Central Queensland

Enjoy a mouth-watering steak in Rockhampton, Australia's beef capital. Then venture north to the Capricorn Coast, which has 13 stunning beaches stretching from Yeppoon to Emu Park. Inland, you can see Aboriginal rock art in Carnarvon National Park and the picturesque Rainbow Falls in Blackdown Tableland National Park. Paddle along the Byfield River in Byfield National Park and search for gems in the Sapphire Gemfields, the Southern Hemisphere's largest. Around the pretty port of Gladstone, you'll find rainforest gorges, lakes and long white beaches stretching to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Fish for barramundi at Lake Awoonga and camp and four-wheel drive around Mount Castletower National Park at its base. Discover the majestic cliffs of Kroombit Tops or take a day trip to Fitzroy Lagoon, where you can dive, snorkel, fish and even walk on the reef.

 Outback Queensland

See fossils dating back 25 million years in World Heritage-listed Riversleigh Fossil Fields and the world's best-preserved dinosaur stampede near Winton. Canoe the emerald waters of Lawn Hill Gorge in Boodjamulla National Park. Search for opals at Opalton, Quilpie and Yowah; amethyst near Cloncurry; and moonstone at Moonstone Hill. Four-wheel drive on famous outback tracks like the Birdsville Track or Plenty Highway. Or tackle on-road adventures on the Matilda Highway, which stretches more than 1,700 kilometers from Cunnamulla to Karumba on the Gulf of Carpentaria. See bucking broncos at the Mount Isa Rodeo or learn to muster and shear on a cattle or sheep farm.


You can feast on fresh seafood, tropical fruit and succulent beef steaks in the small coastal city of Mackay. Bushwalk and swim along the dramatic coastline of Cape Hillsborough National Park, then spot platypus on Broken River in the subtropical oasis of Eungella National Park. Sail or take a sea plane to a Great Barrier Reef island. Camp on the Newry Islands or stay a few nights on Brampton and bushwalk its many nature trails. Catch reef fish or snorkel around Bushy Atoll,a suspended lagoon of corals and marine life. See one of Australia's largest coal mines in Blair Athol in the hinterland and huge sunflower fields in the Peak Range Mountains of the highlands.

Next: What to see in Bundaberg, Southern Queensland Country and Townsville
FROM: Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure
Published on January 18, 2011


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