As your travel around Queensland, you can utilise the helpful service and information provided by the local Visitor Information Centre. Visit www.queenslandholidays.com.au for a comprehensive guide to Queensland Visitor Information Centres.
Queensland currently has a population of approximately 4,001,000
Queensland enjoys a pleasant climate year round with a warm summer from December to February and mild winter in July and August, with some variation across the State.
The southern and central coastal areas have a comfortable subtropical climate. A little further inland the southeast experiences a temperate climate with four distinct seasons.
The tropical north has a distinct wet season, when you may experience some cyclone activity and a milder dry season through the winter months. It is important to note that some roads in north Queensland are impassable during the wet season. Outback western Queensland is drier than the rest of the State, and winter nights can be quite cold.
Queensland is a dynamic and diverse society with a great variety of cultures, languages and religions. It recognises the unique status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the original owners and custodians of Australian lands and waters, and the rich cultural mix of society gained through immigration.
Queensland is a vast state full of amazing sights. If you're here on a short trip, you may prefer to travel by air. Australia's domestic airlines provide extensive coverage allowing you to hop quickly between cities and sights. Or if you prefer a more leisurely pace, travel by rail or road. Queensland has a vast network of well-maintained roads and highways with some of the most beautiful road touring in the world. Vehicle hire is simple. And all cities are linked by a rail network.
Road rules play a key part in a safe drive holiday in Queensland.
Queensland is a large state, approximately seven times the size of Victoria or the United Kingdom. Driving distances are great. Beware of driver fatigue. When planning a long drive get a good nights sleep before the trip, share the driving with your companions and stop for a rest at least every two hours.
Ensure your vehicle is in good working order and has been serviced recently.
In country areas road conditions can vary from bitumen surfaces to gravel and dirt. Be careful of potholes, soft road edges, narrow bridges and dusty roads. Be careful of crossing over a road covered in water - cross slowly only if the road surface is firm, and stay in the middle of the road.
Always seek local advice about road conditions. Contact the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ), local police or the park ranger.
In an Emergency, phone 000 for police, fire or ambulance.
Travel with other vehicles to remote places and let someone know your travel plans.
Carry a current road map.
Do not hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers. Be aware of road hazards including road trains and animals on the road. Allow plenty of room before you overtake road trains (very large trucks with a series of trailers that can be a total length of up to 10 cars!) and be prepared for them to sway a little as you overtake. Also be prepared for the 'windrush' when passing as it can pull you towards the road train.
Animals, Australian wildlife and livestock often graze on the roadside and can stray onto the road. Be very careful when driving at sunrise, sunset and at night, when animals are most active. If an animal crosses in front of you brake gently - do not swerve wildly to avoid it.
In the Outback use a four-wheel drive vehicle on unsealed roads in remote areas and carry appropriate communications equipment. Outside of towns mobile phones will not work in the Outback. See more information in our Outback travel section.
For more details on safety, view the National Visitor Safety Program.
Keith Urban, Bernard Fanning
Geoffrey Rush, Deborah Mailman, Kristy Hinze (Super Model), Steve Irwin
Rebecca Sparrow (Brisbane author)
Greg Norman, Pat Rafter, Grant Hackett, Mark Occhilupo
Food & Wine
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. Pick up fresh produce straight from the tree, browse through markets, or get creative at a cooking school!
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.
With an ever increasing stable of award-winning wines available from all regions, the secret is out about Queensland's flourishing wine industry.
Established in the 1860s, wine growing has a long history in Queensland but the success of its wines is only now starting to be realised on the national and international stage.
Charming cellar doors, friendly wine makers, vineyard restaurants, gourmet food, wine trails and cosy accommodation options help visitors make the most of the major wine regions which stretch from the Gold Coast Hinterland, through the Scenic Rim and out to the Granite Belt, around the Darling Downs and Toowoomba, and up to the South and North Burnett. Further north in Tropical North Queensland fruit wines are generating increasing interest.
There are eight major areas in Queensland that boast a great selection:
Granite Belt - thanks to its strong Italian community, the Granite Belt has had a long history of viticulture and winemaking. Its cool winter and spring climates make it an ideal viticultural area and an attractive holiday destination. The wineries of the region are small to medium size and are owned and managed by families or individuals whose passion shows in great Queensland wine.
Toowoomba and Darling Downs - Wineries perched right on the edge of the Great Dividing Range or nestling amongst rolling hills are some of the great finds in this area. Stop for lunch, try some wines and take advantage of the great views. Wine making traditions are strong in this region which produces award winning whites and reds, tasty muscats and sweet table wines.
Scenic Rim - Within a short drive of Brisbane there are a number of vineyards and wineries have been established in the Scenic Rim which stretches from Mt Cotton to the picturesque Brisbane Valley. You can explore this picturesque area in a day, a weekend or longer, but you won't come home empty handed.
Gold Coast Hinterland - a spectacular wine region featuring boutique wineries and vineyards set in the rainforest beauty of Mount Tamborine and the emerald countryside of Albert River and Canungra. Although it's only half an hour from the beaches of the Gold Coast, the area's temperate climate has ideal grape growing conditions. Look for superb restaurants, cheese tastings, gourmet picnics and vineyard tours at the cellar door.
Sunshine Coast - one of the most diverse and fastest growing wine regions is centred around the Sunshine Coast with small boutique vineyards that handpick their grapes and hand-prune their vines. Vineyards can be found high up in the cooler climate Blackall Range, Kenilworth and Traveston areas through to the milder climates in the valleys near the coast. A diversity of microclimates allows a wide range of grape varieties to be grown within the region.
South Burnett - the gentle, undulating countryside of the Stuart and Boyne River plain in the west and Barkers Creek in the east is the heart of one of the newer wine making areas, the South Burnett, centred around Kingaroy. This award winning region is the fastest developing wine area in Queensland with 600 acres in 25 vineyards currently in the area.
North Burnett - most do not expect to find a wine growing region this far north, but the unique coastal dry winter/dry summer climate in Central Queensland combined with prevailing sea breezes has created excellent conditions for creating dry and easy drinking fruity styles perfectly matched to the Queensland climate.
Tropical North Queensland - The fruit wine industry in Tropical North Queensland has gone beyond being the little cousin to the grape wine industry by producing some award-winning wine with an abundance of flavour shown and consistent quality. Located in and around the Cairns Highlands, the wineries use tropical fruits such as mango, banana, lychee, pineapple, passionfruit, black sapote, pitaya and other tropical fruits, as well as citrus and the Australian native fruits including the Davidson Plum and Lemon Aspen.
Queensland also has a vast array of markets for you to purchase fresh produce straight from the farmers. 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.
Brisbane - head to The Powerhouse at New Farm in Brisbane by at least 7am on a Saturday morning and you'll discover locals armed with trolley bags snapping up high quality produce and seasonal bargains on a regular basis. On the last Sunday of each month the stallholders move to suburban Mitchelton. If organic is your style the Green Flea Community Markets at Davies Park in West End or the Northey Street Organic Market at Windsor will keep you busy.
Gold Coast - foodies are well catered for with the farmers markets at Banora Point, Bundall, The Spit, Miami, Mudgeeraba and Tamborine offering fresh produce.
South East Queensland Country - enjoy fresh food right where it is grown on the Southern Downs at the Glengallan Seasonal Farmers Markets, 15km north of Warwick on the first Sunday of each season. Don't forget to look for fresh seasonal produce across the region on road side stalls.
Sunshine Coast - the Noosa Farmers Market on Weyba Road at Noosaville showcases some of the Sunshine Coast's best produce every Sunday from 7am to midday. All products are grown, reared, caught, baked or prepared by the stall holder. You'll find farm fresh fruit and vegetables, breads, cheeses, preserves, seafood, red claw, poultry, beef, lamb, coffee and the chance to swap ideas with local producers. The Eumundi Markets are another food lover's delight with everything from fresh produce to taste sensations you'll find hard to resist.
Central Queensland - keep your eyes open for roadside stalls just off the farm. This area is the fruit bowl of the Coral Coast and supplies chillies, tomatoes and the sweetest of peas to southern states.
Mackay - head for the local showgrounds located in the centre of town for the Mackay Farmer's Market every Saturday morning from 6am at the Showgrounds. This is the best spot to gather all local fresh produce and freshly cut flowers.
Tropical North Queensland - Rusty's Markets in Cairns are an experience that should not be missed by market lovers. This is an Asian-type market experience with stalls overflowing with exotic local produce and flowers.
For more information about markets you can peruse in Queensland, please visit www.queenslandholidays.com.au
Walks & Treks
Always enticing, the tropical northeast of Queensland is filled with the most exotic animals and plants on offer. The showpieces are all near the coast, and the crown jewel is the Daintree, the oldest living rainforest in the world. Comprising Mossman Gorge, Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas and the Daintree River, all are easily accesibly from Cairns, just one hour drive to the south.
Jindalba Boardwalk, Daintree National Park – as you drive north from Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation, just 12km after crossing the Daintree River is a peaceful rainforest boardwalk called Jindalba. Jindalba is the local Kuku Yalanji people’s name for this area. Shady and lush, the boardwalk meanders around and across a small creek, far beneath a towering canopy of palms and ferns. The boardwalk is elevated at all times, and there are a variety of informative signs posted along the track describing the evolution of this rainforest. It is only a short 30 minute walk.
Mossman Gorge Rainforest Circuit, 80kms north of Cairns – taking around 1 to 2 hours, this is the longer of two easy walks in the world-heritage listed Mossman Gorge, near Port Douglas, Mossman and Cape Tribulation, the Rainforest Circuit track is a continuation of the River Circuit track. Start at the carpark as before, and follow the River Circuit until just before the Mossman River lookout, where you reach the turnoff to the Rex Creek suspension bridge. Cross Rex Creek and follow the track upstream to the Manjal Dimbi lookout for a long view down the creek. From here you commence the easy, 2km stroll through the rainforest. Along the way there are informative signs describing local flora and fauna, such as the eastern yellow robin and Boyd’s forest dragon. The signs also describe how the local Kuku Yalanji people use the plants and forest in their traditional life.
Dubuji Boardwalk, Cape Tribulation – take an hour out of your day to experience one of the Daintree National Park’s most popular walks. The Dubuji Boardwalk is a cool, coastal mangrove swamp adjacent to the vast coast of Myall Beach, south of Cape Tribulation. From the carpark, the boardwalk winds its way through the mangroves, shaded by it’s canopy of enormous fan palms, strangler figs and vines. It’s like something from another time. A muddy creek snakes through the mangroves, supporting a diverse variety of plants and animals, including bats (look for them nesting upside down in the trees) and brilliant tropical birds.
The temperate climate and spectacular scenery make Queensland a idyllic destination for any golfer:
Brookwater Golf & Country Club, Brookwater, Queensland - The centrepiece of Brookwater is a spectacular Greg Norman-designed championship golf course only 30 minutes from Brisbane's CBD and 45 minutes from the Gold Coast. Meandering its way through naturally undulating Australian bushland, Brookwater bears the hallmarks of classic Norman design - signature bunkering, spectacular use of natural waterways and thoughtful integration of the existing flora. Its varied terrain, strategic design and landscaping makes it a course of outstanding character, great variety and a pleasure to play for golfers of all levels. Already recognised as one of the top 10 golf courses in Australia (2004 Golf Australia), this stunning par 72 layout comprises two nine-hole loops and measures 6,505m. It's tournament standard layout is fully integrated with the residential development to create a unique living environment.
Pacific Harbour Golf & Country Club, Banksia Beach, Queensland - Pacific Harbour is an island paradise centred around a unique 18 hole championship course and a superb subtropical style golf and country club. Course architect, Ross Watson, much admired for his work on Palm Meadows, Robina Woods and Royal Sydney, has conceived Pacific Harbour as a temptation for casual golfers and professionals alike. All the key characteristics of a world class course are present : a great layout that tracks the terrain naturally, challenging design and memorable holes, framed by beautiful landscaping. The course also meets strict environmental guidelines for low impact. Distinctive features include interconnecting bodies of water and beach bunkering, seaside style shaping, mirrored lakes, wetlands, wildlife corridors and a well thought out landscape of native flora.
Glades Golf Club, Robina, Queensland - boasts superb agronomy that is unique to the area. In particular the greens consist of a "Tropical Bent" grass that was specially developed for the Glades. This grass will ensure a superior putting surface for the entire year. In his design, Greg Norman not only had a vision to create a challenging golf course, but he also retained 9 hectares of wetland area to create a natural wildlife sanctuary within the course.
Hyatt Regency Coolum, Coolum Beach, Queensland - home of the Australian PGA and was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr, and represents one of his most subtle designs. Unlike other Trent Jones courses you wont find any of the huge undulation or the trademark double and triple tiered greens. The course is a subtle challenge rather than an intimidating brute. The designer himself described the course at Coolum in a similar vain saying 'This course is not designed to punish champions, just to find out who they are.'
Noosa Springs, Noosa Heads, Queensland - forms a significant part of the Noosa Springs Golf & Spa Resort, representing a destination within a destination. It is a locally owned and operated luxury boutique style resort with supreme leisure facilities, situated in the heart of Noosa Heads. Surrounded by picturesque Lake Weyba and Noosa National Park it provides a relaxing haven, only three minutes from Hastings Street and famous beaches.