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From Brisbane to Airlie Beach – what to see and do along the way

This classic stretch of east coast Australia is particularly popular with travellers and its easy to see why. The 1,000km from Brisbane to Airlie Beach has everything from the vibrant nightlife of rejuvenated Brisbane, to  the tropical charm of Noosa not to mention some of the country’s most spectacular natural environments such as the everglades and, of course, Fraser Island. Whether you’ve got a few days or a few weeks, make sure you spend time in these little gems along the way.

What You Need to See and Do From Brisbane to Airlie Beach

So whether you are plotting a Fraser Island Tour or looking to party, the best of what you can se and do is listed below!

Dine and drink your way through Brisbane’s city streets

For a city that was once known for having something of a dull atmosphere, Brisbane has now well and truly cast off its former reputation. The city has been transformed in recent years and is now a vibrant, cosmopolitan metropolis. The Queensland capital is brimming with trendy bars and restaurants, a thriving cultural scene with art galleries and museums, plus a sunny warm climate year round. Brisbane is the place to indulge in cultural and culinary delights before heading up north and the natural wonders that await.

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Spot wild dolphins at Moreton Bay

Moreton Bay makes for a superb first stop on the journey from Brisbane to Airlie Beach. A protected marine park, the bay is blessed with tropical beaches, soaring sand dunes, freshwater lakes and rare habitats such as mangrove forests and wetlands. The best part? The pod of wild dolphins that call the place home. Keep your eyes peeled for them just off shore.

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Chill out on the Sunshine Coast and fall in love with Noosa

Part of the reason why the Brisbane to Airlie Beach stretch of east coast Australia is so popular is because it includes the famous Sunshine Coast. And yes, sunshine is pretty much guaranteed. Traveling this part of the coast will take you past many a sultry, tropical town and the best of the bunch is picture perfect Noosa. This charming spot is perfect for a night or two of boutique shopping and people watching from one of the many cute cafes. It is also home to the Noosa everglades, a unique natural environment of untouched water ways popular with both novice and experienced kayakers. 

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Spend a few nights on majestic Fraser Island 

A little further north on the Brisbane to Airlie Beach trail is probably one of the most popular spots in the whole country, Fraser Island. This World-Heritage listed island is the largest sand island in the world and famously home to that most iconic of Australian animals, the dingo. The chance to spot a dingo in the wild is a uniquely Australian experience not to be missed. Fraser Island is also home to freshwater lakes (there are more than 100 to explore), vast beaches, rainforests chock full of wildlife and excellent hiking trails. Our guides know the island better than anyone else! Check out K’gari Fraser Island Tours.

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Get serious about rum at Bundaberg

Bundaberg is another must see stop on the Brisbane to Airlie Beach route, mostly because it is home to the famous Bundaberg Rum Distillery. Visit for rum tastings and learn how the spirit is made and the history of the town and its most famous export. For anyone who loves a baby turtle (who doesn’t) check out nearby Mon Repos Turtle Rookery. From November to March hundreds of turtles return to the beach here to lay their eggs and you can witness it for yourself if you visit during these months.

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