Capital City: Brisbane


Queensland is Australia’s second largest state and offers numerous idyllic holiday destinations. Myriad islands, cays and atolls are scattered along its 6973-kilometre coastline. The Great Barrier Reef offers the ultimate in diving, and there are 2000 species of fish, dugongs, turtles and extensive coral gardens, all protected by World Heritage listing.

By contrast, the arid west gives visitors a chance to experience some of Australia’s unique outback in towns such as Winton, established by those searching for the lost Burke and Wills expedition. Winton also has a special place in Australian folklore as the location of Dagworth woolshed where Banjo Paterson wrote the iconic ‘Waltzing Matilda’ in 1895.

Two-thirds of Queensland lies above the Tropic of Capricorn. In the monsoonal Far North, visitors can venture into magnificent ancient rainforests, like those of Daintree National Park, where cool respite lies in places such as the boulder-strewn Mossman Gorge.

South of Brisbane is the famous Gold Coast. With more waterways than Venice and 300 days of sunshine each year, it is the perfect place for swimming and surfing. The theme parks here will terrify and astound, while in the hinterland, an emerald-green paradise allows visitors to soak up magnificent views among waterfalls and rainforest trees.

Captain James Cook and his crew were the first Europeans to unexpectedly enjoy the Queensland coast after they ran aground on a reef near Cape Tribulation in 1770. Dutch explorer Willem Jansz had sailed along the western side of Cape York 164 years earlier, but received a hostile reception from the local Aboriginal people.

European settlement of Queensland occurred quite late compared with the rest of Australia. In 1824 a convict station was built near Moreton Bay to cater for the most intractable prisoners from southern gaols, but after a year of active by Aboriginal tribes it was abandoned and relocated to where Brisbane stands today.

In recent years Queensland has shaken off its reputation as a quiet backwater. This modern state is fast becoming the envy of the rest of the country with its stunning natural features, relaxed pace and languid lifestyle, all enhanced by a climate close to perfect.

Some more things to do while you're in Queensland

  • Toowoomba

    Experience this heritage town that is full of grand buildings and beautiful gardens.

  • South Bank

    Take in an exhibition and enjoy the river views at Brisbane’s premier cultural attraction.

  • 1770 Camping Ground
    Seventeen Seventy Camping Ground

    So close to the beach, you could almost tie your dinghy to your caravan.

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Fishing spots

Have fishing rod, will travel … it’s a philosophy that could have been invented with Queensland in mind. Anglers come from far and wide to fish this mighty state’s waters. From the rich pickings of Hervey Bay, Fraser Island and Cairns to Lake Awoonga’s barramundi impoundment, Queensland’s fishy population will keep you busy!

Eco-friendly activities

Looking for a destination where you can rescue endangered turtles, swim with dwarf minke whales on a protected coral reef, or explore magnificent islands by kayak? Queensland’s eco-friendly activities will dazzle you with their variety: there’s something in this vast state to suit every green-minded traveller.

Golf courses

When it’s time to tee off, Queensland gives golfers plenty of opportunities to test their skills.  Play the par-72 winding layout amidst 50 hectares of lakes, bushland and subtropical forest at Hyatt Regency Coolum (the long-term home of the Australian PGA Championship), chase a birdie on one of the first-class short holes at The Grand or really test your skill at Sanctuary Cove, one of Australia’s toughest courses.

Restaurants & cafes

No matter what your budget or preference, you’re guaranteed a good feed in Queensland. Down-to-earth capital Brisbane does fine dining without the attitude, and an impressive range of international cuisine. The Granite Belt is the state’s primary wine region, while the coastal resort towns boast seafood to die for.

Eco-friendly places to eat

Queensland could be considered Australia’s ecotourism pioneer, and its exciting eco-friendly dining options reflect this. Brisbane’s Mondo Organics is Australia’s longest-running organic restaurant; further afield, you’ll find tasty biodynamic fare in the lush highlands of Millaa Millaa, the rainforest of Mount Tamborine and the tropical environs of Cape Tribulation. 

Eco-friendly places to eat by region

Popular eco-friendly places to eat


For a state with such a warm climate, Queensland falls surprisingly short in the beer stakes. Its best-known and longest-running brewery Castlemaine (producer of XXXX) dominates the market; local beer diversity is lacking, with boutique breweries thin on the ground. However, new players Burleigh Brewing and BlueSky are shaping up as serious contenders. 


In a state as scenic as Queensland, it’s no surprise that there are some incredibly beautiful camp sites to choose from. Pitch your tent on dazzling white sands just metres from the sea, or in a secluded bush setting alive with native fauna. The state’s temperate climate makes camping here even more enjoyable.

Caravan parks

Who hasn’t dreamt of hitting the highway and seeing what the horizon brings? With its dreamy tropical coastline, stunning hinterland and wide open outback, Queensland makes for seriously scenic caravanning. Caravan parks here are generally well equipped and often located in glorious natural settings. Beachfront or bush views? The choice is yours!

Hotels, motels & B&Bs

Queensland’s accommodation options are as varied as its beaches. After a luxury escape? Choose from fabulous island resorts, deluxe coastal suites or exotic safari lodges. Mid-range more your style? How does a beachside unit or architect-designed guesthouse sound? On a budget? Take your pick from outback motor inns, country pubs or working stations.

Eco-friendly places to stay

Queensland leads the Australian ecotourism industry, and its green accommodation is no exception. The state’s south-east abounds with mountain eco-lodges and cottages, bush retreats and luxury eco-accredited spas. Several islands along the coast offer eco-friendly stays for different budgets, while the Far North is home to some exquisite rainforest resorts.

Rest areas

Travelling on the highways around Queensland can take you from the high-rises and waves of the Gold Coast one day, to the sand and heat of Mount Isa the next (well, give or take a few days). But wherever you travel along Queensland’s highways, rest areas offer amenities from showers and shade to a place to park for the night.


What better way to get to know a place than by attending a local festival or sporting event? Whet your appetite at rural pumpkin, peanut, melon and seafood festivals, or head to Cape York for fascinating Indigenous celebrations. The Brisbane Festival, Queensland’s largest performing and visual arts event, is extremely popular.

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