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Queensland - Australia

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Fact File - Queensland
Capital City: Brisbane.

Area: 1,730,650 square km.

Proportion of Australia: 22.5%.

Time Zone: 10 hours ahead of GMT.

Climate: Warm temperate in south and tropical in north. Wet along coast with semi-arid and desert inland.

Highest Point: Bartle Frere (1,622 m).
Queensland is the second largest state in Australia, covering 1 722 000 km2 and the third most populous.

It occupies 22.5 per cent of the continent in the north-east and has boundaries with New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory. It is bounded by the Gulf of Carpentaria, Torres Strait and the Coral Sea in
the north, and the South Pacific Ocean in the east. The total coastline is 7,400 km. Brisbane, the capital, is in the south-eastern corner of the State. The Torres Strait islands are 2,000 km north of Brisbane. Cairns, the major city of the far north, is further from Brisbane than is Melbourne, the capital of Victoria on the southern coast of the continent.

Landscape: Queensland is essentially a state of great plains which merge into high country of sharper relief to the east and north-west. To the north, the country falls gradually to meet the coastal plain which reaches the Gulf of Carpentaria as a broad tract of salt flats. The far north-west is occupied by a rugged uplands region, rich in minerals. Eastward, the country rises towards the Great Dividing Range which runs from the southern border to the northern tip of the state and is the main watershed between the coastal and inland rivers. East of the Great Dividing Range, the country drops seaward in a jumble of ranges separated by lowlands. This structure is continued in a chain of mountainous offshore islands sitting on the continental shelf. Beyond them is the Great Barrier Reef, a series of coral formations stretching for about 2,000 km.

Climate: Queensland is known as Australia’s “sunshine state” although weather conditions vary greatly between the coastal plain and the inland. Brisbane averages 7.1 hours of sunshine a day in winter. Inland, the days are warm and sunny and the nights cold and frosty, particularly in the south. Queensland's wet season is from December to March, when the northwest monsoons sweep down from Asia and cyclones are most prevalent. Annual rainfall can exceed 4,000 mm in the north. In the north-west, Mount Isa averages less than 400 mm a year and the average dwindles to about 200 mm in the south-west corner. Brisbane averages 1,200 mm.

Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
International Public Affairs Branch 1994

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