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Travel & Holiday Tips Queensland Australia


Queensland epitomises the Australian cliché: beaches, barbecues, wilderness, endless sunshine and cold beer. Known for its laid-back vibe and miles of golden beaches, this wonderfully diverse state delights in surprising visitors with its hedonistic-riches. Besides beaches, Queensland is sated with ancient rainforests, parks and historic towns. The Whitsundays, Cairns and Mackay are ideal to visit for a taste of tropical Australia, while Gulf and Western Downs give a flavour of the outback.

Adventure sports ride high in Queensland, and here you can sail, white-water raft, paraglide, and delve into the natural underwater wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef, awash with turquoise tints and sealife.

Brisbane is Australia's third-largest city, and zipping between its sights via its main arterial waterway is a sublime pleasure in itself.

Places of Interest


Brisbane is the economic hub and State capital of Queensland, with a year-round warm subtropical climate. Australia’s fastest-growing city, it is the gateway to many coastal resorts and offers many attractions itself. Probably the most famous of these is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which can be reached via a river cruise. The Botanic Gardens is a splendid shady reserve at the south end of the city centre, accessible by a new footbridge. City Hall in King George Square houses an art gallery, museum and clock tower observation deck. Other buildings of note include the State Parliament House with its glittering copper roof, St John’s Cathedral, The Mansions and the Old Windmill, the city’s oldest surviving building (built in 1828) and once a treadmill worked by convicts. The Queensland Cultural Centre at South Bank contains the Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Museum and Performing Arts Centre. The South Bank Parklands, on the site of the 1988 World Expo, boasts an interesting Maritime Museum and an enormous artificial swimming beach. The Brisbane Powerhouse is a lively alternative arts venue, and the looming art deco Castlemaine Brewery offers enjoyable daily tours with samples of its famous product. Brisbane’s many festivals are another major attraction; see the Social Profile section for further information.

Outside Brisbane

Probably the best beach area in the country, the Gold Coast region, 80 km (50 miles) south of Brisbane, comprises 42 km (25 miles) of white surf beaches, theme parks (Sea World, Movie World and Dreamworld), a casino, hotels and restaurants. It has year-round sunshine and lively tourist facilities. The partying never stops at Surfers Paradise, a Miami-style high-rise strip overlooking a crowded beach. Inland are lush green mountains, rainforests, walking trails and scenic villages. Nature lovers will also appreciate the Lamington National Park in the McPherson Mountains and the Currumbin Bird Sanctuary. An hour’s drive north from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast offers miles of untouched wilderness, lakes, mountains and unspoilt beaches with surf ranging in condition from mild to wild. Arts and crafts trails, nature walks and awe-inspiring views can be found in the hinterland, where the Glasshouse Mountains can be found.

Cairns is the major gateway to the far north. As well as the Barrier Reef, there are rainforests in the Atherton Tableland to the west, and to the south is Mission Beach with 14 km (9 miles) of white sandy beaches, looking out to Dunk Island. To the north, there is the charming old town of Port Douglas attracting many visitors, as well as Daintree, which has services to Cape Tribulation National Park, and Cooktown, close to Endeavour National Park, where excellent examples of Aboriginal rock art can be found. Beyond this lies the wilderness of Cape York Peninsula. Townsville is North Queensland’s largest city, boasting an international airport and a casino. Cruises are available to nearby islands, as are trips to the Barrier Reef for diving, walking or whitewater rafting. This pleasant city, its streets lined with palm trees and tropical flora, has a number of interesting attractions on offer, such as ReefHQ, the largest coral aquarium in the world, with a transparent walk-in tunnel, and Magnetic Island, a resort island with superb beaches, diving opportunities, bush-walking tracks and a koala sanctuary, only 8 km (5 miles) offshore and a 25-minute ferry ride from the city centre.

Great Barrier Reef

This playground and beauty spot is also one of the world’s great natural wonders. It stretches for 2,000 km (1,200 miles) along the Queensland coast, its width varying from 25 km (15 miles) to 50 km (30 miles). There is unique plant and animal life to be found, with visibility often as deep as 60 m (200ft).

Dotted along the coast are 25 island resorts, lying on or between the Barrier Reef and the mainland. Heron and Lady Elliot Islands are coral cays renowned as the best diving spots on the reef. Lizard, Bedarra and Orpheus Islands are quiet, secluded and luxurious hideaways. Hayman Island is an international resort with 5-star luxury facilities. Long Island, Great Keppel Islands, South Molle, Hamilton and Lindeman Island are all-year-round resorts with facilities for families. Tropical Dunk Island and Brampton Island are popular with honeymooners. Fitzroy and Hinchinbrook Islands offer unspoilt beauty. Camping facilities can be found at Fitzroy, Hook and Keppel Haven on Great Keppel Island.

Outside the main reef areas, the islands of Fraser, Moreton, Bribie, North and South Stradbroke offer some of the best unpopulated surfing beaches and national parks in Australia.





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