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Adventurers Diary

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island

In our travels all around Australia over more than 4 years we can tell you, Fraser Island is as spectacular as anywhere.

It’s one place everybody should want to visit in their lifetime as everything to see and do on Fraser Island will leave a lasting impression.

There is so much that is unique about the World’s Largest Sand Island but you’re going to need a 4wd and at least a few days just to see the main attractions.

Add another few days to relax, absorb your surroundings and catch a few fish. Even learn the techniques for worming, now that’s a challenge.

Poyungan Rocks Sunrise
Mornings on Fraser Island

There are a lot of great day trips you can do but it’s like watching the split second highlights of your favourite footy teams win on the news. You get the idea of it but you really want to see so much more and now wished you’d watched the whole thing.

Fraser Island is diverse, unique, stunning and spectacular. It is steeped in so much history.

With decades of experience of coming to Fraser Island and having lived here for an extended period with the island almost to ourselves we have an intimate knowledge of this majestic location that everyone wants to see.

Everything there is to See and Do on Fraser Island

These are the primary places you will want to go when you visit Fraser Island.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Lake McKenzie
Lake McKenzie

Lake McKenzie

There are over 100 freshwater lakes on Fraser Island but none as incredible or as popular as Lake McKenzie.

The Lake is rainwater and has no creek or river access. Just like you experience on spectacular Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays, the sand is pure silica.

The water feels soft as you swim and is cooler than the ocean waters making it very refreshing.

Aerial View of Lake McKenzie

There is a fenced picnic area to enjoy your lunch you brought with you. No food is allowed outside this fenced area.

No trip to Fraser is complete without visiting Lake McKenzie.

How to get there: From the ocean beach take the Eurong exit and follow the track and signs. It will take approx 25-30 mins and this track can be rough and slow due to all the traffic and tourist buses that use it. You can also access it from the Cornwell Rd track just north of Eurong. From Kingfisher Bay Resort, exit towards the ocean beach and look for the sign to Lake McKenzie.

Can I park close by: Yes, there’s a big carpark at Lake McKenzie with an easy 100m walk to the lake.

Are toilets available: Yes, you will walk past them for the entrance to the lake.

Is there phone reception: No

Looking up at the trees at Central Station
Central Station

Central Station Rainforest

Whenever you visit Lake McKenzie you should always stop at Central Station which is only a few kms nearby.

Central Station was originally a Logging Station and you can still see the cabins and some of the equipment they used on display. It is surrounded by magnificent rainforest with large ferns and an amazing canopy from the trees, some hundreds of years old.

There is an information board on display telling the details of the history of Central Station.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island
Wanggoolba Creek

A short walk takes you to Wanggoolba Creek through the rainforest alongside a stream that is so clear at first you won’t even believe there is water flowing.

The next moment you will notice a leaf floating by and that’s when you realise there is actually water flowing. That’s how incredibly clear the water here is.

The boardwalk takes you further into the Rainforest beside the crystal clear Wanggoolba Creek where the surrounding beauty will leave you in awe of just what makes Fraser Island so unique.

A campground is also close by and there are toilets and a picnic area.

How to get there: From the ocean beach take the Eurong exit and follow the track and signs. It will take approx 25 mins and this track can be rough and slow due to all the traffic and tourist buses that use it. You can also access it from the Cornwell Rd track just north of Eurong. From Kingfisher Resort, exit towards the ocean beach and look for the sign to Lake McKenzie. Central Station is nearby, just follow the track and look for the signs.

Can I park close by: Yes, there’s a carpark at Central Station with an easy walk in to Central Station.

Are toilets available: Yes.

Is there phone reception: No

Looking down on the wreck of the S.S. Maheno

S.S. Maheno Wreck

The Maheno was built in 1905 in Scotland and began life as a Luxury Passenger Liner which accommodated 234 First class passengers, 116 Second class passengers and 60 in Third Class.

There was so much hype about its arrival in Australia that on its first voyage it created enormous attention at every stop.

At the start of World War 1, by official order, the New Zealand Government recommissioned the Maheno as a Hospital ship. After the war the Maheno was restored once again back to her former condition and returned to work as a passenger ship operating across the Tasman between Australia and New Zealand.

In 1935 the Maheno was retired as bigger and better ships were built. It was sold to ship breakers from Japan. The same company also bought the Ship named the Oonah which they decided to use to tow the Maheno to Japan.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - S.S. Maheno
Maheno Wreck

Whilst under tow the ships hit an unseasonable July cyclone as it passed Brisbane and the tow ropes broke and the Maheno was at the mercy of the wild seas before eventually being grounded on the beaches of Fraser Island.

The Maheno soon became a tourist destination with tour guides taking groups on fishing trips on the Maheno. They would fish off the decks of the abandoned ship and sleep in the cabins at night.

Wedding on the Maheno

The Maheno even hosted a wedding. Customs officers were required to oversee the ships equipment and chattels. One of the Customs officers had already postponed his wedding 3 times and so it was proposed to have the wedding on board the ship and the Captain agreed.

The Bride and Groom plus all the guests climbed a 9m high rope ladder to board the ship for the wedding.

85 years later and the ship still remains, even after being used as bombing practice by the Australian Air Force and for weapons training by the Secret Commando Unit on Fraser Island.

It’s now a rusted wreck with not too much left but it remains one of Fraser Island’s most popular and iconic pieces of history.

How to get there: Follow the ocean beach north from Happy Valley for 10 mins. It is a few kms north of Eli Creek.

Can I park close by: Yes, find a space to park high up on the beach.

Are toilets available: No

Is there phone reception: Sometimes if you have Telstra but very slow if available

Have you read our Ultimate Guide to Fraser Island. 

Adele wading through the waters of Eli Creek
Ever popular Eli Creek

Eli Creek

Eli Creek is an inland fresh water creek which flows an amazing 4 million litres of crystal clear sand filtered water into the ocean every hour!!

That’s a huge 96 million litres or pure fresh water every day!!

As one of the most popular and safe places to swim on the island, every day people float down Eli Creek on their favourite blow up mat or tube. You can also walk through the creek or just relax and enjoy lunch on the edge of the creek.

With so much water filtering out of Eli Creek into the ocean every day, driving past the beach in this section should always be done at low speed and with care.

There’s almost always a big washout and it changes daily.

How to get there: Eli Creek is just a few kms north of the township of Happy Valley.

Can I park close by: Yes, you can park backing on to the creek.

Are toilets available: Yes, walk over the bridge and follow the sign straight ahead.

Is there phone reception: No

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Champagne Pools
Champagne Pools

Champagne Pools

Another great place for a swim on Fraser Island is Champagne Pools. From the carpark it’s an easy boardwalk stroll to find these big naturally formed rock pools facing the ocean.

As waves crash over the rocks and fill the pools with ocean water it creates bubbles and froth similar to when you pour a glass of Champagne, hence it’s name.

The best time to swim here is low to mid tide. At high tide or during rough seas it might be dangerous with waves crashing over the rocks. Fish are known to enter the pools with the waves also.

Look between the rocks to find an array of beautiful coloured fish and other marinelife including crabs and shellfish.

How to get there: To find Champagne Pools head north up the beach to Indian Head and take the track behind Indian Head to the beautiful Bay on the other side. Drive up the beach to the next headland where you can park on the beach or drive up the track to the carpark next to the entrance. It is an easy stroll along the boardwalk to Champagne Pools.

Can I park close by: Yes, there are two carparks with an easy walking track to Champagne Pools

Are toilets available: Yes, at the main carpark.

Is there phone reception: No

Indefinite Leave on Fraser Island
Parked on the Beach with Indian Head in the background

Indian Head

Indian Head is a rocky headland on Fraser Islands Eastern beach. It is located at the end of 75 mile beach and is the most Easterly point of the island.

The top of Indian Head provides spectacular views and it is common to spot Humpback Whales, Sharks, Rays, Turtles and more in the surrounding crystal clear blue waters.

Fishing is banned either side of Indian Head during August and September each year however for the rest of the year it is a great location to wet a line.

How to get there: Head north from the Maheno Wreck for approx 20 mins.

Can I park close by: Yes, you can park either side of Indian Head or at the base of the walk up.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

For more on Fraser Island, be sure to read: Camping on Fraser and Moreton Island How we ended up on an Island in Lockdown

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - The Cathedrals
Coloured sand cliffs – The Cathedrals

The Cathedrals

The Cathedrals are coloured sand cliffs created over thousands of years by wind and rain blown in from the Pacific Ocean.

Their structure and appearance resemble that of church cathedrals and hence this is how they got their name.

Located a few kms north of the Maheno Wreck they are worth stopping to view and learn more about.

How to get there: The Cathedrals are a short drive past the Maheno Wreck along 75 Mile Beach.

Can I park close by: Yes, park on the beach in front. Please do not climb on the Cathedrals or any dunes.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Beautiful coloured sands of The Pinnacles
The Pinnacles

The Pinnacles

Take a walk along the track into the Pinnacles to discover the incredible coloured sands of one of Fraser Island’s most historically enchanted locations.

Dreamtime stories of the local Indigenous people tell of the fight for the heart of a local woman who fell in love with a Rainbow Serpent and it ultimately led to the many different colours of the sand.

Early morning as the sun’s rays glisten on the coloured cliffs is the best time to view The Pinnacles.

How to get there: The Pinnacles are along 75 Mile Beach just north of the Maheno Wreck.

Can I park close by: Yes, park on the beach at the start of the track in to the Pinnacles.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Evertything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Sandy Cape
Aerial view of Sandy Cape

Sandy Cape

The Sandy Cape is the northern most tip of Fraser Island. A truly stunning part of the island with large sand blows, clear turquoise water and the rough wild seas where the oceans meet at the tip.

The spit at Sandy Cape continues for another 30kms beyond the tip of the beach.

Camping at the tip is fantastic as you’re often the only ones there however there are no facilities and amenities.

During season Loggerhead and Green turtles nest along the beaches in this northern part of the island and therefore driving at night is not permitted.

How to get there: Follow the ocean beach as far as you can go. You will need to navigate Indian Head, Waddy Point and Ngkala Rocks. Plan the drive around tides and give yourself plenty of time.

Can I park close by: Very few people at the Cape, find a sensible spot and enjoy.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Places to stay in Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay: Rainbow Beach Holiday Village Hervey Bay 48hr Rest Stop The Pier Caravan Park Urangan

The Cape Lighthouse
Cape Lighthouse
Photo by Malcolm Griffin at Travel Australia Art Gallery

Cape Lighthouse

Due to the amount of shipwrecks around Sandy Cape a lighthouse was built in 1870. The now Heritage listed Sandy Cape Light is the tallest Lighthouse in Queensland.

To visit the lighthouse drive north from Orchid Beach, past Ngkala Rocks and to the northern tip of the island. Follow the beach around to the western or calm side and drive down the beach for 6kms.

Park your 4wd and take the walk to the Lighthouse.

The Lighthouse also marks the furthest you can drive down the western side of Fraser Island from the northern tip. The beach south of the Lighthouse is closed to vehicles.

How to get there: Drive to the northern tip at Sandy Cape and follow the beach around to the calm or western side. Drive for 6kms down the beach until you see the sign.

Can I park close by: Once you park at the beach it’s a soft sandy walk for a couple of kms to the Lighthouse.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Looking down on 75 Mile Beach
Fraser Island’s 75 Mile Beach

75 Mile Beach

The Ocean beach on Fraser Island stretches approximately 123kms. Prior to Australia changing to the metric system in 1970, this equated roughly to 75 miles and this is how it got its name.

The Beach is one of Australia’s most stunning scenic drives and is a recognised National Highway.

This means all road rules apply including driving to the speed limits, keeping to the left as we do in Australia and drink driving (DUI) limits apply.

Driving along the beach you may witness breaching Humpback Whales, Dingoes, Snakes, many fantastic tourist spots on the island and other island visitors and their vehicles. You will also see airplanes who have designated runways along the beach.

Beach conditions change every day and it is vital to look out for washouts, soft sand and pedestrians. It is ideal to plan your driving around 2-3 hours either side of low tide for easier driving and better fuel economy.

Never drive on the sand dunes.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Lake Wabby
At the water’s edge of Lake Wabby

Lake Wabby

Lake Wabby is located approximately half way between the township of Eurong and Poyungan Rocks.

Pull up into the carpark on the beach and take the 4.5 km return walk over Hammerstone Sandblow and down the steep dune into Lake Wabby.

This sandblow is slowly filling Lake Wabby and in course will completely engulf the entire Lake.

Trekking over Hammerstone Sandblow to Lake Wabby
Hammerstone Sandblow

Hammerstone Sandblow

The Hammerstone Sandblow is just one of 36 Sandblows on Fraser Island.

Lake Wabby is a freshwater lake which looks Lime Green in colour and is a gorgeous spot to cool off after the walk here.

You can also continue your walk to the Lake Wabby lookout which is a 7.5km return trip from the beach entrance.

How to get there: The entrance to Lake Wabby is approx 5 kms north of Eurong along the ocean beach. You can also access it from the Cornwell Track Rd.

Can I park close by: Park on the beach and it is a reasonably easy 2km plus walk in to Lake Wabby.

Are toilets available: Yes at the beach entrance to Lake Wabby.

Is there phone reception: No

Ngkala Rocks

Ngkala Rocks is a headland and outcrop of rocks north of Orchid Beach. Known for it’s 4wd challenge in crossing the soft sand track to bypass the rocks or crossing up and over the rocks at the front.

The right tyre pressure for the conditions, ideally good ground clearance and some recovery gear will see you through however there’s always someone bogged on the track and long delays are often the case when trying to get over Ngkala Rocks.

It’s all part of the fun on Fraser Island.

How to get there: Drive north of Orchid Beach for 5-10 mins until you reach the rocky outcrop.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Memorabilia of the S.S. Maheno on display at the Happy Valley Retrest
Happy Valley Retreat

Townships and Resorts on Fraser Island

There are a few small townships around the island where you can find food, coffee, bait and fuel to purchase during your stay.

The shops also have a lot of great photos and memorabilia about the island. Happy Valley Retreat includes models of the original S.S. Maheno and a number of large photos and information boards about the wreck and the island in general.

How to get there: Eurong, Happy Valley, The Cathedrals and Orchid Beach are all on the ocean side of the island and Kingfisher Bay Resort is located on the Western side.

Can I park close by: Yes, each township has plenty of parking.

Are toilets available: There are public toilets at Eurong, Happy Valley and The Cathedrals. Orchid Beach does not have public toilets. Public toilets are nearby at Waddy Point.

Is there phone reception: All the townships have Telstra coverage and some coverage with other networks.

Watch our video at the 7.15 minute mark to see when I got lucky and captured the experience of a Super Hornet flying over.

Super Hornets

Planes flying above Fraser Island is very common but it’s the Super Hornet Jets that really grab your attention. They are super fast, super loud and are above you and gone before you have time to grab a camera.

Throughout the year but especially in September they fly from Townsville to Amberley in Brisbane. In September they do practice runs for their annual flyover during the Brisbane Riverfire spectacular.

They fly very low over Fraser Island making the experience of speed and sound one you won’t miss.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Air Fraser Scenic Flight
Fraser Island Scenic Flight

Scenic Flights – Air Fraser

Air Fraser operates 15 minute scenic flights from different locations around the island. What they take you to see will depend on where you take the flight from.

They use the beach as a runway to take off and land. This makes for a unique experience when a plane flies over you just metres above your vehicle. You can park and watch them take off and land on the beach.

Be aware of your surroundings and any planes that may be landing or taking off and give them the appropriate space to fly safely.

We did a flight over Lake Wabby, Lake McKenzie and Central Station.

Cost is usually around $80 per person.

Find out everything there is to see and do from Hervey Bay to Bundaberg

Watching the Humpback Whales migrate past Fraser Island
Humpback Whales

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island with Animals

Fraser Island is home to a large array of wildlife and marine animals. All the animals are wild and should be treated with caution and never be fed.

Keep a safe distance from all the animals and appreciate them from a distance.

Marine Life

Dolphins, Sting Rays and Sharks are common in the waters around Fraser Island. They come up close to the beach at times and can easily be seen around the island. You can often spot them from atop Indian Head.

Humpback Whales during their season of June to November migrate north before returning south again are easily spotted as they play and breach in the waters off Fraser Island.

Day tours from Hervey Bay are available to go sight seeing and see the beautiful Humpback Whales up close.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Sea Snake on the beach
Sea Snake

Snakes

Sea snakes are another common aquatic animal often spotted around Fraser Island, sometimes washed up on the shores. These should never be approached as whilst they are a passive snake they are also highly venomous.

There are 18 species of snakes around the island and they are especially active in summer. One-third of Fraser Island’s snakes are venomous including the Eastern Brown and Coastal Taipan.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island
Dingoes, Mum Dad and Pup

Dingoes

There are quite a number of dingoes roaming Fraser Island and a visit is sure to see you come across one on the beach or across the many inland tracks.

Dingoes are very cunning and incredibly opportunistic and will watch you for hours in an attempt to steal food from you.

It is vital not to leave any food where they can access it.

The Fraser Island dingo is the purest breed of dingo in Australia. They are naturally lean and walk up to 45kms per day across the soft sands of Fraser Island.

Birds

The birds around the island are majestic. Large Eagles and Osprey soar above the ocean beaches. Watch as they swoop on stunned fish after being released back in the water by fisherman.

Australia’s native and iconic Kookaburra are another feature to the island. We witnessed them whilst we had lunch at Lake McKenzie.

The Australian Pied Oystercatcher is common to see along the beaches. It is easily recognisable for it’s red beak and is often searching for worms and crabs in the sand.

Other birds rest along the beaches after long flights from distant countries. Resting and building energy reserves for their long flight back is important so they are best left undisturbed.

Lizards

Monitor Lizards roam the bushes, shrubs and lakes and aren’t to be messed with. They have large sharp claws used for digging and capturing their prey.

They are fascinating to watch but don’t get in their way or try to handle one.

Like all animals on the island, view from a safe distance.

Awesome Sunrises on Fraser Island
Fraser Island Sunrise

Sunrises

Early mornings on Fraser Island are well worth it to witness the dawn of a new day. As the dark turns to day the Sunrises over the ocean beach are nothing short of spectacular.

Head to the beach with your camera and enjoy the stunning views each morning.

Don’t miss reading our Ultimate Guide to Fraser Island for all the information about visiting.

There is so much more to Fraser Island if you have a few weeks to explore this magical location. Everything to see and do on Fraser Island is simply amazing!

The Great Barrier Reef begins just a few short kms north of Fraser Island.

We truly love Fraser Island, it is one of the most extraordinary places on our planet.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography

Our camera equipment we use for all of our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – http://ebay.us/PH711r  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Adventurers Diary

16 Great Queensland Free Camps from Brisbane to Cairns

The Queensland Coastline boasts at least 16 great Queensland free & low cost camps from Brisbane to Cairns alone!

The East Coast of Australia is the most popular road trip destination in Australia and no more so than the Brisbane to Cairns leg in Queensland.

With so many famous locations and must see destinations such as the Gold Coast, Noosa, Fraser Island, 1770, the Whitsundays, Mission Beach plus the Daintree and Cape Tribulation it is no surprise why so many travellers hitch up to visit Queensland and some never leave.

The Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef, Whitsundays

Let’s also not forget one of the 7 Great Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef, is a worldwide attraction and an incredible drawcard for the Sunshine State.

The warmer weather in Queensland is also very attractive to those living in the southern states of Australia, especially during the winter months of the year.

With so many experiences to be had saving on accommodation allows you to experience more of these amazing locations.

We have listed some great Free and Low Cost camps where you can stay when travelling from Brisbane to Cairns in beautiful sunny Queensland.

16 Great Queensland Free Camps Update 2021

Our list of 16 Great Queensland Free Camps has been updated as at April 2021 with Workman’s Beach Free Camp being removed as sadly it has been closed. It has been replaced with Hinkler Lions Park in Bundaberg, a free 24hr RV stopover for self-contained vehicles.

Kuranda Sykrail Rainforest Cableway
SkyRail Kuranda Cairns

Here’s our favourite 16 Great Queensland Free & Low Camps from Brisbane to Cairns:

1. Hugh Muntz Park, Beenleigh Brisbane

Hugh Muntz Park camping is approx halfway between the Gold Coast and Brisbane at Beenleigh.

This is a Free camp situated in a park setting and is walking distance to shops including groceries.

The park provides drinking water and BBQ’s plus it is pet friendly.

There are toilets available plus a dump point on site.

The max stay is 3 nights.

Be aware the campground is located close to the busy M1 Pacific Motorway.

We recommend visiting the nearby Beenleigh Rum Distillery. Tours of the distillery are available also.

Check out all of the awesome spots for: Camping within 2 hours of Brisbane

One of 16 Great Queensland Free Camps from Brisbane to Cairns - Hugh Muntz Park
Hugh Muntz Park Beenleigh – 1 of 16 Great Queensland Free Camps from Brisbane to Cairns

2. Lawnton Showgrounds, Lawnton Brisbane

The Lawnton Showgrounds are located in the Pine Rivers region on Brisbane Northside.

Ok, the Showgrounds are not free and at $25 a night why is it in this list?

For a major city offering fantastic facilities such as available here it is the Best Stopover when you have to stay in Brisbane. It is simply excellent low cost value.

All sites are powered and have water for just $25 a night and you can stay up to 21 nights.

There are 2 toilet blocks, a good camp kitchen, dump point and it is pet friendly.

Lawnton train station is within walking distance to catch a train for appointments in the city plus BCF, Bunnings, Supercheap Auto and the Lawnton Swimming Pool are also only a short stroll away.

We recommend taking a look around the Lawnton Markets which are on each Saturday morning to enjoy a great Bacon & Egg burger and drink plus find a bargain.

Read about: 21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane

The Lawnton Showgrounds in Brisbane
Lawnton Showgrounds

3. Cooroy RV Stopover, Sunshine Coast

A perfect spot to stay when visiting the Sunshine Coast, only 20 minutes drive to Noosa.

The Cooroy RV Stopover is a low cost camp and offers an excellent place to stay with good level grassy grounds.

Drinking water is available plus bins and a dump point are in place.

The Cooroy RV Stopover is also pet friendly.

You will need to be self contained meaning toilet on board plus holding tanks for black and grey water.

Maximum stay is 72 hours.

We recommend walking Noosa National Park and explore its incredible beauty and if reasonably fit, take a walk to the top of Mount Coolum during your stay.

Read all about the: 15 Things you must do on the Sunshine Coast

16 Great Queensland Free Camps from Brisbane to Cairns - Cooroy RV Stopover
Cooroy RV Stopover

4. Tiaro Memorial Park, Tiaro

Just 27kms south of Maryborough is the fabulous Tiaro Memorial Park Free Camp. It’s only small however there are toilets and hot showers available.

It is also pet friendly.

We found this a great spot for an overnighter. Tiaro is only 59kms to Hervey Bay, the gateway to the spectacular Fraser Island.

Read all about: Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island

Tairo Memorial Park is a great free camp between Brisbane and Cairns
Tiaro Memorial Park

5. Hervey Bay Free 48 Rest Stop, Hervey Bay

Behind the Hervey Bay Information Centre is a good 48 hour Rest Stop. You do need to be self contained.

There are no facilities except a dump point which is locked, access is by a key at the Information Centre desk.

It is just 5 minutes from town and all the features of Hervey Bay.

While in Hervey Bay take a Whale Watching tour and don’t miss the opportunity to see the World Heritage Listed Fraser Island.

Read more: Our Trip from Hervey Bay to Bundaberg

16 Great Queensland Free Camps from Brisbane to Cairns - Hervey Bay
Hervey Bay Free Rest Stop

6. Hinkler Lions Park, Bundaberg

Hinkler Lions Park named after the famous pioneer aviator Bert Hinkler, whose birth place is Bundaberg, is the perfect spot for an overnight stay for self-contained vehicles.

Located opposite the airport and just over 5km from the heart of Bundaberg, this free RV stop provides toilets, drinking water, picnic tables and a Dump Point. It is also pet friendly.

Bundaberg is fast becoming the Drinks Capital of Australia. It is home to the famous Bundaberg Rum Factory, The Bundaberg Barrel, Ohana Cider House & Tropical Winery, Kalki Moon and Bargara Brewing Company.

While in town be sure to head to the Hinkler Aviation Centre and Tinaberries.

Check out: Why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting

Hinkler Lions Park
Hinkler Lions Park, Bundaberg

7. Boynedale Bush Camp, Lake Awoonga

Lake Awoonga is just 30kms from Gladstone in Queensland and the Boynedale Bush Camp is set overlooking the lake.

A few years ago millions of Barrimundi fingerling were released in to the Lake along with some Mangrove Jack and with Red Claw also available it can be a great place to go fishing and camping.

There are toilets available however no power, no water and no bins.

Dogs are discouraged as there is a lot of surrounding wildlife.

Read more: Free Camps and Caravan Parks

The Boyndedale Bush Camp at Lake Awoonga is just one of 16 Great Queensland Free Camps
Boynedale Bush Camp, Lake Awoonga

5 Essentials – Camping Accessories

A good Tent or Swag is the first decision for going camping. We like the Coleman Tent from Tentworld or the Wanderer 7 Man Tent from BCF. For a Swag, we were so close to buying the Kings Double Swag from 4WD Supacentre.

We like our BCF Wanderers Camping Chair which gets a lot of use as we travel Australia.

No more lugging around a huge BBQ and gas bottle now that we have a brilliant Gasmate Dual Burner Butane Cooktop from Tentworld

A good Portable Fridge Freezer we have found to keep the beers cold and steaks frozen are the Kings 70 L Fridge Freezer in the budget range, the Waeco 75L Dual Zone Fridge Freezer or the ever popular and long lasting Engel 75L Fridge Freezer.

A good quality Hand Held UHF is ideal and I like this Uniden UH750 5 watt UHF for long range and quality. The 5 watt range will give you maximum distance, especially if you need help!

8. Calliope River Rest Area, near Gladstone

The Calliope River Free Camps are located on both sides of the Calliope River and are a very popular overnight place to stay for travelers.

It is one of our most frequented of the 16 Great Queensland Free Camps.

There are toilets available and fires are allowed. Pets are permitted also.

It is just a 20 minute drive to Gladstone from the Campgrounds.

Check out all of : Our Best Free Camps in Australia

Calliope River Rest Area - One of 16 Great Queensland Free Camps from Brisbane to Cairns
Calliope River Rest Area – One of the favourites in our 16 Great Queensland Free Camps

9. Kershaw Gardens Free Camp, Rockhampton

The Kershaw Gardens Free Camp is a simple space on the edge of parklands in Rockhampton.

It is well located and within easy walking distance to Coles, Kmart, Chemists, Camping Stores and lots more.

The Free camp is available for 48 hour stay. There are no facilities and you must be self contained.

The Rockhampton Council have been fantastic and fought to keep this Free Camping space for travelers for the benefit of all businesses in Rockhampton and we acknowledge this and thank the Council for their wisdom and courage.

While in Rockhampton we recommend visiting the spectacular region of Yeppoon.

Read about: 11 Awesome Things to See and Do in Yeppoon

Free camping area at Kershaw Gardens - 16 Great Queensland Free Camps
Kershaw Gardens Free Camp

10. Carmila Beach Campground, Carmila

100 kms south of Mackay is the ocean front Carmila Beach Camping Ground.

Previously a Free place to stay it is now $12.50 per vehicle a night.

There are toilets, bins and a dump point available and it is pet friendly. You will need to bring your own water and please place your rubbish in the bins provided.

There is great fishing in the rivers either side of the Campground.

Watch our video of getting our Motorhome bogged in the sand at Carmila Beach.

BeachFront Camping at Carmila Beach Campground
Carmila Beach Campground

11. Notch Point, Ilbilbie

Spend 7 days with stunning views and fantastic fishing for Free at Notch Point in Queensland. It is undoubtedly the best of the 16 Great Queensland Free Camps!

Take the turnoff at Ilbilbie but it is 4WD only and the track includes tidal pools of water to navigate.

There are no facilities and you will need to take all your provisions with you.

It is pet friendly but before letting your dog go swimming there’s plenty of signs regarding sharks and possible salt water crocodiles.

View our YouTube video: Getting into Notch Point, Queensland’s Best Free Camp

Stunning Notch Point

12. RV Park Proserpine & Peter Faust Dam Proserpine

There are now 2 Free Camping options at Proserpine thanks to a progressive local Council and both are excellent options.

The Peter Faust Dam Camping at Lake Proserpine opened in October 2019 and provides a 72 hour stay for Free. It is accessible for rigs of all sizes.

The views are some of the best out of the 16 Great Queensland Free Camps.

There are toilets and showers plus it is pet friendly.

Back in town is the RV Park Proserpine which offers 48 hour Free camping for Self Contained RV’s.

Drinking Water is available plus there are bins and a dump point.

It is also pet friendly.

Proserpine is the gateway to the phenominal Whitsundays and Airlie Beach. We highly recommend the Ocean Rafting Tour and the Atlantic Clipper Day Tour

Book your Ocean Rafting Tour here>

Book your Atlantic Clipper Day Tour here>

Peter Faust Dam Proserpine

13. Toomulla Beach Rest Area, north of Townsville

Just 40kms north from Townsville is the Toomulla Beach Rest Area.

Toilets, BBQ’s and bins are available and it is pet friendly.

This is an excellent free camp however remember to bring your insect repellent as there are mangroves nearby so midges and mosquitos are always possible.

Read more: Winning the War against Midges or Sand Flies

16 Great Queensland Free Camps - Toomulla Beach Rest Area
Toomulla Beach Rest Area

14. TYTO RV Park, Ingham

The TYTO RV Park isn’t Free but it is just $10 per vehicle and with such beautiful surroundings it sure is worth it.

Register and pay at the Information Centre next door. Given it is located on wetlands there is a strict no grey water on the ground rule.

The TYTO RV Park is a maximum 48 hour stay.

It is pet friendly and water, toilets, bins and a dump point are all available.

While staying at TYTO RV Park in Ingham do the day trip to the amazing Wallaman Falls.

Read all about how: Wallaman Falls has the Wow Factor

TYTO RV Park Ingham
TYTO RV Park Ingham

15. Babinda Rotary Park, Babinda

The Babinda Rotary Park Rest Area is one of the great Queensland Free camps as it is beside the river and offers toilets, drinking water and $2 hot showers.

Maximum stay is 72 hours.

There is also another free camp nearby at beautiful Babinda Boulders.

Babinda is less than an hours drive to Cairns.

Read all about: Driving north of Townsville to Cairns

Babinda Boulders Free Camp - one of 16 great Queensland Free Camps
Swimming at Babinda Boulders

16. Greenpatch Reserve, Gordonvale Cairns

The Greenpatch Reserve is located in Gordonvale besides the Mulgrave River just 23kms from Cairns CBD.

This Free camp is very popular and provides toilets and $1 hot showers. Bins are also available.

It is located near the highway so can be noisy.

Maximum length of stay is 72 hours.

Read all about the Things to See and Do in Cairns plus don’t miss a Day trip to Fitzroy Island.

Book your Fitzroy Island tickets here>

A day trip to Fitzroy Island
Fitzroy Island Cairns

Check out: Things to See and Do in Cairns

A couple of tips for Free camping

  • Arrive between 9am and 1pm just after others have left for their next adventures. By mid afternoon most Free Camps tend to get busy with other travellers arriving to set up camp.

If you turn up early you have a much better chance at securing a site and a better spot.

  • Don’t just leave with your own rubbish but clean up the immediate space around you.

If we all commit to being responsible for leaving our space cleaner than when we arrived then in no time we will all be staying in a clean environment.

Read more: Everything you need to know to go Free Camping

Pin It – 16 Great Queensland Free Camps!

Pin It!

Check out these other great blogs:

There are so many free camps but these 16 Great Queensland Free Camps from Brisbane to Cairns are our favourites in our home state. Let us know in the comments below if you have stayed at any others that you rate highly.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – http://ebay.us/PH711r  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

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Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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Adventurers Diary

Travelling Australia with our dog MACKS

traveling with a pet

When we began to put together this adventure not a lot was planned around our Golden Retriever, MACKS. We hadn’t imagined travelling Australia with our dog but as our departure date got closer, we had to re-think our plans.

She is part of us, an important part of our family and leaving her behind was never an option.

MACKS

The Story of our Dog MACKS

Let me tell you a bit about her. Often when we tell people her name the first impression is she must be male. Naturally, without spelling it, people assume we mean Max.

MACKS is the initials of all our names.
M = Matthew
A = Adele
C = Cameron
K = Kevin
S = Snowy, our last dog.

Because she is named after all our initials, I always spell her name in capitals.

Whilst she still looks quite young she turns 15 at the end of January 2017. We bought her as a pup and have had her since she was 8 weeks old.

Kev is her master but she really loves Adele, I’m guessing it’s a girl thing.

Macks

Training MACKS as a Pup

I’ve always had male dogs, my Dad never wanted the issues of a pregnant canine so when I brought home our first dog Snowy it was also a male, however we couldn’t go past MACKS when we first saw her and we’ve been so happy ever since.

She is quiet, calm, obedient, smart yet dopey in a Golden Retriever kind of way and very easily trained. Like all Golden Retrievers or Labradors, just offer food as a reward and they’ll do anything for you.

She’s a beautiful girl.

As a pup I had 2 rules, no licking and no jumping up on people. When she licked me I grabbed her tongue and soon she worked out Rule number 1.

When she jumped up to me I put my knee out and she’d fall backwards.

One day she fell right back on her back and that’s when the message got through on Rule number 2.

I’m glad I did this, Golden Retrievers are prone to arthritis and hip joint issues and by not jumping I think it’s helped her to get to this age and although she has back and rear leg issues now, we are still able to manage it and she can still get around and move ok for her age.

Traveling Australia with our Dog MACKS
Enjoying a swim at Barn Hill Station WA

MACKS joined us on our travels around Australia

When we planned our trip it didn’t include travelling Australia with our dog. We simply didn’t expect MACKS to still be with us by the time we left.

If people asked when we were leaving we would often say “after MACKS goes”, thinking her lifespan was in months not years.

Eventually we had to decide that if we were going to leave by the time we wanted, she would have to come with us.

Originally I wanted to bury her in the backyard next to Snowy but then figured her last days spent at the beach would suit her perfectly.

Read more: A Tribute to MACKS the Best Dog I’ve ever known

Traveling Australia with our Dog MACKS
After swimming for hours at Cable Beach she still doesn’t want to leave
Traveling Australia with our Dog MACKS

MACKS made lots of friends travelling on our Adventure

Since beginning our adventure of travelling around Australia with our dog, MACKS has gathered her own following. People ask about her through our social media pages and everywhere we go other campers fall in love with her.

At Agnes Water we had MACKS booked in to the dog sitter but the couple beside us were missing their dogs and fell in love with MACKS, so they insisted we leave her with them.

They enjoyed the day with her and took her to the beach and even fed her steak. It’s a wonder MACKS wanted to come back to us.

People stop all the time as they walk past and come over to pat her and say hello.

Travelling Australia with a pet isn’t easy though, especially dogs

She has been to the vet 3 times on our trip so far. The first 2 times were with viruses and the vets said they do get sick more when trave;ling as they pick up viruses easily.

They get them from the ground and in puddles, it’s hard to control. First time was early in the trip at Hervey Bay and again in Tannum Sands.

In Cairns we had another vet trip which turned out to be back pain.

Macks at the Cairns Vet
MACKS waiting at Cairns Vet

Then in Palmerston, Darwin she decided to go for a wander and the local council found her. That turned out to be a $140 adventure but we were just happy she was alive and well.

She lost a bit of freedom after that though, no more wandering freely around our friends acreage!!

Retrieving MACKS from the Darwin Dog Pound
Pick up from Palmerston Dog Pound

Finding Dog Friendly Caravan Parks and Campgrounds While Travelling Australia with our Dog

The biggest challenge is finding pet friendly caravan parks to stay. Some towns like Mackay, Townsville, Broome and Kalbarri are limited with places that accept pets, especially in school holidays and peak times.

Townsville has dog friendly caravan parks but they aren’t even fit for a dog to stay at.

For Pet Friendly Places to stay in Queensland check out: 16 Great Queensland Free Camps from Brisbane to Cairns

MACKS has had numerous adventures of her own during her 8 months travelling on the road so far. At Banka Banka Station in Northern Territory she met some donkeys for the first time. She was very keen to say hello.

Then there was the opportunity for her to meet Red Dog, the famous Dampier dog that even had a successful movie made after it.

Meeting donkeys at Banka Banka for the first time
Meeting the donkeys at Banka Banka Station NT
Meeting Red Dog in Dampier
MACKS saying hello to Red Dog, Dampier WA

Making MACKS comfortable while we travel Australia

At Mossman we bought her a new mat to sleep on and she has loved it.

She sleeps on it almost all the time. Mostly she sleeps between the two front seats and at night we move her mat into the Motorhome area and she sleeps there.

Like most dogs she sleeps in some crazy funny positions. Whilst I haven’t ever noticed her sleeping on her back you will often find her laying there with her legs protruding in all directions.

How she can be comfortable I don’t know.

Traveling Australia with our Dog MACKS

When she is outside she likes to get in under the Motorhome near the door. A number of times we’ve had problems getting her out when there’s a concrete slab on our site.

MACKS wedges herself in under there somehow but can’t then get out. She also comes out with grease, oil or dirt on her head or back.

Somehow she often wedged herself under the motorhome

Travelling Australia with a Dog in National Parks

Without doubt the most common question we are asked is “What did you do with your dog?” or “What do you do with your dog when travelling in National Parks?”

We chose to visit National Parks and find dog sitters to look after MACKS. There was no way we were going to miss out on visiting Karijini National Park, Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park, Eungella National Park, just to name a few.

This is without doubt the greatest challenge of travelling Australia with a dog. The NSW coastline is so amazing with so many great National Parks to stay but as we know pets are prohibited.

You can’t do a lap and not visit Fraser Island for example, or Kakadu or Litchfield or Karijini or Cape Le Grande (Esperance).

The list goes on of so many superb locations that must be visited on your travels so having a plan for your Dog is going to be important.

When we visited The Pinnacles in the Nambung National Park Western Australia, the National Parks office had a kennel for dogs. It was pretty basic but we didn’t have to leave her there for very long.

Call Mad Paws first and if there’s none available where you are try the Vet and then try the local community pages.

5 Essentials – Camping Accessories

A good Tent or Swag is the first decision for going camping. We like the Coleman Tent from Tentworld or the Wanderer 7 Man Tent from BCF. For a Swag, we were so close to buying the Kings Double Swag from 4WD Supacentre.

We like our BCF Wanderers Camping Chair which gets a lot of use as we travel Australia.

No more lugging around a huge BBQ and gas bottle now that we have a brilliant Gasmate Dual Burner Butane Cooktop from Tentworld

A good Portable Fridge Freezer we have found to keep the beers cold and steaks frozen are the Kings 70 L Fridge Freezer in the budget range, the Waeco 75L Dual Zone Fridge Freezer or the ever popular and long lasting Engel 75L Fridge Freezer.

A good quality Hand Held UHF is ideal and I like this Uniden UH750 5 watt UHF for long range and quality. The 5 watt range will give you maximum distance, especially if you need help!

One dirty dog

Finding Dog Sitters while you Travel Australia

In 8 months we have arranged MACKS to be looked after 16 times. On 4 of those occasions it was done for us for free. 9 times she stayed with dog sitters and 3 times she went to a kennel.

Our preference is always that she stay with dog sitters, where she goes to someone’s home and is looked after personally.

Although, our biggest issue with using dog sitters is we fear they won’t give her back. A couple of times we’ve had remarks that she could stay, “what a wonderful dog” and “we love her”, which is always great to hear.

Dog sitters usually charge $10-25 per day. Kennel prices have ranged from $27 to $30 per day.

Check out our costs for travelling Australia with our dog: Our 12mths Expenses and Costs for Travelling Australia

She loved chewing tennis balls

Using Mad Paws

We always check with Mad Paws first to see if they have a representative in the location where we are at the time. Our experiences with them so far have been fantastic.

On the 5 times we have used Mad Paws, the dog minders have been lovely and we have received text messages with photos of her settled in or having fun.

The service is fantastic and it ranges from just $10 per day to $25 per day.

Some sitters have offered a pick up and return service, some even at no additional charge dependent on the sitter.

Mad Paws Dogsitters in Darwin
Brooke & Steve from Mad Paws dog sitting in Darwin

Kennels are our last choice. MACKS isn’t great with other dogs at the best of times and we don’t like that she’s just a number.

There’s often a lack of flexibility with when you can drop them off and pick up again and we prefer a more personal touch.

She absolutely loved the beach

Tips for Travelling Australia with a Dog

Here’s our tips if you are travelling Australia with a dog and need to have them minded for the day or longer.

  • Contact Mad Paws and check if they have someone locally that can help.
  • Ask the Caravan Park if they know a dog sitter.
  • Google Dog Sitters in the town you are in.
  • Check with the local Vets.
  • Seek out the local Facebook Community Pages. Often you’ll find someone there who does dog sitting.
  • Look for a dog kennel.
Traveling Australia with our Dog MACKS
Did I mention MACKS has a drinking problem?

Things you will need when Travelling Australia with a dog

Here’s some more tips on things to do before you leave home: –

  • Ensure you have a good dog lead and collar/harness
  • Have an extension cord that provides them a little more room to get around. We were given an extension cord from our good friends which screws into the ground
  • Poo bags are cheap and easy to buy from bargain shops and simply attach to your dog’s lead.
  • Let local council know you are traveling. Luckily MACKS was still registered in Brisbane and Darwin Council were able to contact them when MACKS wandered off
  • Don’t forget your dog’s favourite bowls
  • Have a really comfortable dog mat
  • MACKS has a biscuit tin where we keep her dry dog biscuits
  • We have seen some dog pens while traveling which owners use for their dogs and they like and recommend them. For some dogs they are a perfect way to be secure and rest after a long day walking and playing
  • For energenic dogs, a dog tennis ball launcher would come in handy. We wish we had one for MACKS when she was younger
  • A sonic dog trainer is very useful to help train your dog around barking so as not to cause a disturbance to fellow travelers
We found Macks Road in Hervey Bay
Hervey Bay named a street after her (not really).

Travelling Australia with dogs is very common

Many people travel Australia with their dog/s. The rules in parks are mostly obvious, always on a lead, always pick up after them and no barking.

So far we haven’t met any problem owners and all dogs have been appropriately looked after. Some caravan parks do require a dog bond to stay.

Only one caravan park has charged us for MACKS to stay which was $2 per night.

Traveling Australia with our dog MACKS - she just loved the water

Pin – Travelling Australia with our dog!

Overall, we didn’t find travelling Australia with our dog MACKS was difficult but it does come with some challenges.

Are you travelling Australia with a dog or pet?

What other tips would you add?

Thanks
Kev, Adele and MACKS

You may also enjoy reading:

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all of our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – http://ebay.us/PH711r  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Where to Find Us

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

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Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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Adventurers Diary

Best 17 Places to Eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast

We love to eat out! So it was easy to come up with our 17 Best Places to Eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast!

Our lives have been so busy for so many years that dining out has been a way to wind down from a busy day and reduce some stress.  We will go out as a family, with friends or just the two of us.

Depending on our mood we may want a night out in town or something more local and we have favourite locations for all of our culinary tastes.

Our choices might depend on if it’s a Saturday night and we want a bit of a party time or we’re looking for a relaxing Sunday lunch with a view.

We have our favourite locations depending on our mood.

We live on Brisbane’s Northside and therefore our choices are naturally aligned with where we live.

On the Gold Coast we like to stay at Broadbeach or Surfers Paradise and therefore it’s no surprise our favourite dining locations are close by.

We are regular diners with lots of our friends and family asking us over many years if we ever eat at home. Of course we do but if we’re asked out, we’re there.

Our 17 Best Places to Eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast

Here they are, our favourites – Our 17 Best Places to Eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast, not in any specific order but just split up into:

  • Best Places to Eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast – Brisbane North Suburbs
  • Best Places to Eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast – Brisbane Inner City
  • The Best Places to Eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast – Surfers Paradise
  • The Best Places to Eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast – Broadbeach

Best Places to Eat in Brisbane

Best Places to Eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast – Brisbane North Suburbs

What’s in the Pot

If you want the most unique, exquisite tasting home cooked Italian meal then What’s in the Pot is the place for you. Nothing like your traditional Italian dining places, the owners cook the meals they want to make for the day. The menu constantly alters but everything is amazing.

Don’t miss the desserts either and expect to get a hearty handshake and hugs from the owners when you leave. These guys make you feel just like you’re at home.

Phone: 0406 480 796
Address: 5/133-137 Redcliffe Parade, Redcliffe QLD 4020

Whats in the Pot Redcliffe - One of the Best 17 Places to Eat in Brisbane
One of our favourite Redcliffe Restaurants – What’s in the Pot

Mon Komo Hotel

We like the The Komo for it’s great location and it’s fabulous bar. A full range of drinks and plenty of good bubbles.  The Mon Komo Seafood Tier is very good and I highly recommend sharing it with a friend.

The night after finishing packing up our house and just before leaving for our road trip we were completely exhausted with nowhere to stay so we booked a night at Mon Komo Hotel overlooking Moreton Bay and it was great. If you would like to stay at the Mon Komo you can book a room here.

Phone: 07 3284 6520
Address: 99 Marine Parade, Cnr Anzac Ave, Redcliffe QLD 4020

Read more: 17 Reasons to Visit Redcliffe

Sushi Edo Nundah

The sushi at Sushi Edo Nundah is good but what sets this one apart is the easy computerised ordering service from your seat. With a tablet at your table you can easily order without needing to engage staff and your food or drinks are served promptly.

Phone: 07 3260 5959
Address: 1229 Sandgate Rd, Nundah QLD 4012

The Royal Nundah

The Royal Nundah went under a major renovation turning a once tired pub into an amazing Italian restaurant.

Originally known as the Royal English Hotel it under went a transformation costing millions and now most nights diners can be seen enjoying the fabulous meals.

The seafood Linguine is my favourite but last time I had the sandcrab lasagna which was awesome.

This is no regular pub, it’s an Italian delight with top end quality food.

Phone: 07 3266 2777
Address: The Royal, 1259 Sandgate Road, Nundah  

The Royal Nundah – Upstairs Lounge and Bar

The Full Moon Sandgate

Tuesday nights at The Full Moon Hotel is outstanding value with the Reef and Beef for just $15.  It has outdoor dining looking out over Brisbane’s Moreton Bay. Good bar and terrific cheap night out.

Phone: 07 3869 0544
Address: 118 Eagle Terrace, Sandgate QLD

Carlos Naples Pizza Zillmere

This is a simple suburban local Pizza and Pasta restaurant.

The food at Carlos Naples Pizza is good, especially the Pizzas and although inside can be very noisy, where else can you have the owner serenade you with his good rendition of “That’s Amore”

Update April 2021: Carlos Naples Pizza has moved from Zillmere to Strathpine.

Phone: 07 3205 4549
Address: 8 Lincoln Street, Strathpine QLD 4500

Tosakan Thai

The very best Thai we’ve ever eaten.

The food at Tosakan Thai is outstanding.

The meat just melts in your mouth and everything tastes superb. Can be noisy inside and the service sometimes slow but when you begin to eat your food it makes up for everything.

We always order the Massaman Beef Curry and Yellow Thai Chicken Curry and vary our other choices.

Phone: 07 3350 5371
Address: 23 Playfield St, Chermside QLD 4032

Tosakan Chermside
Tosakan Thai Restaurant with Adele and my Mum. Not only one of the Best 17 Places to eat in Brisbane but also the
Best Thai in all of Brisbane!

Best Places to Eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast – Brisbane Inner City

551 Restaurant & Bar Watermans Hotel

Located opposite the Roma Street Parklands at Spring Hill we’ve come to enjoy the 551 Restaurant & Bar.

Food is great, excellent bar and good service.  We’ve enjoyed it here each time.

Phone: 07 3058 9329
Address: 551 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill

Mr & Mrs G Riverbar, Brisbane Riverside

Set on the Brisbane River with fabulous views and clear vision of the Story Bridge is Mr & Mrs G Riverbar.

The bar has a great mix of drinks and the food is perfect for a simple relaxing Sunday lunch.

Watch the ferry’s and city cats go by and it is right above the Kookaburra Queen Paddle Wheeler Cruise boats.

Phone: 07 3221 7001
Address: Eagle Street Pier/1 Eagle Street, Brisbane QLD 4000

Eleven Rooftop Bar

Only after a few months in the Eleven Rooftop Bar in Fortitude Valley quickly became the place to be. We first ventured there just 3 weeks after it opened and loved it.

The food is fabulous, great bar but the views are amazing. Eat looking out over the 270 degree views of inner Brisbane.

Hopefully they have Bundaberg Rum available now.

Update 2021: The Eleven Rooftop Bar is now a Mexican Restaurant. It’s the same owners just a new vibe.

Phone: 07 3067 7447
Address: 757 Ann St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

Eleven Rooftop Bar is one of our 17 best places to eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast
The Eleven Rooftop Bar – One of our Best 17 Places to Eat in Brisbane

Byblos Portside Wharf

Located at the Cruise terminal on the Brisbane River, Byblos is a very popular cocktail and champagne bar with a simple but excellent menu.

Dine outside overlooking the river or be seated in your own booth space inside.

Phone: 07 3268 1998
Address: 39 Hercules St, Hamilton QLD 4007

Green Beacon

With industrial bars becoming the rage the Green Beacon at Teneriffe stands out like a….. well, beacon!!.

I’m not a beer drinker but I’ve been there plenty of times with people who are and they love the craft beers available.

For me, they have a great Cider and plenty of good sparkling.

The food is fairly basic but interesting all the same.

Great for a night out with the boys or for a small gathering with friends.

Phone: 07 3257 3565
Address: 26 Helen St, Newstead QLD 4006

Places to Eat in Brisbane - Green Beacon
The Green Beacon at Teneriffe, Brisbane

Best Places to Eat on the Gold Coast

The Best Places to Eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast – Surfers Paradise

Vapianos Surfers Paradise

It’s different and we like the atmosphere at Vapianos.

We sit outside watching the events of Cavill Mall where there’s always something happening.

Like the last time we were there and the Elvis impersonation competition was in the mall below us.

The food is great, good bar and we like the concept of our own little credit card for purchasing and pay on the way out.

Phone: 07 5538 8967
Address: Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Four Winds Revolving Restaurant

Four Winds Restaurant, Queensland’s only revolving restaurant provides 360 degree views of the Gold Coast. The smorgasbord offers a range of exquisite foods including seafood, Asian variety and a delicious range of desserts.

We like to go just on dusk and watch as the Gold Coast transcends from day into night and the bright lights take effect.

Update April 2021: Due to CoVid the Four Winds Revolving Restaurant is closed indefinitely

Phone: 07 5592 9906
Address: Crowne Plaza Hotel Surfers Paradise, 2807 Gold Coast Hwy, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

Sandbar Surfers Paradise

When we’re at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, we always have lunch at the Sandbar Surfers Paradise.

It’s directly opposite the world famous Surfers beach and you can watch the waves crashing in as you eat and drink.

For lunch we order the steak sandwich and chips for $12 and ask that it be cut in half and we’re provided 2 plates.

It’s huge and plenty for the both of us. Cheapest lunch you’ll ever have with such an amazing view.

Update 2021: Menu has changed a little but they still have a great Steak Sandwich for $19.

Phone: 07 5526 9994
Address: 52 The Esplanade Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, QLD 4217

The Best Places to eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast – Broadbeach

Sage Cafe Restaurant Broadbeach

We’ve been to Sage Cafe Restaurant so many times and never had a bad experience.

The food, the service and the value are fabulous.

Order before 6pm and you get 40% off. It certainly is one of the best places to eat on the Gold Coast.

If you’re really hungry order my favourite, The Sage Earth and Sea platter.

Phone: 1300 070 564
Address: 5/20 Queensland Ave, Gold Coast QLD 4218

Sage Broadbeach
 Sage Cafe Restaurant Broadbeach, Gold Coast. We had 3 Earth and Sea Platters.

Koi Dining & Lounge Bar

My favourite restaurant at Broadbeach is Koi Dining & Lounge Bar.

The full dining experience is amazing.

Food is awesome, atmosphere great, cocktails and champagne brilliant, service outstanding and we’ve never been let down regardless of whether we go for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

We dined there one night when it was extremely busy, we had to wait a short while for a table and they communicated to us often what was happening.

We eventually were seated and you could just tell that everything was under control regardless of how crazy busy they were.

The restaurant really runs like clockwork and the staff are always very good and friendly. Definitely a favourite of mine.

Phone: 07 5570 3060
Address: 93 Surf Parade, Broadbeach QLD 4218

Pin – 17 Best Places to Eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast

Best 17 Places to Eat in Brisbane

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Kevin & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

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