Destination : Queensland

Queensland

Far north Queensland's magnificent Haggerstone Island

Far north Queensland's magnificent Haggerstone Island

There are SO many good reasons for flying around Queensland. It's a mother of a size, and with that comes a staggering array of different weather conditions. Naturally it's hot as hell out west in the Summer, but if you're head down at the Barrier Reef with your snorkel on, who cares? It grabs the headlines during the hot months with all the cyclone action and we all know when it rains up here, man it rains. It rained so hard over the years 2011-2013 that the Cooper Creek and the Diamantina River systems had their banks ironed out with the enormous flow of water working its way southwards. Hello said Lake Eyre – thanks very much, I'll take all that. As did the tiny South Australian community of William Creek, who played host to a massive influx of tourists from all over the country, keen to witness this once-in-a-century spectacle a few miles away.

Fast forward to 2015 and all that rain, however, has now dried up. Eighty percent of Queensland is now in severe drought, with pastoralists doing it tougher than ever. Many have opened their doors to tourism in an effort to keep their income alive, and I think it's our duty to get on out there and support them! You will find a visit behind the scenes on one of these huge cattle stations or farming properties to be one of the most memorable experiences you'll have. I promise.

There are still plenty of incredibly beautiful landscapes on offer. I adore flying over Queensland's Gulf Country – it's different each time I see it – and I love nothing more that touching down at the dirt airstrip at Adels Grove in the gorgeous Lawn Hill National Park for a night or two of total bliss. With its awesome red rock gorges, swimming holes, great tented accommodation on the creek and welcoming atmosphere, it's my favourite stop-over destination whenever I'm heading up to the Top End.

 

You cannot visit Queensland without calling into the Birdsville Pub.

You cannot visit Queensland without calling into the Birdsville Pub.

As a State of Origin Queenslander, I've got a soft spot for it. How about considering some time away from the coast and heading outback for your next holiday? Bring the kids, and spend some time in red dust territory, getting to know the wonderful people who call this their home. My favourites are on offer in the list above.