The central Queensland town of Biloela and its multicultural Flourish Festival has come third in ’23 of the Most Surprising Destinations to Visit in 2023′ by the Qantas Magazine Travel Insider.
Coming third after Bhutan in South Asia and Alaska in the USA, the Qantas Magazine highlights some of the best places to visit around the globe written by experts from around the world.
“In outback Queensland,120 kilometres west of Gladstone, stands Biloela, a rural town with country charm that is home to a few pubs, two terrific bakeries and Flourish, a multicultural festival that celebrates diversity through art in June,” the publication states.
“Nearby Lake Callide has kayak and cabin hire available and exhilarating fishing, where the prize could easily be a metre-long barramundi. For freshwater fishing and water skiing, head to Dawson River.”
Biloela’s Flourish Festival gained national exposure in 2022 when it coincided with the return of Tamil asylum seekers Nades and Priya Murugappan, and their daughters Kopika and Tharnicaa, to their adopted hometown of Biloela after their release from community detention in Perth.
Organised by Integreat Queensland, the Flourish Festival celebrates central Queensland’s cultural diversity through the arts.
“The Flourish Festival is all about showcasing our pride in our multicultural community – who we are, where we’ve come from, and what we now share together,” Integreat Queensland general manager Julie Pettett said.
“Biloela maybe a small town but it has the biggest heart in the country. The community have welcomed people from all over the world where it has become a hub of multicultural diversity.”
Ms Pettett said Integreat Queensland believe art and culture are at the heart of diverse communities, and are powerful tools for creating social connections, boosting economic growth, and shaping a strong, healthy region.
“Biloela deserves to be recognised by the Qantas Magazine Travel Insider as it’s a fantastic community with beautiful scenery, great attractions, and some cultural diverse events like the Flourish Festival,” she said.
The Flourish Festival is held in Biloela and Gladstone and due to its success, the festival program is now expanding with the event also being held in Emerald in 2023.
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Picture: 001 Flourish Festival – Kopika and Tharnicaa Murugappan at the 2022 Flourish Festival in Biloela.