Woman at Nudey Bach, Fitzroy Island

Visit 10 beaches in 10 days in Queensland

Brisbane - Mackay - Cairns

With cities that hug the coast and multiple screensaver-worthy islands just a short ferry ride away from the mainland, you can explore hidden bays, stretch out on pristine white sands and plunge into man-made lagoons all in the same day.

Qantas Explorer Adventure Map
Aerial view of Surfer's Paradise

Days 1 - 3: Brisbane

Queensland’s capital might be set further back from the coast compared to other Aussie cities but its tropical climate and proximity to hotspots like the Gold Coast and Noosa make it an ideal base to go beach hunting both in and out of the city centre.

Our recommendations:

  • Seek out a city oasis at Streets Beach
    An iconic man-made beach overlooking the Brisbane River in the city’s South Bank Parklands, Streets Beach is a haven for visitors looking to relax after a day exploring the CBD.
  • Dine among the dunes at Main Beach, Gold Coast
    Catch a train from Brisbane to the Gold Coast and be spoiled for beaches, Surfer’s Paradise is the main hotspot but if you’re visiting at peak season, we recommend the more mellow, Main Beach where you can relax on an expansive stretch of white sand fringed with picturesque sand dunes.
  • Walk from Mermaid Beach to Nobby Beach, Gold Coast
    Just south of the more popular beaches, you’ll find a near-empty stretch of sand that’s so fine it squeaks as you stroll along it. Pair the stunning ocean views with local baked goods, brunch spots or even a quick cocktail at one of the many restaurants, bars and cafes that line the way.
Kangaroos, Cape Hillsborough, Mackay

Days 3 - 5: Mackay

Some of Australia’s best beaches lie off the beaten track, and you can look no further for proof than near the city of Mackay. Found at the heart of Queensland’s tropical coast, Mackay boasts over 31 beaches and Australia’s longest stretch of subtropical rainforest.  

Our recommendations:

  • Watch wallabies on the beach at Cape Hillsborough
    Wake up for sunrise at Cape Hillsborough National Park and soak up the magic as wallabies and kangaroos take to the sands while the sun gently rises over the Coral Sea.
  • Camp with koalas on St Bees Island
    St Bees Island is one of Queensland’s true hidden gems, a quiet volcanic island fringed with colourful reefs and lush rainforests. Its lack of human residents makes it the ideal place for a colony of koalas who call it home.


How to get there:

Fly (Non-Stop) from Brisbane to Mackay with Qantas or Jetstar (1h 30m) and save with Qantas Explorer.

Sunrise at Palm Cove

Days 5 - 10: Cairns

Although an exciting city to explore, Cairns lacks a beach with more of a mangrove system on its coast. However, it has its own huge, man-made lagoon on the Esplanade and just outside of the city, you’ll find out exactly why Cairns is the place to go for a beach holiday with seemingly endless stretches of untouched gold and white sands.

Our recommendations:

  • Enjoy a beachside barbecue on Ellis Beach
    For the ultimate Aussie experience, head to the local-favourite Ellis Beach and find yourself surrounded by beautiful palms and tranquil waters. Pop into Ellis Beach Bar and Grill for a cold drink and sit back as you soak up the good life.
  • Go paddle boarding at Palm Cove
    With sweeping palms lining the beach and waterfront promenade, Palm Cove is as photogenic as it gets in Queensland. With protective nets at the north end of the beach, it’s also the perfect place to safely plunge into the warm, bath-like waters of the Coral Sea.
  • Escape to the reef on Fitzroy Island
    Hop on a ferry from Cairns to Fitzroy Island and discover the perfect place to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Just four square kilometres in size, you can take a leisurely walk from Welcome Bay to Nudey Beach for a choice of two spectacular beaches.


How to get there:

Fly from Mackay to Cairns via Townsville with Qantas (2h 15m) and save with Qantas Explorer.

Explore Everywhere with Qantas Explorer

Book an international Economy flight to Australia or New Zealand through Qantas Explorer and you can save on flights within each country. So, if you're landing in Australia and wanting to explore Queensland's beautiful beaches, Qantas Explorer can help you see more for less.

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To make a multi-city booking, add your flights to Australia or New Zealand.

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Add flights around Australia or New Zealand, ending with your flight home.

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Check your itinerary, select 'book' and proceed with payment.

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Important information

Disclaimer: Qantas Explorer fares must be booked in conjunction with a Qantas international fare to Australia or New Zealand, and have the same validity as your international ticket. Savings are based on a comparison with the year-round fare. At times, there may be sale fares available that may be cheaper than the Qantas Explorer fare for that routing. To include Qantas Explorer fares for your trip to Australia or New Zealand, you can choose the multi-city option when making your booking. 

Disclaimer: Prices based on payment at qantas.com. Prices exclude carrier charges, fees and taxes, which will vary depending on your departure and destination points. Prices may fluctuate if taxes or foreign exchange rates change. Fares may not be available on all flights or days. Some flights are operated by partner or subsidiary airlines. Additional airport taxes and fees may be required for alternative routings. Offer is subject to availability at the time of booking.

Disclaimer: View the Qantas Explorer fare rules.