The north-eastern state of Australia
, second in size to Western Australia. Major towns other than the capital Brisbane
are Gold Coast
, Surfers Paradise
, and Townsville
. Brisbane and the Gold Coast form a large metropolitan area extending down to the New South Wales
border on the south.
It borders the Northern Territory on the west; to the north is the large northward-pointing finger of Cape York, which is divided from Papua New Guinea by the Torres Strait.
In the Strait is a string of small islands. The inhabitants are ethnically Papuan rather than Aboriginal, and so the native peoples of the country are collectively called Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. Almost all of the islands belong to Australia, and the sea border off the northernmost of them passes very close to the PNG coast. But they do not share a land border at any point.
The colony was created out of New South Wales in 1859. Probably the most famous governor was Lord Lamington (1860-1940), in office 1896-1901, because of the sponge, jam, and coconut confection the lamington named after him.
Queensland was for many years (1968-1987) ruled by a kind of maniac called Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, whose heavy-handed suppression of demonstrations and other leftie activities he didn't like brought it perilously close to being a police state. His Country Party (later National Party), having been in power since 1957, finally lost power to the Australian Labor Party in 1989, and the ALP have held power for most of the time since.
Highest point: Mt Bartle Frere. Offshore all down the east coast is the Great Barrier Reef and beyond that the Pacific Ocean.