Queensland's east is very much an idilyic tropical paradise. Lush rainforest
stretches along almost the whole of Queensland's east coast. In the north
the Great Barrier Reef is enormously
popular. Scuba diving schools and snorkeeling trips can be arranged from
Cairns to Gladstone. The reef is best in the north and Cairns
has developed into a major tourist destination with many other adventure
tour and adventure sports operators.
The most islands are in the Whitsunday group off Airlie
Beach. Many of the islands have resorts and Airlie Beach itself
has developed into a ferry and diving school centre. Costs are cheaper
staying on the mainland.
Further south again, off Rockhampton, is
Great Keppel Island which
is orientated for young people. Many of the other resorts are exclusive
and very expensive.
Fraser Island, off Hervey
Bay, though not near the reef is the world's largest sand island. It
is an almost unspoilt wilderness and an exciting trip to tackle in a four
wheel drive vehicle or tour.
The Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast in the far south are lined with
surf beaches. The Gold Coast is much
more developed with a jungle of multi-storey apartments and hotels at Surfers
Paradise and a multitude of nightclubs and bars. It also feature theme
parks with exilarating rides, many guaranteed to get you wet. On the Sunshine
Coast, Noosa Heads is very pleasant and
Brisbane with a population of one
million is the capital of Queensland.
Once you travel inland the landscape quickly becomes very dry, sparsely
populated, and in the west arid. The road to the Nothern Teritory
runs west from Townsville and through the isolated
mining town of Mount Isa.
To reach Sydney travel south
from the Gold Coast along the New South Wales north coast, through
towns such as Byron Bay.