Things To Do

9 Wanderlust-Worthy Things To Do If Your Euro Vacay Was Cancelled

By Sophie Hart
3rd Aug 2020

An ancient castle stands strong amongst a rainforest.

With its feast of visual sensations, epic landmarks straight out of the history books and gourmet food to boot, Europe has always topped our travel hit list. While our hearts still throb from cancelling our Euro summer vacay, posting throwback memories from last year’s trip to the ‘Gram only eases the pain for so long. 

So for those who are also longing for lazy afternoons on pebblestone beaches, 10pm sunsets, and all the epic eats you can stuff your face with, we’ve teamed up with Personalised Plates Queensland to bring you a slew of ways you can recreate those holiday vibes at home. 

Set Out On These Euro-Inspired Road Trips

Sure, Europe is epic but we’re pretty darn lucky to call Queensland home and you’ll be surprised by the ‘Gram-worthy beauty just waiting to be explored in our own backyard. Never seen The Keppels in the Southern Great Barrier Reef? Well, let us introduce you to our very own Grotta Della Poesia of Puglia. The Keppels in Queensland could easily be mistaken for this natural swimming hole that boasts the same crystal clear waters surrounded by white rocky cliffs. Start planning your road trip now, this group of 18 lesser-known islands are found just off the coast of Yeppoon and halfway between Brisbane and Townsville. 

Looking for somewhere a little closer to home? Just two hours south of Brisbane lies the majestic Elabana Falls in Lamington National Park. This cascading waterfall emulates Croatia’s Skradinski Buk in Krka National Park, just on a slightly smaller scale. If you’re chasing waterfalls and a ‘Gram-worthy Euro-inspired, well, this is it. 

For those who have been longing for the old-world architecture that Spain is so well known for, then you absolutely need to visit Paronella Park Castle in North Queensland, just south of Cairns. José Paronella arrived in Australia from Catalonia in Spain and built this dream-like castle in the early 1900s. Situated right beside Mena Falls, you’ll feel like you’re in a real-life fairy tale. 

Spend The Weekend At These Euro-Inspired Hotels 

As if we ever need an excuse to book a vacay. There are plenty of hotels that have taken inspiration from Europe in their aesthetics, and The Calile is the first that springs to mind. With white bricks and breezeblocks, palm fronds swaying in the wind and vibrant cabanas lining the pool, there’s truly nowhere you’d rather be. Not to mention, Hellenika is serving up tasty Greek eats to make that Euro feeling complete. 

This boutique hotel sprung up on the Sunshine Coast just in time to satisfy our travel bug. Inspired by warm and lazy beach days, Loea’s aesthetic is total ‘Gram goals. This palm-fringed oasis is found just opposite the Maroochydore River and features 10 beautifully-decorated rooms, a magnesium pool and a tranquil garden decked out with festoon lights. But be warned, once you check in, you’ll never want to check out. 

Everyone needs a seaside getaway every once in a while and The Island is definitely the place to rest your head. Situated on the doorstep of Surfers Paradise Beach, this hotel is perfectly positioned to enjoy the laid-back lifestyle and natural splendour found nearby. Soak up the Euro vibes at the rooftop pool that’s lined with white and red umbrellas and wicker couches to laze on all afternoon. There’s truly nowhere else you’d rather be. 

Kick Back And Soak Up The Ambience At These Bars

Tucked away down a laneway in a Victorian sandstone building, The Gresham is steeped in old-world glamour and history that’ll make you feel like you’re in England. Step inside and you’ll be greeted with opulent Chesterfield couches, a fireplace and an impressive backlit wall. Come for the 'Gram-worthy aesthetics and stay for the hearty bar bites. All in all, this is a top spot to kick back with mates on a cold night. 

Alba Bar is the first solo venture from Jamie Fleming who you might know as the chef behind Maker in Fish Lane and Sydney’s Lobo Plantation. Not to mention he also finished fourth in Masterchef in 2014, so you know you’re in for a treat at Alba Bar. You’ll find Alba tucked away in Burnett Lane and serving up serious San Sebastian vibes. This watering hole also features a tidy menu of house-made Spanish ‘bocadillo’ sandwiches, little bite-sized pintxos, cheesy croquettes with three different kinds of jamon. If you know what’s good, you’ll be booking a table, stat. 

For one of the most under the radar watering holes in Brisbane, soak up pure coastal Italian vibes at TETTO Rooftop Bar. Tucked away down Everton Park’s cobblestone Park Lane above Corbett and Claude, this European oasis is an absolute must-do for northsiders and southsiders alike. Paying homage to the Italian Riviera’s unwavering celebration of life, TETTO is all about good vibes.  

Mr Percival’s are bringing the Amalfi Coast to Brisbane. Situated beneath the iconic Story Bridge and on the banks of the Brisbane River, Mr Percival oozes Italian grandeur. With a pale green exterior and striped umbrellas on the terrace, there’s no better place to perch yourself for an afternoon. The interior is completely ‘Gram-worthy with marble tables, wicker chairs and palm trees. As for the food, Percival’s offers a menu of Italian eats including antipasto and pizza, of course. 

A BMW car is parked in a European-looking laneway.

Can’t go to Europe this year? With these sleek and chic European Plates from Personalised Plates Queensland, you can get the Euro look and feel for your car, so you can get around and explore all these Euro-inspired destinations in style.  

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Personalised Plates Queensland and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

Image credit: Sophie Spencer, Visit Queensland Instagram, Paronella Park, TETTO

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