cafes again from Saturday 16 May, as Step One of the Federal Government’s COVID-19 roadmap begins.

A COVID safe checklist must be in place and up to 10 patrons at a time can gather, so we recommend contacting your favourite eating spot to check if it’s open and to book a table so you don’t miss out. Bon appetit!

Take Centre Stage

Screen Acting Essentials Workshop

Photo by Capricorn Film Festival via Facebook

Do you have a talent for acting that you’d love to evolve? Capricorn Film Festival in partnership with Livingstone Shire Council & Regional Arts Development is presenting a four-day online Screen Acting Essentials workshop with some of Australia’s best acting tutors — all from the comfort of your home.

Held each Saturday from 6-27 June, both emerging and experienced actors of all ages are encouraged to join in. Each day will consist of specialised learnings from different tutors, including TV favourite Tim Ross. From preparing a killer scene for an audition, to learning how to put your voice through its paces, these workshops provide a wealth of stage knowledge. Book your place here.

Eat Local at Home

Scenic Rim Farm Box

Photo by Scenic Rim Farm Box

Although we can’t visit the Scenic Rim right now, that doesn’t mean we have to miss out. In collaboration with the Scenic Rim Regional Council, a group of local producers in the farming community have launched the Scenic Rim Farm Box which delivers farm-fresh, seasonal, quality Scenic Rim Produce.

In the box, you’ll find the region’s best fruit and veggies, dairy, meat and pantry picks so you can taste the Scenic Rim’s farm-fresh flavours every week. The initiative received over 6000 registrations of interests before its launch in early May, and so far, this has injected a total of $40k into the economy – an incredible result. Order your farm box here.

Festival of 4 Walls

Ipswich City Council

While many of our favourite events and festival have been cancelled, Ipswich City Council has planned a series of activities that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home or yard. Running from 15 – 31 May, key components from the postponed Ipswich Show and The Gathering Festival will be available.

One activity is Front Yard Friday on May 15, where Ipswich residents are encouraged to let their creative sides run wild by decorating their front yards, fences and driveways. To support local businesses during this time, residents are also encouraged to order their favourite take-away and enjoy it at home. Radio station River 94.9 has you covered with great tunes and will be playing Front Yard Friday requests throughout the day.

Throughout the two-week festival, there will also be competitions, cooking demonstrations and live music performances by local artists. Activities to help children decorate their yard can be downloaded here.

Queensland Adventure Activities Spotlight

Bay Island Stand Up Paddle

Photo by Bay Island Stand Up Paddle Co. via Facebook

As restrictions gradually ease across Queensland, we’re hearing about some fantastic adventure businesses that now have permission to open. We know you’re edging towards the door to explore Queensland’s activities once more – here’s a head start on what’s available.

  • Whitsunday Segway Tours
    As of 12 May, Whitsunday Segway Tours is opening its doors once more for locals to enjoy the beautiful Whitsunday winter weather in style. Glide along Bicentennial Boardwalk at Airlie Beach or roll through Conway National Park.
  • Jet Skiing on the Gold Coast
    Gold Coast Jet Ski Safaris are back on the water so you can hire and ride your own jet ski along the Gold Coast waterways. To welcome back locals within 50km, the tour company is offering 25% off all experiences for a limited time.
  • Water sports on the Bay
    Bay Island Stand Up Paddle in Brisbane’s Redlands welcomes you to kayak or stand-up paddle on the calm waters of Raby Bay. You may want to have a go at their new water bikes too.
  • River-boarding in Cairns
    Explore the beautiful surrounding waterfalls in the oldest rainforest in the world with Cairns Canyoning. While canyoning can’t happen just yet, you can book into river boarding right now.

Read our previous good news stories around Queensland here.