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Whenever I think about the places I would like to visit, my “must visit” list always ranks highly the destinations which abound with nature, serenity and offer a number of opportunities for the relaxation of both body and mind. Even though the Australian Gold Coast stands out as a busy tourist hotspot, beautiful beaches and unspoiled natural landmarks are relaxing enough to lift me into a “Zen” state of mind. So, here are the places where I enjoyed life to the fullest and I will explain why:
Brisbane – a metropolis dressed in green
What especially delights me in Brisbane is that unlike the other large cities, it is not only a busy skyscraper jungle but also a green oasis embraced by the Brisbane River and picturesque mangrove suburbs. Over 27 km of bicycle pathways along the radiant river banks are one of my favorite “sightseeing” routes, but nearby Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the place which literally connected me with the loveliest creatures in the world.
About 7km from the city there is the highest Brisbane peak, Mount Coot-tha which hosts an impressive Botanical Garden, where I spent hours absorbing an energizing green ambient. Lush rainforest trees, bamboos, bonsai, cactuses and fragrant plants create a real green world, not to mention that the amount of oxygen I inhale here fills me with energy and lust for life.
Indulging myself in the Noosa area
Even though I thought I already saw the best of nature, the stunning Noosa region covered in picturesque valleys and lush hills proved that real tranquillity and natural wealth actually live here.
The greatest landmark of this part of Queensland is a spatial Noosa Biosphere Reserve where I found a precious spiritual retreat and spent 7 days having peaceful walks, remedial massages, and steam baths – all within the idyllic Noosa hinterland. I’ve never believed that I could reach such a fulfilling harmony with nature and my inner-self.
If there’s a place where I really feel as if in heaven, that is the pristine beach environment, which explains why I was over the moon when I had the chance to relax on a beach in Coolangatta.
Sandy shores, emerald green water, the pale blue sky above on Kirra Beach was my vision of paradise and an opportunity to rest my mind and body, even though there was a real urban backdrop behind me.
Lamington National Park
Within the lush volcanic remnants of Border Range, a short drive from Surfers’ Paradise, lies a World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park where the freshness of rainforests, fascinating waterfalls, and exotic wildlife made me believe I was walking across the Garden of Eden.
That was the first time that I was so close to rainbow coloured parrots, untouchable Bowerbird, and long-nosed bandicoots, but the true excitement came when I decided to walk deeper “into the woods” along the O’Reilly Tree Top Park Walk, where I encountered thousands of birds and exotic animals which I didn’t even know existed.
I’m not sure what people mean when they say enjoy life to the fullest, but I know that experiencing a magnificent nature-made spectacles and relishing the pristine natural environments of Queensland would fit into everyone’s perception of an enjoyment of a lifetime.