Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – Located in one of Brisbane’s suburbs, this is the original and largest koala sanctuary in the world. If you’ve always dreamt of holding and cuddling a Koala, this is the place to do it. The sanctuary is also home to other indigenous animals, including dingos, raptors, and kangaroos.
North Stradbroke Island – This beautiful island retains much of its original landscape, flora, and fauna. It’s an excellent place for hiking, with many forests, a dramatic coastline, and plenty of wonderful beaches. You’ll need to take a ferry to visit the island, but it’s sure worth the effort.
Gold Coast – One of the most fun places on the East Coast, it’s home to the Dreamworld and Warner Bros theme parks. It’s also home to the world-famous Surfers Paradise suburb and beach. With its white sand beaches and high-rise buildings, it’s one of Australia’s most spectacular settings.
Burleigh Head National Park – This small national park covers just 27 hectares but incorporates a host of different habitats. These include rainforests, eucalypt forests, and mangroves. There are a couple of short designated walking tours you can take that showcase the best of the park. It’s a great introduction to Queensland’s indigenous habitats.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary – This is another fine wildlife sanctuary along the east coast. It’s home to many native species, including koalas, wallabies, and echidnas. It also has many international animals, such as the rare Red Panda. If you’ve not already been to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, then it’s a great place to stop.
Kirra Beach / Coolangatta Beach – These twin beaches are located side by side just south of Gold Coast and close to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The beaches are popular with surfers, swimmers, and families and have a host of amenities close by.
South Kingscliffe Beach – Another beautiful beach with a vast expanse of sand. Holiday apartments are behind part of the beach, but otherwise, it’s largely undeveloped. It’s an excellent place to visit if you like your beaches quiet and natural.
Pottsville Beach – One of the best beaches along the Tweed Coast and one of the quietest. It’s not uncommon to have large swathes of the beach to yourself, and it’s often possible to spot dolphins offshore.