10 hidden places on Australia´s east coast

Australia’s hidden gems

You’ve just landed at the airport and have a tight schedule. You want to see the Sydney Opera House, you want to dive the Great Barrier Reef, and you want to get out into the outback and dance around Ayers Rock. You want to see all of Australia’s sights on your tour, because otherwise you wouldn’t really have been there, would you?

So how about experiencing what your friends haven’t seen? How about saying goodbye to the tourist attractions and hello to Australia’s hidden gems?

Get out your notepad and write down, because here come the awesome experiences.

A camera, pen and a map on a table

1. Burleigh Heads

In sunny Queensland, a few kilometers from the Gold Coast, you’ll find one of the hidden spots in Australia; the locals’ favorite hang-out spot Burleigh Heads. With the most beautiful views from Burleigh Hill, you’d be hard pressed to find a better spot for a picnic or a nap in the sun, with Tallebudgera Creek just a short walk away.

Most importantly, our personal favorites, Paddock Bakery and The Pavilion.

Paddock Bakery is arguably Australia’s best bakery/cafe and you have to try the entire menu, as in the ENTIRE menu.

Right on the waterfront, you’ll find The Pavilion restaurant, where the long dresses and ironed shirts hang out with exotic drinks and food that’s in a class of its own.

Two surfers walking at a beach in Burleigh Heads during sunset

2. Noosa Heads Walk

Noosa Heads is where the walk from Noosa to Hell’s Gates starts, and there’s hardly a more beautiful one. With coastline all the way, surfers on the wildest waves and the possibility of spotting dolphins, this is one walk where you’ll have your camera in hand at all times.

We recommend starting the walk after lunchtime when the sun isn’t so bright, so you can jump into the Fairy Pools and start the walk back with the sunset by your side. This is an allday adventure.

After a long walk, you’ll be hungry. That’s why you’re going to El Capitano, one of the most recognized pizzerias in the country. We all know the best way to enjoy a pizza: on the beach with your toes in the sand.

Numerous wave lines with surfers on the coastline of Noosa Heads

3. Snapper Rocks

Coolangatta is cool, but you know what’s even cooler?

Snapper Rocks, home to some of Australia’s best surfers, the biggest waves and the most beautiful and powerful water in living memory. Snapper Rocks is breathtaking and is best experienced by sitting out on the edge of the natural pool and becoming one with the waves and the sun. You won’t have a care in the world once the waves start rolling in.

Lines of waves coming in at Snapper Rocks with hundreds of surfers out in the water

4. Warrie Circuit

Nature lovers will swoon over this 17 km hike, which passes countless waterfalls on its way in Springbrook National Park and is worthy of any adventure traveler. Each waterfall is wilder than the next and you won’t believe your eyes. One of the hidden places in Australia that will blow you away.

Sure, it’s great to hike in the sunshine, but you’ll actually have the best and most adventurous experience in the pouring rain. The waterfalls are always twice as lively during and after a good soaking, so bring a rain jacket and a waterproof camera. All levels are catered for, but don’t go in flip-flops!

A forest trail with trees and grass around

5. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Adventure awaits in the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, where you’ll find a 7.5 km long cableway that takes you over Australian treetops and the wonderful Barron Falls. Located close to Cairns, this is simply a must if you’re into adventure and breathtaking landscapes.

If you’d rather experience the rainforest by train, the Kuranda Scenic Railway departing from Cairns is the obvious choice. One thing is for sure, after a trip to this rainforest, the color green will take on a whole new meaning for you, because EVERYTHING is green.

The stunning Barron Falls

6 Wallaman Falls

Australia’s highest waterfall at 268 meters, deep in the rainforest and with numerous lookouts! That’s a nobrainer. This waterfall is located in Girringun National Park, where you have endless hiking trails ahead of you and some of the country’s most spectacular waterfalls in sight. A great place to add to your tour of Australia. There’s nothing like the sound of a waterfall and the cool mist that the cold water carries with it. So sit down, close your eyes and take a deep breath, because this is something to be savored.

View of Australias highest waterfall, Wallaman Falls

7. Great Keppel Island

A short boat ride from the Queensland coast you’ll find Great Keppel Island with no less than 17 different sandy beaches. Some of the most popular activities on the island are boom-netting, jet-skiing and tubing. All take place in the water and it’s a lot of fun!

If you’re really lucky, you can spot both dolphins and whales while jet-skiing. If you’re wearing your prescription glasses, you can spot them from the beach! Throw on Club Tropicana with Wham and you’re ready for paradise!

The shoreline of Great Keppel Island with long, white sandy beach and green nature

8. Hyams Beach

In Jervis Bay, south of Sydney, you’ll find what locals call “the whitest sandy beach in the world”. Hyams Beach is known for its crystal clear water, powdery white sand and fantastic marine life. Don’t forget your sunglasses so the white grains of sand don’t blind you!

White beach and crystal clear blue water at Hyams Beach

9. Magnetic Island

Befriend a koala, dance the night away at the wildest parties on Base Magnetic or learn to scuba dive. You’ll never be bored on Magnetic Island, and you can easily spend more than just a weekend here. Balding Bay is a hidden oasis and Strand Park has the most beautiful palm trees. All in all, it’s just gorgeous. Hop on the boat from Townsville and go offline for a few days. No worries, pure adventure. Magnetic Island may not exactly be one of the “hidden places in Australia”, but it’s not the tourist hotspot it could have been!

The front of a boat and two palm trees on a beach on Magnetic Island

10. Agnes Water & 1770

The curiously named town of Seventeen Seventy was the place where Captain Cook discovered the Australian state of Queensland in 1770. This place is historic and has a huge significance in Australian culture. It’s a must-see!

South of 1770 you’ll find Agnes Water, where you can walk among some of the country’s most beautiful trees in Paperback Forest. This is for the true adventurer.

The shoreline of Seventeen Seventy during twilight

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You’ve probably already laced up your shoes and are halfway onto the plane, right? Australia never disappoints, so be sure to polish up your camera lens and get ready for experiences and surprises galore. Make sure you tell your friends and family that you’ll probably just extend your stay by a month or two!

Are you ready for more from the land down under?

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