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Queensland.

Queensland, beautiful one day, perfect the next.

If you happen to be Australian you would, quite naturally, divide Queensland into  four different regions.

The South East corner, which includes Brisbane, Queensland's capital and the Gold and the Sunshine coasts, The Islands, including the Whitsundays, the Tropical North and, of course, the Outback.

Brisbane City skyline. Brisbane itself is a thriving cosmopolitan city of about 1.2 million people, situated in the state's South East.

It is the fastest growing area in Australia, famed for its relaxed, easy going lifestyle and its wonderful climate.

Al Fresco dining here is as good as anywhere in the world with superb seafood, locally caught, being the order of the day and whether you want to eat "5 star" or "fish and chips" style you'll find something to tempt your taste buds.

A small city by comparison to it's southern counterparts (Sydney and Melbourne), Brisbane has everything the visitor could possibly want (except snow, you'll never be able to ski in Brissie!!). The summer storms can be ferocious.

The Queensland climate is superb, winter days are generally quite warm with sunny blue skies and no rain, summer can get very hot and humid, sometimes with severe thunderstorms in the evening.

Take a coach ride to the famous Gold Coast or the The Sunshine Coast, both less than an hour away, and spend a day or two on the best beaches in the world, (at least that’s my opinion), enjoy the surf, soak up the sun, chat to the locals, they’re all very friendly and they’ll tell you the best places to eat, dance, and have fun.

Stay at The Hilton Hotel or The Conrad Treasury Hotel or go to one of the local backpacker inns and receive a good clean bed in very safe and friendly surroundings, Brisbane has both, as well as a good supply of accommodation which fits between the two extremes.

Of these options, timeshare rentals are one of the most cost-effective as they are less expensive, but offer the same luxuries as a five star hotel. However, timeshares in Queensland are also among the most popular Australia timeshare resorts for both domestic and international travellers, so it is wise to book early.

One Of Queensland's great hotels

Just follow the link to find the best, and cheapest places to eat, or for what's on in town this week, gigs, movies, live theatre, the best bars and so on try here, you'll find all you need to know.

In the central coastal region of Queensland is a collection of 74 beautiful islands, only 8 of which are inhabited and, together with the adjoining coast they make up The fabulous Whitsundays.

Approximately seventy percent of the region is national forest and The Great Barrier Reef marine park, protected by legislation. The Whitsundays are spectacular.

Stunning beaches and spectacular rainforest where many species of native birds, mammals and reptiles abound.

Local estuaries and wetlands that meander inland from the coast to the Proserpine River are also a feature.

The Whitsundays are unique, exotic and spectacularly beautiful - one of those rare and unforgettable places where Mother Nature is at her best, and where there is nature, there is adventure.

The Whitsundays experience is indeed something extraordinary, particularly when it comes to outdoor adventure and recreational activities, offering something for everyone.

Cocktails anyone ?

On the islands you can indulge yourself in all the creature comforts you could want, sip cocktails while sitting on the beach alone or around the pool with friends, pamper yourself with a relaxing massage or party into the night with a loved one.

You choose.

Most of the islands cater for families as well as couples, many offering such delights as ‘kids clubs’ with organised activities, a boon for frazzled parents who just would like some time to indulge themselves. One of Hayman Island's beaches.

Whether you visit Daydream Island, renown for its world class spa, Hamilton with its 10 restaurants, 7 swimming pools and more than 40 activities or Hayman's five star luxury surrounded by calm crystal clear water, whether its Long Island ( perhaps the prettiest of them all ) with its 20 kilometres of beautiful bush walks or casual and relaxed South Molle, you’ll find great food, from silver service to ‘cheap eats’, cocktails and cold beer ( an Aussie icon ) and enough entertainment to keep you amused or wear you out.

If you’re going to the Whitsundays let’s not forget the mainland where the dining and entertainment options centre around Airlie Beach.

The food is excellent, clubs and bars are plentiful and the shopping is as good as anywhere.

Every Saturday the Airlie foreshore and parkland transforms into a bustling market with stalls selling fresh fruit and veges, local arts and crafts and all manner of goods under the shade of the coconut palms.

Airlie Beach is lined with unique shopping experiences from clothing to jewellery to gifts.

There is a range of diverse shops, most opening all day, every day, into the early evening.

Most of the islands have kiosks selling basic provisions for any unexpected holiday needs and some of the larger islands also have general stores to allow for self-catering if desired.

All the islands have gift shops or boutiques to satisfy all of your shopping cravings.

What a way to relax.

In Tropical North Queensland, which is the spa capital of Australia, you'll find some of the finest spas in the world.

You can take your spa in the rainforest or overlooking the beach, your choice, but whichever you choose it’s sure to please.

The drive north from the vibrant tropical city of Cairns which is the gateway to two World Heritage areas, (the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics rainforest, and the Queensland Outback,) to Port Douglas is one of Australia's most scenic, with graceful views across the Coral Sea toward the Great Barrier Reef.

The World Heritage rainforests are also accessible by car, with the Daintree very popular. Magic views of the Atherton Tablelands.

The drive south takes you to the romantic beachside hamlets and mountain ranges of Mission Beach, while west will take you through the Atherton Tablelands where cosy B & Bs and private retreats await.

The Savannah Way is a must do trip if you want to follow in the footsteps of the earliest pioneers from Cairns west to the Gulf of Carpentaria and possibly the ultimate self-drive experience, the trek to the tip of Australia, Cape York, is pure adventure.

A word of warning is probably required here, if you do decide that you want to make the drive from Cairns to Cape York, don’t go on your own, always take at least two vehicles, plenty of supplies and fuel and make sure you let the local police know where you plan to go.

It is beautiful but it can also be very dangerous for the unprepared.

Peace and quiet

In Tropical North Queensland you can go hot air ballooning over the Tablelands, ride four wheel ATVs through eucalypt forests, go horse riding on the Cape Tribulation beach or parachuting, bungy jumping, sea kayaking, and you can even indulge yourself in some of Australia’s best white water rafting.

You’ll also find some of Australia’s best Aboriginal experiences, including the award-winning Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park - the first complete Aboriginal experience in Australia, and the exciting Pamagirri Dance Troupe at Rainforestation.

Various tours reveal the prehistoric and modern artworks, body painting, authentic artefacts, indigenous knowledge of bush foods and medicines, customs and festivals of the Aboriginal, Thursday Islander and Torres Strait Islander people.

The fishing is superb. Outback Queensland is Australia’s final frontier.

Follow in the footsteps of those intrepid European pioneers who first explored this region, gaze in awe at the stark beauty of the desert dunes or sit in the shade of Coolabah tree beside a gently flowing stream.

The Queensland outback has it all.

You’ll find world heritage listed areas filled with dinosaur bones, beautiful fishing holes just waiting for you to wet a line and genuine down to earth people all combining to make this a place like no other.

These days the area is quite easily accessible by air or rail or, if you prefer to drive, by car or coach, on mostly sealed roads.

The National Parks, well worth a visit.

Stretching from Mitchell in the east, to Birdsville in the west, this region of Queensland is a fusion of stunning red sand hills, abundant wildlife and magnificent flora.

You can immerse yourself some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet and see colours you’ve never seen except in someone else’s photos.

Perhaps you’d prefer to experience the simple pleasure of wandering through the most outstanding national parks and state forests; they will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.

It’s all up to you…

Outback Queensland has all the options for accommodation that you could possibly want, from five star luxury to Hostels, Budget Hotels, B & Bs, Apartments and Campsites.

You can stay in the local pub and eat some of the best tucker you’ll find anywhere, or maybe a night or two on a farm is more your style.

You can take a tent or caravan or you can opt for some excellent bed and breakfast hospitality, you can bunk down at a backpackers hostel or, if roughing it really isn’t your style, you can go the whole hog and stay at one of the exceptional five star facilities.

Performing arts, events and shows, sporting contests, no matter what your particular idea of a holiday is you’ll find it in Queensland.

Yes it’s all about choice, and in Queensland the choice is always yours...................... enjoy,

John.


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