I thought I would put some general information up about Queensland for example Queensland is 7 times larger than the UK Where is Queensland? In Australia. Queensland forms the north-east corner of the Australian continent and is the country’s second largest State. How big is Queensland? Queensland is big! Covering 1.8 million kilometres and covers more than a quarter of Australia’s total area. Queensland is more than 7 times the size of the United Kingdom. What is the population? Queensland’s population 3.88 million as at June 2004. The south-east corner of Queensland contains over two-thirds of the State’s total population and has Australia’s second busiest international gateway — Brisbane. Brisbane has 1.6 million residents. Cairns city in Tropical North Queensland is the State’s northern-most regional center and has a population of over 120,000 within the city’s boundaries. What is the capital city? Brisbane is the State’s capital city and is located in Southern Queensland. What is the government structure? Queensland is governed by a democratic State parliament. Is English the office language? Yes, English is Australia’s official language — you will hear many colorful local expressions in that unique Australian accent. How long is Queensland's coastline? The coastline, bounded by the Pacific Ocean stretches 7400 kilometres. Why is Queensland unique? Queensland is host to five of Australia’s fourteen World Heritage areas Scenic Rim National Parks — south of Brisbane, the largest area of sub-tropical rainforest in Southern Queensland Fraser Island — combining natural sand blows, coastal heath, mangrove swamps, pristine freshwater lakes, subtropical rainforest and sand dunes. Riversleigh Fossil Fields — within Lawn Hill National Park in the remote north-west, this is one of the four most significant fossil sites in the world. Wet Tropics — from Townsville to Cooktown, comprising some of the world’s oldest rainforests including the Daintree National Park Great Barrier Reef — stretching for over 2000km along Queensland’s coastline, this is the world’s most diverse coral reef system. Only in Queensland will you find two World Heritage sites side by side, where the rainforest meets the reef. [h=3]What is the climate like?[/h] The average maximum temperature is 25.2C and the average minimum temperature is 15.7C. Queensland’s climate is not as distinctive as the cooler climates of Australia’s southern states. Queensland experiences some of the most sublime winter weather you’ll ever experience. The days are invariably mild, fine and sunny. Temperatures are rarely uncomfortably high or low in Queensland. The coastal towns enjoy cool sea breezes in the summer. The tropical regions such as Cairns are warm with a high humidity. Temperatures may be higher in the Outback, but the humidity is much lower. Temperatures in the hinterland and mountains are cooler than on the coast. Spring - September to November In Spring, Queensland experiences perfect weather. The days are warm and sunny but with soft breezes to comfortably cool you down. The evenings are pleasant but fresh. Summer - December to February In Summer, the coastal cities and resorts have the benefit of cooling sea breezes. Inland centers experience higher temperatures, but still have comfortable weather because of the low humidity level. Autumn - March to May Autumn signals the end of hot summer temperatures to cooler days and nights. While still experiencing warm days, the temperature in autumn is cooler and crisper, in preparation for winter. Winter - June to August In Winter, Queensland has one of the world’s most delightful climates. The days are usually fine and sunny with mild to warm temperatures. Nights are generally cool, and early morning temperatures can be crisp. Temperatures inland or at mountain resorts are cooler than on the coast. What to wear Queensland has a warm, sunny climate so casual, lightweight clothes (in natural fibers) are generally worn. Most Queenslanders dress informally, although you should include smart casual outfit for restaurants, hotels and bars. Comfortable shoes, shorts and jeans are a must for bushwalking, fossicking or horse riding. Sand shoes (sneakers) are recommended if you intend to reef-walk. In winter in the southern part of Queensland, temperatures can drop so some warm clothing such as a jacket or sweatshirt should be included. It is advisable to wear a hat during the day, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect you from the warm rays of the sun. Extra protection in the Queensland sun Luckily the Queensland lifestyle revolves around the great outdoors but remember the Australian sun is fierce. Enjoy Queensland’s activities (including sightseeing), without the risk of harmful exposure to the sun by using simple skin protection. Wear a broad brimmed hat, a shirt with a collar and sleeves and SPF30+ broad spectrum, water resistant sun-screen on exposed skin. Try to avoid the sun during the middle of the day (10am-2pm) when the ultraviolet rays are at their strongest. Beach safety. Queensland has a long standing commitment to surf safety. Surf Life Savers patrol the main swimming beaches throughout Queensland — you’ll recognise their red and yellow caps! For your own safety, and to minimise risks, swim between the red and yellow flags. Minimise risks by observing simple safety rules: Always swim or surf at places patrolled by surf lifesavers or lifeguards. Swim between the red and yellow flags, they mark the safest area to swim. Always swim under supervision or with a friend. Read and obey signs. Don’t swim immediately after eating. If you are unsure of surf conditions, ask a lifesaver or lifeguard. Never run and dive into the water. Even if you have checked before, conditions can change. Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or in darkness. If you get into trouble in the water, don’t panic. Raise your arm for help, float and wait for assistance. Float with the current; don’t try to swim against it. What about Marine Stingers. Stingers live in tropical waters all over the world and can be found in Queensland anywhere north of Agnes Water. Queensland has two jellyfish species that have been classified as dangerous: the Chironex Box Jellyfish and the Irukandji. Please visit Marine Stingers for more information. "Stinger Season" is generally from early November to early June For your safety, always swim between the red and yellow flags at beaches patrolled by lifeguards or swim in stinger enclosures (where and when available) If you swim in unprotected waters, wear a "stinger suit" or stockings to protect exposed skin. If you are stung, wash the affected area with household vinegar as soon as possible and seek medical attention. What are the average hours of daylight? Average yearly days of sunshine is 263 Summer average hours of daylight is 13.5 Winter average hours of daylight is 10.5 Are there different time zones in Australia? Yes, there are three time zones in Australia. Eastern Standard Time (Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania) Central Standard Time (South Australia, Northern Territory) Western Standard Time (Western Australia) Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) is: Los Angeles time - 17 hours London time + 10 hours Saudi Arabia time + 7 hours United Arab Emirates time + 6 hours When are the public holidays in Queensland? The major public holidays celebrated in Queensland include: New Years Day - January 1 Australia Day - January 26 Good Friday - March or April Easter Monday - March or April ANZAC Day - April 25 Labor Day - First Monday in May Queen’s Birthday - June 9 Royal Queensland Show Day (Brisbane only) -August Christmas Day - December 25 Boxing Day - December 26 What is the emergency number in Australia? The contact number for police, fire and ambulance services throughout Australia is 000. Will my hairdryer work in Queensland? The voltage in Australia is 240/250 volts (AC50 hz). You will need an adaptor to convert your personal appliances such as a hairdryer and electric shaver. Australia use the metric system, what are the conversions? In Australia, petrol and milk are sold by the litre (L) and apples & potatoes by the kilogram(kg). Temperature is measured in degrees Celsius, distance is by the metre (m) or kilometre (km), and speed limits are in kilometres per hour (km/h). What is the currency in Australia? Australian currency is decimal with the dollar as the basic unit (100 cents equals one dollar). Notes come in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 and coins come in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 denominations. Odd numbers of cents are rounded up or down to the nearest 5c. Are there any taxes? Yes, a goods and services tax currently applies in Australia. Where do I exchange foreign currency? While all banks can exchange foreign currency and travellers checks, some major branches provide bureaux de change. Specialist exchange facilities are also available at airports throughout Queensland and many international hotels also offer currency exchange. Are all credit cards accepted? Major international credit and charge cards including Visa, American Express and MasterCard are widely accepted. Electronic Funds Transfer Point of Sale (EFTPOS) services are also available at many retail outlets. ATM cards can be used in Australia at both Automatic Teller Machines and at most retail locations so long as they have been validated for international access. To access your account, cardholders are required to use their personal identification number when obtaining cash or services. Contact your bank for information on availability and service charges. Is Tipping customary in Australia? Tipping is not the general custom in Australia. At any time, tipping is your choice.