Top 5 Queensland Experiences

There are so many experiences throughout the Queensland state, how do you choose the best ones for you?

With SO MANY options, I wanted to share with you 5 entirely different but incredible things you should think about adding to your itinerary.

1. Hike the Mount Sorrow Trail

If you are anything like me, getting out into nature and exploring through winding paths, up mountains and across rivers is the DREAM. I love nothing more than putting on those hiking boots and setting off an adventure.

The daintree rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world, and how lucky we are to have the chance to visit such a ancient location. I found that this hike truly let me experience the rainforest.

Sarah standing at the entrance sign for the Mt Sorrow ridge trail.
Start of the trail

Now, don’t get me wrong this hike is not for the faint hearted. It is long, steep and if you know north Queensland, very hot! 

8.4km along winding footpaths surrounded by the luscious greenery of the daintree, even a cheeky scramble with a rope to guide you up to the top platform showing you a view through an opening in the trees. For us smaller humans, it isn’t much of a view HOWEVER I have a secret tip that made this one of the best lookouts I have seen in Australia. 

If you walk around the platform there is an opening in the trees which takes you to another worn track, be careful of your step as you are walking along the ridge at this point. This opens up to a mind blowing view of where the rainforest truly meets the sea. 

View from the top of the Mt Sorrow ridge hike, overlooking the Daintree forest and cape tribulation beach.
View from the top

I highly recommend using to help with locating the track, it works off GPS rather than internet. It is my GO TO for directions during our hikes to ensure we don’t get lost. It is free to download too!

As the name suggests, the rainforest can get pretty wet during certain times of the year which means leeches. I hateeee leeches, so if you plan to do this hike in the wet season be ready. I am talking DEET, salt and an attitude to deal with those squirmy weird creatures.

I can’t stress enough to be prepared, you will definitely need:

– At least 3 Litres of water per person. I know it sounds a lot but you will thank yourself for it later.

– Plenty of food and snacks

– The essentials for any hike in Australia, a first aid and snake bite kit.

Sarah looking over the vast view of the Daintree rainforest from the Mount Sorrow lookout.
Just myself and a good view

Around 4-6 hour return depending on your fitness levels, so just take it all in and experience the Daintree.

2. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef at Lady Elliot

One of the first places that comes to mind to many individuals across the world when they think of Australia is the Great Barrier Reef. The largest reef system on earth and one of the seven natural wonders of the world, you can see why!

Always at the top of everyones bucket list for something they need to see on their Ozzy adventure. I have found that majority of travellers will make their way up to Cairns and experience the reef from local tours there.

Aerial view of lady elliot island from the plane, showing the wing of the plane in view with
Lady Elliot from the sky

I have another location to throw in the mix, the Island Lady Elliot. Located on the southern most point of the great barrier reef, the island is SURROUNDED by coral reef and teaming with marine life. There are so many different experiences that can be had on this island, one of our BEST trips we have had on our lap of Australia. Yes I am serious, it is that good.

Leaving from Bundaberg airport they offer day trips and over night stays suiting all different budgets.

The wildlife experiences on this island are extroadinary, all year there will be something beautiful to see. From turtles nesting and their hatchlings, to manta rays, Humpback whales and of course the thousands of sea birds that call this little island home. 

Three male turtles underwater fighting to mate with the female.
Turtle Mating

Head to Lady Elliots natures calendar for more information on the best months of the year to see certain animals. 

There are two snorkel areas around the island that you can explore. The lagoon is perfect to explore the shallow reef, and for beginners to get their confidence up in the water. We were lucky enough to see a leopard shark hiding underneath the coral.

The drift snorkel was by far my favourite, I think we did it at least 5 times. Just so much beautiful coral to look at and so many turtles. I have never seen so many turtles in my life. I felt like I was on an episode of blue planet and David Attenborough was narrating my adventure. 

Of course if you don’t fancy going out on your own, the glass bottom boat will take you out to great spots along this snorkel and a guide will show you some of the unique life on the reef.

Sarah on the edge of the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort glass bottom boat ready for a snorkel.
Glass bottom boat tour

If you are a keen scuba diver, there are 20 dive sites that you can explore. How I wish I had done my open water before our trip but wow some of the sites look incredible. A must stop for any keen divers in Queensland.

3. Sky dive over the Whitsundays

Whether you want to conquer your fears or you are an adrenaline junkie looking for the next fix, everyone secretly wants to do a skydive and what better place than the Whitsundays! 

Sarah skydiving with a aerial view of the whitsunday islands and sea around her.
Skydiving over the Whitsundays

A whopping 74 islands make up the whitsundays and they are all part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Some of these islands are filled with dense rainforest and circled by fringing reefs  home to incredible marine life. Join that with the gorgeous crystal blue waters surrounding them makes for one of the best views imaginable while freefalling through the sky!

We heard fantastic reviews about Skydive Australia so booked our jump with them. The staff were fantastic and went through everything we needed to know, allowing us to feel extremely safe for one of the most terrifying things we have ever done! 

Sarah pulling a chipmunk face while skydiving.
My best chipmunk face

We paid $319 each for the dive and an extra $159 each for the photos and videos. When you see some of my photos they are pretty hilarious, worth every penny!

Desperate to jump but looking for discounted options? Don’t worry I have some handy tips for you. If you book direct through their website and it is your first jump, they will get you a cheeky $20 off! 

Head over to the deals page on their website for further discounts, they are offering 10% jumps in Cairns or Mission Beach through until June 2022! 

After my first skydive over the fields of Cumbria, I think the views of the Whitsundays are unbeatable.

Sarah celebrating with her arms in the air after her skydive. Back on the beach with her skydive instructor.
We did it!

4. Waterfall hop around the Atherton Tablelands

If you love a cheeky swim at the base of waterfalls or the hikes to find them, the Atherton tablelands are a must for your roadtrip itinerary. We adored this area of Queensland, for its beauty and the incredible company we had too!

Milla Millaa Falls

Milla Milla falls flowing into the swimming hole below in the Atherton table lands.
Milla Millaa Falls

Best known for being the photoshoot location for herbal essences is the stunning Milla Millaa Falls. The cool waterfall surrounded by the luscious rainforest makes a beautiful location for an afternoon picnic.

No hiking is required to get to this spot, making it extremely popular. A 2 minute dawdle from the car park with amenities and picnic tables make the perfect spot for lunch with the family.

Millstream Falls

A view from above of Millstream falls, showing the the river from above and below. Surrounded by tall trees and the land around it.
Big Millstream Falls

Big Millstream Falls is known to be the widest single drop waterfall in Australia and found in the heart of the Atherton Tablelands. Little Millstream is just around the corner, but bear in mind, a completely separate car park!

A short 500m paved walk will take you to the lookout for this great waterfall, and what a sight it is. I loved this lookout as you could see so much of the surroundings and waters below. Unfortunately due to the unseen rocks under the waters surface, swimming isn’t allowed here! Even though you can’t swim, don’t give this one a miss.

Nandroya Falls

The thin water of Nandroya falls flowing between two large rocks down into the swimming hole below.
Nandroya Falls

For all the hiking buffs this one is for you! A 6.6km return walk with well worn tracks through the thick rainforest. There is plenty to see making it a really enjoyable walk to the base of the falls. If there has been recent rainfall I would highly recommend wearing boots and long socks, yes even if it is hot. Fresh water in dense rainforest means one thing, leeches. I know I am talking about leeches again…

The waterfall is absolutely stunning, with a cool plunge pool at the bottom, perfect after the hot hike there. We even spotted a little turtle sunning himself on a nearby rock.

Ellinjaa Falls

Water flowing down the rocks at Ellinjaa falls into a small pool at the bottom surrounded by rocks and bright green leaves.
Ellinjaa Falls

We were extremely lucky to have Ellinjaa all to ourselves. A stunning area at the base of the falls which is only a 200m walk from the car park. Great spot to come down for a quick dip and relax. I thought this was the most beautiful waterfall in the Atherton Tablelands, just stunning. It might have been the fact we were the only ones there too!

Always good to plan your trips away from the school holidays.

Zillie Falls

Smooth running water falling from the  top of Zillie falls surrounded by luscious green leaves.
Zillie Falls

Oh Zillie, how you took us all by surprise. A lovely view of the flowing water from the viewpoint at the top of the falls. Can you see those vibrant greens of the surrounding rainforest, gorgeous!

While standing on the platform I thought this was the only view point, but a little bit of reading before hand and a cheeky confirmation from (honestly get this app!) there was a sneaky track to the bottom of the falls. Through an opening in the trees a slightly worn muddy track guides you to the base. Surrounded by big boulders you can watch the cascading water crash into rocks below. The waterfall truly towers over you as you watch from below!

5. Experience the sparkle of the Natural bridge glow worms

Natural Bridge is the most popular tourist spot within Springbrook National Park and for good reason. A beautiful walk during the day with hidden treasures to be seen at night.

The turquoise blue glow of hundreds of glow worms.
Natural Bridge Glow Worms

I have always been very sceptical about hiking at night, especially when I don’t know the area. Who knows, maybe it is the insane increase in venomous creatures that can be found in Australia compared to the UK. 

Scared of hiking at night, but desperate to see the magic of the queensland glow worms, I needed a plan. 

We decided on an afternoon walk down to natural bridge, not only to learn the path and area, but of course to marvel in its beauty through the daylight rays. Only a 1km hike through the ancient Gondwana rainforest and so much beauty to experience and observe. The path descends and guides visitors along cave creek until you reach natural bridge, the gorgeous natural rock formation created by the force of the waterfall against the basalt cave. Nature is amazing!

The flowing water from the natural bridge waterfall through the ceiling of the cave and flowing into the forest.
Natural Bridge

The cave is filled with the roar of the waterfall, standing right next to George and I still couldn’t hear a thing he was saying! At the very end of the cave is home to a colony of bantwing bats, obviously during the day they are all resting so it is very hard to see them in the deep darkness of the cave. Trust me they are there.

Please be respectful and don’t use torches inside the cave, it disturbs the bats and also affects the glow worms. 

Being mid afternoon the glow worms aren’t visible just yet, that will come later!

Following the track which loops back to the carpark takes you over the top of the cave, giving you the chance to appreciate the landscape from above. A crayfish even crossed the path in front of us on his journey to the river bed.

While we waited for the sun to set and the stars to shimmer, we got cosy in the back of Vandalf the white (Our Campervan) with a cup of tea and biscuits. You can take the girl out of England, but you can’t take England out of the girl. Nothing beats a good cuppa! 

As it got closer to darker skies, the carpark started to fill with more tourists who had all organised a guided tour of the glow worms! 

We made our way to the cave during the last flashes of daylight and we waited. The only sounds we could hear was the running water and birds in the trees. Then out the cave came hundreds of bantwing bats in a mad swarm flying out into the night. It felt like the start of a batman film! 

As the dark descended and our head torches turned on we made our way into the cave. Descending the steps in complete darkness we could hear an unfamiliar sound, feeling like there was something in our path we turned our head torches up to the entrance. Flying right in front of us was a thick barrier of bantwings, scared to walk straight into them we practically crawled down the steps! Must of been a funny sight watching us try to avoid these bats. 

The turquoise hue of the glow worms in natural bridge cave.
More glow worms

As we entered the cave we turned off our torches, glow worms are sensitive to light and it can cause them to “turn off” their bioluminescent for up to 15 minutes. This can be extremely harmful to them as this bioluminescent is what they use to lure in their prey, if they have no glow they can go without food for long periods of time!

It is a natural wonder that you shouldn’t miss, standing in a pitch black cave, listening to the thunder of the waterfall while looking in awe at gorgeous blue-green dots throughout the cave. It was just dreamy, and for a split second you forget where you are.

Leaving before the tour group started meant we had the entire cave to ourselves, a magical experience.

One thought on “Top 5 Queensland Experiences

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