Do you know how big this state really is? No idea how much time you will need to tour it? Then you must read this if planning to visit Queensland!
For those of you who didn't already know, Australia is big. Queensland, which is Australia's second biggest state, is a massive 1,730,648 km². It is hard to appreciate just how big this is from the map on this page.
So the important questions are:
Just how big is the state, and how long will it take to tour it?
It is big... really BIG. This should help to put things in perspective for you.
If it was its own independent country it would be ranked as the 18th biggest in the world - bigger than countries such as Iran, Mongolia, and Peru! It is 7 times bigger than the entire United Kingdom, about 5 times bigger than Germany, and almost 3 times the size of France.
A popular tourist route is from Brisbane (right down south on the coast), to Cairns (about 3/4 of the way up the coast). This journey is a staggering 1,750 kms! And that's not including any side trips, tours, or scenic routes, let alone heading inland to see the sites in there. To drive from the most southern point of the Queensland coast to the most northern is about 2,400 kms. Let's put this into perspective for you again:
Well this all depends on how much time and money you have in Australia. Due to its massive size, you could virtually spend a whole year touring (while stopping off and doing fruit picking jobs to charge your bank account up) this state, and still not have seen everything.
However, I doubt that that is very helpful to most people planning to tour QLD, so I will try to break it down into two different categories:
If you are on a REALLY tight schedule, and if you only get to see two places, I would recommend seeing the Great Barrier Reef and Fraser Island. This would require spending 1 week in the state and would break down something like this:
That is what I consider to be the absolute minimum that you could tour Queensland in. But let's face it, two destinations is not much of a tour (although it will still be an amazing time). You could fit more in by only spending 1 day on the reef and 1 day on Fraser island, but I wouldn't suggest it, both are destinations where you need a couple of days to enjoy just a small taste of what they have to offer.
If you have a little more time than just one week I would recommend you spend at least 2 weeks minimum. The extra week would allow you to also, for example, do this:
Okay, so by this point, you've either done a nice 1 or 2 week tour of the state. For those of you who can spare an extra week or two I highly recommend it, there really is so much more to see and do!
If you are in the luxury position of being able to spend longer than 2 or 3 weeks in Queensland you are in for an absolute treat and the time of your life.
As already mentioned, one of the most popular trips people do in Australia is Brisbane to Cairns, an epic 1,750 km journey. There is so much to see and do along the way that I recommend spending a minimum of 4 weeks on this drive.
This would allow you to do the itinerary mentioned in the above section, but also with an extra 2 weeks spare to stop off at other great places.
And if you are really adventurous why not spend 3 months doing this trip? This gives you a chance to really see all that the coast has to offer and explore some inland areas as you go. If you need to you can stop somewhere for a month and do some fruit picking to get those extra dollars in your bank account!
So there you have it, 1 month minimum is what I recommend for all you backpackers. Enjoy the beauty that the state has waiting for you!
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