Queensland

Queensland is one of the six states in Australia and famous because of its association with several major world heritage sites including the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree National Park and Fraser Island. Eastern Queensland has a climate ranging from subtropical to tropical, and it's a popular wintertime tourist attraction. Large areas of western Queensland are very arid. Much of Queensland has a wet and dry season due to its latitude, and this is more pronounced the further north you travel. One of the major tourist areas is the beach-based tourist resort just south of Brisbane, known as the Gold Coast. South East Queensland is one of the fastest-growing areas of Australia.

Regions

Queensland's regions
South East Queensland
The gateway to the state, South East Queensland contains the capital Brisbane and the vibrant holiday playground of the Gold Coast.
Central Queensland
Charming towns, endless sugarcane plantations and a melting pot of coastal and country influences can be found along this stretch of pristine tropical coast.
Far North Queensland
Home to Cairns, Port Douglas and the lush Daintree Rainforest, the Far North is an ideal base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef.
Outback Queensland
Wide open spaces stretching the length of the state provide unique experiences, interesting locals, rugged terrain and remote country festivals.
Darling Downs
Queensland's agricultural centre has a blossoming food and wine culture and stunning natural heritage attractions.
Great Barrier Reef
The world's longest reef system is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and is composed of more than 2,900 reefs and 900 islands housing unique coral species and wildlife.

Cities

Other destinations

Understand

Climate

Queensland is blessed with warm, sunny weather with warm summer days and mild winters.

Summer in the southern areas is the wet season in the tropics, and is from October to April. Warm waters throughout, and warm to hot temperatures. Rain in the tropics can intensify into tropical lows and even cyclones.

Winter in the southern areas is the dry season in the tropics, is from May to September. Cooler temperature in the southern areas, and perfect sunny days in the tropics.

Geography

Everything is big about Queensland – Beerwah's lawn mower

Queensland is a large, diverse state stretching over 1,730,648 sq km. Driving distances are long but doable if you plan carefully. There are 12 main highways but the coastal route is scenic and offers plenty of diversions.

Time

Queensland is in the UTC+10 time zone. Unlike New South Wales to the south, it doesn't observe daylight saving, so set your watch one our back when you cross the border during summer.

Visitor Information Centres

Accredited Visitor Information Centres are available for visitor help and advice when travelling around Queensland. For a list of where to find these centres, Visit Tourism Queensland’s Visitor Information Centres page.

History

Queensland was settled by Indigenous Australians 60,000 years before it was explored by Dutch, Portuguese and French navigators. Captain James Cook made his famous voyage in 1770.

Get in

By plane

Most interstate travellers have the choice of flying to Queensland withQantas, Virgin Australia or Jetstar. Flights to major towns are frequent and regional airports are dispersed throughout the state.

The main international airports are in Brisbane, Cairns and the Gold Coast.

Domestic airports with direct flights from interstate are at Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, the Fraser Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

Other airports in smaller towns in Queensland are served by indirect flights via one of the airports above.

Brisbane Airport

Cairns Airport

Gold Coast Airport

Gold Coast Airport is on the Gold Coast Highway at Bilinga (close to Coolangatta) on the southern end of the Gold Coast, and is only minutes from the beach. Part of the runway actually extends into New South Wales.

Interstate Travel Times

By bus

There are a number of companies that operate bus services between cities and towns throughout Australia, and there are also interstate trains.

By car

Queensland’s wide open spaces make it ideal for exploration by car. The roads are high quality and well-signed so getting here is easy.

Driving Times

The drive from Melbourne is ideally covered over two days (minimum), and Sydney to Brisbane can be driven in a day.

Suggested Routes

It is important to be realistic about the distances and travel times involved: for instance the trek from Mount Isa to Brisbane covers over 1800 km of road - which equates to about 22 hours of continuous driving. See Driving in Australia

If backpacking or on a tight budget, check to see if you can double up with other low-budget travellers who may be driving inter-state, or investigate car-hire places that sometimes offer deals charging less to return their stock to capital cities.

By train

The XPT service from Sydney is the only interstate service. The trip from Sydney to Brisbane takes around 14 hours; the connecting journey from Sydney to Cairns takes a little less than two days if you choose not to break it up along the way.

The Brisbane XPT train runs once a day from Sydney’s Central station to Brisbane’s Roma Street. The train departs at 4:20PM in the afternoon, travels overnight and then arrives in Brisbane at 6:30AM the following morning. You can also board the train at Strathfield or Hornsby station, at Broadmeadow in Newcastle or at one of the stations along the way.

You can also travel to Brisbane during the day by catching the NSW Trainlink Casino XPT train from Sydney Central station to Casino, then changing to a connecting coach. The bus takes you from Casino via the Gold Coast to Brisbane’s Roma Street station. The whole journey takes fifteen and a half hours - of which only the final three hours are on the bus. The train departs Sydney Central station every day just after 7AM in the early morning, and the connecting coach arrives at Brisbane Roma Street station at around 10:30PM that evening.

By boat

Interstate and International Cruise Liners regularly dock into Brisbane, and sail on to the Whitsundays, Cape York, Townsville, Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.

Luxury cruises liners that regularly call into Brisbane include P&O Cruises, Carnival and Oceania Cruises.

Travel Times

Brisbane’s cruise ship port is called Portside Wharf, a recent development located in Hamilton, 6km from the Brisbane CBD or about a 20 minute drive. Buses into town and ferries service the port regularly. It also houses a fresh produce market, riverside restaurants, cafés and eateries, boutiques and cinemas. Portside Wharf provides a handy shipping schedule.

Get around

By plane

Air travel in Queensland is easy to organize. With international airports in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and the Gold Coast, plus many regional and island airports, air travel is an efficient and reliable way to get around. Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar and a number of smaller regional carriers.

By car

Queensland's road network is extensive, especially on the coast. Many inland or outback towns can only be reached by dirt tracks, some of which are only suitable for four wheel drives. Ensure if travelling into the bush or the outback, you take adequate supplies and let others know where you will be going and when to expect you back.

Distance table (kilometres)

Weipa Cairns Townsville Proserpine Mount Isa Longreach Noosa Charleville Brisbane Gold Coast
Weipa 816 1141 1405 1883 1701 2388 2178 2497 2581
Cairns 816 347 612 1113 1121 1585 1384 1705 1785
Townsville 1141 347 265 904 705 714 1039 1357 1437
Proserpine 1405 612 265 1108 806 982 1016 1094 1174
Mount Isa 1883 1113 904 1108 647 1854 1162 1822 1880
Longreach 1701 1121 705 806 647 1193 515 1176 1234
Noosa 2388 1585 714 982 1854 1193 1176 121 224
Charleville 2178 1384 1039 1016 1162 515 1176 743 804
Brisbane 2497 1705 1357 1094 1822 1176 121 743 83
Gold Coast 2581 1785 1437 1174 1880 1234 224 804 83

By train

Traveltrain Holidays offers Australia's largest and most comprehensive network of long-distance trains, carrying more than half a million passengers each year. The dedicated tourism arm of QR Limited (formerly Queensland Rail), Traveltrain Holidays offers a fleet of long-distance passenger trains connecting Brisbane to a host of holiday destinations throughout Queensland including Cairns, Townsville, the Whitsundays, Charleville and Longreach. Each of Queensland Rail's coastal, outback and tropical north services offer a unique travel experience.

Traveltrain Holidays packages its rail experiences with accommodation, fully-guided tours, cruises, flights and car hire. It operates travel centres throughout Queensland as well as a call centre.

Some of the services offered by Queensland Rail:

Most of these services depart from Brisbane’s centrally located Transit Centre/Roma Street station.

By public transport

Getting around couldn’t be easier with Queensland’s extensive public transport network.

Most of South East Queensland is serviced by buses, trains and ferries on the TransLink network[], which stretches from the southernmost part of the Gold Coast to the northern tips of the Sunshine Coast.

Visit TransLink's website[] for timetable information, maps and a helpful Journey Planner to get a wide range of transport options. One TransLink ticket will take you wherever you need to go within the network.

In most regional centres, the qconnect initiative[] connects public transport services; including buses, accessible taxis and community and subsidised transport. The site maintains a detailed list of Urban Bus Services to be found in most regional areas.

See

Green sea turtle at the Great Barrier Reef
Rainforest in Daintree National Park

Do

Orchid Beach on Hinchinbrook Island

Major Events

Queensland is host to a large range of events right across the state.

Some of the major Events in Queensland include;

Eat

Much of Queensland's income is still derived from agriculture, with different regions specializing in different produce. Famous examples include sugarcane in the Whitsundays; peanuts for Kingaroy; mangoes for Bowen. Fresh local fish can also be found right along the coast, usually sold in fish and chip shops. Brisbane and surrounding areas like the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are becoming very well known for quality restaurants, cafes and take-aways. Whether it's 5 star or fast food you are after there is no need to eat poor quality food in Queensland. With so much fresh food available, seek out boutique and independent operations with a focus on quality and freshness. You won't usually pay more than its worth. Demand for organic food is also growing, as is awareness of variations in peoples dietry preferences, so gluten and dairy intolerant or vegetarian/vegan eaters will often find that choices are available in most places, or can be prepared in the kitchens on request. Pub food in Queensland is no longer just the sad old counter meal variety; if you find a fairly modern pub you'll find a fairly modern kitchen and while you can often still get lunch for $10, generally the low price won't be reflected in the quality. Breakfast is big in Brisbane and markets are particularly good places to go for a local brekkie. Alternatively, you'll find free and clean public BBQ's in lots of the public parks, so bring your own picnic along and enjoy Queensland's gorgeous weather while you cook up your own true Aussie BBQ. To be fair to the other patrons, give the BBQ plate a wipe down after you've finished with some clean newspaper, and place your rubbish in bins provided.

Markets

How fresh can it get? Straight from the farmer to you is the latest trend and foodies throughout Queensland are loving the range and quality of local seasonal produce. It pays to get up early with the sun, pack plenty of extra bags and don't forget a cold pack in case some divine seafood or meat takes your fancy. Stroll around the stalls and chat to the farmers, once you get past the weather you'll discover a wealth of information about how to select, store and cook your purchases.

Dining & Eating Out

Queensland offers visitors some great locations for Dining and Eating. Australian cuisine blends fresh ingredients and uses European culinary traditions and the light touch of Asian seasoning. You'll taste some of the best food in the world and even the most discerning diner will be satisfied. With fresh barramundi, mud crab, exotic crocodile meat, mangoes and macadamia nuts.

Buy

From bargains at the markets to one-off creations at designer boutiques, there’s a shopping sensation to satisfy. For elite high-fashion labels, beat a path to exclusive shopping precincts in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and fabulous Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. There you’ll find exclusive boutiques and fashion to die for! For the quirky and the vintage, you can’t go past the markets of Tropical North Queensland and Brisbane.

If trawling through second hand shops for antiques and collectibles is your idea of the divine, you won’t be able to resist the quaint hinterland villages of South East Queensland Country.

Shopping Guide

There are a wide variety of quality products on offer in Australia at very competitive prices. When shopping, sightseeing or visiting theme parks on tours, remember you have a choice of where and when to shop. Shop around and compare prices and quality before you buy. As in other countries, some Australian business pay commissions to tour operators and tour guides to bring tour groups to their stores. In some instances the cost of these commissions may be passed on to you, the customer. While this does not necessarily mean prices will be higher than at other stores, you should have an opportunity to visit and buy from other outlets, so check your itinerary for free shopping time and ask for free time if none has been allocated. While you are in Australia you are covered by Australia's consumer protection laws, which require businesses to treat you fairly. All stores must obey these laws. Australia also has specific consumer protection measures for the tourism industry; most of Australia's States and Territories have legislation that requires travel agents, and can provide compensation to travellers should, for example, their travel agent go out of business. Your country also has similar laws that protect your consumer rights and govern the professional standards of travel wholesalers and retailers in your home country. If you are not satisfied with what you have purchased form them, you may wish to contact the relevant government authority for travel and tourism in your home country. Please visit the Office of Fair Trading.

Drink

The local mass produced Queensland beer is "XXXX", known locally as 'fourex'. The most common glass measure is called a pot, so just about any pub in Queensland will server you a pot of fourex'.

Rum is also produced in Queensland at the central coast town of Bundaberg. It is creatively called Bundaberg Rum, or 'bundy'.

Wineries, Vineyards and Breweries

The burgeoning Queensland wine industry is one of the state's best kept secrets. Find a cellar door near you, or even a microbrewery to your taste. Queensland offers a gourmet paradise with delectable, award-winning wines, organic produce and fresh seafood. Follow a food and wine trail and you'll be sipping on a Chardonnay or rolling a Shiraz around your mouth on a grape-fuelled adventure.

Sleep

Many accommodation options are available in Queensland for every traveller’s budget. Whether you are looking for a plush five star resort or a cosy Bed & Breakfast thousands of hotels, B&B’s, apartments, resorts and hostels are available to help you find the perfect place for your holiday.

The variety of accommodation available in Queensland is listed below:

Stay safe

Beaches

Stay healthy

Skin cancer is a serious health issue in Australia, and sunburn and sunstroke are related problems. Make sure you wear SPF 15+ sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat and t-shirt or long sleeved shirt whenever you can in summer even on cloudy days. Particularly, protect children's skin between 10AM to 2PM, as the summer sun can cause a severe burn that will at best ruin your holiday, and at worst end in a trip to the local hospital. Many media outlets list the UV Index (sun factor) with the weather broadcast. In summer in Queensland expect that the UV Index will be extreme every day.


Go next

Queensland has many transit routes out of the state for visitors to explore the other areas of Australia. Many highways connect all major cities with most state airports servicing interstate flights.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, December 08, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.