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Best Country Towns To Visit In Queensland: Small Towns + Remote Places


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Britt Hulbert



Queensland is a land of natural wonders, with stunning beaches, tropical rainforests, and vibrant cities. While most visitors flock to popular destinations like Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and the Great Barrier Reef, there is so much more to explore in this vast state. The charming country towns and remote places of Queensland offer a unique and authentic Australian experience.


These smaller towns, nestled in breathtaking landscapes, provide a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. Here, you can immerse yourself in local culture, discover hidden gems, and connect with nature in a more intimate way. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a blend of both, these best country towns in Queensland are sure to capture your heart.


From the balmy coastal regions to the lush hinterlands, each town has its own distinct charm and attractions. In this article, we will take you on a virtual journey through some of the lesser-known but equally captivating destinations in Queensland. So, pack your bags, put on your adventure hat, and get ready to explore the best country towns that Queensland has to offer.



Cairns, located on the northeastern coast of Queensland, is a popular tourist hub and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. This vibrant city offers a perfect blend of natural wonders and modern amenities. Known for its tropical climate and laid-back atmosphere, Cairns is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.


One of the highlights of Cairns is undoubtedly the Great Barrier Reef. Embark on a snorkeling or diving expedition to explore the unparalleled beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Swim among vibrant coral reefs, encounter colorful marine life, or take a scenic helicopter flight for a bird’s-eye view of this natural wonder.


For those seeking a dose of adrenaline, Cairns is the ultimate playground. Get your heart racing with activities like bungee jumping, skydiving, or white-water rafting. If you prefer a more serene experience, take a stroll along the Cairns Esplanade, a picturesque waterfront promenade lined with palm trees, barbecue facilities, and swimming lagoons.


For a taste of cultural immersion, head to the Cairns Night Markets to browse through an array of unique handicrafts, clothing, and local produce. Indulge in a feast of flavors at the vibrant food stalls, offering a fusion of international cuisines and traditional Australian dishes.


If you’re a nature enthusiast, don’t miss a visit to the Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest surviving rainforests on the planet. Take a guided tour through this ancient ecosystem, spot rare wildlife, or soar above the lush canopy on a zip-line adventure.


Cairns is also known for its proximity to the Atherton Tablelands, a region rich in natural beauty and agricultural experiences. Explore waterfalls, swim in pristine crater lakes, or sample local produce at the charming country towns of Mareeba and Atherton.


With its vibrant atmosphere, stunning natural landscapes, and a myriad of thrilling activities, Cairns is the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. Whether you’re seeking underwater exploration, cultural immersion, or breathtaking scenery, this tropical paradise has something for everyone.


Port Douglas

Nestled between the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, Port Douglas is a picturesque coastal town renowned for its stunning beaches and exclusive resorts. This idyllic destination offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, luxurious accommodations, and a relaxed tropical ambiance, making it a popular choice for honeymooners and discerning travelers.


The highlight of Port Douglas is undoubtedly Four Mile Beach, a pristine stretch of golden sand that offers a serene and secluded escape. Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, bask in the sun, or indulge in water activities like swimming and paddleboarding.


For a unique wildlife encounter, head to the Wildlife Habitat, where you can interact with native Australian animals such as kangaroos, koalas, and crocodiles. Explore the lush rainforest surroundings, take a guided tour, and learn about the conservation efforts to protect these incredible creatures.


Port Douglas is also the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is teeming with marine biodiversity. Embark on a snorkeling or diving expedition to explore the vibrant coral reefs and swim among tropical fish, turtles, and even dolphins. For a more exclusive experience, consider a scenic helicopter or seaplane flight to witness the reef from above.


If you’re a food lover, Port Douglas won’t disappoint. The town boasts a vibrant dining scene, with numerous restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, from fresh seafood to international delicacies. Indulge in a sunset dinner cruise, savoring delicious local flavors while taking in breathtaking views of the Coral Sea.


For a dose of retail therapy, browse through the boutiques and galleries along Macrossan Street, the main shopping thoroughfare of Port Douglas. Discover unique souvenirs, fashion, and artwork from local artisans, and immerse yourself in the town’s laid-back seaside vibe.


With its stunning beaches, proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, and a range of upscale accommodations and dining options, Port Douglas offers a luxurious and unforgettable escape. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a romantic getaway, this tropical paradise is sure to leave you enchanted.


Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach, located in the heart of the Whitsundays, is a vibrant coastal town that serves as the gateway to the breathtaking Whitsunday Islands. Known for its crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and vibrant nightlife, Airlie Beach offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.


The highlight of Airlie Beach is undoubtedly the Whitsunday Islands, a collection of 74 stunning islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Hop on a day cruise or charter a yacht to explore the turquoise waters, secluded beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. Don’t miss the iconic Whitehaven Beach, with its pure white silica sand that stretches for over seven kilometers.


For the ultimate aerial experience, take a scenic helicopter or seaplane flight over the Whitsundays, offering a bird’s-eye view of the stunning landscapes and swirling patterns of the Great Barrier Reef.


Back in Airlie Beach, soak up the laid-back atmosphere and cool off at the Airlie Beach Lagoon, a man-made swimming area overlooking the Coral Sea. Relax on the grassy picnic area, take a refreshing dip in the pool, or enjoy a barbecue with friends and family.


Airlie Beach also offers a vibrant nightlife scene, with a range of bars, pubs, and live music venues lining the main street. Enjoy a cocktail while watching the sunset over the marina, or dance the night away at one of the lively nightclubs.


For those seeking adventure on land, explore the lush rainforest trails of Conway National Park, located just a short distance from Airlie Beach. Take a guided bushwalk, spot native wildlife, and enjoy panoramic views of the Whitsundays from the summit of Honeyeater Lookout.


If you’re a food lover, Airlie Beach won’t disappoint. The town offers a wide variety of dining options, from casual beachfront cafes to upscale restaurants with stunning views. Sample fresh seafood, indulge in tropical flavors, and savor exquisite Australian cuisine.


With its idyllic island surroundings, vibrant nightlife, and a range of outdoor activities, Airlie Beach is the perfect destination for those seeking a tropical paradise. Whether you’re looking to relax on stunning beaches, explore the Great Barrier Reef, or indulge in exciting water sports, Airlie Beach has it all.


Mission Beach

Located between the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest, Mission Beach offers a tranquil and laid-back escape from the crowds. This hidden gem is known for its unspoiled beaches, stunning natural beauty, and a relaxed tropical atmosphere.


The highlight of Mission Beach is its pristine coastline, stretching over 14 kilometers of golden sand and turquoise waters. Relax on secluded beaches, take a leisurely swim, or soak up the sun while enjoying uninterrupted views of the Coral Sea.


For those seeking adventure, embark on a thrilling skydiving experience and enjoy breathtaking views of the coast and islands as you freefall from a plane. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, explore the nearby Tully Gorge National Park with its lush rainforest, waterfalls, and hiking trails.


One of the unique attractions in Mission Beach is the opportunity to spot rare wildlife, including the elusive cassowary. Take a guided tour through the rainforest and keep an eye out for these large, flightless birds, along with other native animals such as wallabies and tree kangaroos.


Don’t miss a visit to Dunk Island, just a short boat ride from Mission Beach. This unspoiled tropical island is home to dense rainforest, walking trails, and secluded beaches. Explore the island on foot, hire a kayak to paddle around the pristine waters, or simply relax and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.


After a day of exploration, indulge in some local flavors at the beachfront cafes and restaurants in Mission Beach. Savor fresh seafood, try tropical fruits, or enjoy a cooling gelato while admiring the stunning ocean views.


For those seeking a unique accommodation experience, Mission Beach offers a range of eco-friendly resorts and beachfront cottages nestled amongst the lush rainforest. Wake up to the sounds of nature, enjoy privacy and serenity, and reconnect with the natural beauty of the surroundings.


With its unspoiled beaches, lush rainforests, and a range of outdoor activities, Mission Beach is a hidden paradise that offers a laid-back and authentic Australian experience. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply want to unwind in a natural wonderland, Mission Beach is the perfect destination.



Perched in the scenic hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, Montville is a charming and picturesque town known for its stunning views, arts and crafts, and boutique shopping. This mountain village offers a peaceful retreat away from the bustling coastal areas, with an abundance of natural beauty and a thriving arts and culture scene.


The highlight of Montville is its breathtaking views of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Take a leisurely drive along the winding roads, stopping at designated lookout points to admire the panoramic vistas of rolling hills, lush rainforest, and distant peaks.


Explore the streets of Montville lined with quaint shops and galleries, showcasing local crafts, gourmet treats, and unique homewares. Discover handmade jewelry, pottery, paintings, and much more, all created by talented local artisans.


For nature enthusiasts, the nearby Kondalilla National Park offers the opportunity to embark on scenic bushwalks through ancient rainforest. Follow the walking trails to reach the stunning Kondalilla Falls, where you can take a refreshing dip in the cool freshwater rock pools.


Indulge in a culinary journey at one of the cozy cafes or award-winning restaurants in Montville. From hearty breakfasts and gourmet lunches to candlelit dinners, you’ll find a range of delicious options to satisfy your taste buds. Be sure to sample local produce, including boutique wines, artisan cheeses, and organic chocolates.


Those seeking relaxation will enjoy the tranquil spa retreats that dot the Montville area. Unwind with a rejuvenating massage, facial, or wellness treatment, surrounded by the serenity of the rainforest and the melodies of native birdlife.


Montville also hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, such as the annual Montville Art & Music Festival and the Christmas in Montville Twilight Markets. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, browse through the stalls, and enjoy live performances by local musicians and artists.


With its breathtaking views, artistic charm, and serene atmosphere, Montville offers a peaceful and idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you’re looking to indulge in art and culture, explore the natural surroundings, or simply relax and recharge, Montville is the perfect destination.



Tucked away in the stunning Sunshine Coast hinterland, Maleny is a picturesque town known for its lush green landscapes, organic farms, and vibrant arts and crafts community. This charming destination offers a tranquil escape with a strong emphasis on sustainability, wholesome living, and the celebration of nature.


The highlight of Maleny is its breathtaking natural beauty. Take a leisurely drive through the rolling hills and lush countryside, soaking in the panoramic views of the Glasshouse Mountains and the surrounding farmlands. Stop by Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, a lush rainforest with walking trails and a stunning lookout point.


Explore the eclectic mix of shops and boutiques in Maleny, which showcase an array of locally-made products, from handcrafted soaps and candles to unique artworks and jewelry. Visit the Maleny Artisan Markets on Sundays, where you can sample local produce, browse through handmade crafts, and listen to live music.


Indulge in delicious farm-to-table dining experiences in Maleny. The town is home to a range of organic cafes, restaurants, and farm gates where you can savor fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Don’t miss the chance to sample award-winning cheeses from Maleny Cheese or enjoy a gourmet picnic with sweeping views at Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World.


For those seeking a deeper connection with nature, take a guided tour through the lush rainforest of the Hinterland Great Walk. Discover hidden waterfalls, spot native wildlife, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings. Alternatively, embark on a scenic drive to Lake Baroon and enjoy picnicking, kayaking, or fishing in this serene freshwater lake.


Experience the magic of Maleny’s vibrant arts and culture scene. Visit the Maleny Community Centre, which hosts regular art exhibitions, live performances, and workshops. Take a pottery or painting class, or simply browse through the local artists’ galleries to admire their impressive creations.


For a rejuvenating retreat, indulge in a spa treatment at one of the wellness centers nestled amidst the beautiful countryside. Pamper yourself with a massage, yoga session, or holistic therapy, and let the worries of everyday life melt away in this serene and harmonious environment.


With its stunning natural landscapes, thriving arts community, and emphasis on sustainable living, Maleny offers a unique and rejuvenating escape. Whether you’re looking to connect with nature, immerse yourself in local culture, or simply relax and unwind, Maleny provides the perfect setting for an idyllic getaway.


Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy

Located on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy are twin coastal towns that offer a perfect blend of pristine beaches, outdoor adventures, and historical significance. These coastal gems provide the ideal escape for those seeking a relaxed beachside getaway combined with opportunities for exploration and discovery.


Agnes Water is renowned for its beautiful, uncrowded beaches that stretch for kilometers. Relax on the soft sands, swim in crystal-clear waters, or try your hand at surfing at one of the popular surf breaks. Agnes Water is also home to Australia’s northernmost surf club, where you can enjoy a meal or drink with ocean views.


Just a short drive from Agnes Water, you’ll find the historic town of Seventeen Seventy (also known as 1770), named after the year Captain James Cook landed there. Explore the historical sites and landmarks associated with Captain Cook’s arrival, including the Captain Cook Monument and Bustard Bay.


A highlight of visiting Seventeen Seventy is taking a cruise to the picturesque Lady Musgrave Island. This pristine coral cay is part of the southern Great Barrier Reef and offers incredible snorkeling and diving experiences. Swim among vibrant coral reefs, encounter marine wildlife, and marvel at the underwater wonders of this World Heritage-listed site.


For those seeking outdoor adventures, Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy won’t disappoint. Embark on a kayak tour along the stunning estuaries, go fishing in the pristine waterways, or take a bushwalk through the national parks that surround the area. The Eurimbula National Park, in particular, offers scenic walking trails and an opportunity to spot native wildlife.


Indulge in fresh local seafood at the charming cafes and restaurants in Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy. From succulent prawns and oysters to delicious fish and chips, you’ll find a variety of culinary delights to satisfy your taste buds.


Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the magical sunset views over the ocean in Agnes Water. Head to the beach with a picnic blanket and watch as the sky transforms into shades of orange and pink as the sun sets below the horizon.


With its stunning beaches, outdoor adventures, and historical significance, Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy offer a unique and enriching coastal experience. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, exploration, or a blend of both, these twin towns provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable beach getaway.



Nestled in the heart of the Granite Belt region, Stanthorpe is a charming country town that offers a unique blend of stunning natural landscapes, award-winning wineries, and a vibrant food scene. Known for its cool climate and granite terrain, Stanthorpe is a haven for wine enthusiasts, foodies, and nature lovers.


The highlight of Stanthorpe is its thriving wine industry. Explore the numerous cellar doors and vineyards that dot the countryside, where you can sample a variety of wines, including the region’s renowned cool-climate varieties such as Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Verdelho. Take a winery tour, learn about the winemaking process, and indulge in a gourmet platter at one of the picturesque vineyard cafes.


Discover the beauty of nature in Stanthorpe with a visit to Girraween National Park. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the stunning granite landscapes, picturesque walking trails, and unique rock formations. Climb The Pyramid, one of the park’s most iconic peaks, for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.


For food enthusiasts, Stanthorpe is a culinary delight. Experience the region’s farm-to-table philosophy by visiting local farms and orchards, where you can pick your own fresh produce, from juicy apples and plump strawberries to sweet stone fruits. Sample the local produce at the weekly markets, or dine at one of the farm-to-table restaurants that showcase the region’s flavors.


Immerse yourself in the arts and culture scene of Stanthorpe by visiting the local art galleries, studios, and theaters. Attend a live performance at the Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery, showcasing the works of local and visiting artists, or catch a show at the Granite Belt Performing Arts Center.


For a touch of history, visit the Stanthorpe Heritage Museum, which offers a glimpse into the town’s past with its collection of historical artifacts and memorabilia. Learn about the pioneering days, early settlements, and the impact of gold mining on the region.


Stanthorpe also hosts several annual events and festivals, including the Apple and Grape Harvest Festival, which celebrates the region’s rich agricultural heritage. Enjoy live music, street parades, grape crushing, and an array of culinary delights during this vibrant and festive time.


With its stunning wineries, natural beauty, and culinary experiences, Stanthorpe is a must-visit destination for wine and food enthusiasts. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a taste of country charm, Stanthorpe offers a refreshing and memorable escape.


Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island, located off the coast of Townsville, is a tropical paradise known for its pristine beaches, stunning hiking trails, and unique wildlife. This island getaway offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, with its breathtaking natural beauty and laid-back atmosphere.


The highlight of Magnetic Island is its secluded and picturesque beaches. With over 20 beaches to choose from, you can find your own slice of paradise. Sink your toes into the soft sand, soak up the sun, and swim in the crystal-clear waters. Don’t miss the iconic Alma Bay, a sheltered bay perfect for snorkeling and exploring various marine life.


Discover the rugged beauty of Magnetic Island by taking a hike along the island’s network of scenic trails. The popular Forts Walk takes you through stunning eucalyptus forests to the remnants of historic WWII fortifications. Along the way, keep an eye out for koalas resting in the gum trees and enjoy panoramic views of the island and surrounding waters.


Experience a close encounter with local wildlife at the Bungalow Bay Koala Village. Get up close and personal with koalas, feed kangaroos, and learn about the conservation efforts for these beloved Australian animals. You can even cuddle a koala under the supervision of trained professionals.


For water enthusiasts, Magnetic Island offers a variety of water activities, such as snorkeling, diving, and fishing. Explore the vibrant coral reefs and swim alongside tropical fish and sea turtles. Take a leisurely boat tour around the island, or try your hand at kayaking or paddleboarding in the calm bays.


Enjoy a laid-back island lifestyle with the vibrant cafes, restaurants, and bars that are scattered across Magnetic Island. Sample fresh seafood, sip on tropical cocktails, and enjoy breathtaking sunset views over the water. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in a beachfront barbecue at one of the picnic spots along the coastline.


With its unspoiled beaches, stunning hiking trails, and unique wildlife encounters, Magnetic Island offers a peaceful and idyllic escape from the mainland. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or a chance to connect with nature, Magnetic Island is the perfect destination to unwind and immerse yourself in tropical paradise.



Rich in history and natural beauty, Cooktown is a small coastal town located in Far North Queensland. This charming destination holds great significance as the place where Captain James Cook and his crew landed in 1770, making it one of Australia’s most historic sites. Cooktown offers a unique blend of cultural heritage, pristine beaches, and lush rainforests, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs and nature enthusiasts.


The highlight of Cooktown is its historical landmarks and sites. Visit the James Cook Museum, housed in the restored former convent, to learn about the town’s fascinating history and its connection to Captain Cook’s voyage. Wander through the botanic gardens and see the famous Captain Cook’s Monument, offering panoramic views of the town and surrounding coastline.


Immerse yourself in the Indigenous culture of the area by taking a guided tour with Aboriginal guides who share their knowledge and traditions. Learn about the rich heritage of the local Guugu Yimithirr and Kuku Yalanji people, and discover ancient rock art sites in the nearby Quinkan Country.


Explore the natural beauty of Cooktown with a visit to the nearby national parks. Take a scenic drive to the stunning Black Mountain, an imposing mass of black granite boulders. Discover the unique flora and fauna of the area with a hike through the rainforests of the Daintree National Park or a visit to the Bloomfield Falls.


Experience the serenity of the secluded beaches in and around Cooktown. Relax on secluded sandy shores, swim in clear waters, or try your hand at fishing. Take a boat trip to the coral reefs and explore the underwater world with snorkeling or diving.


For a taste of local cuisine, visit the local restaurants and cafes in Cooktown, where you can sample fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and Indigenous-inspired dishes. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy a sunset picnic on the waterfront, taking in the breathtaking views as the sun dips below the horizon.


With its rich history, natural beauty, and cultural significance, Cooktown offers a unique and rewarding experience for travelers. Whether you’re interested in exploring Australia’s colonial past, immersing yourself in Indigenous culture, or simply enjoying the beauty of the surrounding landscape, Cooktown has something for everyone.



Queensland, Australia is a treasure trove of natural wonders, and exploring its lesser-known country towns provides a deep and authentic experience of this diverse state. From the tropical paradise of Cairns to the charming hills of Montville, each town offers a unique blend of attractions and experiences.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, Queensland’s country towns have something for everyone. Dive into the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, stroll along the pristine beaches of Port Douglas, or immerse yourself in the arts and crafts community of Montville. Take in the tranquility of Mission Beach, enjoy the laid-back vibe of Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy, or indulge in wine tasting in Stanthorpe’s vineyards.


Experience the off-the-beaten-path beauty of Magnetic Island, soak up the history in Cooktown, or savor the fresh produce and natural surroundings of Maleny. Each town offers a unique character and a chance to connect with nature, immerse in local culture, and create unforgettable memories.


From stunning beaches and vibrant wine regions to lush rainforests and diverse wildlife encounters, the country towns of Queensland showcase the best of Australian landscapes and offer a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.


So, whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or a cultural enthusiast, venture beyond the well-known destinations and discover the hidden gems that Queensland’s country towns have to offer. Embark on a journey of authenticity, immerse yourself in the rich history and unique experiences, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Queensland’s country towns are waiting to be explored. So, pack your bags, put on your adventurer hat, and discover the magic and beauty of these hidden treasures.