Airlie Beach in Australia

26 June 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

© flickr.com - DANIEL JULIE/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – DANIEL JULIE/cc-by-2.0

Airlie Beach is a coastal locality in the Whitsunday Region of Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Airlie Beach had a population of 1,208 people. Each year the residents of Airlie Beach celebrate The Blessing of the Fleet on Whitsunday or Pentecost Sunday.   read more…

Raine Island National Park in Queensland

27 March 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Green Sea Turtles and Masked Boobies © National Marine Sanctuaries - Mark Sullivan

Green Sea Turtles and Masked Boobies © National Marine Sanctuaries – Mark Sullivan

Raine Island is a vegetated coral cay 32 hectares (79 acres) in total area situated on the outer edges of the Great Barrier Reef off north-eastern Australia. It lies approximately 620 km (390 mi) north-northwest of Cairns in Queensland, about 120 kilometres (75 mi) east-north-east of Cape Grenville on the Cape York Peninsula. Raine Island is the site of the oldest European structure in tropical Australia, a stone beacon built in 1844, and harbours the world’s largest remaining population of green turtles. An important environmental icon, the island is totally protected from public access. It got its name from Captain Thomas Raine (1793–1860), the English mariner who discovered it. Raine Island is a vegetated coral cay dominated by low herbaceous annual vegetation (Batianoff et al. 1993). The cay is composed of a central core of phosphate rock surrounded by sand and extensive fringing reefs. It lies just off the eastern edge of the continental shelf, next to a shipping channel known as the Raine Island Entrance and Pandora entrance. The entrance allows shipping to enter the water of the Great Barrier Reef.   read more…

Q1 Resort & Spa in Gold Coast

1 May 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month Reading Time:  11 minutes

Q1 Resort and Spa © flickr.com - paul (dex) bica/cc-by-2.0

Q1 Resort and Spa © flickr.com – paul (dex) bica/cc-by-2.0

Q1 (an abbreviation of Queensland Number One) is a supertall skyscraper in Surfers Paradise in Queensland in Australia. The residential tower on the Gold Coast lost its title as the world’s tallest residential building to the 337-metre The Marina Torch in Dubai on 29 April 2011. It is now the sixth tallest residential tower in the world and is the tallest building in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere and the second-tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, behind the Sky Tower in Auckland in New Zealand. The Q1 officially opened in November 2005. The landmark building was recognised as one of Queensland’s icons during the state’s 150th birthday celebrations.   read more…

Theme Week Queensland – Gold Coast

13 October 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  13 minutes

Entrance to Surfers Paradise Beach © Rocky88/cc-by-sa-3.0

Entrance to Surfers Paradise Beach © Rocky88/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Gold Coast is a coastal city in Queensland, approximately 66 kilometres (41 mi) south-southeast of the state capital Brisbane and immediately north of the border with New South Wales. With a population of 640,000, The Gold Coast is the sixth-largest city in Australia, making it the largest non-capital city, and the second-largest city in Queensland. The first settlement in what is now South East Queensland was as a penal colony at Redcliffe. The Gold Coast region remained largely uninhabited by Europeans until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach. The hinterland’s red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century. Later in 1875, Southport was surveyed and established and grew a reputation as a secluded holiday destination for wealthy Brisbane residents. The Gold Coast region grew significantly after the establishment of the Surfers Paradise hotel in the late 1920s. The area boomed in the 1980s as a leading tourist destination and in 1994, the City of Gold Coast local government area was expanded to encompass the majority of the Gold Coast’s metropolitan area, becoming the second most populous local government area in Australia after the City of Brisbane. Today it is a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate and has become widely known for its surfing beaches, high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland. It is also the major film production hub for Queensland. The Gold Coast will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.   read more…

Theme Week Queensland – Fraser Island

9 October 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

© panoramio.com - Korkut Tas/cc-by-sa-3.0

© panoramio.com – Korkut Tas/cc-by-sa-3.0

Fraser Island is located along the southeastern coast of the state of Queensland in Australia. It is approximately 250 kilometres (160 mi) north of the state capital, Brisbane. It is a locality within the Fraser Coast local government in the Wide Bay–Burnett region. Its length is about 120 kilometres (75 mi) and its width is approximately 24 kilometres (15 mi). It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1,840 km². It is also Queensland’s largest island, Australia’s sixth largest island and the largest island on the East Coast of Australia. Estimates of the number of visitors to the island each year range from 350,000 to 500,000. The chance of seeing a dingo in its natural setting is one of the main reasons people visit the island. The use of boardwalks and marked tracks by visitors is encouraged to reduce erosion. Fraser Island has over 100 freshwater lakes, as well as the second highest concentration of lakes in Australia after Tasmania. The freshwater lakes on Fraser Island are some of the cleanest lakes in the world. A popular tourist area is Lake McKenzie which is located inland from the small town of Eurong.   read more…

Theme Week Queensland – Cairns

26 September 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  9 minutes

Cairns Esplanade - Pier (Shangrila Hotel) © Donaldytong

Cairns Esplanade – Pier (Shangrila Hotel) © Donaldytong

Cairns is a regional city, encompassing smaller townships, in the far north of Queensland, Australia, founded 1876. The city was named after William Wellington Cairns, then-current Governor of Queensland. It was formed to serve miners heading for the Hodgkinson River goldfield, but experienced a decline when an easier route was discovered from Port Douglas. It later developed into a railhead and major port for exporting sugar cane, gold and other metals, minerals and agricultural products from surrounding coastal areas and the Atherton Tableland region. The population is at was approximately 156,000. Cairns is located about 1,700 km (1,056 mi) from Brisbane. It is a popular travel destination for foreign tourists because of its tropical climate. It serves as a starting point for people wanting to visit the Great Barrier Reef and Far North Queensland.   read more…

Lady Elliot Insel in Australia

21 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  7 minutes

Lady Elliot Island © LordDimwit

Lady Elliot Island © LordDimwit

Lady Elliot Island is the southernmost coral cay of the Great Barrier Reef. The island lies 46 nautical miles (85 km; 53 mi) north-east of Bundaberg and covers an area of approximately 45 hectares (110 acres). It is part of the Capricorn and Bunker Group of islands and is owned by the Commonwealth of Australia. The island is home to a small eco resort and an airstrip, which is serviced daily by flights from Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.   read more…

Theme Week Queensland – Cooktown

5 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

HM Bark Endeavour replica in Cooktown © John Hill/cc-by-sa-3.0

HM Bark Endeavour replica in Cooktown © John Hill/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cooktown is a small town at the mouth of the Endeavour River, on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland where James Cook beached his ship, the Endeavour, for repairs in 1770. Both the town and Mount Cook (431 metres or 1,415 feet) which rises up behind the town were named after James Cook. It is the northernmost town on the east coast of Australia and was founded on 25 October 1873 as a supply port for the goldfields along the Palmer River. It was called ‘Cook’s Town’ until 1 June 1874. Cooktown has recently grown in importance again and become a popular tourist destination. The paving of the Mulligan Highway now provides all-weather access by road for the first time. There are two flights a day connecting Cooktown with Cairns. The town now has good communications, more services, better roads, and offers residents a relaxed and healthy lifestyle.   read more…

Gay & Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands

27 April 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands stamps © John

Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands stamps © John

The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands is a micronation established as a symbolic political protest by a group of gay rights activists based in Australia. Declared in 2004 in response to the Australian government’s refusal to recognise same-sex marriages, it was founded on Australia’s external overseas Territory of the Coral Sea Islands, a group of uninhabited islets east of the Great Barrier Reef. It is an expression of queer nationalism.   read more…

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