Mark Fitz is an award-winning Australian photographer, based in Mackay. You probably know him best for this cheeky snap he captured in the waters off Lady Elliot Island…
As someone who’s racked up a fair amount of mileage, here’s Mark’s ultimate Queensland itinerary:
Sunshine Coast & Noosa
Head north of Brisbane and make the Sunshine Coast your first stop. Noosa National Park is one of Mark’s favourite National Parks – a great spot to do some koala and surfer spotting. Oh – and the sunrise is something special too.
The Fraser Coast and Fraser Island are somewhere you’ll want to spend a few days after heading north of Noosa. On the western side of the island, check out Eli Creek, S.S. Maheno and the Champagne Pools for a dip. Mark’s
Agnes Water is just three hours north of the Fraser Coast and a great spot to position yourself to check out Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliot – the water is oh so clear! You might even stumble across Terry the Turtle while you snorkel.
Yeppoon & Capricorn Coast
Next on the list is Yeppoon and the Capricorn Coast. Blue Lagoon is a free infinity edge pool that looks out to the Keppel Islands from the mainland. But if you’re keen to continue island hopping – you can jump aboard a ferry and take on the barefoot experience Great Keppel offers.
Just north of the Capricorn Coast is Mackay. Cape Hillsborough with the kangaroos and wallabies at sunrise is an absolute must. From there, you can head west to the Isaac and tackle some of their spectacular mountain ranges. Then it’s north to Finch Hatton – be sure to say hi to the platypus for us!
The Whitsundays is somewhere you could easily spend a week… luckily there’s plenty of activities and islands to explore to fill that time. Whitehaven is one of Mark’s favourites… the silica swirls and turquoise waters you see in pictures is exactly what you’ll experience in person. Postcard-perfect.
After island-hopping, Mark recommends a night or two in Bowen. It’s located on the mainland – lookout for the giant Mango! They also boast some of the prettiest views – follow Queens Bay around to Horseshoe Bay – it’s a wide paved track and wheelchair accessible.
Townsville & Magnetic Island
Next is Townsville. Magnetic Island is located just off the coast… not far from Australia’s only underwater museum. You can snorkel or dive to experience the incredible artworks that have transformed over time into their own ecosystems.
Here’s one for the photographers – Mission Beach. Mark’s favourite place to capture the low hanging palms over the horizon. Insta-worthy!
Cairns & Port Douglas
Keep heading north and you’ll find yourself in Cairns – home to the Great Barrier Reef. Port Douglas is only another hour north – a place to reconnect with Mother Nature. Daintree Forest is the most unique ecosystem in the world – keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of the southern cassowary and his chicks!
For some of the best seafood you’ll ever consume, head to Haggerstone Island – the most Northern Island Resort in Queensland. It’s a truly remote experience.
Finally – the Torres Strait. Plenty of history to learn and the bluest water that’ll knock your socks off.