Queensland is arguably Australia's premier vacation state, offering numerous idyllic holiday destinations dotted along the coastline (all 6,900+ km of it!) from Coolangatta in the South right up to Cape York Peninsula at the top of the country. The state is Australia's second largest (behind Western Australia), with two thirds of Queensland laying above the Tropic of Capricorn.
Queensland's history dates back to the days of Captain Cook, where he and his crew were some the first Europeans to officially visit the state (albeit unplanned) after running aground on a reef near Cape Tribulation in 1770. However, European settlement of the state began relatively late compared to other states - a convict station was built near Moreton Bay (near Brisbane) in 1824 to cater for some of the most difficult prisoners from some of the Southern convict settlements. After some resistance from the local Aboriginal tribes, the original settlement was abandoned and relocated to where Brisbane is currently stands.
Today, Queensland sits on top of Australia's tourism bandwagon. Primarily known as the "Sunshine State", Queensland boasts an absolute plethora of holiday & vacation destinations, from Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast in the South, through to other famous locations such as the Sunshine Coast (Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Noosa & Beerwah - famous for Steve Irwin's "Australia Zoo"), the Fraser Coast (Hervey Bay, Fraser Island), Bundaberg (traditionally a Sugar Cane area, most famous in recent years for Bundaberg Rum their "Bundy Bear" commercials), the Capricorn Coast (Rockhampton and Yeppoon), the Whitsundays (Mackay, Proserpine and the 74 Whitsunday Islands including Hamilton, Daydream South Molle and Hayman Island to name a few), through to Townsville, Mission Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas, The Daintree, Cape Tribulation, Cooktown right up to the Cape York Peninsula and Weipa.
And then you have the Great Barrier Reef - stretching for thousands of kilometres from near Bundaberg (Lady Elliot Island) in the South right up through to the Whitsundays, Cairns, Port Douglas and Far North Queensland through to the Northern most tip of Queensland (and Australia for that matter). Abundant with natural tropical beauty, the Great Barrier Reef is teeming with over 2,000 species of fish, turtles, dugongs and extensive coral atolls and gardens protected by a World Heritage listing. And, of course, you are sure to find Nemo.
However, Queensland is more than just beaches and reef. There's the rainforests of the Daintree and Far North Queensland. The sub tropical delights of the Gold Coast hinterland. The outback of Longreach, Winton, or the stark landscapes of Chillagoe or the Undara Lava Tubes. It seems that no matter where you go in Queensland, there is always a discovery to be made. A thousand destinations, a thousand experiences. I think that is what makes the state so special.