DANNY DE HEK › Entrepreneur Decision Maker Connector Podcaster EducatorQueensland is Australia’s ultimate playground – a special kind of tropical paradise.

Close your eyes and envisage sun, sand, surf and stunning beaches with a backdrop of lush rainforest, Disney-style theme parks, wining, dining and shopping – this is ‘The Sunshine State’, plus much more. Nature has blessed this sun-soaked place with an abundance of holiday destinations that fulfil vacationers’ dreams.

Queensland’s beautiful capital, Brisbane, is the perfect base for exploration. The ‘City of Sun Days’ offers lush subtropical gardens, elegant buildings, lively arts and the very best in dining and entertainment. Visit the South Bank Parklands on the Brisbane River to see the excellent Cultural Centre and lively weekend markets, take a paddle-steamer cruise or visit the koala sanctuary. Shop at the marvellous Queen Street Mall. The friendly charm of people here will surprise you, and there is a real possibility you will choose to stay and relax in ‘beaut Brissie’.

The glorious Gold Coast is the most popular of Queensland’s holiday playgrounds – a magnet for sun seekers and fun seekers. The focal point is ‘Surfer’s Paradise’. Here you can cruise on the Broadwater, play golf, go shopping, dining, gambling or clubbing to your heart’s content. Then for relaxation you can hit the beach with the mandatory slip, slop, slap, in this ultimate holiday resort. Fantasy lands called Movieworld, Dreamworld, Sea World and Wet ‘n Wild enable thrill seekers to ride rocketing roller coasters and water slides, and the cavalcade of carnival magic delights people of all ages.

The Sunshine Coast is a continuous chain of sandy beaches from Caloundra in the south to Noosa Heads, backed by the Glasshouse Mountains. On Noosa Parade enjoy the dining, shopping and art and craft galleries. Take a trip to beautiful Fraser Island, which is the largest sand island in the world. Nearby is Hervey Bay where you can listen to the high-pitched song of the whales. Offshore from Mackay are The Whitsunday islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Here you can sail, dive, snorkel, fish, windsurf or charter a boat.

Tropical North Queensland is a balmy stretch of coast from Townsville to Cape York. The twin wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and awe-inspiring virgin rainforests of the Daintree and Cape Tribulation National Parks, draw visitors to these northern climes. Cairns is the ideal base for a visit to Kuranda, the Atherton Tablelands and the Aboriginal Cultural Park where you will hear fascinating stories of the Dreamtime.

Wherever you choose to stay in Queensland you are sure to enjoy yourself. From the frenetic Gold Coast to the full on Cape York adventures ‘beyond the black swamp’, all the ingredients are there for a ‘ripper of a good time’.