Queensland has bonza outdoor adventures and family excursions everyone can enjoy. Lee Mylne suggests five of the best.
Lower River Tce, Kangaroo Pt, Brisbane.
Housed in an old naval stores building at the base of the Kangaroo Pt cliffs south of Brisbane's Story Bridge, this is the place to come if you want to get active. Kayak, abseil or rock climb on the cliffs, or hire a bike or rollerblades. The centre runs daily abseiling and rock-climbing classes. If, like me, you can't paddle in a straight line, take a class to learn how to launch the kayak, paddle, turn and stay out of the path of the CityCats and ferries. Night kayaking lessons are also run after 6pm.
Cnr Captain Cook Highway and Cairns Western Arterial Rd, Smithfield.
Gondolas on this rainforest cableway leave continually for the four-mile journey to the village of Kuranda, northwest of Cairns. The views are breathtaking. You must change gondolas at two stations along the route, so stroll around the rainforest boardwalks when you get off. Free guided walks are run regularly. Don't worry if it rains - one of the best trips I've made on Skyrail was in misty drizzle. Combine Skyrail with a trip on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. The best way is to take the train in the morning and return on Skyrail in the afternoon.
The world's largest sand island, Fraser Island is World Heritage listed for its sand cliffs, lakes and creeks, rainforest and eucalyptus woodlands. This is 4WD e heaven - there are no roads, only sand tracks. If you're not an experienced driver, take one of the tours offered by the resorts.
Highlights include Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek and the Champagne Pools. The Cathedrals cliffs stretch for miles. Wildlife includes roaming dingoes and migrating whales (August to October). Fishing is popular off the beach but banned in creeks.
141 Mon Repos Rd, Mon Repos.
During the turtle-nesting season from November to March, Mon Repos Conservation Park, about 15km from Bundaberg, is well worth the stop. It is one of the South Pacific's two largest loggerhead turtle rookeries.
Tours start at 7pm, but you may have to wait up to two hours or more (you can't hurry nature, or turtles). Nesting happens around high tide; hatching is between 8pm and midnight. Take warm clothes, as it can get quite cool. Children love it - or at least mine did. The park's visitor centre shows films about turtles and their life cycle at 7.30pm daily in summer. Turtle Encounter tickets available only through the Bundaberg West Visitor Information Centre.
Queensland Maritime Museum
South Brisbane Dry Dock, Stanley St, South Brisbane.
The retired naval frigate Diamantina and the steam tug Forceful are the most eye-catching ships at the Maritime Museum. The boats are displayed on two floors and include Happy II, one of the smallest boats to cross the Pacific Ocean, and Penguin, a historic pearling lugger.
Most fascinating is Ella's Pink Lady, the yacht in which 16-year-old Queenslander Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail solo around the world in 2010. Make use of the free audio tours, and volunteers are also on hand to answer questions.