Moreton Bay Island Brisbane

Queensland has done a remarkable job of keeping as many people as possible safe during COVID19. As a result, this is state is one of the safest places in the world to holiday in 2020 and is also conveniently home to a number of phenomenal destinations, world-heritage listed sites, and bucket list experiences. When borders re-open be sure to add these 10 destinations to your must do Queensland 2020 list. While this is definitely not an exclusive list of all the brilliant places to visit in Queensland in 2020, it’s a start (based on the ones I have visited myself!). Time to #HolidayHereThisYear…

1. Cairns

Starting off with a place I have lived on and off in since 2007: Cairns. Cairns is home to the world heritage Great Barrier Reef and the world’s oldest tropical rainforest and is a must do destination for any one travelling around Australia and Queensland. Cairns was hit very hard during the COVID19 restrictions, with so many locals employed or running tourism or hospitality businesses. With amazing deals and cheap flights coming out every day now, make sure you book a trip to Cairns before the end of 2020.

For more pictures of this spot: Before it’s your favourite place, it’s a place you’ve never been | Fitzroy Island.

Girl floating in water at Fitzroy Island Cairns
Fitzroy Island, Cairns

2. Moreton Bay Island

Moreton Bay Island is only a ferry ride away from Brisbane and as such is a popular Brisbane day trip. On a clear day, you can even see the Brisbane City high rises on the horizon. Enjoy sand tobogganing down the dunes or swimming amongst the sunken Tangalooma Wrecks.

Moreton Bay Island Brisbane Queensland

3. Chillagoe

Outback Queensland is a hidden gem that you should definitely add to your Queensland 2020 list. Less than 3 hours drive out of Cairns, you can explore caves that are millions of years in the making and discover how this barren outback actually used to be a part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Chillagoe Caves Billy Tea Safaris Cairns

4. Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is situated at the very bottom of Queensland and is a popular holiday destination. Famous for an array of experiences and landscapes you can enjoy the fast paced city and nightclub scene, the gorgeous beaches and beach walks or the beautiful Gold Coast hinterland and waterfalls. The choice is up to you.

The Gold Coast is not just popular for tourists, but is a common day trip from Brisbane. To get to this beautiful Gold Coast hinterland waterfall read: How to get to Purling Brook Falls on the Gold Coast.

5. The Whitsundays

A piece of paradise half way along the Queensland coast, The Whitsundays is a bucket list destination for any person considering Queensland in 2020. You can start in Airlie Beach and take a boat out across to the many islands that make up The Whitsundays. You can also explore this amazing area from above by small plane which will take you over jaw-dropping locations like Heart Reef and Hills Inlet.

For more information about seeing The Whitsundays from above, you can read: Why you should see The Whitsundays from above: GSL Aviation.

Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Queensland GSL Aviation Hills Inlet

6. Ingham

A lesser known gem in Queensland is the small town of Ingham, located along the coast in between Cairns and Townsville. Ingham may be small but is home to Australia’s highest single drop permanent waterfall: Wallaman Falls. You can admire the waterfall from the lookout from above or take (which I recommend) the trek down to the base of the falls to take in the thunder from below.

Wallaman Falls Ingham North Queensland
Wallaman Falls, Ingham

7. Sunshine Coast

And while I’m listing all the beautiful and relaxing places in Queensland to visit, I can’t forget the Sunshine Coast. North of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast is a popular holiday getaway with stunning beaches, a friendly atmosphere and some incredible mountains to climb. Be sure to add a trip to the Sunshine Coast to your Queensland 2020 list.

Mt Ngungun Sarah Latham Sunshine Coast

8. Frankland Islands

Another lesser known gem is Frankland Islands, in Far North Queensland. Escape the crowds and enjoy this uninhabited island for the day. Not only is it beautiful, it also sits on the Great Barrier Reef and on the day we visited we got to swim with a sea turtle. To read about our day at Frankland Islands: Frankland Islands: The Must Do Cairns Tropical Island.

Frankland Islands Cairns Sarah Latham

9. Brisbane City

If you are feeling a few city vibes after being isolated for a lot of 2020, you can’t go past Brisbane. This river city is a great mixture of bustling and full of open spaces, meaning it is one of the more comforting cities in 2020. There are a lot of things to do in Brisbane, but I recommend seeing the latest exhibition at GOMA, taking in the sunrise from Mt Coot-tha or having a drink at Riverside.

If you are looking to spend the weekend in Brisbane I recommend reading: The Ultimate Brisbane Weekend Itinerary.

Casino Brisbane Queensland Sarah Latham

10. Townsville

And finally, we arrive at Townsville. Located almost midway between Cairns and Airlie Beach, Townsville is a quaint coastal city. Here you can admire the view across the town from Castle Hill, day (or multi-night) trip over to Magnetic Island or take it easy on The Strand.

You can even combine some of these destinations and do a Queensland 2020 road trip. Plan half of it by checking out: Cairns to Townsville: The 2 day North Queensland road trip for time poor travellers.

Cbar The Strand Townsville Queensland
Seafood on The Strand in Townsville with Magnetic Island in the background

If you’re interested in Queensland destinations you may also be interested in 50 Things to Do in Queensland.