Lose weight and get fit. Eat healthier. Spend more time with loved ones. Cut the stress. Drink and smoke less. Travel to new places. As the New Year looms, these old ‘resolution chestnuts’ pop up and, we’re sorry to say, none every really carry much weight – did you see what we did there? – come March 1.
Whilst we can’t help with the smoking and drinking, we can with fun holiday solutions to drop the stress, lose the weight and travel the state… so here’s cheers to a happier and healthier 2016, Queensland-style.
Drop The Stress…
Dory from the movie, Finding Nemo, said it best: “Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming.” When you’re down in the dumps, a little Great Barrier Reef therapy will go a long way. There are plenty of active reef experiences – scuba, snorkel and swims – dotted along the reef and coastlines including the two-day, one-night Reefsleep (with Cruise Whitsundays), where the sound of the ocean can wash your cares away. http://www.greatbarrierreef.org/
Forget the latest Kardashian craze (whatever that might be), in an Australian first,Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat is offering four holistic, equine-assisted therapies for guests including therapy, meditation, learning and journey on the Gold Coast. Horses, like humans, are social creatures and these newly introduced ‘horse-play’ nature therapies are designed to assist Gwinganna guests to reach heightened social, emotional and cognitive awareness. www.gwinganna.com
Get on my line, you darn yellow bellies! It’s not a line from a Yosemite Sam cartoon, but rather a call to join the Annual Boondooma Dam Yellowbelly Fishing Competition in the South Burnett. Experts report the lake is ‘fishing really well’ and they’re looking forward to records breaking thick and fast in both the ‘Catch and Release’ and the ‘Gilled and Gutted’ sections. This uber-stress reliever for fisher folk is happening February 13 and 14 and families are welcome. http://www.lakeboondooma.com.au/
Lose The Weight…
Strike while the resolution-iron’s hot with a New Years’ day sunrise run along a Sunshine Coast beach with the folks from Noosa Running Tours or sign-up for The Colour Run – also known as the ‘happiest 5km run on the planet’ – at Bokarina on January 16. www.noosarunningtours.com.au
For the more resolute amongst us, the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival from 11-13 March offers up Olympic distances on the Sunshine Coast and The Gold Coast Triathlon on April 10 attracts athletes who want to go the distance in gorgeous surrounds. Plus, the Cairns Airport Ironman (June 12) has arguably the most scenic bike course in the world and follows some of our favourite coastline in the Tropical North. http://ap.ironman.com/events/triathlon-races.aspx#axzz3tgcwJa1v
Eden Health Retreats’ daily activity schedule reads like a boot camp on super-charged organic herbs. In attention to cardio fusion, laughing yoga and the splendidly named Club Mud, you’ll find neuro aerobics, flying foxes and martial groove on their activities schedule. No two days are ever the same, and if the activities are as fun as they sound, sign me up! http://www.edenhealthretreat.com.au/
The ultra-lazy can attempt to ‘scare themselves skinny’ with a heart-racing rafting experience on Australia’s most famous white-water river – The Tully River. You don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie to spend time with the folks at RNR White Water Rafting in the Tropical North. http://www.raft.com.au/
Travel The State…
Whilst we can’t promise you’ll trim those unwanted kilos on a holiday diet, we do know this is one New Year’s resolution you’d be mad not to keep.
If you want to generate zero carbon points (that can be New Year’s resolution number seven), then book a Safari tent in the Nightfall Wilderness Camp, and ‘glamp it up’ in a private pocket of the Lamington National Park, 90 minutes south west of Brisbane. Guests get to join the owners as they forage for produce, sample local organic food and learn about the camp’s environmental practices. http://www.nightfall.com.au/
Take a journey along The Bama Way (ex Cairns) and discover Tropical North Queensland through the eyes of its original inhabitants. Linking together three Aboriginal-owned and operated tours – Guurrbi Tours, The Walker Family Tours and Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tours – each experience provides an insight into traditional Aboriginal culture and history. Visit sacred and historic local sites, learn about bush tucker and medicine or hear the stories of the rock paintings. Tours can be booked separately or in a one to three day package. www.bamaway.com.au
If you thought taking kids on holiday was a bit of a juggling act, well Novotel Twin Waters Resort Aqua Fun Park on the Sunshine Coast has a monster floating obstacle course that’ll help keep your littlest holidaymakers occupied. There are Segways to explore the natural surroundings, a games room and a Kidz Cove Club with activities every morning and afternoon through the week and evening sessions on Fridays and Saturdays. Don’t despair, if you’re not staying at the hotel, you can buy a one-day activity pass. www.twinwatersresort.com.au
Spicer’s Peak Lodge is officially Queensland’s highest non-alpine lodge retreat and offers singular views of the World Heritage-listed Main Range National Park. Guests can choose to stay at one of the ten luxurious suites in the main lodge or spice it up with a one or a two bedroom private lodge. Activities include a rainforest bushwalk, mountain bike adventures or a four-day guided trek which ends in a night of luxury at the lodge. Those who prefer the great indoors can enjoy a degustation dinner menu relax in the infinity edge swimming pool, in the library or indulge in a treatment or massage.www.spicersgroup.com.au/property/spicers-peak-lodge
Go large with some super-sized Queensland experiences. In alphabetical order, we give you one mighty Queensland road trip, so take your pick of this larger-than-life bunch.
The Big Apple, Stanthorpe; The Big Banana, North Mackay; The Big Barramundi, Normanton; The Big Barramundi, Daintree; The Big Barrel, Bundaberg; The Big Brolga, Townsville; The Big Bottle, Bundaberg; The Big Bull at Rockhampton; The Big Cane Toad, Sarina; The Big Captain Cook, Cairns; The Big Cassowary, Mission Beach; The Big Cow, Nambour; The Big Crab, Cardwell; The Big Crab, Miriam Vale; The Big Crocodile, Daintree; The Big Crocodile, Hartleys Creek; The Big Crocodile, Normanton; The Big Diprotodon, Eulo; The Big Dugong, Rockhampton; The Big Dinosaur, Ballandean; The Big Easel, Emerald; The Big Fish, Milaa Milaa road; The Big Gumboot, Tully; The Big Hard Rock Guitar, Surfers Paradise and The Big Humpback Whale, at The Discovery Centre in Hervey Bay.
To round out the back end of the alphabet and the rest of the Sunshine State, we have:
The Big Kronosaurus, Richmond; The Big Macadamia Nut, Nambour; The Big Mandarin, Mundubbera; The Big Mango, Bowen; The Big Marlin, Cairns; The Big Matilda (Kangaroo), Kybong/Gympie; The Big Meat Ant, Augathella; The Big Merino, Blackall, The Big Mower, Beerwah; The Big Orange, Gayndah, The Big Peanut, Atherton Tablelands; The Big Pelican, Noosaville; The Big Pie, Yatala; The Big Pyramid, Stanthorpe; The Big Snake, Ayr; The Big Rig, Roma; The Big Shell, Noosa; The Big Turtle, Bagara; The Big Watermelon, north of Gumlu; The Big Wheel, Brisbane and Big Red… the biggest sand dune of ’em all in Birdsville. http://www.queensland.com/en-AU/Plan-Your-Trip/Holiday-Type/Driving-Holidays