Wandering Queensland with Kendall

If there’s one thing most of us dream about as winter comes to a close, it’s warmer moments relished in everlasting summer days. This is why we’ve really enjoyed watching Isla In Bloom muse, Kendall Baggerly, travel through sunny Queensland in her van, Vance! Her images and videos instil some serious wanderlust in us, especially as she’s been beach hopping up the Australian coastline. 

We caught up with Kendall to hear how the first part of her trip in Queensland went, including the gorgeous waterfalls she visited, island escapes and the town she favours most...

Hi, I’m Kendall! I’m originally from California and moved to Sydney in 2017 to be with my partner, Glenn. After I moved here, I jumped straight into a full-time office job in the city. I loved it, but I couldn’t stop feeling like I was really missing out. I moved halfway across the world to a new country and I had barely even seen it! 

Glenn and I didn’t have a car either, so we felt really stuck in the city. We decided to buy a van for weekend trips to get away from the hustle and bustle. This is when we absolutely fell in love with the ‘vanlife’ lifestyle! We realised quickly we didn’t need as many ‘things’ as we thought to be truly happy, and that being on the open road together was where we really felt at peace. So, we both eagerly jumped on the idea of doing it full-time and finally seeing all of Australia. This was hands down the best decision we ever made!

We soon found ourselves in beautiful Queensland and it came with many surprises! I was absolutely blown away by the number of waterfalls we came across. And they were all so close to one another! Each special in it’s own way. (I knew there were beautiful falls in Queensland, but I definitely didn’t expect to see that many). Wallaman Falls, Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa Falls, Purling Brook Falls, Windin Falls...the list seriously goes on and on!

I was also surprised by how much of Queensland’s coastline is a ‘no-go’ zone for swimming at the beach because of crocodiles and stingers. Being at some of the most gorgeous beaches up north and not being able to go in the ocean was the ultimate tease!

Exploring the Whitsundays

One place I knew we had to see was The Whitsundays! It certainly exceeded our expectations. I was so amazed by all of the natural beauty there, especially Whitehaven Beach. You know a place is good when the photos are beautiful, and they don’t even do it justice! The perfect white sand beaches and crystal clear water… I could definitely live around there. All it’s missing is some surf! 

My favourite surf spots

Noosa is home to my favourite beaches to surf. Any of the main surf spots in Noosa are definitely my go-to, especially Tea Tree Bay. The vibe there is infectious and there’s so much beauty everywhere you look. The waves seem to go on forever, and everyone is really respectful out in the surf. 

Unfortunately, while we were in southern Queensland I cut my thumb open pretty badly so I had to stay out of the water for a few weeks. I only got to surf there a few times – it was so hard watching everyone surf these perfect little waves but I knew it would give me all the more reason to go back again someday!

Swimming spots

Seeing as though there are a lot of beaches in Queensland you can’t swim at, you’ll have to head inland (or to an island) if you feel like a dip! My top 3 swimming spots are:

Cardwell Spa Pools

This place is a must! The blue shade of the water there is unlike any other swimming spot I’ve seen. It’s a lot smaller than I imagined, so it can feel a bit crowded. If you can get there before the crowds, it’s magical!

Jourama Falls
If you’re up for an adventure, the hike to the top of Jourama Falls is an amazing swim spot. You’ll most likely have it all to yourself and the view at the top is unreal! But if you’re not up for a hike, the rock pools at the bottom are just as stunning.

Radical Bay

Radical Bay on Magnetic Island is amazing. It’s a little lesser known than some of the other popular bays on the island. This is great as it’s a little less crowded. The water is so clear and you can snorkel there as well, so be sure to bring some fins and goggles with you!

Our stay in Agnes Water

Agnes Water is a beautiful little town that quickly turned into one of our favourites. When the travel restrictions hit during the peak of COVID-19, Glenn and I got stuck in Agnes Water. We were here for three months. This was a complete blessing in disguise. We spent almost everyday here surfing, swimming and getting to know the locals. There’s also a great walking track here which is a must-do! It’s called the Red Rock Hiking Trail. 

Cool finds on the road

Up in Tropical North Queensland we came across so many fruit stalls on the side of the road! These are such a great way to get fresh fruit while supporting the local farmers. We typically don’t eat out or go to cafes too much, but we did go to ‘Pantry 15’ a few times in Cairns and loved it! They have great coffee (the oat milk lattes are SO good) and the food is incredible. A few stores down is ‘Caffeind’, which was just as good as well!

Awesome activities so unique to Queensland

Queensland has so many unique activities on offer! I mean where else in Australia can you hire a tiny topless car and zip around a tropical island. This is exactly what we did when we took a ferry from Townsville over to Magnetic Island for a day. It was SO fun! I definitely recommend doing this when visiting Tropical North Queensland. However, I’d suggest actually staying on the island for a night or two as we felt doing it in one day just wasn’t long enough.

One of our favourite memories is another incredible day trip we did in Cape Tribulation. This was when we went snorkelling around the Great Barrier Reef with the fun crew at Ocean Safari. The reef up there was unbelievable. It’s some of the most vibrant coral I’ve ever seen. There was also such an abundance of sea life!

A nature lover's paradise

The mixture of everything Queensland has to offer made me fall in love with this state. It really does have it all - waterfalls, swimming holes, hiking, surfings, snorkelling, diving and endless supply of pristine beaches and tropical vibes. It’s a nature lover’s paradise!! 

A big thank you to Kendall for sharing her top QLD tips, we can't wait to check them out when it's safe for us to travel again.

Image credits @kendallbaggerly and @glennferguson_