North Queensland Holidays
The North Queensland region stretches from the sugar fields of Ingham in the north to the cattle country around Rockhampton in the south. It includes the famous Whitsunday Islands group which are one of the most popular destinations for Queensland holidays.
This premier destination is home to many of the resorts that are synonymous with the Great Barrier Reef. Airlie Beach is a major jumping off point for reef excursions and is home for many of the sailing and diving tour operators.
Coastal areas also offer a range of holiday resorts, rainforests, barrier reef access, cruising and sailing, sport fishing, diving and snorkelling, jet boating, sea kayaking, wildlife, whale watching in season and top golf courses.
The inland areas of North Queensland generally consist of low ranges and sparsely timbered grasslands. Major business activities involve coal mining, grazing and crop farming.
Townsville is one of Australia's major beef centres with some of the biggest sales yards in Australia and there are numerous Brahman cattle studs throughout the surrounding areas.
Places of Interest - North Queensland
Townsville - the major centre of North Queensland and serves as a jumping off point for destinations in the area. It is a centre for reef dive trips, cruising and sailing. The city offers visitors the Barrier Reef Aquarium, Casino, Butterfly World, Omnimax Theatre, Natural History Museum and Billabong Wildlife Sanctuary. The charming Magnetic Island is only 8km offshore from Townsville with access via ferry. The island offers bushwalking, wildlife and a koala sanctuary.
Charters Towers - this historic and charming town dates from the gold rush days. It is a major centre for schooling and is a gateway to the northern outback.
Ravenswood - a resurrected ghost town dating from the gold rush days with a historical museum.
Ayr - a prosperous little town that services the surrounding sugar farming areas. It lies close to the Burdekin River estuary and is well known to serious fishermen.
Bowen - once a bustling harbour town due to the natural deep water anchorages. There are several safe protected beaches on the outskirts of town. It is a favoured stop-over for sailors and provides a northern access to the Whitsundays. The town is the home of the famous "Bowen Special" mangoes and is one of the states important tomato growing areas. Store front murals can be seen in the town and at nearby Collinsville.
Proserpine and Airlie Beach - gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and mainland resorts via Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. This is one of Australia's premier regions for all types of sailing, cruising and diving activities. There are sugar mill tours (July through Sept). Cedar Creek Falls in Conway National Park has a popular swimming spot. Whale watching cruises in the Whitsundays are available in season (July through September). Proserpine services the surrounding sugar and cattle farming communities.
Mackay - this is where to board cruises to local Brampton Island, Whitsunday Islands and the outer reef. It is the access point for Eungella and Cape Hillsborough National Parks and rainforests. Visit a working sugar farm and mill, see rainforest orchids, fauna sanctuary and historic homestead. It is a prosperous centre servicing surrounding sugar, cattle and coal mining communities.