Travel Challenge: A holiday in Queensland, Australia


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The Independent Travel

Each week we invite three companies to give us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: a two-week trip to Queensland in May. Prices are per person, based on two sharing. All include flights from Heathrow.


£3,730: Cairns, Port Douglas, Hayman Island, Southport and Brisbane

Includes Qantas flights to Cairns on 15 May with room only in Cairns, Port Douglas, Southport and Brisbane, B&B on Hayman Island; domestic flights and transfers. "This package mixes the shopping of Cairns and the relaxed feel of Hayman Island, with the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and the surfers paradise of the Gold Coast," says Lisa Eggleton of Kuoni (01306 747008;


£1,499: Cairns, Great Barrier Reef cruise and Gold Coast

Includes Cathay Pacific flights to Cairns on 7 May and domestic flights from Cairns to Brisbane. Plus a week at the Cairns Colonial Club with a full-day Great Barrier Reef cruise, and a week at Vibe Hotel in Gold Coast (both room only). "Combining Cairns with the Gold Coast allows you get the most from your long-haul trip," says Joel Saunders of Austravel. "It's the perfect chance to snorkel or scuba-dive, as well as relax on some of Queensland's famous beaches." (0800 988 4834;


£1,799: Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns and Great Barrier Reef cruise

Includes Singapore Airlines flights to Brisbane on 10 May; room only in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Cairns and Palm Cove; a full-day Great Barrier Reef cruise; six days' car hire from Brisbane to the Gold Coast; transfers and domestic flights. "This offers fantastic variety and packs in as much as possible," says Anna Streatfeild of Travelbag (0871 703 4240; Book by 28 February.