With Prince William’s recent visit to Australasia, the world’s attention turns back to Queensland and the towns that experienced unprecedented levels of flooding in January. The Royal trip coincided with the launch of a government-funded AUS$10 million campaign to bring tourists back to the region, entitled “Nothing Beats Queensland."
Approximately 2.1 million tourists visit the state every year, but an estimated one in five people canceled or changed travel plans after the devastation caused by the floods. More than two months later, Queensland is open for business and promoting many of the prime spots that were largely unaffected by the natural disaster.
Queensland’s tropical climate and the laid-back attitude of its residents have made it popular for many years and the dry season, between April and July, is really the best time to go. The state’s biggest draw, the Great Barrier Reef, is commonly acknowledged as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, and stretches more than 1400 miles along the east coast. But Queensland has much more to offer, with the buzzing nightlife of the Gold Coast, the white-sand beaches of Port Douglas and the Whitsunday islands, tropical rainforests, national parks and the iconic surf culture.
Our Sydney office found a great tropical Queensland 10-night cruise, departing from Sydney next month for $1038 (AU$999), including AU$150 on-board credit per cabin. Guests will visit the Whitsunday Islands, Cairns, Willis Island and Brisbane, before returning to Sydney. For those flying in to Brisbane from the UK, executive rooms at the Metro Hotel Tower Mill in the city centre are now available for $99 per night (AUS$95) for stays through May. Hotel Laguna on the Sunshine Coast has taken $239 (AU$230) off a three-night stay in a Hastings Street Suite for Travelzoo subscribers. Three nights will cost $478 (AU$460) per stay and include a bottle of sparkling wine.
For excursions, travelers will find the best deals in Australia itself as suppliers try to attract tourists back to the Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays, the Daintree rainforest and Cape Tribulation. Try the award-winning Jungle Surfing in Cape Trib for $93 (AUS$90) per person, or visit the stunning silica Whitehaven beach with a Whitsundays day tour from $109 (AUS$105) per adult.
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