The Everglades are hidden within the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park, which boasts some eye-popping landscapes, including sandy hills, shallow lakes and lush wetlands. This ancient waterway has existed unchanged for thousands of years and remains one of the Sunshine Coast’s best-kept watery secrets.

A great way to experience the Everglades is to join a kayak safari. Kanu Kapers takes people out on Lake Cootharaba, on the Noosa River, with options including one-day or three-day tours. You can set your own course and kayak independently, but you’ll learn a lot more in the company of one of the expert guides – Vivienne, perhaps – who can paddle with you, pointing out the myriad of different birds and other wildlife that reside here.

Off from the main part of the lake is a narrow creek that you can paddle down on your Kanu Kapers tour, past stunning hibiscus trees and mangroves that border the channel. This opens up to a vast expanse of water, which is covered in delicate lilac water lilies in spring and summer; you might hear bees humming overhead as they feed from flowers. Keep your eyes peeled for delicate blue damselflies mating and egg-laying amongst the leaves. If you’re really lucky, you might even see flocks of black swans – huge birds that feed on the grasses in the lake. Your guide will help you get a closer view of the local wildlife.

When to go

Brisbane basks in year-round sun, with temperatures rarely dipping below 20°C. The peak of summer can be super-hot and wetter, with many locals escaping the sweltering city, which can make it quiet; winter is sunny and mild with little rain.

Where to sleep

Sleek European design mixes with exotic vintage at the hip Spicers Balfour Hotel, set smack dab in New Farm/Fortitude Valley, the creative cognoscenti’s neighbourhood of choice in Brisbane. A renovated, 110-year-old classic Queenslander topped with a 24-hour rooftop bar – perfect for impromptu nightcaps – this stylish spot makes for an ideal urban escape.

Begin your Australian adventure in style with Singapore Airlines. Fly one-stop to Brisbane from £665

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