PEDESTRIAN.TV has partnered with Tourism and Events Queensland to let you in on the state's best-kept secrets.

Way too often when we’re planning trips we’re thinking of ways to shut our brains down. That makes sense – we work hard etc etc – but why wouldn’t we take the opportunity to expand our minds in new ways that have nothing to do with work emails?

There’s a rich history and two ancient cultures in Australia that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Nowhere is that more obvious than in Queensland, where 100 million-year-old rainforests still grow and the world’s largest coral reef system can be found.

How incredible would a holiday be if it could connect you to the land and the culture surrounding it in a way you’ve never experienced before? Pretty dang incredible, I’d say. Here are four perfect places to start the adventure.

1. A Different Kind Of Diving Adventure

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel (@dreamtimecairns) on

You wouldn’t go to Cairns and NOT snorkel amongst the amazing marine life that calls the Great Barrier Reef home, right? Take that experience up to 11 by joining Dreamtime Dive.

These truly unique day tours are the only ones on the Great Barrier Reef led by Indigenous sea rangers. This means that they’re able to show you the incredible natural wonders of the reef while also opening up the whole new world of its cultural significance to the Dreamtime and Indigenous heritage of the area.

Nowhere else can you get such a deep understanding of, and connection with, this stunning world wonder. They also carry an Advanced Eco Accreditation –  which is the highest level of accreditation possible – and are committed to sustainability so you know your trip won’t be causing any harm – only blowing your mind.

During your tour, you’ll be taken around to a couple of different spots on the reef with plenty of chances to get out snorkelling and/or jump in the glass-bottomed boat. There’s an optional helicopter flight too, if you want to see the reef from a totally different angle.

2. The Only Place To Have A Whaley Good Time

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mike Ball Dive Expeditions (@mikeballdive) on

The Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs are the only place in the WORLD where you can swim with the very rare and still pretty mysterious Minke Whale. They’re known to be quite inquisitive, often coming in for a closer look at boats and swimmers, so you can truly get up close and personal.

To really get amongst it, spend a few nights out on the reef with Mike Ball Dive Expeditions.

Not only are you personally getting the chance to spot this unique whale, but each expedition also has a James Cook University Minke Whale Project (MWP) researcher on board to help understand and track their biology and behaviour. You can even help out with the research by recording your own whale observations and photos to share with the MWP team.

The time for Minke Whales is only a short couple of months from June to July, so keep an eye on the website for these specialised trips.

3. Survival Tips In Ancient Rainforests

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Walkabout Cultural Adventures (@walkaboutculturaladventures) on

I am still in awe of how epic the Daintree Rainforest is. It’s a feeling you can’t explain, you’ve just got to go. The whole area is 100 million-years-old, and you can truly imagine dinosaurs wandering through the dense greenery. There’s also something magical about stepping into the sanctuary for the largest number of rare or threatened plant and animal species in the world.

To really understand all that the area has to offer though, definitely organise a tour with Walk About Adventures. They’re 100% Indigenous owned and operated, so they’re able to show you a whole new side to the Port Douglas Daintree region.

For a full or half-day, you’ll be guided around Kuku Yalanji country where the Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. In fact, it’s the only place in the world where two natural heritage sites sit side by side. Groups are kept small and personal, with a maximum of 11 people.

You’ll learn about the environment, how to find bush food and medicines (yes you’ll even get to sample some) as well as learning about the cultural heritage and traditions for Indigenous people in the area.

4. A Goldie Trip You’ve Never Had Before

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jellurgal Aboriginal Centre (@jellurgal) on

There is a whole other side to the Gold Coast than the one you’ve probably experienced already. It starts with Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre – ‘Jellurgal’ being the traditional name for Burleigh Heads – where you can take a tour and get an eye-opening insight into the history of the area and nearby Tallebudgera (Talle) Creek.

It’s the only specifically Indigenous cultural centre on the Goldie and it’s owned and operated by the local Indigenous community, so what you’re being shown is very legit.

After you’re done, you can head over to Sobah non-alcoholic brewery nearby. This Indigenous-owned and run brewery is working to get rid of the idea you need grog to socialise. At the same time, they’re raising cultural awareness and promoting Indigenous arts, language and history through their range of drinks

Plus there’s a whole bunch of live music, trendy restaurants, beautiful beaches and a kicking arts scene to get around in-between.

There you have it, totally chill trips with beautiful scenes that also happen to expand your mind and open up the world just a little more. Perfection.

Image: Provided by Tourism and Events Queensland