World ending in 2012? Kick your bucket list off in Queensland

According to the Mayan Calendar and Hollywood’s most fantastical reveries the end of the world is nigh.

Hence, there’s no time like the present to compile one’s very own Bucket List. If you’re considering where one might potentially live out those final apocalyptic days, the pine-mango flavoured tropical climes of Queensland are an attractive option. It’s a place where you can achieve personal goals, give back to the environment, and splurge like a rock-star until you finally feel you have experienced the depth and breadth of humanity. Whether or not the human race will make it past 2012, here are a few ideas to get you kicking in Queensland before you hit that proverbial bucket:

1. Eat a Curry Camel Pie from the Birdsville Bakery

It’s a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll, but it’s worth the trip! If you haven’t been outback before, don’t miss all the action of the 130th anniversary of the iconic Birdsville Races this August. Of course, no trip to Birdsville would be complete without tucking into a Curry Camel Pie from the Birdsville Bakery.

2. Compete in the Gold Coast Marathon

Forget freezing in New York, or jostling for space in Paris – Achieve a huge goal closer to home and run the picturesque coastline course of the Gold Coast Marathon.

3. Go wine tasting like a rock star
There’s simply no better way to get acquainted with Queensland’s burgeoning wine scene than with a wine tasting tour with Pterodactyl Helicopters. Enjoy picturesque views of the Fassifern Valley as you chopper between some of South East Queensland’s best boutique wineries for tastings and lunch.

4. Become a whale researcher in Hervey Bay
Wally and Trish Franklin from The Oceania Project know whales. They’ve been conducting their research trips in the protected waters ofHevey Bay for the past 23 years and anyone can join them. This year, live and work on their research vessel Moon Dancer for a six-day stint during the whale season to be involved in vital whale research.

5. Catch a wave at 1770
Still a relatively ‘secret spot’, even amongst Queenslanders, this gorgeous beachside haven happens to be home to eastern Australia’s most-northern surf break. It also boasts one of the best beachfront camping spots on offer.

6. Dive the Yongala
If you haven’t got your dive licence yet, make this year the cut-off and experience one of the world’s top dive sites just off the coast of Townsville. The S.S. Yongala sank in 1911 with the loss of all aboard creating one of Australia’s most intriguing maritime mysteries as she lay undiscovered for more than half a century.

7. Help a just-hatched turtle make its way to sea at Mon Repos
You don’t have to be a rum drinker to enjoy a trip to Bundaberg with the annual attraction of the turtle nesting and hatching at Mon Repos an affordable and must-see event for every age.

8. Go glamping on Orpheus Island
Leave the tent pitching and bush toilets behind you, and discover the world of glamping on Orpheus Island. Recently re-opened following an extensive refurbishment, this exclusive island just off the coast of Townsville provides a refreshing new option for island hoppers. New eco tents are due to open in March 2012.

9. Give back to our planet with Eco-Barge in the Whitsundays
Since kicking off in 2009, Eco Barge Clean Seas Inc. has hauled more than 59,000 kilos of marine debris from the Whitsundays. Founder Libby Edge and some dedicated volunteers have been working tirelessly as guardians of our oceans to remove the threat of marine debris from turtles and other marine animals.

10. Become a Master Chef

Sign up for one of Vanilla Zulu’s six-week cooking courses to brush up on your skills in the kitchen, or lack thereof. Brisbane’s newest cooking school also offers Gluten-Free Cooking Classes and ‘Men Behaving Badly’ men’s classes. You can even bring your own wine to enjoy with your gourmet creation when you finish.

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