Journey along the sunshine state’s coastline and revel in the feel of sand between your toes and the smell of the salt in the air.
Kicking off in the glittering Gold Coast, check in to your room at the brand-new Quest Robina before a spot of shopping at mega-mall Pacific Fair, one of Queensland’s largest shopping centres. Afterwards, head to the Burleigh Pavilion for dinner and experience epic beachfront water views, or opt for a more casual setting at the unmissable laneway hawker-style food market, Miami Marketta (open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights) – the live music is the icing on top. Head back to Quest Robina for an early night.
With a long day of driving ahead, an early start on the road is encouraged. Stop for coffee and breakfast in Noosa at one of the cafes on bustling Hastings Street, followed by a walk along Main Beach, spectacular in summer and winter alike. A couple more hours on the road will see you arrive in Childers. Nestled in the Bundaberg region hinterland, Childers is a picturesque rural town, rich with history and heritage. Stretch your legs and enjoy a walk through the township, taking in the splendour of the restored 1920s Paragon Theatre, before having a light lunch.
Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia, is a 3 hour drive north from here. No trip to a regional town is complete without a photo opportunity of something ‘big’, and in this case, a photo next to one of the big cow statues is a must. Check in at Quest Rockhampton, followed by a dinner at one of the town’s many steakhouses (the guest services team will be able to give you a great recommendation).
Start the next day with a tour through Rockhampton’s limestone Capricorn Caves, sure to be a highlight for adventure seekers. Take in the breathtaking acoustics and learn all about the local geology and history. Enjoy a leisurely morning relaxing and loading up on snacks before getting back on the road, as there’s not a lot to see on the 3.5 hour drive to Mackay. Now would be a good time to put on our road trip playlist: One for the Road on Spotify. The two Quest Apartment Hotels in the area, Quest Mackay and Quest Mackay on Gordon, boast a range of apartment sizes and configurations from studio, one, two and three-bedrooms, and with both properties in the heart of Mackay, you’ll be spoilt for choice come dinner time.
With the stunning Whitsundays awaiting, a cluster of 74 tropical island wonders in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll be more than happy to sacrifice a sleep in. A 1h45m drive will see you arrive in Airlie Beach, the mainland gateway to these spectacular islands. Have a quick breakfast before boarding on one of the many cruises on offer. Enjoy a day trip or overnighter and try your hand at snorkelling and kayaking or simply admire the view – the choice is yours.