Queensland is very diverse. Visitors have a choice of energetic Gold Coast holidays , the more relaxed pace of Sunshine Coast holidays or adventures in Tropical North Queensland and the remote gulf country. The countryside ranges from virgin rain forest to dry outback and from equatorial tropics to cool plateaus.
Queensland contains a narrow coastal belt running the length of the state which is home to the majority of tourism regions, larger cities, major towns and holiday centres. The high rainfall on the coastal belt supports a large sugar industry, most of which is in the northern part of the state. Cross the Great Dividing Range and you enter the lush tablelands of the north, rolling cattle country grasslands and coal mines in the state centre and the rich grain farming country of the south. Keep heading west and you enter the Queensland Outback which becomes progressively drier and more sparsely populated.
Travel in Queensland is time consuming because of the sheer size of the state. A journey of a couple of hundred kilometres is considered a short trip when you realise the state is 2000 kilometres (1250 miles) north-south and 1400 kilometres (900 miles) east-west. Those are straight line map distances, actual travel distances are considerably further.
The state sits either side of the Tropic of Capricorn with warm tropics to the north and warm temperates to the south. There is a narrow sub-equatorial coastal band from Cairns around the northern coast to the Northern Territory border.
Winter is June – August with maximum temperatures around 20° C in the southern coastal regions, 23° C in the central coastal regions and 25° C in the northern coastal regions. Summer is December – February with maximum temperatures around 29° C in the southern coastal regions and 31° C in both the central and northern coastal regions.
Temperatures in outback areas are more extreme. Summer maximums typically range from 34° C in the southern outback up to 37° C in the north. Winter minimums typically range from 4° C in the southern outback up to 8° C in the northern areas. Some outback areas may experience frost on winter mornings.
Rainfall is mainly during summer. Monsoonal cyclones (hurricanes) occasionally cross the tropical north coast during the summer months. This is not a frequent event and usually results in localised property damage and flooding.