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Sunday, January 11, 2009


Queensland epitomises those Australian clichés: beaches, barbecues, wilderness, endless sunshine, cold beer - in short, tropical paradise. Known for its laid-back vibe and miles and miles of golden beaches this wonderfully diverse state is large, brash, understated and always delights in surprising visitors with its hedonistic-riches. Besides beaches, Queensland is sated with ancient rainforests, parks and historic towns.Brisbane, Australia's third-largest city, is a river-city and zipping between its sights via its main arterial waterway is a sublime pleasure in itself. It exudes a sophisticated relaxation, and enjoys a wide range of attractions, including the ever-popular Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the world's oldest and largest sanctuary of its kind.Yet you would be wrong to think that all those beaches and koala-hugs meant that Queensland was a calm and quiet state. Queensland is Australia's capital of adventure sports, and here you can sail, white-water raft, paraglide, and learn to dive and delve into the natural underwater wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef, awash with turquoise tints and sealife. The reef is a World Heritage-listed marine park that stretches for more than 2,000km (1,250 miles) along the Queensland coast, dotted with idyllic island resorts and containing one of the most diverse animal and plant ecosystems on earth