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Lifestyle : Discover South East Queensland
THE SUN-HERALD SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2010 3 south-east queensland Trip notes Getting there You could drive, however Qantas/Jetstar and Virgin Blue fly from Sydney to Brisbane multiple times daily. 13 31 33, flightcentre.com.au. Getting around Queensland Rail's high-speed Tilt Train runs daily from Brisbane to Rockhampton via Caboolture, Landsborough, Nambour and Gympie, 1300 131 722, queenslandrail.com.au. More information queenslandholidays.com.au. the three-kilometre Cougal Cascades route through subtropical rainforests in the Currumbin Valley to the Ocean Walkway, an 18-kilometre paved foreshore trail that overlooks Snapper Rocks and Coolangatta (southerngoldcoast .com.au). If you want to stretch your legs further, Queensland's Department of Environment and Resource Management has opened two new long-distance ''great walks'' in south- east Queensland. Detailed maps list campsites, fresh water and nearby towns. Pack a tent and head into the Sunshine Coast's Cooloola National Park: the ambitious can complete the five-day, 102-kilometre Cooloola Great Walk from Noosa North Shore to the impossibly beautiful Rainbow Beach, though the walk can be broken into smaller, still-spectacular sections. The Conondale Range Great Walk is a four-day, 56-kilometre wander through subtropical rainforests, which can also be broken into half- and full-day walks, along rushing rivers and waterfalls. 1300 130 372, derm.qld.gov.au/greatwalks. Go off-road with Footprints on Fraser Island's walking tours, including its four-day walking trip (camping or staying in resorts), priced from $1375 a person. (07) 4126 8258, footprintsonfraser.com.au. Families Kids have plenty of chances to get up close to wildlife, from Couran Cove Island Resort's Koala Haven on South Stradbroke Island to Australia Zoo's litany of all that slithers or snuggles. Family admission is $172, plus add- ons for encounters with everything from pandas to komodo dragons. 1800 268 726, www.couran.com; (07) 5436 2000, australiazoo.com.au. You can also play with otters, seals and dive with sharks at Mooloolaba's UnderWater World for $90 a family, plus add-ons. (07) 5458 6280, underwaterworld.com.au. If you like hearing your kids scream, Gold Coast theme parks oblige, including Sea World, Movie World, WhiteWater World and Wet'n'Wild. Dreamworld's Tower of Terror II hits 161km/h, while the over-18s can pole- feed Goliath, a five-metre crocodile. 1800 073 300, dreamworld.com.au. Children can absorb the Gold Coast's Aboriginal history while kayaking around the little-explored waters on Balunjali's interpretative cultural kayak tours. See dolphins, turtles and stingrays, stop for damper and billy tea among the wallabies and join an Aboriginal ceremony. Half-day tours from $77 for children; $89 for adults, (07) 5533 8527, balunjali.com.au. Spa Brisbane icon Stephanies, in the Sofitel hotel, has just opened an outpost in the new Outrigger Little Hastings Street, Noosa. Stephanies Ocean Spa promises mineral flotation treatments and anti-ageing wine baths for two, priced from $69 for a 30-minute bath. (07) 5473 5353, stephanies.com.au. Esteem Day Spa, a new multimillion-dollar centre on the Gold Coast specialises in surgical and non-surgical procedures, from Vichy showers, hot-stone massages and mineral wraps to facelifts and filler injections. (07) 5539 1000, esteemdayspa.com.au. Of course, your accommodation during treatment can be at the neighbouring Palazzo Versace, which recently launched cabana packages so you can laze by the pool in your own cabana, sipping summer cocktails while enjoying a manicure, pedicure or massage. (07) 5509 8000, palazzoversace.com. Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat's organic-living weekends include a cooking demonstration and teach how to set up an organic garden. Tallebudgera Valley, inland from Burleigh Heads. 1800 219 272, gwinganna.com. Near its sister resort Spicers Clovelly Estate, Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Maleny, hosts a day spa and Thai-cooking weekends with chef- manager Paul Blain, of Darley Street Thai fame. 1300 311 429, spicersgroup.com.au. report
Adventures in the Kimberley