The state covers a land mass of some 1,734,190 sq.Km, it's the 2nd largest of the states that make up the commonwealth of Australia. It has a coast line of 13,350 Km, with approx 1000 islands on the continental shelf. The population of Australia is approx 21million with Queensland accounting for some 3.9 million of which 1.7 million reside in Bribane. It is the fastest growing state percentage wise at approx 1500 per week. The 2000 km Great Barrier Reef Starts at Bundaberg, some 400Km north of Brisbane and 200km below the Tropic of Capricorn which crosses through Rockhampton. We usually see the sun for 7-11 hours per day: rain is very unpredictable; It's the end of march 2005 and no rain at all for some 4 months. However It can get very humid during late December to the end of February with temps in the mid +30's and humidity around the 80-90% on some days. Early 2005 saw some days with up to 40C, but no rain. I must qualify that statement, I am talking about The south East corner and particularly Brisbane where I live, further north and it can get much higher. If one travels west the heat can be higher but far less humidity. The high temps and high humidity usually last for approx 4 weeks intersperced with relatively cooler days. We have a season called 'winter' with a few days of 6C at night to 18C in the day, however other than this brief period that lasts for about 6 weeks the rest of the year is fantastic. The year 0f 2009 has been an exception to the rule by being the wettest on record for 100 years.
The southeast corner is the most populated with one of the most equitable climates that I have experienced around the world. Most housing is $250-$300,000 bracket, they are fairly large by eupoean standards, few with heating installed as keeping the house and occupants cool is more important during the year. In my house we do not have any heaters or fireplaces hence heating costs per yearas such per year are practically nil. What does cost money is water, therefore many are conscious of the fact that we do not waste any more than necessary:Luscious gardens can be a luxury no sprinklers, no washing of cars in driveways etc.
We have to expect that in some years we are going to have to experience storms some violent, the bad storms can cause damage to many properties. Cyclones are mostly seen above the tropic of capricorn however very occasionally they can come down as far as Brisbane. On the otherhand they can be localised, such as we experinced in 2008 in 'The Gap' where we live Click here on Sunday 16th November at 4pm we were struck by a storm with winds locally about 200kph whidid considerable damage to our tiled roof and consequently to ceilings and other parts of the house. Some 4000 homes were damage and about 200 demolished: in February 2009 we were moved out for 2 weeks and the house repaired. We now have a house with new carpets throughout and may other things, as we were fully insured. This was the first time in 38 years we suffered any damage at all.
Lifestyle is mainly outdors 7/24, but one has to be careful of exposure to the sun. Queensland is the world capital of skin cancer, which is entirely controllable by the individual.A beach lifestyle is fine so long as you do NOT sunbake, you wear a hat and you do slop on the sunscreen. Children have to be watched and educated, because its later in life 20-30 years the cancers will appear. At 76 I have had 2 cut out and many burnt off the cheeks and forehead, so has the wife. However my children have only had one or two removed as they were educated to be sun aware. With some people of north european skin 15-20 mins of 10am to 3pm sun will cause a burn, 3/4 hr a bad burn. Sunglasses are a necessity because the UV will damage the retina, you need them also on overcast days.
Poisonous nasties, snakes, crocs, spiders etc! Are rarely a hazzard in the built up areas; I have only met with 2 deadly snakes and they went the other way plus 4 non poisonous constrictor or tree snakes. Seen only 2 crocs in the wild: deliberately. Spiders are around the house and garden but the bigger they are the less dangereous, its the small redback and the whitetail that can make you sick. What puts most people off is the cockroachs which are something that you put up with in the tropics: they fly on or come in betweeen the walls, they are a fact of life. Oh yes! insect screens are also a fact of life if you do not want to be bitten to death by flying insects and mosquitos'. In the far north wet tropics Dengue and Ross River fever are something you might need to deal with, malaria not as yet, although its in Indonesia and PNG, just across the Timor. 2009 both Ross River and Dengue cases are on the rise due to climate change as there is no doubt that the temperature overall has risen so case are now appearing a low down as Bunderberg and Crocodiles also.
Traveling north from the border with NSW (New South Wales), the area being known as the Gold Coast all the way to the most northern tip of Cape York, to the settlement of Bamaga.The trip will need a 4WD from Cairns onwards, it will also take About 5-8 days so long as it does not rain and covers some 3200 km. If you stop at Cairns it takes 4 days and you need to Average 700km per day, total 2100km :fly!no way :)) The trip is beautiful after you get past Townsville and into the Wet Tropics. Yes we have not left the state of Queensland let alone left Australia.
Referring to the map (Click here) you will notice that the population centres and bigger towns are all on the coast. The further north you go the greater the distances, just so, also out west. It is not unknown for some people on outlaying stations to drive 200-400 km to do the shopping, hence we regard 100-400 km drive just a day out. If I am going away up North for a holiday, I will most likely leave at around 4am and get to Mackay between 2.30pm and 3.30 a distance of some 1000km. The next day I will make Townsville, from this point on the Wet Tropics begin and the best country and photographic areas begin. On the way back I will always stop off at Proserpine and then to Arlie Beach and Schute Harbour, the gateway to the Whitsundays: