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13 things worth travelling to Queensland for

1. First and foremost, Queensland looks like this:

2. And serves up meals like this:

More than just a meat pie and a pint (or tinnie as they call them locally), Queensland holds its own on the world stage when it comes to cuisine, with fresh seafood, tropical fruit and brunch menus that will put your English breakfasts to shame. To experience the region in full gourmet mode, consider timing your visit to the beloved Noosa International Food &Wine Festival in May or the Hervey Bay Seafood Festival in August.

3. You can cuddle these guys:

Queensland is one of only two states in Australia where you can actually cuddle a koala. While there are plenty of zoos and wildlife sanctuaries where you can hold these furry marsupials (not bears!), some of the best places to go include Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast, Australia Zoo near the Sunshine Coast, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane and Cairns Wildlife Dome and Zoo.

4. There are more than 4,000 miles of coastline to choose from

And this is about as crowded as it gets.

5. It’s not called the Sunshine State for nothing

Queensland has, on average, seven to eight hours of sunshine a day. The state's capital Brisbane typically witnesses 260 beautiful sunny days a year while further north, Rockhampton often enjoys boasts 272 sunny days.

6. Its native artworks looks like this:

Even if you’re not a huge art enthusiast, there’s so much to appreciate when learning about Queensland's indigenous art and culture. From May to September, you can learn all about Australia’s indigenous peoples at Terrain: Indigenous Australian Objects and Presentations at GOMA, Brisbane’s celebrated art gallery.

7. It’s home to an underwater wonderland

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living coral reef system, stretching for over 1,400 miles.

8. And the oldest surviving rainforest in the world

The incredible Daintree Rainforest is located on the northeast coast of Queensland and is home to one of the most complex ecosystems on earth.

9. In Queensland, they host their fun runs here:

Take part in one of the most scenic fun runs in the world at the Great Whitehaven Beach Run on Hamilton Island. The four-mile stretch of beach is famed for boasting the world's whitest and purest silica sand in the world.

10. Everyone in Queensland has a sense of humour

Even the police

11. And will use any excuse to celebrate

Case in point the annual Chinchilla Melon Festival. The world’s biggest melon festival in fact. If you’ve ever wanted to experience watermelon skiing on a slip and slide, then you need to be in Chinchilla come February.

12. Even running with wheelbarrows will do

Yep, Queensland is home to a number of official wheelbarrow races, taking place in Mareeba, Dimbulah, Almaden and Chillagoe in May. But it doesn’t stop there. A number of Queensland towns have been creative with their races; Bedourie has an annual pig race, Winton hosts camel races and Charleville hosts guinea pig races.

13. But New Year’s Eve is the biggest celebration of all

With New Year’s Eve taking place in the height of summer, celebrations go off in Queensland when the clock strikes midnight. The biggest and best part though is the annual Woodford Folk Festival, one of Australia’s most iconic events and the largest gathering of musicians and artists in the country. Spanning the gamut of creativity and entertainment, the six-day festival features live music, dances, cabaret, circus, comedy, street theatre, films, forums and an entire children’s festival. And if that wasn’t enough, Woodford also puts on a spectacular fireworks display on New Year’s Day. The festival this year is set to take part from the 27th of December to the 1st of January.

For more information on experiencing the best of the Sunshine State, check out our Queensland travel guide.

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Written by Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.

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