During the summer last year, news broke out that Taylor Swift along with her family and 125 crew members spent several days staying in Hamilton, specifically – at its famed Qualia hotel and resort, exploring the nearby reef. A representative for Hamilton said that the media outlets were asked to leave, but did not reveal if this decision had anything to do with Swift or not. Hamilton, situated on the Great Barrier Reef, is the largest of the Whitsunday Islands – it is known for its pristine white-sand beaches and clear water. Therefore, it should not come as any surprise that the resort isle counts Taylor Swift among its fans.

Certainly, Queensland is one of Australia’s dreamed-about tropical destinations, with more than 150 islands and 5000 miles of coastline, with the Great Barrier Reef spanning it all. While the cost of living in Australia can be high, and you might not be Taylor Swift, there are still more than a few hideaways and deals that can make your trip to this glorious destination affordable even on a budget.

Active and Adventurous Day Trips

Green Island is a small coral cay with only one resort, but luckily this resort has restaurants, water sports rentals and even an ice cream parlor that are all available to day-trippers. It only takes around 30 minutes to walk around the sandy beaches of this beautiful island, so chances are you will spend a lot of time enjoying the crystal blue waters, simply lounging the day away on the beach. Hamilton Island is the place where you want to go for a resort experience that includes tennis, golf and tons of restaurant choices – and you can access to all of this. If you are more of a nature-lover, you can scrap this option and trek on one of many view-filled walking trails, some that lead to beaches that are more secluded. You can take a ferry on Airlie Beach, and once you are on the island, you can take one of many free shuttle buses. Queensland is truly a great place for active people and adventure lovers.

Longer Stays Sightseeing Activities

Great Keppel Island is slated to be the next great resort on this coast, but for now, it is a peaceful paradise of empty beaches, hearty bush walks and some of the best live corals that you can observe with no expensive boat tour required. If none of this is enough, there are numerous simple, affordable accommodations ranging from laid-back dorms at Great Keppel Island Holiday Village, to the beachfront Great Keppel Island Hideaway where options include safari tents as well as classier cabins. You can also visit national parks, Lake McKenzie, and some of the animal shelters and sanctuaries if you are traveling with kids. A SkyPoint climb is certainly a favorite destination of many.

14953838009_0f579e9f3d_k     Flick – Great Keppel Island – Ib Aarmo

Spiritual Reconnection

If you are into yoga, meditation or if you are looking for a relaxing vacation, the Queensland has a great retreat for you also. Commonly known as Australia’s finest Health retreat, Living Valley Springs Health Retreat is set amongst 145 acres of lush green hills and lavish countryside in the Noosa Biosphere reserve. It is located only 30 minutes from Noosa, but a million miles away from the bustle and hustle of everyday life. The flora, the views, the wildlife and the overall natural beauty at Living Valley Springs makes this a truly unique spiritual retreat in Australia. The team of more than 50 includes therapists, carers and neuropaths all dedicated to providing you with the ideal opportunity to heal, using the most up-to-date clinical advice, therapies and healing techniques available.
Although I am not certain if Taylor is keen on spiritual séances, this is certainly one of the most relaxing experiences that you can get in the Queensland. This is a destination that keeps calling you back after you’ve visited it once.