Queensland, Australia

 

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The landscape of Queensland varies from rainforest in the north, to grasslands further south, with large areas used for the  cultivation of bananas, pineapples, papayas and sugar cane. Golden sandy beaches grace almost the entire Queensland coast.
 

For this stretch of the journey we flew from Sydney to Cairns, drove north to Port Douglas and then followed the coastal highway for 1750 kilometers to Brisbane.

Point Tribulation, like all beaches, is deserted at this time of year (Australia's summer) due to the presence of stingers, poisonous jelly fish.
 

Daintree National Park encompasses the "wet tropics" rainforest and beaches of Cape Tribulation and the clear waters of the  Mossman River. We enjoyed a swim in the Mossman Gorge before learning of its crocodiles.
 

Airlie Beach is an attractive resort town which accesses the Whitsunday Islands and Conway National Park.

An archipelago of 74 islands, the Whitsundays lie between the Queensland coast and the Great Barrier Reef. They are characterized by dense rainforest, hiking trails and white sand beaches.
 

The best way to see the Whitsundays is by sailing excursion, as only 7 of them, such as Hamilton Island seen here, have tourist accommodation.
 

The Great Barrier Reef is 2000 kilometers long stretching from Lady Elliot island off Bundaberg to just south of Papua New Guinea. It is home to 1,500 kinds of fish, 400 species of coral, 4,000 kinds of clams and snails and various sponges, urchins and starfish.
 

There are different points on the coast to access the reef. A 90-minute boat ride to a platform stationed on the outer reef, allows visitors to scuba dive, snorkel or view the reef from a glass bottom boat. (photo courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland)

Brisbane and other coastal towns and cities have created pleasant salt-water lagoons as safe protected swimming areas.

Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  With no paved roads, travel on Fraser Island is by special tour buses only, equipped to drive on the sand.
 

One of the 42 lakes on Fraser Island, Lake Birrabeen shimmers with clear water and white sand.

Eli Creek has pure clear waters flowing over silica crystal sand. At the nearby Eurong Resort we viewed the last remaining pure strain of dingoes.
 

  

Signs alert swimmers to the danger of poisonous jellyfish.
 

 

Signs warn of the danger of flash floods.

 

A speed bump sign has been altered to warn of the risk to local cassowaries.

There are constant reminders of the dangers of being in this natural area, from flash floods, to poisonous plants and animals, to the risk of injuring wildlife.
 

The towns of Queensland are reminiscent of the American "wild west." Real cowboys work on large cattle ranches.

From the top of Castle Hill, a pink granite monolith in Townsville, a view of the varied landscape, and of offshore Magnetic Island can be seen.
 

Near Rockhampton, tours of the Capricorn Caves show the limestone formations, the narrow water channels, and the Cathedral Chamber which is used for weddings.
 

Near Caloundra, The Ginger Factory offers tours to see how local ginger is processed.

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This site was last updated 01/13/21