Welcome to Queensland
Queensland is known as the sunshine state, with its beautiful beaches and vibrant cities. It is Australia's second largest state by area, after Western Australia and has a population of over 4.5 million. It borders the Northern Territory, New South Wales and South Australia. Some of the more popular destinations in Queensland include Cairns, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay, Port Douglas, Townsville, Fraser Island and Whitsunday’s. There are hundreds of islands to choose from where you can relax and enjoy the many white sandy beaches on offer.
Further south, beyond Brisbane, the coastline is known as the Gold Coast. Here visitors can swim and surf all year round at 35 patrolled beaches along the 45 miles (70km) of coastline. Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland, while Cairns, in the tropical north, is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Brisbane boasts some world-class attractions too such as the iconic Story Bridge and the oldest and largest koala sanctuary in the world, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where lucky visitors can feed, pet and hold the lovable koalas.
Travellers should be aware that especially during the summer months (usually between October and May) the shallow coastal waters of Queensland become infested with marine stingers, commonly known as box jellyfish, whose sting is highly dangerous and can be deadly. Many beaches offer protected swimming with stinger nets in place, or enclosed tidal pools, and surf lifesavers may warn people off infested beaches. A lycra 'stinger suit' may also be worn by swimmers as protection.
Information & Facts
Straddling the Tropic of Capricorn, Queensland's climate is subtropical. From November to March humidity is generally high throughout the state, but sea breezes bring some relief along the coast. Brisbane in the south has a hot and humid climate, particularly in summer, but winter is mild and sunny with cool nights (July and August). The best time to visit the northern part of the state is from September to November. Tropical cyclones can occur in the north from November to April (mostly during January to March).
English is the official language of Australia.
The Australian Dollar (AUD) is divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change exchange most foreign currencies. Travellers cheques are also welcome everywhere, but banks take a small commission and it is better to take cheques in major currencies (e.g. US dollars or Euros) to avoid additional charges. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are freely available throughout the country. Banking hours are generally 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Friday, but some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings.