With around 7,000 kilometres of sun-kissed coastline and more beaches than days in a year, it's not hard to find a patch of sand to call your own in Queensland.
Coarse and honeyed, soft and pearly; with crashing swells or translucent shallows; for swimming, snorkelling, sunning, or sandcastle sculpting, the Sunshine State's beaches are one-size-fits-all.
With summer whispering her warm sweet nothings, beach holidays are once again on our radar. Tag, Queensland – you're it!
From the sugar-rimmed cocktails at Vivo to the tiny St Mary's by The Sea, wedged between swaying palms, the beach towns surrounding Cairns and Port Douglas are all about these small moments of beauty.
The Far North exists great contrast to the beaches of the 'deep south', where bronzed bods lay and Schoolies play. Dripping in extravagance, the Gold Coast is an acquired taste, but if you like your beach stays with a side of high-rises, high rides, and high-fives out of the surf, the Gold Coast serves its fun sunny side up.
Prefer to avoid that hot-under-foot feeling? You can always skim Queensland's sand on four wheels. The Sunshine Coast and Fraser Coast regions have united to form Australia's Nature Coast, where you can drive for more than 200 kilometres without ever setting tread on bitumen.
The appropriately named Great Beach Drive spans Noosa's North Shore, Rainbow Beach, Fraser Island, Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Tin Can Bay, with three ferry crossings, two Biosphere Reserves and a World Heritage Marine Park between them.
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Whether you rough-it all the way or bunk down in oceanfront suites en route, the Great Beach Drive is a beach holiday with a difference. That said, if the very idea of rolling out the swag has you clutching your GHD in a vice-like grip, perhaps the Whitsundays are more your style.
Hamilton Island is the beating heart of the archipelago, where golf buggies are the transportation a la mode and daily to-do lists involve nothing but yachting, paddle boarding, and afternoon aperitifs. World-famous Whitehaven Beach is right on the doorstep too, with its pure, silica sands swirling into the waters of Great Barrier Reef like a mixing bowl of baby-blue frosting.
It's hard to look past the Whitsundays, that coral-trimmed cloud nine, but have you ever wondered where great begins? Point your compass south to the lesser-known Southern Great Barrier Reef, where two lovely ladies – Elliot and Musgrave – along with their beaus, Great Keppel and Heron, are only too happy to educate you on their little slice of paradise.
Fair warning, there's only one resort on Heron Island and you might have to share the coral cay with some hard-shelled locals. It's easiest just to submit to the philosophy set by resident sea turtles and live your holiday in the slow lane.