4 free days - Brisbane - what to do?
Stradbroke Island though is perfect. 20 minutes out of the city where the Cleveland train line is met by a courtesy bus for the 5 minute trip to the jetty for the Stradbroke Flyer (the best of the water taxis).
The Water taxi is met by buses on the other side and you are away.
It also has great ocean beaches to drive a 4wd on if you have time. Take one of the vehicle barges instead of the water taxis.
Australia Zoo is a bit over an hour north.
There is also Dreamworld, Movieworld, Wet and Wild water park 40-50 minutes away to the south.
If staying in Brisbane city, Southbank would be my choice of location for restaurants, the esplanade etc.
I would hire a car and drive to Palm Cove and then onto Port Douglas while I was there...I do every time I'm there for business.
Just over an hour of very scenic coastline driving from Cairns northern beaches and they do many dive charters out of PD.
Funky little town too..emphasis on little though I guess.
If you have the money and can find specials I can't recommend Sea Temple highly enough for accom in PD..also a very nice golf course there - watch out for the crocs in the water hazards! They are all under 2 metres though they tell me...
Personally I think The Whitsundays (Arlie Beach) is a better tropical destination than Cairns - though I'm certainly not knocking Cairns as a destination.
Fly into Mackay - or better still Proserpine - or straight onto Hamilton Island.
If you go there you must take a trip to Whitehaven Beach...just very pretty. It's the very white beach you will see in most ads.
Don't discount Straddie (Stradbroke Island) or Fraser Island though. I would do Fraser in a 4wd as on a par with any of the other places mentioned.
Edit: thinking about it, if you want to see The Great Barrier Reef then definitely Cairns/PD or Whitsundays is where you should go.
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