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Why You Should Visit Queensland, Australia

As if surfers riding a wave to long stretches of untouched sandy shores, scuba diving to explore some of the most vibrant underwater sea life in the world, untouched rainforests to top restaurants, and a wellness hotel owned by Aussie leading man Hugh Jackman were not enough to lure you to Queensland, they are also making it easy for students to visit. 

FNQ Nature Tours

Starting in 2022, fully vaccinated students and “Working Holiday Makers” from North America can travel quarantine-free to Queensland, which is a Northeastern state in Australia that should not be missed. The Queensland Government announced fully vaccinated international travelers will no longer need to quarantine on arrival to the state. 

Whitehaven Beach

Travelers must meet the following Australian Government entry requirements:

Fully vaccinated Working Holiday Makers, students and some other visa categories originating from eligible international locations all around the world and traveling on approved visas can enter Australia without needing to quarantine. 

Bedarra Island Resort

Fully vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members can travel from all international locations to Australia without the requirement to quarantine on arrival. Australia has Safe Travel Zones declared for Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Singapore. These allow quarantine-free leisure travel for fully vaccinated visitors coming into Australia from these countries. 

Once meeting Australian arrival requirements, fully vaccinated international travelers won’t need to quarantine on arrival in Queensland. View all Queensland restrictions here.

Quicksilver Flynn Reef

Tourism and Events Queensland Chief Executive Officer Leanne Coddington said it was an important first step towards welcoming back travelers to one of the world’s highly sought-after tourism destinations. “As international travel restrictions continue to ease, there is now an exciting opportunity in particular for eligible Working Holiday Makers and students on relevant visas to travel from North America to work in Queensland’s wonderful tourism and events industry or learn in some of the world’s most unique classrooms,” said Coddington.

In 2019 more than 2.7 million international visitors arrived on Queensland’s shores, with the state’s capital Brisbane, as well as the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Cairns and Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsundays among the most visited and world-renowned regions.

Tropical North Queensland

Tropical North Queensland and its Daintree Rainforest 

The Daintree Rainforest was just named in The New York Times’s 52 Places to Go list – it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site recently returned to Indigenous ownership. Located on the northeast coast of Queensland, the region encompasses a rare combination of white sandy beaches and coral reef alongside its canopy of ancient trees. It is also the world’s oldest rainforest, giving visitors the chance to see wildlife and fauna found nowhere else on earth. Think the movie “Avatar”

Noah Beach, Daintree National Park

Where to Stay

For a revamped place to stay, the Daintree Rainforest recently welcomed Baillie Lodges’ Silky Oaks Lodge which just reopened in December 2021. The $15 million renovation embraces a more contemporary feel for the lodge while playing to the property’s original rainforest influences. A reimagined main lodge hub has a new spirited jungle vibe, offers six stunning treehouse-style suite categories, and a Healing Waters Spa set amid lush rainforest gardens. Custom furnishings by local designers will evoke a real sense of the tropical north. Commissioned Indigenous artworks reflect the Daintree and its people which will feature in guest lounging areas and suites. 

Treehouse Retreat and Treehouse Restaurant

Gold Coast of Queensland, home of Surfers Paradise

For the best of wild and indigenous Australia, Reef Expeditions in the Great Barrier Reef will take you on a deep dive down under to experience some of the world’s most technicolor sea life. Australia’s sixth-largest city, the Gold Coast hugs the country’s eastern coastline for more than 40 miles. The city of the Gold Coast (one hour’s drive out of Brisbane) extends far beyond the borders of Surfers Paradise, its hedonistic heart that houses some of the world’s best surf and a reputation for sunshine, glitz, and glamour. 

Riverhouse Suite Balcony

Where to Stay

Listed by TIME as one of the “world’s greatest places” in 2021, its allure continues into 2022 with many additions. Highlights include The Mysa Motel in Palm Beach newly opened (and nearly 100% solar-powered), a seven-room property, bursting with retro upcycled details. 

For those in search of responsible pampering, Gwinganna, the luxurious health retreat co-owned by Hugh Jackman, offers wellness seminars and organic food and was voted World’s Best Eco Spa at the World Spa Awards. The city’s cultural scene is also getting a serious makeover thanks to the HOTA Home of the Arts precinct which has reopened after a major redevelopment and now houses a $46 million gallery alongside an outdoor stage, two cinemas, a rooftop bar, parklands, and a swimming lagoon. 

Mossman River and Marrdja Boardwalk

And 2022 promises a level of sophistication for The “Goldie” — thanks to new swanky new hotels, including Langham Gold Coast, opening in 2022 as part of the $1.4 billion three-tower Jewel development on Surfers Paradise. Then there’s the ongoing buildout of the $2 billion approved masterplan for Broadbeach Island, which will feature four additional towers and associated resort facilities, including the new Dorsett Gold Coast. Plus, Mondrian recently announced their new 5-star hotel and residences on the Gold Coast. 

Lobster at the Treehouse

Despite this flurry of development, the vibe remains relaxed. Luxury boutique properties and craft brew bars have breathed new life into industrial pockets and with a proliferation of top cafés and restaurants, the Gold Coast is finally claiming its rightful place on Australia’s culinary map. 

Plus, a few must-sees beyond its dazzling beaches: A trip to nearby Jellurgal Cultural Centre offers the city’s most interesting – yet probably least-known – indigenous cultural experience and gives an insight into the traditional owners, the Yugambeh people, and works by local artists. On weekends, many locals escape the city for the rainforests, waterfalls, wineries and lookout points of the hinterland. Part of the UNESCO-listed Gondwana Rainforests of AustraliaSpringbrook National Park is arguably its most beautiful corner to explore. 

Hinchinbrook Island

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