the fp is things-to-do
Things to see and do in Queensland
Tourism Queensland in the UKAddress: Sixth Floor, Australia Centre, Melbourne Place, Strand,
Telephone: (020) 7240 0525.
Attractions in Queensland
Aboriginal rock art
Examine excellent examples of Aboriginal rock art among the escarpment country near Laura in the Cape York Peninsula. In Brisbane there are many places to appreciate and buy indigenous art including galleries in New Farm and the city.
Seize the moment in the adventure sports capital of Australia: you can practise paragliding and parasailing all along the coast; abseiling is possible in Lamington and Carnarvon National Parks; the Sunshine Coast and Mount Tamborine are the main destinations for hang gliding.
Steve Irwin's legacy lives on at this unique wildlife park in Beerwah, 60km (37 miles) north of Brisbane. It's home to Asian elephants, a Sumatran tiger and, of course, a few crocs (www.australiazoo.com.au).
Sightsee in Australia's fastest-growing city, Brisbane, with its year-round warm subtropical climate. The Gallery of Modern Art (www.qag.qld.gov.au) is superb and sits alongside the Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Museum (www.qm.qld.gov.au) and Queensland Performing Arts Centre at South Bank (www.qpac.com.au).
Bushwalk and tree climb
Bushwalk around the cooler southern regions: Lamington National Park has a well-maintained, graded track system in the McPherson Range, which features tall rainforests, waterfalls and gorges. Or take a walk on the Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway in Wooroonooran National Park.
This World Heritage-listed tropical rainforest is the place to visit for eco-tours, crocodile cruises, mangrove boating or 4-wheel drive trips. At Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the reef, guided jungle walks bring you into contact with amazing plant and animal species.
Live your waterbaby dream: from surfing (try Surfers Paradise, the Sunshine Coast, and Bribie, Moreton and North Stradbroke Islands) to sailing round the islands and canoeing and sea-kayaking around the Great Barrier Reef, or simply lazing on a perfect tropical beach.
Motor over to Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world and 4-wheel drive to your heart's content. The dense tropical rainforests, gorges and freshwater lakes shelter a diverse ecology. You can often spot whales, sharks, dolphins and turtles offshore. Stretching over 120km (75 miles) from tip-to-tip and covering an area of 165,280 hectares (408,423 acres), Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. Characterised by its stunning freshwater lakes, coloured sand cliffs, lush rainforests growing in the sand, secluded creeks and long, white sandy beaches, the idyllic island attracts thousands of visitors each year who come on 4x4-led camping trips or to stay in lodges including the new award-winning eco lodge, Kingfisher Bay, built on the island's west coast. Aside from its swimming holes, creeks and stunning natural beauty, other attractions on the island include the rusting wreck of the Maheno ship which ran aground during a cyclone in 1935 and the former logging camp of Central Station that's now home to an exhibition about the island's unique environment.
Party hard on the yellow sand along the Gold Coast (www.verygoldcoast.com.au). Surfers Paradise is a Miami-style high-rise strip overlooking a crowded beach. Zoom into the Gold Coast hinterland, one of Queensland's best wilderness areas.
Great Barrier Reef
Be gobsmacked by the beauty and size of the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world's great natural wonders. Stretching for 2,000km (1,200 miles) along the Queensland coast, it offers great views from both above and below, with unique plant and animal life.
Great Barrier Reef
Learn to dive and experience the subterranean splendour of the Great Barrier Reef (www.dive-queensland.com.au), with visibility often as deep as 60m (200ft). Heron and Lady Elliot Islands are coral cays renowned as the best diving spots on the reef.
Enjoy some of the best beaches in the world. The Sunshine Coast has miles of untouched wilderness and beaches with surf. Mission Beach has 14km (9 miles) of white sand, while the expanse of sand and sea around Fraser Island is heaven sent.
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway (www.skyrail.com.au) just outside Cairns spans nearly 8km (5 miles) of rainforest, allowing you 90 minutes of canopy cruising with stops at Red Peak, Barron Falls and Kuranda stations.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the most famous marine-protected area in the world and the largest UNESCO World Heritage area. Covering a geographical area of 35 million hectares (86 million acres) and stretching approximately 2300km (1429 miles) along the coast of northeastern Australia from Bundaberg to Cape York, the Reef is bigger in size than the states of Victoria and Tasmania combined. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world and home to approximately 400 different types of coral. It is also an area of outstanding natural beauty and home to around 1500 different species of fish, 4000 types of mollusc and many endangered species. There are also more than 30 historic shipwrecks in the area and a number of archaeological sites which are of Aboriginal origin. In 2005, more coral reefs were discovered in the Gulf of Carpentaria off Australia's north coast.
The McPherson Range
Appreciate nature in all its glory from lush green mountains to rainforests and scenic wilderness areas. Nature lovers will enjoy Lamington National Park in the McPherson Mountains, the volcanic plateau of Tamborine Mountain and the Currumbin Bird Sanctuary.
Unleash your inner child and visit a fun (or tacky, depending on your disposition) theme park (http://themeparks.com.au), such as Sea World, Movie World, Dreamworld or WhiteWater World , all situated along the Gold Coast.
This four-day music extravaganza is held over the long weekend in April/May and promises a unique experience in the foothills of Eungella National Park, watching a wonderful programme of music, dancing, song and verse (www.wintermoonfestival.com).