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AUSTRALIA

Holidays to Brisbane, Gold Coast and Noosa

Things to do

Easy breezy Brisbane

Plan a holiday to Brisbane – with the Gold Coast and Noosa in the mix – you can look forward to long hours of sunshine, beautiful beaches and one of Australia’s friendliest capital cities. 

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and has no less than 300 sunny days a year. It’s an easy-going, outdoorsy city with a vibrant art scene, interesting districts and award-winning restaurants best known for their innovative menus using local produce. To see the city put its own slant on shopping, head to the Collective Markets on Stanley Street Plaza at the weekend. Or for even more originality, go urban swimming at Streets Beach – the only man-made, inner-city beach in Australia. 

But there’s nothing artificial about the beaches stretching for 60 kilometres along the Gold Coast, just an hour’s drive south of Brisbane. Quite a few are surfing legends, but just as many invite you to simply laze in the sun. You can try a hike through Burleigh Headland National Park, or head to Palm Beach and find out why everyone loves eating out on the Gold Coast. Or go to Dreamworld amusement park, home to Australia’s tallest, fastest and most terrifying white-knuckle rides. For gentler thrills, take a bike ride round the coast’s cute neighbourhoods.

In the other direction, less than two hours north of Brisbane, Noosa is a complete contrast to both the city and the Gold Coast. A barefoot and beachy holiday area, it’s famous for phenomena like the Noosa Everglades, Laguna Bay and wildly beautiful Noosa National Park. In winter and early spring, thousands of whales migrate along the coast here. Elsewhere, you can try extraordinary local restaurants in delightful Noosaville village, shop for arts and crafts at Original Eumundi Markets, or just head to the beaches and go swimming, snorkelling or surfing. 

Brisbane attractions

Gold Coast beaches

Noosa activities

Best time to go

Things to do in Brisbane

Brisbane weather gives the city a lively atmosphere. Everyone likes to get out and about here – rooftop bars and riverside restaurants are a big thing. You can even eat outdoors in the tropical Botanic Gardens. But do step inside at South Bank for Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. Or pick up some original art of your own at the Collective Markets. You can also browse the best of Australian design in the glossy Fortitude Valley shopping district. 

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Scaling Brisbane’s Story Bridge is thrilling and gives you views all the way to the Gold Coast. For less nerve-wracking excitement, swim in the Streets Beach lagoon and admire the dazzling city on the side. Alternatively, catch the ferry to Moreton Island, and go snorkelling around Tangalooma Wrecks. Or sail to North Stradbroke Island – affectionately known as ‘Straddie’ – to see migrating whales in early spring.

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Gold Coast beaches

Less than an hour’s drive from Brisbane, the Gold Coast is known for theme parks and waterparks. It also has a well-deserved reputation for innovative day spas, great restaurants and lively coastal towns. But, above all else, its beaches that make holidays on the Gold Coast extraordinary.   

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Great swathes of gleaming sand stretch for 57 kilometres, almost right to the border of New South Wales. Lively shorelines like Broadbeach feel almost urban and are great for waterfront cafés, beach bars and watersports. There swathes of sand beside nature reserves, and sheltered beaches for swimming. Main Beach is a surfing mecca and the diving-in point for Queensland Scuba Tours. If you want peace, quiet and plenty of sun, Coolangatta Beach in the far south is perfect. It’s also home to the unusual outcrop, Snapper Rocks. Or, if you want to get close to koalas or kangaroos, choose Currimbin Beach, right next to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

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Activities in Noosa

Noosa is less than a two-hour drive north of Brisbane, and one of the most popular places for a holiday on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The local towns and villages pride themselves on having buildings no taller than the trees. Beaches are beautiful and range from sweet coves to long, sandy stretches. And if you want to get back to nature, you can take eco-cruises, sail and paddle-board, or even ride horses along the shore. Noosa has plenty of options. 

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But Noosa Everglades is the highlight. It’s the only everglade system in the world where you can swim. Also known as the River of Mirrors, this place is great for kayaking too. Follow the easy walking trails through Noosa National Park to spot koalas and wild birds, and see dolphins from the beach. If you visit Noosa in early spring, you’ll be able to watch whales migrating along the coast. Or, if you’re a real foodie, book an autumn holiday to catch the Noosa Food & Wine Festival. 

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Show Less

Best time to go

Brisbane, Gold Coast and Noosa go a long way to earning Queensland its ‘Sunshine State’ nickname.  A tropical climate can mean summer thunderstorms and heavy rain in summer, between December and February. Expect temperatures of up to 30°C with quite high humidity, but there’s often a pleasant sea breeze on the coast. 

Show More
Show Less

Autumn’s is a great time for a holiday to this part of Queensland. Between March and May there’s almost no rain, humidity drops, and temperatures hover between 25 and 15°C. Spring – September to November – has an almost identical climate to autumn, with slightly warmer days later in the season and more of those cool, sea breezes on the coast. 

If you want cooler days, consider going in winter. June to August sees dry, mild weather and average winter temperatures range between 15 to 21°C. There are still plenty of sunny days, and it’s the best time of year for whale watching in Noosa. 

Show More
Show Less

Brisbane attractions

Things to do in Brisbane

Brisbane weather gives the city a lively atmosphere. Everyone likes to get out and about here – rooftop bars and riverside restaurants are a big thing. You can even eat outdoors in the tropical Botanic Gardens. But do step inside at South Bank for Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. Or pick up some original art of your own at the Collective Markets. You can also browse the best of Australian design in the glossy Fortitude Valley shopping district. 

Show More
Show Less

Scaling Brisbane’s Story Bridge is thrilling and gives you views all the way to the Gold Coast. For less nerve-wracking excitement, swim in the Streets Beach lagoon and admire the dazzling city on the side. Alternatively, catch the ferry to Moreton Island, and go snorkelling around Tangalooma Wrecks. Or sail to North Stradbroke Island – affectionately known as ‘Straddie’ – to see migrating whales in early spring.

Show More
Show Less

Gold Coast beaches

Gold Coast beaches

Less than an hour’s drive from Brisbane, the Gold Coast is known for theme parks and waterparks. It also has a well-deserved reputation for innovative day spas, great restaurants and lively coastal towns. But, above all else, its beaches that make holidays on the Gold Coast extraordinary.   

Show More
Show Less

Great swathes of gleaming sand stretch for 57 kilometres, almost right to the border of New South Wales. Lively shorelines like Broadbeach feel almost urban and are great for waterfront cafés, beach bars and watersports. There swathes of sand beside nature reserves, and sheltered beaches for swimming. Main Beach is a surfing mecca and the diving-in point for Queensland Scuba Tours. If you want peace, quiet and plenty of sun, Coolangatta Beach in the far south is perfect. It’s also home to the unusual outcrop, Snapper Rocks. Or, if you want to get close to koalas or kangaroos, choose Currimbin Beach, right next to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Show More
Show Less

Noosa activities

Activities in Noosa

Noosa is less than a two-hour drive north of Brisbane, and one of the most popular places for a holiday on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The local towns and villages pride themselves on having buildings no taller than the trees. Beaches are beautiful and range from sweet coves to long, sandy stretches. And if you want to get back to nature, you can take eco-cruises, sail and paddle-board, or even ride horses along the shore. Noosa has plenty of options. 

Show More
Show Less

But Noosa Everglades is the highlight. It’s the only everglade system in the world where you can swim. Also known as the River of Mirrors, this place is great for kayaking too. Follow the easy walking trails through Noosa National Park to spot koalas and wild birds, and see dolphins from the beach. If you visit Noosa in early spring, you’ll be able to watch whales migrating along the coast. Or, if you’re a real foodie, book an autumn holiday to catch the Noosa Food & Wine Festival. 

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to go

Brisbane, Gold Coast and Noosa go a long way to earning Queensland its ‘Sunshine State’ nickname.  A tropical climate can mean summer thunderstorms and heavy rain in summer, between December and February. Expect temperatures of up to 30°C with quite high humidity, but there’s often a pleasant sea breeze on the coast. 

Show More
Show Less

Autumn’s is a great time for a holiday to this part of Queensland. Between March and May there’s almost no rain, humidity drops, and temperatures hover between 25 and 15°C. Spring – September to November – has an almost identical climate to autumn, with slightly warmer days later in the season and more of those cool, sea breezes on the coast. 

If you want cooler days, consider going in winter. June to August sees dry, mild weather and average winter temperatures range between 15 to 21°C. There are still plenty of sunny days, and it’s the best time of year for whale watching in Noosa. 

Show More
Show Less

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