Northeast Australia is occupied by the state of Queensland, the capital of which is Brisbane. It is the second largest state in area and the third most populous state.
Much of Queensland’s economy is centred on tourism, the mining industry and an expanding aerospace sector. It also has a number of banana plantations, gaining the nickname “Banana Benders” for Queenslanders.
Queensland’s population is concentrated in the South East Queensland region, particularly in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Many of Queensland’s most popular tourist destinations are in the Gold Coast, which is also known as Australia’s theme park capital. Its most famous attraction, however, is the Great Barrier Reef. Vast and of incalculable ecological importance, the reef is the world’s largest structure made from living organisms and includes hundreds of islands and miles of reefs. It is the habitat of hundreds of species of fish, birds, marine mammals and reptiles, including the endangered large green sea turtle.
Queensland’s state capital of Brisbane sits in a hilly region along the elevated spurs of the Herbert Taylor Range, with its prominent peaks Mount Coot-tha and Enoggera Hill. Most of the residences in the city are detached houses, which reflect Brisbane’s low population density.
Brisbane’s economy depends on white collar industries such as information technology, financial services, higher education and public sector administration and blue-collar industries such as petroleum refining, stevedoring, paper milling, and metallurgy and QR railway workshops in the lower areas of the Brisbane River and the new industrial zones on the fringes of the city.
Brisbane attractions include the Brisbane Botanic Gardens in the suburb of Coot-tha, which features a planetarium and a Japanese garden, and the 80-year-old Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the world’s first koala sanctuary.
Brisbane’s most popular shopping and entertainment destination is the Queen Street Mall, which houses a variety of shopping centres, restaurants, cafés, cinemas, and shops.