8 of the Most Unique Places You Can Stay in Queensland 🌴

Ariel view of the coast

3.87min read

Published 10 February 2021

Flight Centre Author


Vicki Fletcher

Head of Content and Social Media


Where are the most unique places you can stay in Queensland?

  • Thala Beach Nature Reserve, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World

  • Magnetic Island, a tropical island just a stone's throw from Townsville

  • Lizard Island, the northernmost island resort on the Great Barrier Reef

  • qualia Hamilton Island for unrivalled luxury

  • Spicers Clovelly Estate in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland

  • Mt Mulligan for luxury in the Outback




If you’re looking for something a little different for an upcoming holiday, there’s plenty to whet your appetite in Queensland that you may not be aware of. From luxury outback lodges set against incredible landscapes, to secluded, all-inclusive island escapes, if you’re wanting to whisk a lover away, or need a personal break far from the chaos of the city, these stays each offer a unique experience. 


Thala Beach Nature Reserve Tropical North Queensland
Image: Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Stay at a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World 

Imagine waking up in a bungalow set amongst the trees, secluded and unobtrusive to the surrounding nature. That’s exactly what you can experience at the 5-star self-rated Thala Beach Nature Reserve in Far North Queensland. A 45-minute drive north of Cairns (just 15 minutes south of Port Douglas), the resort is located among 58 hectares of native rainforest that meets the reef at secluded Oak Beach. With the highest accreditation of eco-certification, the resort offers guests an experience completely immersed in nature, with birds, butterflies, wallabies, possums and sugar gliders all common sightings. 


magnetic island bay
Image: Magnetic Island's beauty is just a stone's throw from the mainland.

Enjoy an Island Holiday Possible in a Weekend

Looking for an island escape that’s not toooo far offshore? Magentic Island, just eight kilometres off the coast of Townsville fits the bill. Without the travel time needed for some other Queensland islands, Magentic island offers everything you'd want from a relaxing island getaway, including beautiful resorts, excellent food, beaches, fringing coral reefs and tropical rainforest, all just a 20-minute ferry from Townsville. That means you save on flights and car hire too! The island is home to Northern Australia’s largest colony of koalas, friendly rock wallabies, and the huge SS Adelaide shipwreck you can walk around at low tide. Plus there are plenty of bush walks with incredible views and secluded beaches with crystal clear waters that are just perfect for a spot of snorkelling. 


Woman admiring the ocean view
Lizard Island Resort is the northernmost island resort on the Great Barrier Reef.

Escape to the Northernmost Island Resort on the Great Barrier Reef

Secluded luxury your style? Lizard Island Resort, is the ultimate getaway from it all. An hour’s scenic flight from Cairns, once you land, there’s untouched rainforest, 24 powdery white beaches, the reef, and with a cap of 80 guests at a time, there’s no shortage of privacy. Enjoy a gourmet lunch on a secluded beach, hike through the rainforest, snorkel straight off the beach to see giant clams, or dive with unique potato cod at the Cod Hole dive site. The island is all-inclusive meaning your gourmet meals and drinks are taken care of too. 


Qualia lounge Hamilton Island
Image: Qualia

Get the Best of Island Luxury at qualia

If you’re looking for secluded island luxury that’s still got access to the restaurants, bars and activities of a town, qualia, netstled in the most pristine and secluded position on Hamilton Island is the resort for you. A unique Australian expression of luxury, everything has been meticulously considered to relax the mind and completely spoil the senses. With 60 exquisitely appointed pavilions, two exclusive restaurants, and the luxurious Spa qualia, the resort immerses you in a tranquil atmosphere, offering personalised and intuitive service, so you won’t have to lift a finger, nor leave the resort for anything. If you do wish to venture further however, thanks to its location on Hamilton Island, there’s always the option of a cruise around the Whitsundays, a round of golf, and a trip to the bustling island main street with its array of restaurants and shops.


Lake Mckenzie by Matthew Coles for Kingfisher Bay Resort
Image: Lake Mckenzie by Matthew Coles for Kingfisher Bay Resort

Stay on the World’s Largest Sand Island

Set amongst six hectares of tropical gardens and beach on World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, Kingfisher Bay Resort certainly offers something unique. There’s all the creature comforts you'd want from a resort, like swimming pools, bars and even a delightful day spa. But the surrounding environment and activities are really what makes this place so special. Being a sand island, no visit is complete without a ranger-guided 4wd tour to explore some of the islands jaw-droppingly beautiful spots, from inland lakes to towering sand dunes, beautiful sub-ropical rainforest and even shipwrecks just offshore. Keep your eyes peeled for dingos found on the island, and between August and October, humpback whales and their calves playing in the warm sheltered waters. It’s an ideal getaway for families too, with activities like the resort’s Junior Eco Rangers program that runs during school holidays, allowing parents to enjoy a poolside cocktail, indulge in a spa treatment, or simply kick back and relax. 


Experience Old World Charm just out of the City 

Craving the romance of a country escape? Spicers Clovelly Estate in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland offers this in spades, with old world charm, exceptional service, a focus on premium food and wine, and spectacular surrounds. With just 10 suites, you can expect the highest level of personal service, pampering treatments at the day spa, and the French inspired menu completes the picture. Plus if you’re looking for a spot of shopping and want to venture out of your romantic bubble, the charming village of Montville is just five minutes away. 


Mt Mulligan kayak on the lagoon
Mt Mulligan Lodge. Photo: Wilson Archer for Mt Mulligan Lodge.

Escape to Unrivalled Luxury in the Outback

150 kilometres north-west of Cairns, Mt Mulligan Lodge offers a luxury experience in a magical landscape with indigenous significance that dates back 37,000 years. Set on 28,000 hectares, guests can make the 2.5 hour drive, or catch a 35-minute scenic flight from Cairns to reach the all-inclusive lodge. The lodge sits below Mount Mulligan, an imposing tabletop mountain with deep cultural significance for the local indigenous people. Once here, guests can take guided tours of the former goldfields, mining operations and the abandoned township, enjoy chef-prepared gourmet picnic hampers, stargazing, hiking, a dip in the infiny pool, or simply relax by the wier. 

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