Queensland (abbreviated as Qld) is the second-largest and third-most populous state in Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Walesto the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. Queensland has a population of 4,560,059, concentrated along the coast and particularly in the state's South East. The state is the world's sixth largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 km2. The capital and largest city in the state is Brisbane, Australia's third largest city. Referred to as the "Sunshine State", Queensland is home to 10 of Australia's 30 largest cities and is the nation's third largest economy.
Queensland was first occupied by Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. The first European to land in Queensland (and Australia) was Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606, who explored the west coast of the Cape York Peninsula near present-day Weipa. In 1770, Lieutenant James Cook claimed the east coast of Australia for theKingdom of Great Britain. The colony of New South Wales was founded in 1788 by Governor Arthur Phillip at Sydney; New South Wales at that time included all of what is now Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. Queensland was explored in subsequent decades until the establishment of a penal colony at Brisbane in 1824 by John Oxley. Penal transportationceased in 1839 and free settlement was allowed from 1842.
The state was named in honour of Queen Victoria, who on 6 June 1859 signed Letters Patent separating the colony from New South Wales. The date 6 June is now celebrated state-wide as Queensland Day. Queen Victoria, who went on to become Britain's longest reigning monarch, chose an eponymous name for the colony over Cooksland, which had been suggested by the influential local Presbyterian minister John Dunmore Lang in honour of navigator James Cook. Queensland achieved statehood with the Federation of Australia on 1 January 1901.
The history of Queensland spans thousands of years, encompassing both a lengthy indigenous presence, as well as the eventful times of post-European settlement. The north-eastern Australian region was explored by Dutch, Portuguese and French navigators before being encountered by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770. The state has witnessed frontier warfare between European settlers and Indigenous inhabitants (which did not result in any settlement or treaty), as well as the exploitation of cheap Kanaka labour sourced from the South Pacific through a form of forced recruitment known at the time as "blackbirding". The Australian Labor Party has its origin as a formal organisation in Queensland and the town of Barcaldine is the symbolic birthplace of the party. June 2009 marked the 150th anniversary of its creation as a separate colony from New South Wales. A rare record of early settler life in north Queensland can be seen in a set of ten photographic glass plates taken in the 1860s by Richard Daintree, in the collection of the National Museum of Australia.
Tourism is Queensland's leading tertiary industry with millions of interstate and overseas visitors flocking to the Sunshine State each year. The industry generates $4.0 billion annually, accounting for 4.5% of Queensland's GSP. Queensland is a state of many landscapes that range from sunny tropical coastal areas, lush rainforests to dry inland areas.
The main tourist destinations of Queensland include, Brisbane, Cairns, Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest, Gold Coast, the Great Barrier Reef, Hervey Bay and nearby Fraser Island, Townsville, Magnetic Island, North Stradbroke Islandand South Stradbroke Island, Sunshine Coast, Hamilton Island, Daydream Island and the Whitsundays known for Airlie Beach and Whitehaven Beach.
Cairns is renowned as the "Gateway to the Barrier Reef" and the heritage listed Daintree Rainforests. The Gold Coast of Queensland is also sometimes referred to as "Australia's Theme Park Capital", with five major amusement parks. These areDreamworld, Movie World, Sea World, Wet 'n' Wild and WhiteWater World.
There are numerous wildlife parks in Queensland. On the Gold Coast there isCurrumbin Wildlife Sanctuary at Currumbin and David Fleay Wildlife Park at Burleigh Heads. On the Sunshine Coast there is UnderWater World at Mooloolaba andAustralia Zoo near Beerwah/Glass House Mountains, home of Steve Irwin until his death in 2006.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary at Fig Tree Pocket and Brisbane Forest Park at The Gap are located in Brisbane. North of Brisbane is Alma Park Zoo which is relocating to Logan City and Kumbartcho Wildlife Sanctuary which was originally called Bunya Park Wildlife Sanctuary.
Accommodation in Queensland caters for nearly 22% of the total expenditure, followed by restaurants/meals (15%), airfares (11%), fuel (11%) and shopping/gifts (11%).
Queensland is served by a number of National Highways and, particularly in South East Queensland, motorways such as the M1. The Queensland government Department of Transport & Main Roads oversees the development and operation of main roads and public transport, including taxis and local aviation.
Major seaports include the Port of Brisbane and subsidiary ports at Gladstone,Townsville and Bundaberg. There are large coal export facilities at Hay Point / Dalrymple Bay, Gladstone and Abbot Point. Sugar is another major export, with facilities at Lucinda and Mackay.
Brisbane Airport is the main international and domestic gateway serving the state. Gold Coast Airport, Cairns International Airport and Townsville Airport are the next most prominent airports, all with scheduled international flights. Other regional airports, with scheduled domestic flights, include Great Barrier Reef Airport, Hervey Bay Airport, Mackay Airport, Mount Isa Airport, Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport, Rockhampton Airport, and Sunshine Coast Airport.
South East Queensland has an integrated public transport system operated by the TransLink Transit Authority, which provides services bus, rail, light rail and ferry services through contracted bus, ferry and light rail operators and Queensland Rail. The TransLink network operates a fare system which allows a single ticket to be used across all modes for the same price irrespective of the number of transfers made on the trip. Regional bus and long-distance rail services are also provided throughout the State. Local bus services are also available in most regional centres.
The state's first university, The University of Queensland was established in 1909. It was moved to St Lucia in 1945, where it remains today. The University of Queensland ranks amongst the top 100 universities in several global rankings.
James Cook University was set up in 1970 to become the first tertiary education institution in North Queensland. Griffith University was established in the Brisbane suburb of Nathan in 1971. Bond University was established in 1989 as a not-for-profit university, the first of its type in Queensland and is located at Robina on theGold Coast. In the Brisbane central business district at Gardens Point theQueensland University of Technology was opened in 1989 (previously the Queensland Institute of Technology).
In the following decades the Central Queensland University, University of Southern Queensland and the University of the Sunshine Coast were established. The Australian Catholic University also operates a campus in Brisbane. In 1997 the National Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA) was established and in 2010Southern Cross University opened a new campus at the southern part of the Gold Coast.