Read these 96 Queensland Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Australian tips and hundreds of other topics.
The Queensland Art Gallery and the Queensland Museum share one building with the Queensland Performing Arts Complex across Melbourne St at the foot of the southern end of Victoria Bridge.
The performing arts complex, with its Lyric Theatre, Concert Hall and a small studio theatre, is the city's premier venue for music concerts and the staging of plays and popular musicals, and highlights a peak in the culture of the city.
Mackay POPULATION: 70,000 approximately GENERAL INFORMATION: Mackay is set on the Queensland Coast halfway between Brisbane and Cairns. With a high amount of natural beauty, Mackay has plenty to offer locals and visitors alike. From the Great Barrier Reef in the east to Eungella National Park - an Aboriginal word for land of the fallen clouds - in the west, there is plenty to do and see in this wonderful region. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 992 kilometres
Brisbane is Australia's third largest city and the capital of Queensland. It lies between the more popular tourist destinations of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, and the Great Barrier Reef so Brisbane tends to lose out as a tourist centre. Yet it has its own unique attractions: a well-sited and comprehensive cultural centre, heritage buildings more than a hundred years old, and an unhurried lifestyle more in keeping with the country than that of a modern, vibrant metropolis.
POPULATION: 8,654 approximately
Situated on the northern approach to the Burdekin Bridge, 85 kilometres south of Townsville, with more than 300 glorious sunny days each year, the district truly is the winterless north. The natural beauty of the rivers, creeks, estuaries lined with unspoiled mangrove and miles of sandy beaches make the area a mecca for fishing, crabbing, windsurfing and water skiing. Said to be "built on liquid gold" because it is situated on a vast natural underground aquifer which is artificially replenished with water from the Burdekin Falls Dam the district is Australia's richest sugar producing area and also the mango and melon capital. It is a bird watcher's paradise with 280 species of birds recorded.
Fraser Island was listed as a World Heritage site in the early 1990s and joins the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and Kakadu national park among Australia's pristine, environmentally protected areas. It is one of fewer than 400 such areas in the world. The island is 120 kilometres long and about 15 kilometres wide. Aside from some rocky outcrops, it is formed wholly of sand through the action of wind and waves through thousands of years. Vegetation and rainforest trees hold together the island's 159,000 hectares but, where only bare sand exists, the land is in constant flux.
Emerald POPULATION: 13,500 for the whole shire AREA: 10,230 square kilometres for the whole shire
Emerald is a busy and progressive town with diverse industries such as cattle, agriculture and tourism. The town also services local coal mines. Visitors can tour a coalmine or try their hand at fossicking. Originally created by Queensland Rail, this town is home to the beautiful colonial Emerald Railway Station. INDUSTRIES PRIMARY: Coal,Sapphire and Gem mining, Cotton, Wheat Maize, Sorghum, Oats, Barley, Sunflower, Soybean, Beef, Aquaculture, Citrus, Grapes, Avocados, Mangos, Native Flowers, Peanuts and many small crops. SECONDARY INDUSTRIES: Meat processing, Concrete block making, Sawmilling, Engineering, Furniture and Cabinet making, Jewellery manufacturing, Gemcutting. CLIMATE: Winter Dry Season, Av Temp 23-8 Centigrade and Summer Wet Season 34-22 Centigrade. Rainfall 640ml per annum CLOSEST TOWNS: Comet, Anakie, Saphire, Rubyvale, The Willows Ginde, Gemfields and Bogantungan. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 918kms
Hamilton Island is located in the heart of the Whitsunday Islands, about 900 kilometres north of Brisbane. Hamilton Island is a haven for Australians and a host of overseas visitors. Hamilton is the only Queensland Island with a modern jet airport. The whole Island is a world-class resort and includes a village of boutique shops, eight swimming pools and nine restaurants. At any one time the Island hosts two thousand people and approximately two hundred boats in its world-class marina. The Island includes a fifty acre fauna park featuring kangaroos and koalas. There are at least 150 species of birds, and eucalypt bush walks to mountain peaks with 360 degree Island views.
Hamilton Island has fringing coral reef with the best snorkelling and diving at Catseye Beach. You can also visit the Outer Reef by high-speed catamaran or helicopter. Hardy Reef is a particular spot for diving or reef viewing. Hamilton is a boating paradise. Make sure you visit Whitehaven Beach or enjoy a fantastic variety of sporting and leisure activities on the Island.
The first sight of Heron Island (only 72 km from Gladstone and described as "the ultimate reef experience") sends the spirits soaring, with a coral drop perched in an infinity of blue. Heron Island is a coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef and lies in the Tropic of Capricorn 70 kilometres north of Gladstone. Rated as one of the best diving locations on earth, the reef is practically at your doorstep. The island is also a sanctuary for thirty species of birds including 100,000 Black Noddy Terns and Reef Herons. Among the music of seabirds, tracks of turtles and multi-coloured clouds of fish, the feeling that you're a guest of nature itself is inescapable. Reef walking, snorkelling, diving, viewing underwater life from the coral submarine, watching the sun set over the ocean - you become part of a community caught up in the timeless evolution of the world's largest living thing - the Great Barrier Reef. The resort offers several standards of accommodation designed to suit all tastes and budgets.
Right in the heart of the Sunshine Coast is Maroochy Shire, with its hinterland and mountain ranges offering sweeping views of beautiful white sandy beaches and a blue green sea.
From a coastal seafood lunch of prawns, bugs, or fresh fish to mountain-top devonshire teas, and ploughman's lunches, you have the choice of top dining at restaurants with beach, river or rural settings.
Bribie Island is a 32 kilometre stretch of coastline providing a mecca for fishermen and is separated from the mainland by Pumicestone Channel. A flora and fauna reserve, the island is largely undeveloped and offers a relaxing and peaceful environment. Caloundra City One of Queensland's favorite family holiday destinations is Caloundra. The big attractions are its special relaxed Sunshine Coast lifestyle, the sun, sand and surf.
Great Keppel Island
Great Keppel Island is just north of the Tropic of Capricorn and is the biggest member of the Keppel Island Family. Most of the island is natural bushland with 28 kilometres of beaches, wide stretches of sand and small secluded bays. For snorkelling or diving, apart from Clam Bay Shelving Beach and Monkey Point, there's nine great diving sites in Keppel Bay. Topside you can cruise from Great Keppel Island by yacht or launch to nearby deserted islands or enjoy catamarans, diving, sailboards, aqua bikes or surfing. You'll love the horse riding, netball, tennis and bushwalking. Great Keppel Island boasts one of the most comprehensive array of sports of any island. The Great Keppel Island Resort is one of Australia's best known and offers a choice of first class resort accommodation. There are four budget accommodation options on the island - Keppel Haven and Keppel Kampout, Keppel Lodge and the Great Keppel Island YHA.
History of Brisbane
In July 1825, after an unsuccessful attempt to settle at Redcliffe, a harsh penal colony was established on the present site of Brisbane, by order of the then Governor of New South Wales, Sir Thomas Brisbane. In March 1826, Captain Patrick Logan was appointed the new commandant and during the next four years gained a reputation as the most cruel in the colony. An unflattering convict ballad, "Moreton Bay" was dedicated to Logan after his murder in 1830..... Read On: History of Brisbane
Hayman Island is the most northerly of the Whitsunday Group and is situated about 28 kilometres north-east of Shute Harbour and about 900 kilometres north of Brisbane. A quiet mountainous continental island mainly covered with eucalypt and hoop pine, Hayman offers you a feast for your eyes on any one of many bushwalks. Hayman Island is one of the world's finest resorts. It is also the closest resort to the Great Barrier Reef with helicopter or cruiser transport giving guests the opportunity for coral viewing or diving. Big game fishermen come to Hayman in the months of September, October and November in search of Black Marlin. On a sparkling sunny day the colour of the water of Hayman's lagoon and Whitsunday Passage is simply stunning - the hues range from gold to turquoise to emerald to sapphire.
1360km from Brisbane and 4 hours south of Cairns, Townsville is a relaxed coastal city renowned for its magnificent tropical climate. At the base of Castle Hill, a 300 metre red granite outcrop, Townsville is a charming blend of old and new.
Along Cleveland bay is the treelined Strand with a memorial to those who fought in the Battle of the Coral Sea. From here departs the ferry to Magnetic Island, only 30 minutes away, across Cleveland Bay. This tropical island is a national park and is a very popular location for watersports and bushwalking.
Cooktown POPULATION: 1 500 approx. GENERAL INFORMATION: Cooktown - the gateway to the wilderness - was founded in 1873 as the port for the Palmer River Goldfields. This was more than a century after Captain James Cook spent 48 days in 1770 on the banks of the Endeavour River repairing his ship. Every June the town celebrates Cooktown's status as Australia's first, if brief, European settlement at a Discovery Festival which includes a colourful re-enactment of Cook's landing. A highlight of a visit to Cooktown is an extended tour of the James Cook Museum - built in 1888 as a convent school run by Irish nuns. The Museum documents Cook's voyages, Aboriginal and natural history, the gold rush days and their Chinese legacy. Walking tracks in the area allow for visitors to explore areas of beach, bush and mountains. Closer to town is Grassy Hill where one can share the same view as Captain Cook. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 2,047km on North Coastal Road/2,137km via Peninsula Road
Comprising of four spectacular mountains - Beerwah, Tibrogargan, Ngungun and Coonowrin which are fully protected within separate National Parks - ideal for bush walking through open eucalypt forest. For the more adventurous, a climber's paradise. Incredible views can be experienced from the summits. They are the centrepiece of a visually fascinating and experiential region - with tropical fruit plantations, Pine forests, delightful tourist drives, scenic walks and an abundance of native flora and fauna. Wildlife is aplenty - including a family or two of wallabies which often rest up on the lovely golf links at Beerwah.
The townships throughout the hinterland each have a charm of their own, along with a wonderful range of restaurants and arts and crafts shops.
The largest island national park in the world, Hinchinbrook is the perfect place to restore body mind and spirit. There's no television or telephones in your room. This is the island to choose if you want peace, beauty and tranquility.
The island accommodates just fifty guests in a low key, but excellent resort.
Hinchinbrook is a bushwalker's paradise. Teeming with wildlife, a jagged chain of mountains forms the backbone of the island. You'll see rainforests of Milky Pine, Palm Figs, vines and more than sixty-six species of birds, twenty- two species of butterflies, twenty-nine species of mangroves and many varieties of fish and crustaceans.
Hour to get to Hinchinbrook
Located half way between Townsville and Cairns and just 41 minutes by launch from Cardwell, you can also arrive by sea plane from Townsville (60 minutes) or Cairns (90 minutes).
Telephone: 61-70-668 585
Facsimile: 61-70-668 742
Brisbane , city (1991 pop. 1,145,537), capital of Queensland, E Australia, on the Brisbane River above its mouth on Moreton Bay. Brisbane is Australia's third largest city and an administrative, commercial, industrial, and cultural center. It has shipyards, oil refineries, food-processing plants, textile mills, automobile and telecommunications plants, and railroad workshops, but in recent years tourism and commercial expansion have dominated the city's development. Extensive suburban growth has accompanied the city's rapid increase in population. The area was settled in 1824 as a penal colony, and the city was named in 1834 for Sir Thomas Brisbane, governor of New South Wales. In 1925 the Greater Brisbane Act unified the administration of 19 formerly separate localities. Brisbane is the seat of the Univ. of Queensland (1909), a national art gallery (1895), a museum (1871), and a performing arts complex.
Cairns (Local Government Area): 100,000 approximately
Cairns city is in the heart of the Tropical North and is the primary gateway to Northern Australia. A modern, sophisticated city, it is an ideal base to explore the wider region with front door access to the Great Barrier Reef, rainforest and outback. An amazing 600 tour options are available each and every day from Cairns city. The Cairns International Airport is located only several minutes drive north of the city centre. The city itself is where much of the accommodation is situated with international standard restaurants, boutique shopping, modern art galleries and classy nightclubs to keep visitors entertained. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 1,807kms
Surfing, sunbaking, sightseeing, abseiling, rock-climbing, mountain-biking, sea-kayaking, fishing, diving, snorkeling, horse riding, camel treks, paraflying, joy flights.
You might also want to take a daytrip to Fraser Island or drive inland to Nambour or to the Glass Mountains.
Maroochydore POPULATION: 17,593 approximately GENERAL INFORMATION: Geographic centre of the Sunshine Coast, offering a blend of surf beach and the calm waters of the Maroochy River whose southern bank forms a virtually unbroken stretch of parkland and picnic spots. Ideal for boating, fishing and aquatic pastimes. Venue of major surf sport carnivals and largest commercial centre for the region. Ideal central base for exploring the coast's attractions by car, coach or public transport. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 98 kilometres
Proserpine POPULATION: - Town of Proserpine and surrounding areas 10,000 approximately/Shire of Whitsunday 17,000 approximately GENERAL INFORMATION: Proserpine is the administrative and service centre for the Shire. The Town has all the usual facilities, including a hospital, primary and secondary schools, library, and sporting facilities for swimming, tennis, bowls, squash, netball, football, golf, and indoor cricket. It is a peaceful country town with friendly people and fascinating North Queensland architecture. Proserpine has a booming sugar industry and the local sugar mill has guided tours during the crushing season. The tours include free samples plus morning or afternoon tea. Lake Proserpine, just west of the Town, is popular for water skiing and other water sports. There is a pretty picnic area beside the lake. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 1,120 kilometres
POPULATION: 17,000 (Shire) approximately
Airlie Beach is situated right on the coast, 24 kilometres from Proserpine. Explore the magical Whitsundays with day trips that offer sailing, trips to the outer Great Barrier Reef, snorkelling and coral viewing, fishing, rainforest walks, visits to a wildlife park, a chance to explore uninhabitated and resort islands, scenic flights and diving. Island and mainland accommodation is available, ranging from camping through to 5 star luxury resorts. During the sugar crushing season, sugar mill tours are conducted. There is a large variety of restaurants and shopping facilities. Overnight crewed sailing trips through the islands, and the largest Bareboat Charter Fleet in the world also operate from here giving you the chance to skipper your own boat. National Parks and Wildlife Service covers 74 islands and 50 000 hectares on the mainland. There are two marinas which together offer 300 berths. Markets are held Saturday mornings along the Airlie Beach esplanade. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 1,146km
The Yorke Peninsula, only a couple of hours away from Adelaide, is nestled between Port Broughton and Gulf St Vincent. This secluded and peaceful peninsula is dotted with ports, the southern end becoming more rugged and isolated where Innes National Park combines spectacular scenery with undulating scrubland.
For those wishing to flirt with fortune, or just for a couple of hours of fun, there is Jupiters Casino at Broadbeach, just south of Surfers, which is open all hours every day and night of the year.
There are the standard Vegas-type casino games, as well as the uniquely Australian two-up, and a wide range of slot machines offering big-money jackpots.
There are variety shows for the show-goer, and a variety of restaurants and cafes for the famished and thirsty and for those who simply just enjoy their food.
Caloundra has more than 30 kilometres of beaches, stretching from Bribie Island in the south through to Kawana in the north. The beautiful Pumicestone Passage is an added attraction and a haven for lovers of all water sports. Certainly a top spot for fishing, it also harbours two of the most popular beaches on the Coast - Bulcock and Golden Beaches. For the surfers, Kings, Dicky and Kawana beaches are the spots to hit when you want to catch the waves. For a relaxing stroll, try areas such as Shelly Beach, Moffat Beach or Lake Currimundi.
Caloundra is also the gateway to both the stunning beauty of the Blackall Range, and the spectacular Glass House Mountains, which guard the southern approach to the Sunshine Coast and provide an impressive salute to motorists.
For unsurpassed views visit Mary Cairncross Park. near Maleny at the southern end of the Blackall Ranges and take in the Glass House Mountains with an uninterrupted panorama of the blue Pacific all the way to Moreton Island and the skyline of Brisbane.
Port Douglas, Tropical North Queensland Region, QLD
Popular holiday destination with easy access to the outer Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest areas around Daintree. Looking at Port Douglas now it is hard to imagine that it was once a wild frontier town filled with itinerant seamen and gold prospectors. Today it is a luxury holiday resort........Read On: Port Douglas
It's peaceful, its beautiful, its natural, its the Sunshine Coast, one hours drive north of Brisbane. This stretch of coast with its pristine beaches, lush rainforests and national parks is surely a paradise.
Visit the breathtaking Glasshouse Mountains, travel by four wheel drive to Fraser Island , the largest sand island in the world, fossick for gold at Gympie or just relax and revitalise on the beach at the resort town of Noosa.
The Townsville region extends from Bowen in the south and to Mission Beach in the north. The region has a colourful history shaped by Aboriginal tribes, miners, pastoralists and war. Remnants of these times are evident in the colonial architecture, historic pubs, museums and displays of gold mining machinery and cottages. Townsville is the main administrative, commercial and manufacturing city of northern Queensland.
1360km from Brisbane and 4 hours south of Cairns, Townsville is a relaxed coastal city renowned for its magnificent tropical climate. At the base of Castle Hill, a 300 metre red granite outcrop, Townsville is a charming blend of old and new.
Attractions on Fraser Island Include: Inland lakes, beaches, rainforests, wildlife, shipwrecks. Dili Village, former sand-mining centre. Eli Creek, the largest creek on the east coast. The wreck of the passenger liner Maheno about 65 kilometres from Hook Point. Lakes Wabby, McKenzie, Garawongera, Birrabeen, Benaroon, Boomanjin. Twenty-five kilometres of colored sand cliffs called the Cathedrals.
POPULATION: 2,500 approximately
Magnetic Island is the Island playground of Townsville featuring prominently in the profile of the city. The Island is only 20 minutes from the city centre by regular fast cat ferries. Two thirds of Magnetic Island is National Park with secluded but easily accessible bays and golden beaches. The Island has nearly 25 kilometres of walking tracks meandering through the protected national parks that are home to stands of eucalypts and wildlife including koalas.
It comprises self-contained accommodation as well as cheaper backpacker hostels. Boat trips around the Island, parasailing, Harley tours, watersports, golf, diving expeditions, great fishing, horse riding, and moke hire are all available, as well as, 166 different species of wildlife to observe.
DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 1,438 km
The Great Barrier Reef
Every year, about 2 million visitors bundle up their snorkling gear and head offshore to the Great Barrier Reef.
Located near Australia's north-east coast, the world-famous tourist attraction has been added to World Heritage lists for preservation. More than 1500 species of fish and a colourful array of corals inhabit the reef. Like many areas in Australia's north-eastern corner, the reef is subject to monsoonal weather conditions from December to February.
Many ships have run aground among the 3000 coral reefs. One of the most famous wrecks, the HMS Pandora, has been missing since 1791.
Noosa on the Sunshine Coast is very much a holiday resort city, with a subdued kind of sophistication favored by the sedate and trendy alike.
Not only are there endless stretches of white sand beaches, many of which draw surfing aficionados, but there are a variety of good to fine restaurants, particularly along Hastings St at Noosa Heads, and a range of accommodation types to suit every budget.
POPULATION: 715 approximately
Glass House is located on the Glass House Mountains with access via the Bruce Highway. Industry includes pineapple, citrus and tropical fruit plantations, agricultural equipment, tobacco, macadamia nuts and tourism.
DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 31 km
Cooloola is nestled between Noosa in the south and Fraser Island in the north. One of the major features of the 55,000 hectare Cooloola National Park is the Noosa River, with its associated tributaries, lakes and adjoining wet heathlands.
40 kilometres from Noosa in the tranquil waters of the Noosa River is an area known as the Everglades - a must to experience with magnificent reflections mirrored in the dark tranquil waters.
Tin Can Bay is a fisherman's paradise and the surf at Rainbow Beach and nearby Double Island Point are worth a visit.
Try your luck fossicking for gold in areas around Gympie, such as Deep Creek or Kilkivan, or follow the original bullocky's trail which is now Gympie's main street. The high rise of the Cooloola region! They are the towering bunya pine trees throughout the State Forests... a beautiful natural area.
Charters Towers POPULATION: 12,000 approximately
GENERAL INFORMATION: Charters Towers is 135 kilometres south-west of Townsville and has an altitude of 336 metres which ensures an excellent climate with comfortably cool nights. Known mostly for its heritage and goldmining history, this city once had a population of 27 000 and had the only Stock Exchange in the world to take 3 calls a day. Today the main industries are mining (mine tours are available) beef (homestay accommodation is available), education (five excellent, world recognised boarding schools) and tourism (a visit will explain why). Charters Towers is a perfect example of the real Australia, with brilliantly coloured sunsets, and cattle stations. The friendly atmosphere and heritage streetscape only add to its unique appeal. Numerous tranquil water spots and secluded lava caves ensures fascinating walks and great camping. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 1200 kilometres
The coastline offers quiet unspoiled, patrolled beaches stretching from Mudjimba through Yaroomba and Coolum to Peregian. Perfect for that sunset stroll or early morning walk to gather your thoughts.
The hinterland township of Eumundi comes alive every Saturday morning with the Eumundi markets, where over 200 stall holders sell everything from leather hats to handblown glassware.
Other townships like Palmwoods, Woombye, Yandina, Chevallum and Eudlo have their own distinctive character and charm. Buy a variety of locally grown tropical fruits from quaint roadside stalls where honesty boxes are still common. Kenilworth (Bellbird) country via the Obi Obi Valley is an old pastoral area known for the Kenilworth Cheese Factory.
The rainforests provide camping, bushwalking, gem fossicking and fishing. Nambour, originally an early coach stop, is now known for its sugar cane processing, with sugar trains rattling through the township to the mill at harvesttime.
When you think of the tropical regions of Australia, particularly Queensland, what come to mind are Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.
This is fascinating tropical country, from the hinterland rainforests to the reefs in the ocean -- even to the dangers of saltwater crocodiles, the dreaded box jellyfish, and sharks. Wild mangroves are a known haunt of saltwater crocodiles so steer clear of unfamiliar mangrove areas. These crocs attack humans unlike their freshwater cousins, also found in northern Queensland and the Northern Territory, which will usually not attack unless provoked. Both these crocodiles are protected species.
The box jellyfish, which has enough poison to kill three adults, is usually present in Queensland's northern coastal waters between the months of October and May. Always ask the locals about the state of the coastal waters where you are.
As for sharks, it's always wise to check that the seas where you want to swim, snorkel or dive are safe.
Noosa is from the Aboriginal word "Noothera" meaning "shaded place". Noosa is a place of natural beauty, a cosmopolitan village of restaurants, shopping boutiques and sidewalk cafes. It is minutes from some of the best of Australia's unspoilt environment: beaches, rainforest. bushland, everglades and lakes - couple that with world class food, at some of Australia's best restaurants, shopping and accommodation - there is nothing like it.
The forests and wetlands of the Noosa region provide a natural habitat for a diverse range of native wildlife - koalas, kangaroos, and a huge variety of bird species.
JUST north of Surfers Paradise, at the Spit, is Sea World with its lovable dolphins and precision water skiers.
On the road to Brisbane are Wet ‘n' Wild, Movie World (much like Universal City in Los Angeles), and the Disneyland-style Dreamworld.
There is also a Cableski World where you can waterski towed by overhead cables around a network of lakes.
Thursday Island POPULATION: 3,500 approximately GENERAL INFORMATION: Thursday Island, now identified as one of the last great frontiers in Australia, holds some great Australian history. In 1880 Thursday Island acted as the defence centre for Australia and evidence of this still exists in that the cannons still remain in place. It is located 35 kilometres north-west on the tip of Cape York. A majority of the residents are involved in some way with the Island's new three major industries of pearling, crayfishing and trochus. Thursday Island also has facilities such as a sporting complex for basketball and volleyball, an Olympic size swimming pool, a football oval, a primary and secondary school, a general hospital (outpatient), the Torres Strait Campus (Tafe) - part of James Cook University, ambulance and police services. ISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 3 040kms
Fraser Island is Australia's fourth largest island, and the largest sand island in the world.
If holidaying on Queensland's Sunshine or Gold Coasts, Fraser Island is well situated for a day trip. It is also a perfect getaway destination for a longer stay.
Days of solitude and calm, beaches, lakes and towering rainforest trees make this an island paradise.
With 23 spectacular beaches a dramatic coastline studded with magnificent hoop pines, Magnetic Island is the "natural destination" with a wide variety of environmental experiences and attractions.Two thirds of the island is protected National Park that contains over 100 species of prolific birdlife including Bluewing Kookaburras, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos and Black Cockatoos. Views from the winding roads or 25km of well designed walking tracks are among the most spectacular in the world. Koalas are often spotted, the island being the most northerly point in Australia to have large free ranging colonies and a visit to the koala sanctuary is a must. Rock wallabies are also commonly sighted.
For diving enthusiasts, superb fringing cora reefs and the wreck of the Moltke are just two of the spectacular diving sites.
How to get to Magnetic Island
Twenty minutes by high speed catamaran, Magnetic Island Ferries leave from Townsville
Telephone: (077) 72 71 22
Rockhampton is the capital of the Capricorn region and provides a gateway to the Capricorn Coast, central highlands, gemfields and the rural hinterland. Founded in 1853, Rockhampton boasts fine examples of colonial architecture dating back to the early pioneering days. Rockhampton is home to a wide range of tourist attractions which are guaranteed to entertain all the family. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 638kms
Whitsunday Coast Towns
The delightful coastal village of Airlie Beach is the mainland centre for the Whitsunday Islands.
Surrounded by the Conway Range National park to the west and the Whitsundays at its front door Airlie beach is holiday destination in its own right.
To view the vast flat farmlands and wetlands of the Burdekin district the best vantage points are from the lookouts of Mount Inkerman and Mount Kelly. The spectacular Burdekin Bridge is known as the silver link and was the longest bridge in Australia for many years. It is the district's best known landmark. The district is well served by all forms of accommodation and eating places to suit all tastes and budgets and is renowned for its friendly service. The Burdekin Water Festival is held in September. There is a diversity of sporting, cultural and tourist facilities and be sure to visit the Ayr Nature Display, the Burdekin Theatre and see the mighty Burdekin River Irrigation Area. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 1,277kms
Jewel of the reef. Australia's most northern island resort, and one of the world's most exclusive, most of Lizard Island, which covers about 1012 hectares (2500 acres). is national park.
What will you do on Lizard Island?
There's lush rainforests and wildflowers and of course, powder white beaches and vivid coral gardens of the sea. Snorkelling and scuba diving around the island is fantastic. It's the perfect spot to learn scuba diving, too. The Cod Hole on the outer reef is considered one of the world's most spectacular diving sites.
Crystal clean waters, sparkling white sand - you won't want to go home.
Famous Black Marlin
Game fishermen come to Lizard from all over the world, especially from August to November, in search of the biggest game fish of all - the Black Marlin.
How to get to Lizard Island
270 km (150 miles) north of Cairns, Lizard Island lies in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. The connecting flight is a spectacular scenic trip over the coastline and reef. Private and chartered aircraft may land at the island.
Telephone 61-7-360 2423.
Facsimile 61-7-360 2436.
Bordering on the Maroochy River, Maroochydore has shopping complexes, magnificent beaches and waterside accommodation, and is recognised as the Business Centre of the Sunshine Coast. With sea and river fishing, beach activities, parks along the river and beaches, it satisfies every experience desired.
Alexandra Headland is a renowned surfing beach, and from the headland one has sweeping views of awesome Mount Coolum, Mudiimba Island and Point Cartwright.
Buderim, with its quiet village charm boasts some delightful gardens displaying an array of native plants and annuals. Buderim Forest Park and Foote Sanctuary offer walking trails through rambling rainforests.
Gold Coast, city (1991 pop. 256,275), Queensland, E Australia, on the Pacific Ocean. The city, a major resort, stretches for many miles along the coast and extends into New South Wales. In 1994 Queensland decided to amalgamate the city with Albert Shire to create one of three new “super cities.” The amalgamation made Gold Coast the second largest municipality in Australia after Brisbane. Its new boundaries extend south to Coolangatta on the border with New South Wales, west to Mt. Tamborine in the remote interior, and north to Beenleigh on the edge of Brisbane.
Within an easy two-hour drive from Brisbane, Queensland's capital city, lies that strip of coast known as the Sunshine Coast. It's close to the northern tip of this coast that Noosa is located.
This seaside holiday haven comprises Noosa Heads, Noosaville, Noosa Sound, Noosa Junction and small satellite towns close by.
The Tropical Coast stretches from Tully in the south with its world famous river rafting to Port Douglas in the north where two World Heritage areas merge on this tropical paradise. Fishing for Black Marlin, diving on the Barrier Reef or relaxing on a tropical Island are all within easy reach.
Take a cruise up the Daintree River into the world acclaimed Daintree Rainforest National Park or visit the Atherton Tablelands, with World Heritage listed areas of rainforests, rivers, spectacular waterfalls, and lakes in extinct volcanoes.
AREA: 1,723,936 sq. km., POPULATION: 2,625,000
CAPITAL: Brisbane (1,200,000)
Queensland enjoys the self-appointed name of the 'Sunshine State', much of which is deserved for its semi-tropical weather, thousands of kilometres of beaches, and easy going life-style.
It may well be called the 'diverse' state, due to the variety of landscape and climate which it constitutes.
In the north the tropical region has rain-forests, gorges, islands, and massive rivers which cut access to many places after rains. Being tropical it is also cyclonic and the extremes of weather can be experienced.
Dunk Island is probably the best known of Australia's tropic isles. Dunk is part of the Family Group of Islands and is one of the most tropical on the Great Barrier Reef in terms of its vegetation. Dunk Island is about 160 kilometres north of Townsville and 120 kilometres south of Cairns. A birdwatcher's paradise, Dunk is also the home of the stunning Ulysses Butterfly which is the island's symbol. The Dunk Island Resort is one of the largest developments on any of the island and it is heavily promoted and very popular with southern visitors and overseas tourists. Most of the island however is national park. At Beaver Cay you can snorkel or view coral gardens and marine life from a glass-bottomed boat or semi-submersible craft. The scuba diving is fantastic. The fishing around the island is great, charter a boat to catch the big ones. Spanish Mackerel and Barracuda are plentiful as are Coral Trout, Sweet Lip and Trevally.
North Barrier Reef Islands
From Lizard Island, the most northern island resort, down to magnetic Island just off Townsville, this group of islands offer a wide variety of natural wonders and attractions for you to enjoy. Here you can be pampered at one of the most exclusive resorts in the world, relax under the palms on powder white beaches, experience the spectacular scuba diving or fight the biggest game fish of all - the Black Marlin.
Lindeman Island is the most southerly island of the Whitsunday Group situated 32 kilometres from the coast. Lindeman Island is a national park and a spectacular setting for the new Club Med Resort. The Resort takes up only a tiny parts of the Island's 20 square kilometres, the rest is covered by nearly 20 kilometres of bushwalking tracks. These tracks are beautifully maintained and take you to the most scenic parts of the island. Stroll through Butterfly Valley or climb Mt Oldfield which is 212 metres above sea level and offers 360 degree views of Pentecost, Hamilton and Whitsunday Islands. The Island has seven glorious beaches with Gap Beach a fantastic location for snorkelling and oystering. The Resort caters for all activities including golf and has a very active nightlife with two restaurants and a nightclub. Humpback whales can often be seen from the shore, a sight not to be forgotten. Dolphins are also frequent visitors. On Lindeman, golden orchids grow on the mangroves at the end of the beach and over 90 species of birds dart through the trees. There are a number of tiny islands dotted around Lindeman all a short dinghy ride away and perfect for a day of personal paradise. Lindeman also has its own airstrip.
Nothing but the very best
Famous as a resort since the 1930 Orpheus Island is a favorite retreat for the well travelled and discerning. Just 120 km (75 miles) north of Townsville. Orpheus is the second largest of the Palm Group of Islands. It's craggy terrain hides sheltered bays, lagoons and seven wonderful beaches.
Enjoy the best of The Great Barrier Reef. The whole island was declared a national park in 1979 and there's a marine research station at Pioneer Bay, which gives you an indication of the importance of the area. The fringing reefs on the north east and north west are great for snorkelling and diving. The island boasts 1100 species of fish, 340 species of coral, playful dolphins, and in season offers the exhilarating experience of sighting families of humpback whales.
Take a boat trip to Zoe Bay at Hinchinbrook Island, or explore the uninhabited islands of the Palm Island Group. There is a diving school on Orpheus and you couldn't wish for a better place to learn. The wide variety of vegetation includes rainforest, eucalypts and wild orchids. There's more than 50 species of birds. Giant turtles nest regularly on the beaches.
How to get to Orpheus Island.
The easiest way is by seaplane available four times a week from Townsville, or from Cairns three times a week. Helicopters can also be chartered from Townsville.
Telephone 61-77 777 377.
Isle of peace and plenty
Part of the Family Group of Islands, and one of the most tropical on the Barrier Reef in terms of its lush vegetation, Dunk Island is about 160 km (100 miles) north of Townsville and 120 km (75 miles) south of Cairns. A birdwatcher's paradise, Dunk Island is also the home of the stunning Ulysser Butterfly, which is the island's symbol.
A catamaran operates daily to the outer reef just 50 minutes away. At Beaver Cay you can snorkel or view coral gardens and marine life from a glass bottomed boat or semi-submersible craft........Read On: Dunk Island
The state is rich in primary industry with copper and lead mines at Mount Isa, opals, gold and precious metals around the state, bananas, mangos and pineapples along the coast. peanuts at Kingaroy, and all types of vegetables and fruits. A wine industry is being established in the south near the border.
Queensland also contains several of Australia's best known and visited tourist attractions in the Gold Coast, and the Great Barrier Reef. In the far north Cape York Peninsula and the Daintree Forest and gaining increasing popularity, and the islands off the coast in the reef are popular holiday destinations for millions each year.
Queensland is high on the list of places to visit for international travellers and there is an International Airport at Cairns in the north and Brisbane in the south. A railway follows the coast between Brisbane and Cairns.
Over 120 kilometres long and an average of 15 kilometres wide, Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. It is remarkable for its 90 kilometres long surf beach, its chain of unique perched lakes, its vast sandblows and vegetation. There is prolific wildlife, mostly nocturnal, with possums, gliders, wallabies and dingoes considered to be the most pure strain in Australia. There are also wild horses, descendants of horses used last century to haul logs out of the forest. The variety of birdlife is immense and includes Australia's stork, the Jabiru. A unique species of tortoise can be found in many of the freshwater lakes. Access to Fraser Island is via vehicular barges, aircraft, cruise vessels, private boats or on commercial tours. Roads on Fraser Island are mainly sandy tracks which may only be negotiated by 4WD vehicles. Fraser Island is a constantly changing mosaic of rainforest, sand dunes, wildflower heaths, crystal lakes and streams, towering trees and cliffs of coloured sands. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 306kms (via Hervey Bay)
Visitors love walking the recently constructed boardwalk from Hastings Street to beautiful Noosa Heads National Park. Stroll past peaceful coves, spectacular cliffs and natural heathland to the secluded beaches of Alexandria Bay. Many make a morning or afternoon of it and continue through the Park to Sunshine Beach.
Take a 4WD to the North Shore and drive kilometres of beautiful deserted beach to the Coloured Sands of Teewah, the wreck of the "Cherry Venture" and eventually to Rainbow Beach, gateway to the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.
Travel this region by road, along the beach or on the beautiful rivers.
Try a peaceful houseboat holiday meandering up the river to Lake Cooroibah and Lake Cootharaba. The Noosa River is a hive of excitement with catamarans, sailboards, jet-skis and "Tinnies", whilst the fishing is sensational.
Inland are the towns of Cooroy, Cooran, Kin Kin, Pomona and Boreen Point. These peaceful hamlets with old-fashioned pubs and marketplaces, are a world away from high-rise jungles, pollution and traffic jams
Hook is rugged and a true wilderness island. Hook Peak, at 459 metres, is the highest mountain on the Island. One of the few walking tracks leads to Butterfly Bay - named so because of its unique shape and the butterflies which swarm around its shores. Two magnificent five kilometre fjord-like inlets, Nara and Macona cut into the southern end of Hook Island to provide a spectacular anchorage for yachts. People refill their water tanks from the cascading waterfalls. The diversity of coral of the fringing reefs on the northern shores provide some of the best diving and snorkelling in the area. There is a low-key resort on the island, and camping is permitted at several sites around the Island. The observatory on Hook Island allows visitors to descend nine metres below the ocean to view coral, reef animals and plants in their own habitat. There are marine biologists on hand to explain the wonders of the reef.
Famed by the broadwaters of the North and South Johnstone Rivers, Innisfail, well known as a sugar town is good base to explore the Great Barrier Reef and the Atherton Tablelands. The town has a strong Italian community and was established in 1880 when the Catholic Bishop of Brisbane and 11 Carmelite nuns bought and cleared 10 000ha jungle for sugar planting.
Hervey Bay POPULATION: 45,000 approximately GENERAL INFORMATION: Hervey Bay is one of Queensland's best natural holiday destinations offering convenient access to World Heritage listed Fraser Island - the largest sand island in the world, and Lady Elliot Island - the first coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef. Long sandy beaches and colourful communities such as Burrum Heads, Howard, Toogoom and Torbanlea fringe its safe sheltered waters. From August to October the region has become famous as the playground of the majestic humpback whales on their return to the Antartic. Hervey Bay is preferred for its calm and safe whale watching conditions, where the whales put on a spectacular display for their admirers. Celebrating the return of the humpback whales each year, Hervey Bay stages a Whale festival for two weeks in August. An aquatic carnival, including an illuminated procession of floats, and the Blessing of the Fleet are highlights of this fun filled week. Hervey Bay boasts an aquatic environment which features coral and artificial reefs all teeming with abundant marine life. Boating and fishing enthusiasts will find the estuary, beach, jetty or reef and game fishing, and a variety of water sports including diving, water and jet skiing, wind surfing and snorkelling. Alternatively, simply enjoy a bicycle ride along the picturesque foreshore, visiting places such as the Botanical Gardens or the Urangan Boat harbour, or one of the many restaurants and cafes situated along the Esplanade. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 295 kilometres Approximately 4 hours by road or 40 minutes by air.
Coral Coast National Parks
Daintree National Park
A large rainforest park with rivers gorges and waterfalls. Walking tracks which start at Mossman Gorge, pass through rainforest and and some excellent swimming holes. Cruises are available up the Daintree River and are a great way to spot many birds and animals, and even crocodiles.
At Cape Tribulation spectacular beaches are surrounded by dense rainforest on one side and spectacular coral reef on the other.
Mount Hypipamee National Park (The Crater)....Read On: Coral Coast National Parks
Cairns, a garden city between the sea and rainforest mountains, was founded in 1876 as a port for inland goldfields. Cairns is a tribute to the first surveyors who cleared just enough foreshore scrub to pitch their tents before pegging out streets wide enough for a future city they could never have imagined. The town boasts world class marina and wharfs used by visiting yachts, liners and tour boats and the international airport is only a short drive from the city centre. Tours to most parts of the tropical north leave daily and most include pick-up and return to your holiday accommodation. There are parks and playgrounds with fountains and shady trees. The Esplanade has picnic tables and barbecues, space to fly a kite, paths to jog and walk, seats to pause and watch the boats go by and a printed guide to help you identify the abundant birdlife. Shopping is a pleasure in arcades, courts, plazas, boutiques and duty free stores where you can buy everything from local souvenirs to superb jewellery, sporting gear, fashions and accessories by top Australian and overseas designers.
Innisfail POPULATION: 8,100 approximately GENERAL INFORMATION: Innisfail is a prosperous, colourful town, situated on the North and South Johnstone Rivers, and is surrounded by rich green landscape. Lush sugar plantations flow from the dense rainforest coastline to the thick jungles of the Palmerston National Park to the west. Sugar has been grown here since the early 1880's. Tea, bananas, pawpaws and other exotic tropical fruits are also grown within the area. Aquaculture also plays an important part in the area's economy ranging from prawn, barramundi and fresh crayfish to crocodile farming. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 1,719 kilometres
Noosa Heads POPULATION: 9,779 approximately GENERAL INFORMATION: Noosa Heads, set on the edge of Noosa National Park and Laguna Bay, is alive with international standard shops, restaurants and accommodation. This accommodation ranges from budget backpacker establishments, units and apartments to the Sheraton Noosa Resort. From Hastings Street, the centre of activity, visitors are only a short distance from the Noosa National Park, the Noosa River Everglades, Cooloola National Park and 4 Wheel Driving to Fraser Island can be organised. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 178 km
Cairns, city (1991 pop. 64,463), Queensland, NE Australia, on Trinity Bay. It is a principal sugar port of Australia; lumber and other agricultural products are also exported. The city's proximity to the Great Barrier Reef has made it a tourist center. In 1994 the state decided to amalgamate the city with Mulgrave Shire and the tip of Douglas Shire to create one of three new “super cities.”
From Townsville you can travel west to the old gold towns of Charters Towers and Ravenswood, or north to the Tully River for fishing and white water rafting.
Crystal Creek-Mt Spec National Park is a 7222 hectare mixture of lowland hardwood forest and tropical rainforest offering splendid vies over Halifax Bay and the coastline. Many kinds of orchid, along with ferns and palm trees can be found near cool lagoons and beautiful pools.
There are 30-something kilometres of golden sand stretching from the eastern Queensland-New South Wales border in the south to Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise and the Stradbroke islands in the north. They use the terms Gold Coast or Surfers (short for Surfers Paradise) interchangeably; but that strip of golden land is really the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise is just one of the towns (but a mighty lively town) which dot the shoreline of the Pacific. This is a holiday mecca for Australians and visitors and is particularly popular in the winter when the cold hits the lower third of Australia. But it is in the summer when many low-cost holiday deals are available, except during the Christmas season and long holiday weekends. The Gold Coast has very much a cosmopolitan air and the lifestyle is easy. There are restaurants of many types, nightclubs, leisure complexes, and other centres of holiday fun, all along the coastal strip. The number of theme parks alone is enough to fill a vacationer's week
Atherton Tablelands, tropical north Queensland, Australia. (latitude 17.27s, longitude 145.46e, population: 10 253 [ABS, 1996]).
With an annual rainfall of 1413mm, the town environs are a lush green with streets, parks and gardens filled with a variety of rainforest trees and shrubs.
The mountain towns and villages of the Atherton Tablelands have a lush tropical feel without the heat and uncomfortable humidity of the coastal districts.
For many travellers it is the last fully serviced town and last piece of green countryside they will see before plunging down to the westward plains of the Gulf Savannah.
For others it is the ideal base from which to explore the ecological wonderland of Australia's tropical tablelands.
Nambour POPULATION: 24,110 approximately GENERAL INFORMATION: Nambour is Maroochy Shire's administrative centre and principal hinterland town of the Sunshine Coast. The sugar mill is based in the middle of Nambour and the sugar cane trains can still be seen chugging across the main street to the mill.
DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 100kms
Located halfway between Mackay and Townsville, Bowen is very much a beach town. Tucked away a few kilometres east of the highway are eight golden palm-fringed beaches and parks studded with mango trees. Bowen was the first town established in Australia's north. The town's documented history dates to 1770 when Captain Cook named the area of Cape Gloucester and described Edgecumbe Bay in his diary. There are full-scale resorts, motels and caravan parks. Bowen has licensed clubs and old colonial pubs with colourful histories. There is a twin cinema complex which includes a heritage cinema, and a number of restaurants that cook the wonderful local seafood. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 1,182 kilometres
In the south, the climate is more moderate with cooler nights and clearer days. The state is divided east-west by the Great Dividing Range which closely follows the coastline. West of the range the 'Outback' is cattle country with sparse vegetation and in the more remote areas nights will be below zero in winter and days can reach 50° in summer.
Size: The area of 159,000 hectares mentioned in this article comes from the Macquarie Dictionary. Other sources indicate different areas. There are also differences in the reported dimensions of the island. These differences in area and dimensions may be attributable to changes in the geography of the sand island.
There is limited holiday accommodation on Fraser Island in resorts, villas, units and lodges. Prior booking is always the preferred option.
There are camping areas operated by the Queensland forestry department and the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service.
To really move around Fraser Island you'd need a four-wheel-drive vehicle with enough clearance from the ground to manage soft spots in the sand and to clear through the scrub. You'll need a permit to take a vehicle into the island.
Fraser Island's sand beaches are a designated highway with a speed limit of 80 kilometres an hour. Near tourist resorts, the beach doubles as a landing field so keep an eye out for planes that may be touching down. Inland the speed limit is 35 kilometres an hour. In the heavy going, it's near impossible to exceed that speed.
The Eliza Fraser story
The Macquarie Dictionary says the island is named after Captain James Fraser who was murdered in 1836 after his ship, the Stirling Castle, ran aground north of the island.
The more commonly told story is that the island is named after the captain's wife, Eliza Fraser, who survived the shipwreck and managed to find her way south. She was taken in by the island's Aboriginal Butchulla people and cared for until finally rescued two months after the Stirling Castle disaster. When timber cutters moved into the island, the Butchulla people were driven out and into missions on the mainland.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|