Sunset from Girraween

Queensland News: 01/06

As Queensland eases into stage two of the COVID-19, we’re another step closer to resuming life on the other side.

Queenslanders can now dine in restaurants, pubs and cafes with up to 20 others at a time (we can hear your tummies rumbling for your favourite dishes from here) — providing the COVID SAFE checklist is followed.

Or, if you’re keen to connect with nature again, we can now travel anywhere in Queensland for recreational day trips and overnight stays, meaning you’re free again 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, we’ve helped you out by compiling some of the best day trip options from CairnsBrisbanethe 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.

Here’s to spreading our wings safely to explore Queensland once again.

Read on for the latest good news stories in Queensland.

World Reef Day

Great Barrier Reef

On Monday 1 June, we celebrate World Reef Day – an opportunity for the world to come together in awareness and activation to create positive changes for our world’s reefs.

Right here in Queensland, reef divers are continuing to maintain coral nurseries and plant corals off Cairns and the Great Barrier with more than 270 dives completed since work resumed in April. Corals at the Fitzroy Island Nursery have shown healthy growth rates which is great news for the Great Barrier Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan.

Want to get involved? Here are the best ways you can help save our Great Barrier Reef for future generations.

Virtual Mount Isa Rodeo

Mount Isa Mines Rodeo

Photo by Stephen Mowbray via Facebook

With the famous red dirt arena off-limits to thousands of rodeo fans, the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo will be staged as a ‘virtual rodeo’ from 7-9 August.

This is the biggest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, so tune in with family and friends for world-class rodeo action, lively entertainment and to see for yourself what all the fuss is about. Video nominations will open soon for 19 events, including bull riding and barrel racing.

A different type of isolation

CABN eco-houses

How does fresh air, natural wildlife and beautiful landscapes with your morning coffee sound? The Sunshine Coast’s Cooloola Great Walk is soon to have tiny eco-cabins dotted along its 102km trek.

CABN is Australia’s most unique, off-grid, tiny house experience. These eco-cabins are sustainably custom designed so visitors have every opportunity to relax, rediscover and reconnect. The new experience is coming in 2021 but in the meantime, here’s why you should add the Cooloola Great Walk to your travel list.

Wild times

Australia Zoo

While Queensland has been in temporary closure, Australia Zoo has faced new challenges to feed and care for over 1200 animals every single day. Coming to your screens on Saturday 27 June is Crikey! It’s the Irwins: Life in Lockdown which looks at how the Irwin family has handled these changes during COVID-19.

Airing on Animal Planet, you’ll see Terri, Bindi, Chandler and Robert create emergency management plans and overcome unexpected obstacles at the zoo, while also running Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. We hope it’s not too much longer before the doors are open and you can plan your day at Australia Zoo.

Back on track

Mary Valley Rattler

Over in Gympie, the charmingly nostalgic tourist attraction Mary Valley Rattler is hitting the rails once again as it prepares to reopen on Saturday 13 June. On this half-day adventure into history, your journey passes through Dagun and Amamoor where you can experience the friendly laid-back atmosphere of rural living at its best.

With its open spaces and natural beauty, the stunning Mary Valley provides a gorgeous backdrop for a day out with the whole family. In line with its COVID-19 safety plan, seating will be strictly limited – almost like your own private tour. Buy tickets here.

World luxury resort of the year

Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort

In celebratory news for Cairns, Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort has been awarded World Luxury Resort of the Year – 2020 at the M&A Today Awards.

Located at the northern end of the iconic Cairns waterfront boardwalk, this opulent five-star resort has a lagoon swimming pool with a private man-made beach, Eléme Day Spa and a 24-hour fitness centre. As soon as you set foot in the lobby, you’ll see why it took home the trophy.

Planning a trip to Cairns? Here’s why you should stay at Riley.

Wake up from hibernation

Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

After six weeks in hibernation, the Woodward Family (CaPTA Group) has announced that it will be reopening all four of its nature-based attractions across the Tropical North Queensland region on Saturday 13 June.

As that weekend marks the start of stage two in the roadmap to easing restrictions, locals can take full advantage of travelling up to 250km. Take your pick from Rainforestation Nature Park, Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas – just in time for the school holidays.

To keep everyone safe, the number of daily visitors will be limited and social distancing guidelines will be strictly enforced. Follow the CaPTA Group on Facebook for updates.

Fly over water

Gold Coast Hydrofoil Tours

Photo by Gold Coast Hydrofoil Tours via Facebook

How would you like to experience the sensation of soaring over water? With the launch of Gold Coast Hydrofoil Tours, you can now enjoy a 2-hour eFoiling lesson to fly through the air without wind or waves.

Launching in Surfers Paradise in June, co-founder Josh Brederode and Paul Harazim will demonstrate how to ride an eFoil Fliteboard to those with any level of experience. The choice is yours to ride on your own with an instructor or with friends to share the unforgettable experience. Book here.

Capture a moment in time

Horizon Festival

Photo by Horizon Festival via Facebook

The Sunshine Coast’s leading multi-arts program – Horizons Festival – is rolling with the punches to deliver a three-month program of online events from June to August, including digital artworks, events and experiences.

From local artists presenting work that reflects 2020’s extraordinary circumstances, to a monthly concert series which feature’s some of the region’s most celebrated artists, this is an opportunity to view this unusual moment in time through art. The festival’s program of online events is launching on 1 June.

Scenic Rim spotlight

Summer Land Camels

Photo by Visit Scenic Rim via Facebook

Eating local is important now more than ever, and in a proud moment for the Scenic Rim, the region had three state winners in the 2020 Delicious Magazine Harvey Norman Produce Awards. Dairy awards were given to both Summer Land Camels and Tommerup’s Farm, followed by a paddock award to Heritage Poultry.

In the spirit of supporting local producers, remember to mark 26 June to 4 July, 2021 into your diary for the 10th anniversary of Scenic Rim Eat Local Week.

At home with QAGOMA

Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art

Photo by QAGOMA via Facebook

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.

This week, join curator Katina Davidson as she walks through the work of Indigenous Australian painter and weaver Mavis Ngallametta (1944-2019) via a series of videos.

Day spa in the hills

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

Photo by It’s Beautiful Here via Instagram

For the lucky folks who live in recreational travel range of the Gold Coast Hinterland, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat invites you to experience its exclusive spa sanctuary – the largest (and a multi-award-winning) spa in the Southern Hemisphere.

Normally reserved for retreat guests, day visitors are encouraged to stop in for some quality rest time with its team of spa professionals. Available on set days with limited numbers, your two-hour spa escape includes an organic balancing facial and a massage. It’s the perfect break away up in the hills to rest body, mind and soul. View more details here.

Eats & beats takeaway

Eats & Beats Takeaway

Photo by Eats & Beats via Facebook

On Friday 29 May, Logan’s popular Eats & Beats festival is moving into the virtual world so we can continue to support the city’s local food and music scene.

The online event will commence at 5.30pm on the Logan City Council Facebook page, where attendees can watch their favourite acts. Participants are encouraged to grab a take away from local food outlets and trucks dotted around the city, before heading home to enjoy the event in the comfort of their home.

Read our previous good news stories around Queensland here.