Ultimate guide: What to do these school holidays – Gympie Times

GET those restless kids out of the house these next few weeks and visit some of Queensland’s most iconic destinations. With our comprehensive guide, find the top spots to travel to during these school holidays.


Try Riverlife Kayaking this school holidays as COVID restrictions ease. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Brisbane is home to the world’s oldest and largest koala sanctuary, where you can get up close and personal with koalas, hand feed kangaroos, walk with emus and meet other Australian native wildlife.


Riverlife Kayaking

Witness sensational city views from a new angle as you glide along the river, under Brisbane’s inner-city bridges and past its bustling riverfront precincts as your guide tells the stories of Brisbane’s history.


Spirit of the Red Sands

Connect with the world’s oldest living culture through a live dinner theatre experience at Spirits of the Red Sand and immerse yourself in the history of our first nations people.


Tangalooma Day Trip

Join a day cruise to Tangalooma Island Resort for sand tobogganing, snorkelling sunken wrecks, fish life and turtles and the magic of handfeeding a wild dolphin at sunset.


Story Bridge Adventure Climb

Climb to the peak of Brisbane’s iconic 75m-high Story Bridge and take in breathtaking 360-degree views of the city, Mount Coot-Tha and pristine Moreton Bay, coupling your climb with a daring Lean Out or Walk the Plank experience high above the river.


Floating Images Hot Air Balloon Flights

Picture yourself tucked into a big wicker basket, hearing local tales of the Greater Brisbane region as you enjoy the magic of southeast Queensland from the air on a sky-high adventure in a hot-air balloon.




Head to the Redlands these school holidays to find a local adventure with the whole family. Picture: Redlands Coast


Gain a fascinating insight into one of the oldest continuing cultures in the world with land-based whale watching tours and eco-cultural tours by Quandamooka Coast. Quandamooka guides share their cultural knowledge about whales, native foods and ancient the medicinal methods of North Stradbroke Island.


Tracks and trails

Redlands Coast has some of the best mountain-biking and bushwalking in SEQ with tracks and trails to suit all levels (above). Checkout Redlands Track Park at Cleveland; Bayview Conservation Area at Redland Bay; Eastern Escarpment Conservation Area at Mt Cotton; and Don and Christine Burnett Conservation Area, Sheldon.


Beach camping and 4WD

North Stradbroke Island has a host of accommodation options, including beach camping along Flinders Beach and Main Beach available through Minjerribah Camping. Local tours are run by Straddie Kingfisher Tours or Straddie Day Tours.


Sirromet Winery

Indulge in a tour and tasting at the state’s largest winery and then dine on fresh Queensland produce such as mud crabs, Moreton Bay bugs, suckling pig, scallops and quail at the on-site Restaurant Lurleen’s.


Wellington Point

Spend the day by the beach at Wellington Point, walk across the sandbar to King Island at low tide, and treat the family to fish-and-chips.


Tropical North Queensland

Explore tropical North Queensland these school holidays. Picture: TEQ. Pumpkin Island Eco Retreat – Southern Great Barrier Reef

Reef wonder

Stay on Fitzroy Island, a rainforest island where you can snorkel with turtles on the Great Barrier Reef.


Port Douglas

Explore the Great Barrier Reef Drive where you can visit both the reef and the world’s oldest rainforest while staying at luxury resorts in Port Douglas.



Relax in a treehouse on the Atherton Tablelands and spend your days exploring the food and waterfall trails.


Savannah Way

Visit the accessible Outback, less than a day’s drive from Cairns, where you can see the world’s longest lava tubes, stand-up paddle board through a gorge and eat local mudcrab as the sun sets over the ocean, all on the Savannah Way.


Misty Mountains

The Misty Mountains Homestead is located 40 minutes south of Cairns at the edge of World Heritage listed Wet Tropics rainforest, nestled into the foothills of Mount Bellenden Ker. Stay overnight in a stream-side cabin and explore the mountain on foot or a bicycle.



Enjoy a five-star experience in the Cairns CBD where tours depart daily to the Great Barrier Reef. Dine on a prawn trawler, have cocktails on the waterfront, see Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series at the Cairns Regional Gallery and check into a spa.


NQ wildlife

Visit a wildlife park to see local native animals including crocodiles and cassowaries.




Embark on an adventure on Heron Island during these school holidays. Picture: Heron Island


Heron Island

Some of the best scuba diving and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, and home to more than 5000 green and loggerhead turtles.


Wilson Island

The ultimate island castaway experience, it can host just 18 guests at any one time.


Lady Musgrave Island

Spend the day exploring Lady Musgrave Island and lagoon with 1770 Reef’s Great Barrier Reef Eco Tours. Day trips depart regularly from the Town of 1770.


Explore 1770

LARC! Travel operates amphibious vehicle tours along secluded sandy beaches and pristine waterways in the Town of 1770, the birthplace of Queensland.



There is great fishing in the Gladstone region. 1770 Creek2Reef Tours and Johnny Mitchell’s Fishing Charters are among the top local operators.


Kroombit Tops National Park

Great for bushwalks, Kroombit features beautiful sandstone escarpments, gorges, creeks and waterfalls. Also home to a WWII Liberator bomber that crashed in 1945 and remained hidden in forest until 50 years later.


1770 Paperbark Trail

A short but exciting walk with stepping stones, boardwalk sections and water crossings near the beach just south of Agnes Water.




Holiday in Queensland – Try turtle watching off Lady Elliot Island these school holidays. Picture: Eddie Safarik

Lady Elliott Island

Visit the home of the manta ray and encounter the gentle giants among the abundant marine life on Lady Elliot Island.

The Eco Resort has a range of accommodation and package options available.


Mon Repos

The turtle centre and conservation park allows visitors to get up close to amazing sea turtles (above).

Mon Repos is home to the most significant loggerhead turtle nesting population in the South Pacific.


Rum Distillery

Go behind the scenes of Australia’s iconic Bundaberg Rum Distillery and try your hand at crafting rum on a Blend Your Own Master Class experience. The region is home to an array of microbreweries, artisan gin makers, cider houses and more.


National parks

Explore North Burnett, including Mount Walsh National Park and Cania Gorge.


Great drives

Hit the red dirtroads connecting Bundaberg to Childers, Moore Park Beach, Bargara and beyond, where roadside stalls sell local produce.


Beach hopping

Situated on the coastline of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Bargara and the Coral Coast offer an idyllic beach escape.


Outback Queensland

Escape to Outback Queensland bliss at Charlotte Plains Station in Cunnamulla. Picture: Tourism and Events Queensland


Queensland’s living Outback museum and heritage experience centre, the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame reopens today, Friday June 26th 2020. All galleries and the new cinematic experience will be open, but check the website for updates on the live shows.



Discover the unique history of Australia’s oil and gas industry at The Big Rig. There are guided tours, family activities, a self guided outdoor museum, and The Big Rig Night Show Sunset Experience most days.


Cobbold Gorge

Queensland’s Outback oasis is in north Queensland’s Gulf Savannah region. Tours and accommodation available, and everything to-do from bushwalking and bird watching, to canoeing and mountain biking.



The famous Big Red 35km out of Birdsville is a 40m-high sand dune popular with 4WD enthusiasts. The first of 1140 parallel dunes in the Simpson Desert, the spectacular sunsets from the top of Big Red are an experience not to be missed.



Charlotte Plains is a family owned and operated sheep station near Cunnamulla offering an authentic Outback experience, combining an insight into station life with a spectacular campground at its famous artesian bore (above).


Mt Isa

Head to Outback at Isa, home to the town’s number one attraction – The Hard Times Mine Tour, a hands-on insight into life working underground. For those who would rather stay above ground Outback at Isa is also home to the Riversleigh Fossil Centre and Laboratory and The Isa Experience.




Go Swimming on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast these school holidays. Picture: Supplied


Great Keppel Island

Immerse yourself in the stunning world of the Southern Great Barrier Reef with the 17 white sandy beaches of Great Keppel Island, a 30-minute ferry ride from Yeppoon.


Capricorn Caves

Unlock the secrets of the ages as you visit award-winning limestone caves. The Capricorn Caves just north of Rockhampton is Queensland’s oldest tourist attraction, with tours dating back to 1884.



A short drive west of Rockhampton, enjoy the thrill of fossicking for volcanic thunder-eggs, before heading further west to the largest Sapphire Gemfields in the southern hemisphere, north of Emerald.



Explore the coastal rainforest of Byfield, north of Yeppoon, which forms one of the largest unspoilt ecosystems on the east coast of Australia.


Rockhampton playground

Venture to Rockhampton city and enjoy magnificent views to the east and west from Nurim Skywalk at Mount Archer National Park, which boasts the highest children’s playground in Queensland.


Sandstone wilderness

Two hours west of Rockhampton is Blackdown National Park – the spiritual home of the Ghungala people. Enjoy this spectacular plateau’s rock pools and waterfalls before continuing the journey on to the ancient world of sandstone gorges with unique plant life and 19,000 year old Aboriginal art at Carnarvon Gorge.


Surf and turf

Enjoy Queensland’s best steak or freshly caught barramundi in Rockhampton – the beef and barra capital of Australia. Or for something different, try the local crocodile meat dishes at Koorana Crocodile Farm.




Find the perfect Queensland getaway on the Whitsundays. Picture: TEQ


Great Barrier Reef

The Whitsunday Islands are located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and are the premier destination to experience snorkelling, diving or flying over this amazing living structure.


Whitehaven Beach

One of the many jewels in the Whitsundays crown. The crystal-clear waters and pristine sand of world-famous Whitehaven Beach ensure it often tops the list of best beaches in the world.


Island resorts

The Whitsundays has the very best in tropical island resorts; here you’ll find Hamilton Island, InterContinental Hayman Island, Daydream Island Resort, Elysian Retreat, Palm Bay Resort on Long Island and Camp Island Lodge.


Hill Inlet

Just a short walk at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach you’ll find Hill Inlet, the silica white sand of Whitehaven Beach combined with the blue-green hues of the inlet blend to create a swirling fusion of turquoise colours.



Sail through the incredible 74 island wonders of the Whitsundays. The clear protected waters make for some of the best sailing in the southern hemisphere.


Airlie Beach

The beating heart of the Whitsundays, it is island resort living on the mainland. Accommodation to suit whatever budget and the main street is filled with delicious restaurants.


Gold Coast


Check out Restaurant Labart in Burleigh Heads when visiting the Gold Coast. Picture: Nigel Hallett


Family faves

The Gold Coast has beautiful, clean, sheltered swimming beaches for families. Local favourites include Rainbow Bay and Tallebudgera Creek.


Dining out

The Gold Coast’s dining scene has grown up. Local favourites include Café D’Bar, Restaurant Labart, Justin Lane, BSKTCafe, Mamasan, Sandbar and Bumbles at Surfers Paradise, Three Little Pigs Mt Tamborine, Dune Café at Palm Beach.


Fresh produce

Get fresh Seafood straight off the trawler at the Gold Coast Fishermen’s Co-op, and produce at Bundall Farmers Markets (HOTA), Mt Tamborine Farmer’s Markets and Freeman’s Organic Farm (Currumbin Valley).


Theme Parks

Sea World and Paradise Country will be the first Village Roadshow theme parks to re-open today. Movie World and Wet ‘n’ Wild won’t open until July 15. Ardent Leisure’s Dreamworld is planning to re-open at full capacity by late September.


Wildlife Parks

Feed wild rainbow lorikeets, visit the wildlife hospital and ride the train around Currumbin Sanctuary. It also reopens today.


Gold Coast Hinterland

Great places for families to visit include Tamborine Mountain (easy bushwalks, waterfalls, ziplining), O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (kid friendly activities) and Canungra Valley Vineyards.


Fraser Coast


Relax on Fraser Island’s Lake Mackenzie these school holidays. Picture: Nicky Moffat

Fraser Island

Explore unspoilt coastline and the largest sand island on the planet – world heritage listed in 1992, K’gari (Fraser Island) is the place to reboot among nature.


Lake McKenzie

The most clicked on location on Tourism Events Queensland’s social sites. World renowned Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora) is Fraser Island’s most prominent freshwater perched lake.


4WD beach drive

Fraser Island’s 75 Mile beach is a must-do. From Inskip Point to Orchid Beach, there are inland tracks to Lake McKenzie; 4WD trek to Indian Head.



The island has four major national park camp grounds, two private camping sites and lots of free options among the dunes on the beachfront.



For those who like more luxury on their holiday breaks, there are major resorts like Kingfisher Bay that offer luxury accommodation, fine dining and adventure options.


TSS Maheno shipwreck

Inspect the rusting hulk of the former 5000 tonne Gallipoli hospital ship, TSS Maheno, Australia’s largest single artefact from World War I. The ship washed up on Fraser’s eastern beach during a cyclone in 1935 and remains a tourist drawcard.


Hiking on Fraser Island

Walk the vast wilderness island, taking in remote and iconic sites.


Scenic Rim


Escape to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Queensland these school holidays. Picture: Supplied

Take a hike

The Scenic Rim is home to six national parks – Mt Barney, Main Range, Moogerah Peaks, Tamborine, Lamington and Mount Chinghee national parks. Book guided experiences via Mt Barney Lodge, Secrets of the Scenic Rim via interNATIONAL PARKtours and Horizon Guides.

Treat yourself

Book in for a luxurious spa treatment at O’Reilly’s Lost World Spa and take a swim in the O’Reilly’s infinity pool. For a different kind of relaxation, book in for a weaving workshop with renowned textile artist Bec Andersen in her stunning, earthy home studio on Tamborine Mountain.

Get adventurous

Check out TreeTop Challenge Tamborine Mountain for Australia’s largest zip line attraction and Thunderbird Park, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Binna Burra Lodge and Mt Barney Lodge for plenty of fun for the whole family.

Visit a farm

Connect with where your food comes from at Tommerup’s Dairy Farm and Farm Stay in the Kerry Valley. Grab some cheese from Towri Sheep Cheeses, and take home a bag of fresh macadamias when you stay at Greenlee Cottages in the Sarabah Valley.

Dine in style

Experience truly local flavours, expertly prepared by top Australian chef Daniel Groneberg at Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm.


Originally published as Ultimate guide: What to do these school holidays