Top 5 hidden gems: Beat the tourist rush
Queensland's summer holiday tsunami is still leaving some of our hidden gems high and dry.
While this week's planned reopening of the Queensland border to Sydney and Victoria has sparked an almost unprecedented rush for the state's holiday hot spots, some of our other jewels are still feeling the pinch from an eight-month absence from our biggest domestic markets.
Some southern Queensland holiday favourites are now virtually sold out for the entire summer, but bargains abound further afield, particularly in the state's north, which has been left reeling by the pandemic.
Some operators are slashing rates in a bid to lure holiday-makers north of the state's traditional summer holiday havens.
In the past few months, Queensland's tourism expenditure has been largely limited to the drive market for the vast population of the southeast corner, with Stanthorpe and the Granite Belt recording its busiest quarter ever over the past three months.
Tourism and Events Queensland chief executive Leanne Coddington said there were positive signs from the industry that bookings were flowing in for the upcoming summer holidays right across the state, but there were still bargains to be had.
"We are spoilt for choice in Queensland when it comes to planning their visit," she said.
"The diversity of experiences and destinations across the state means there is something for everyone, and while there are plenty of places people are familiar with, you could spend a lifetime exploring the hidden gems across the state."
QUEENSLAND'S TOP 5 HIDDEN TOURISM GEMS
Cape Hillsborough: Instafamous location near Mackay without the Instagram price tag. Stay in your choice of rustic beachfront family cabins, basic hotels, or enjoy free beachfront camping.
Cow Bay: Often considered the last frontier to Australia's wild north, and the point at which most travellers do a U-turn to return to Port Douglas, Cow Bay is a hub to explore the world's oldest rainforest at Cape Tribulation.
Trinity Beach: Located 20 minutes' drive north of Cairns, this hidden gem offers those postcard worthy views. First, there's a palm-fringed white sandy beach and second, there's a handful of beachfront cafes and bars to vibe at all day long.
Lamington National Park: Less than 50km from Gold Coast beaches, Lamington is a haven for bushwalkers, twitchers, families and foodies seeking out wineries. It's also considerably cooler than the coast in summer.
Whitsundays bareboat charter: The ultimate COVID-safe holiday. Grab some mates or relatives, split the cost and have deserted tropical islands all to yourself.
Originally published as Top 5 hidden gems: Beat the tourist rush