There’s only one thing warmer than the sunshine in Queensland, and that’s the welcome you get from the friendly locals. Here, we don’t trouble ourselves with formalities – we treat our visitors like family. In fact, we’d prefer it if you made yourself right at home. No one knows the place like those that live and breathe it – so we’ve found 10 in-the-know locals to share their insight into what makes Queensland such a special place.
To hear from our in-the-know locals, listen in here.
is a local artist and teacher from the Gold Coast; here she shares her top tip on Indigenous experiences: ‘Immerse yourself in one of the world’s oldest living civilisations and discover the Coast’s rich Aboriginal heritage. Sample traditional bush tucker, experience native songs and dance and be transported to another time with Dreamtime stories of the Yugambeh people.’
(@narellebouveng) is a travel writter and blogger from the Gold Coast. Here’s one of her favourite local places: ‘Tucked away from the fast pace of the city, Cougal Cascades in the Currumbin Valley blends crystalline rock pools with lush rainforest and cascading waterfalls including a natural waterslide, presenting as the perfect place to just get away.’
is health coach, writer and blogger (@gratitude_project) from the Gold Coast. This is her favourite Saturday morning activity: “Head for the hills and set off on the four-kilometre round circuit to Purling Brook Falls; meander through lush, eucalypt forest and traverse the suspension bridge before basking in the sheer beauty and power of this natural spectacle.”
surfer, builder and founder of local charity, Save Lives Donate Organs knows how to start his day right: ‘Rise with the sun for an early morning paddle at the Spit: the permanent sand spit makes for a primo surf spot serving up empty peaks that are too good for surf-lovers to pass up.’
beck, from Gold Coast, is a social media/PR guru by day and a cocktail-lover by night. She shared this tasty tip-off: ‘Beer-loving folk needn’t look any further than Miami Marketta. An endless flow of boutique beers, onsite food trucks dishing up drool-inducing fare, and trendy warehouse setup dotted with a down-to-earth crowd (and some pro surfers too), this hangout is definitely one to hit for a cold brew.’
runs the Undara Experience in Tropical North Queensland’s Gulf Savannah region. He says: ‘Undara is the place of geological wonders and authentic Outback hospitality dating back over 150 years, where local wildlife is in abundance in its natural surroundings. Every day begins with birdsong and ends with a golden sunset. It’s an experience you’ll treasure forever. We simply call it the Undara Experience.’
is Head Chef and co-owner of Nu Nu Restaurant, Palm Cove, Tropical North Queensland. He describes Nu Nu’s philosophy as follows: ‘Our food at Nu Nu is bold, expressive and tasty. Tropical North Queensland has the most spectacular and incredibly diverse bounty of produce. Hence our cuisine showcases the best the region has on offer, from heart of palm to ultra-fresh seafood, moreish tropical fruits, Indigenous bush foods, rainforest honey and luscious, pasture-fed dairy products. Multiculturalism, predominantly outdoor dining and the region’s unique biodiversity gives rise to so many interesting food opportunities.’
Harold ‘Mooks’ William Tayley
from Mossman Gorge is a guide at Dreamtime Walking Tours. He explains why he loves the walking tours – and how the tours forge connections between visitors and the land: ‘I am a ‘Kuku Yalangi’ Medicine Man, and now Elder and long-time guide for the Dreamtime Walking Tours we conduct at the Mossman Gorge Centre. I love sharing the Kuku Yalanji Culture and observing how emotional people from around the world are when they finish a walk with me in the rainforest. These walks are so special because they involve the sharing of culture, walking as equals, taking the ‘busy’ out of people’s lives and making them stop to appreciate nature: how wonderful it is and how healing it can be.’
Dr. Glen Burns
is a Marine Biologist at Quicksilver Group. He has a passionate love for the Reef, saying: ‘My favourite way to experience the reef is to scuba dive: the feeling of being completely weightless, whilst cruising between colourful coral canyons surrounded by fish, is hard to beat. We see ourselves as custodians of the reef to ensure its future; reef restoration projects are assisting the reef to adapt and remain a World Heritage asset.’
is Managing Director and ‘Queen of the Jungle’ at Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours in Cape Tribulation, Tropical North Queensland. Her tip is to get a fresh perspective: ‘For me, the big highlight is experiencing the breathtaking beauty of the rainforest from high up in the canopy. Seeing it from the ground is a bit like seeing the Great Barrier Reef from above the water, and it’s not until you get up into the treetops that you really get a sense of the scale and splendour of this amazing and intriguing environment.’