is the economic centre and State capital
of Queensland, with a year round warm subtropical climate. Australia’s
fastest growing city, it is the entrance to many coastal resorts
and itself offers many attractions. Probably the
most famous and wonderful of these is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary,
which can be reached via a river cruise.
The Botanic Gardens is a brilliant shady reserve at the
south end of the city centre, accessible by a new footbridge. City
Hall in King George Square houses a museum, art gallery
and a clocktower observation deck.
Other buildings worth visiting 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 and once a treadmill worked by convicts.
The Queensland Cultural Centre at South Bank encloses
the Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Museum and Performing Arts
Centre. The South Bank Parklands, on the site of the 1988 World
Expo, brags an interesting Maritime Museum and an enormous artificial
The Brisbane Powerhouse is a energetic 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 main attraction, please see our festivals
- events section for further information.
Known to some as the best beach area in the country, the Gold
Coast region 80 kilometrtes (50 miles) south of Brisbane
comprises 42 kilometres (25 miles) of white surf beaches, theme
parks (Sea World, Movie World and Dreamworld), a casino, hotels
and restaurants. Also, it has year round sunshine and lively tourist
The partying is never ending at Surfers Paradise,
a Miami style high rise strip overlooking a crowded beach. Inland
are rainforests, lush green mountains, walking trails and scenic
villages. Nature lovers will also welcome 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 lakes, wilderness, mountains
and un spoilt beaches with surf ranging in condition from mild to
wild. Arts and crafts trails, nature walks and inspirational views
can be found in the hinterland, where the Glasshouse Mountains can
Cairns is the main 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 kilometres (9 miles) of white sandy beaches, looking
out to Dunk Island.
To the north, there is the delightful 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 brilliant examples of Aboriginal rock art can
be found. Past this lies the wilderness of Cape York Peninsula.
Townsville is North Queensland’s largest
city, boasting a casino and an international airport. Cruises are
available to nearby islands, as are trips to the Barrier Reef for
diving, whitewater rafting or walking. This pleasant city, its streets
lined with palm trees and tropical flora, has several 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, bush walking
tracks, diving opportunities and a koala sanctuary, only 8 kilometres
(5 miles) offshore and a 25 minute ferry ride from the city centre.