Nothing beats Queensland

Never mind the floods, Qld tourism still in business

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RIVERS DOWN, SPIRITS UP: Dampened but defiant, Queensland remains the Sunshine State.

RIVERS DOWN, SPIRITS UP: Dampened but defiant, Queensland remains the Sunshine State.

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Flooded one day, back on track the next, Sunshine State shows its resilience.

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IN true Queensland spirit, flood-hit tourism businesses in five southeast Queensland regions have already bounced back and are open for business.

According to Tourism and Events Queensland, these resilient and proud tourism operators have once again defied challenging times and are ready to welcome visitors back.

Brisbane

River-based operators are proving you can't keep a Queenslander down.

Climb aboard River to Bay and choose from a raft of leisurely tours including cocktail cruises along the river, day trips across Moreton Bay and city sightseeing cruises.

Alternatively, don the skipper's cap and hire a private electric boat to enjoy a floating river picnic with Go Boats - no boat license required.

Finish the day staring down the Brisbane River at Howard Smith Wharves and Eagle Street Pier - Brisbane's premier waterfront dining precincts. In good news, both precincts are open and dishing up sunny Brisbane hospitality and entertainment.

Spend a day in South Bank's cultural precinct at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. Don't miss the 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, a celebration of artwork from more than 150 individuals across 30 countries on display until April 25.

And be sure to catch a world class performance at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre - Disney's Frozen, Roald Dahl's The Twits and Queensland Ballet's Giselle are just a few of the headlining acts.

Embark on a "totally wild" day out at the world's first and largest koala sanctuary, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, just a 20-minute drive from Brisbane's CBD.

After working hard to ensure all of the animals were kept safe during the wild weather, the riverside reserve, home to more than 70 animal species, is open and excited to welcome families back.

Scenic Rim/Gold Coast

The Scenic Rim Farm Shop saw some access roads blocked by flood waters, but with the recent sunny weather the roads have dried up and foodies can flock to the farm shop once again - not that the farm's resident family of ducks minded the rain!

The Gold Coast also experienced some super soakings over several days, but after a gallant clean-up effort by sanctuary staff and volunteers, the gates of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary have reopened.

Not to be missed is the new Extinction Trail, which opened in December, giving mini and aspiring palaeontologists the chance to follow in the footsteps of gigantic prehistoric creatures and dig for ancient fossils.

Sunshine Coast/Gympie

Staff and volunteers at the Mary Valley Rattler have worked tirelessly to restore impacted railway lines and get the classic steam train back on track.

In a display of community spirit, the team also dug deep to give back locally. Rusty's Rail Cafe provided meals to families and emergency workers during the recovery, while team members transported emergency service workers to those in need across the Mary Valley Rattler rail bridge.

Following a tough two years, Amaze World (formerly Bellingham Maze) on the Sunshine Coast has unveiled a significant renovation and rebrand, elevating the much-loved family attraction.

As one of the largest living hedge mazes in Australia, Amaze World brings a little magic and enchantment to the lives of those who visit - even the 'big kids at heart' will revel in getting lost among the hedges.

The team at Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World banded together and got straight to work on the clean-up and repairs to reopen the hinterland attraction within a week of the unprecedented weather.

Wander through more than eight acres of magnificent gardens offering spectacular views of the Glass House Mountains and get up close and personal with exotic birds.

At Australia Zoo, the main impact was nearby road closures. The way now clear, meaning you can still visit the home of the Crocodile Hunter these Easter holidays.

Maryborough

They say lightning never strikes the same place twice. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for rain.

Maryborough has experienced two separate floods in 2022, just one month apart, but this tough and tight-knit town can't be beaten.

Fun fact: the town happens to be the early home (and arguably the muse) for PL Travers, better known as the creator and author of Mary Poppins - giving families and literary buffs the perfect excuse to visit this Fraser Coast town.

Stop by The Story Bank, the birthplace of Travers, and learn about her early life as well as the history of the building.

Or schedule a family holiday in August for a celebration of this world-famous nanny at the free Mary Poppins Festival.

Tap into the "Aussie battler" spirit that has helped defy the flood events, and visit the Maryborough Military & Colonial Museum or follow the journey of the Anzacs on the Gallipoli to Armistice Trail, including Maryborough's Lieutenant Duncan Chapman, the first Anzac to land at Gallipoli.

Southern Queensland country

Tourism operators in the farming pocket of the Lockyer Valley have rallied together to rebound after the rain.

The Floating Cafe in Grantham got its name following the 2011 floods after being swept away.

Although water did creep up to it during the latest inundation, the building stuck to its foundations and is back offering tantalising home-cooked treats.

While visitors may not be able to sit under the avocado orchard at Awassi Cheesery due to flood-hit roads, foodies can still sample all the cheesy goodness by ordering dairy treats online.

Keep an eye on the Awassi Cheesery Facebook page for information regarding the imminent farm reopening.

Continue buying direct from the paddock and order fresh produce such as eggs, chicken and fish from 9Dorf Farms in the Lockyer Valley, with delivery available to Brisbane, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.

While exploring the Lockyer Valley, be sure to check out The Barn and Scotty's Garage, revealing a spectacular display of retro automobile memorabilia, a vintage diner and a rustic barn-style cafe on the banks of a beautiful brook.

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