St Augustin

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
Who lives sees much, who travels sees more.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A - Z Challenge - Q is for Queensland (of course!)

Before I get started on today's post, thank you to all who have visited my travel blog and left comments and to those who have followed. It has meant a lot to me. Since the A-Z Challenge began, I have upwards of 50 new followers and I thank you all. I hope you will continue to visit after the challenge. I've done my best to make the posts interesting and visual. At the moment I'm holidaying on the Sunshine Coast and it has been more difficult to visit everyone's blogs, but I've done my best to return comments and to visit a new blog or two every day.

So welcome to L'Aussie Travel and I hope you've learnt something new!

I know you'll forgive me for being a little parochial. Sure, there aren't that many places starting with Q, but I did want to do Quito in Equador, but how can I pass up the Sunshine State seeing as I'm Queensland born and bred? As you many have gleaned, I'm never happier than when I'm travelling, reading about travel, watching docos about travel, whatever, but my roots are firmly in Queensland.

This state of Australia occupies a quarter of the Australian continent and is called ‘The Sunshine State’ for good reason, it has pleasant weather the year round.

This is far longer than my usual posts 'coz I just couldn't stop once I started. I've put large text in salient parts so you can do a flick over what you want to read.  

Map of Oz with the States and Territories, with apologies to Tasmania who is often forgotten but Tassie is really a state of Australia!

Firstly, you may be wondering - how did we get that name? Well, unless you've just crawled from under a rock, or your school curriculum was completely skewed, chances are you know white people started life Down Under in a British colony. Where the Brits used to toss their convicts, many Irish. Well when Queensland was named, Queen Victoria was on the throne, so one thing led to another...

Queenslanders are the most laid-back of Australians, being further north we have a touch of the sun, so we don't ponder these finer points of our Empire stage, but when you start thinking about it what is going on here? Brisbane inner-city main streets have names such as Edward, Alice, Margaret, Charlotte, Elizabeth...and the centre of it all is the Queen Street Mall. Hmm. No cars, just lovely wide spaces, lots of entertainment, food havens, shops galore and many examples of Victorian architecture.

A view of the Queen Street Mall, or a small part of it.

Brisbane City Hall

Brisbane is a sophisticated multi-cultural city and capital of the state. Australia’s third largest city,has great restaurants as well as a varied nightlife. There are art galleries, movie and stage theatres, night clubs and cabarets.

Brisbane is a fabulous country-style city but there's a lot more to Queensland. Immediately north and south of Brisbane are our main beaches - Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast respectively. I have a home on the Sunshine Coast and escape there at every opportunity.

The Sunshine Coast

Queensland Coast - North of Brisbane: Just an hour’s drive from the city. Great weather, scenic countryside, idyllic beaches and a beach lifestyle beckons me every holiday (and we do have a LOT of holidays in Oz.)Extending up to Cooloola National Park, the Sunshine Coast has a varied landscape from the coastal areas to the hinterland.

With many areas remaining refreshingly unspoiled, and with beaches that rival the best in the country, the Sunshine Coast is a stunning example of contemporary coastal living.

Hmm, enticing?

Toward the northern end of the Sunshine Coast is Noosa. This aquatic wonderland is a favourite of the rich and famous who come to holiday on the beautiful Laguna Bay, staying directly on the beach. The surrounding Noosa National Park gives the whole area a feeling of peace and tranquillity. Noosa Heads (see my header photo!) is one of my favourite places to walk, eat and play.

The Hinterland areas of the Sunshine Coast are simply superb and in this case the rolling hills of Maleny and Montville are nearly better known than the coastal areas. With their quaint village atmospheres, incredible views of the valleys and amazing collections of art and crafts, they make a perfect day of sightseeing and browsing. Many B & Bs abound for a pampered weekend stay.

Green rolling hills, dairy farms and magnificent views to the Pacific Ocean -  the Sunshine Coast hinterland. I always go for a drive, visit the markets on top of the Range, and just chill.

This photo won a competition to show the iconic image of Queensland. Say no more...

The Eumundi Markets are on every weekend in the small township and are absolutely massive. I lived in my own little rainforest in Eumundi for 23 years, so I know it well. Stretching over what seems like half the town, you can find original local handcrafts, fine art and a bunch of other odd and interesting knickknacks. The street music and performers will keep you entertained while the food stalls, street cafes and traditional Aussie pubs will keep your hunger and thirst at bay.

Oil painting of the Glasshouse Mountains seen from Maleny.

Geographical landmarks include the striking Glasshouse Mountains that jut out of the surrounding landscape and whose heights take on a misty transparency against the sky. Many aboriginal legends abound on the creation of these unusual landforms.

Greater Queensland

Long, deserted golden sand beaches, islands of natural splendour, pristine rainforests, ancient volcanoes and home to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is the gateway to the tropical north of Queensland. Located here are the World Heritage listed areas of the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforests. Whether you're looking for relaxation or adventure. The Whitsunday Coast and Islands - seventy four islands, eight of them have resortsm, some very exclusive where the Hollywood stars come out to play. Cruising the blue azure ocean is a wonderful way to explore this part of the world, the beaches are glorious, diving and snorkelling the Barrier Reef is a life long memorable experience.

Stretching for 2000kms along the Queensland Coast, the Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 2000 species of fish and countless species of corals. Dotted with hundreds of idyllic tropical islands, much of it is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Park.

 Fell like scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef?

The glorious Whitsundays - hire a yacht and sail around. I've yet to gather up the courage. 

Although Queensland abounds in magnificent sun-drenched beaches and has many tropical and sub-tropical islands well worthy of a visit, if you ever manage to get here, try not to miss seeing the lush rainforests of the north or the stark, surreal beauty of the Australian desert regions.

A sketch of Queensland Country and the Outback

Bundaberg Coral Coast and Country

Is that a bottle of Bundy Rum or what?

Bundaberg Coral Coast and Country - Queensland Australia - known as the southern gateway to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park with air travel and boat cruises to some 13 islands and more than 20 reefs.
Capricorn Coast QLD

Here there are beautiful rainforests, sapphire gemfields to explore, or venture out to the Great Barrier Reef or the popular Heron and Great Keppel islands.

Darling Downs

This vast agricultural region, just west of Brisbane and the Great Dividing Range has wonderful historic towns including Toowoomba, Queensland’s Garden City. The Granite Belt Wineries, some forty in all, are also here, most with cellar doors. Many of my family members hang out on the Downs.

Fraser Coast QLD

On Fraser Island the pristine beach stretches for seventy miles. A 4WD, fishers and camper's paradise.

Encompassing Fraser Island, Hervey Bay, Maryborough, the Great Sandy Strait and the coastal region surrounds of the Fraser Coast QLD. Fraser Island has gorgeous beaches including Seventy Five Mile Beach, sparkling fresh water lakes, multi coloured sandstone cliffs, Australian wildlife and plenty to see and do.

Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise QLD

The Gold Coast. Has a wonderful hinterland too.

South of Brisbane: The Gold Coast is extremely popular with Australians, with over 3 million visitors a year. Hinterland includes Tambourine Mountain where contemporary Aussie writer, Kate Morton pens her historical tomes.

The Outback

The Birdsville Hotel where they hold races once a year. Last year was flooded out and the rich and famous had to camp out for several weeks until they could get their planes out of the mud. The hoi polloi were stranded for up to two months. Not unusual in the Outback.

Wanna live here? Bit far from the beach for most Aussies.

The vast Outback of Queensland Australia has famous places like the Combo Waterhole, Mt Isa, Cloncurry, Boulia, the Birdsville Hotel, the Riversleigh site and the Simpson Desert. Queensland Outback Australia. (Well, just so you know you'll be hearing more about the Outback later...)

Well, that was a massive tour of a massive state, which is much larger than many countries. I think France fits into Austrlia 15 times, so a couple or three of France would fit into Queensland. But as you can see we are rich in beauty and culture.


Grandpa said...

I love Queensland, esp Gold Coast when the kids were younger.

And I think they grow durians too in QLD. I follow Cape Tribulation, north of Thornton Beach, where they grow tropical fruits.

Life on The Farm

Madeleine said...

Wow! Now that's a post and a half! LOL! Looks like a great place :O)

Laura Eno said... I have so much more that I want to see! I'll need at least a year to come visit!

kmckendry said...

Thanks for that wealth of info and gorgeous pictures!

Kris Yankee said...

Oh my I want to come to Queensland! Thanks so much for introducing this USA girl to your land. It looks absolutely beautiful!

jabblog said...

What a vast and beautiful country. I'm sure landscape affects character - no wonder you Aussies are so outgoing and expansive (or am I guilty of stereotyping here?)

notesfromnadir said...

I had no idea that Queensland was so huge & has such a variety of scenery. I love the name Sunshine Coast – sounds like a great blend of sunny beach which is my kinda place!

Also, in the US, north is usually colder, well, at least in the winter.

Marjorie said...

I'd really like to go to Australia one day.

baygirl32 said...

that picture with the drink and the beach, made my jaw drop!

Tiger85 said...

The pictures of the coast just look so beautiful and makes me want to zap over there right now. Wonderful post. =)

Poetry, Quotes and Book Reviews.

Dawn Embers said...

Wow, that looks like an amazing, diverse place to visit. Really wish I could go right now.

I didn't remember the Queensland name from schooling but I can't remember much from Wyoming History either and I live there. lol But the picture helped and I would have made a close educated guess on the name.

The award winning image looks like something I'd see here, but the beaches on the other hand... not so much.

L'Aussie said...

Thanks for your comments. Sounds like you liked my intro to Queensland, a very big country.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Would be cool to visit!!

Charmaine Clancy said...

You've made me homesick for Queensland! I'm sure I'd be a better writer if I lived in the Noosa hinterland.
Plus, QLD writers have the best writer's centre - so many cool courses and conferences to attend! I'll be up for the CYA one in October.
Love love love Queensland :)

Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Halli Gomez said...

Great idea for the A-Z Challenge! So glad you commented on my post and I was able to find you!
Queensland looks beautiful! I love to travel so I can't wait to read the other places you have posted about.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

I really enjoyed your post! That's a whole lot of Q's you've got going on here! Thanks for sharing that info, I had no idea...


L'Aussie said...

Thanks for your interest guys.

sue said...

as a died in the wool Victorian, it's hard to concede that everything is bigger and better up north ;) but with the Autumn chill making me think of lighting a fire I might just have to admit you've got the best Winter weather!
That was a great romp around your state, well done. Sue@JumpingAground (Alliteration & drabbles)
Sue@traverselife(Workplace bullying)

Michael Di Gesu said...


I can't believe I've missed FIVE of your posts.... Not to worry I am going through all of them.

You country is breathtaking. I would ADORE to visit. But as I said before.... 22 hours on a plane..... I would have to be multiple stops....Someday, maybe.

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