History and Culture
Mackay and Whitsunday Islands are the most-visited regions of Queensland. The state has its own unique history, being first discovered by the famous Captain James Cook back in 1770 during his travels aboard the HMS Endeavour. In its early days, Queensland was part of the New South Wales Colony that was administered by the British. On June 6, 1859, Queensland was officially separated from New South Wales and soon afterwards, became a self-ruling colony with its own Constitution. This day is celebrated as ‘Queensland Day’ every year. As part of the celebrations on this special day, the Governor announces the "Queenslander of the Year" and "Young Queenslander of the Year" awards.
Queensland is one of Australia’s strongest economies, with mining, agriculture and tourism generating most of the state’s revenue. Australian Labour Party’s Anna Bligh is the current Premier of the state, and the first female Premier ever for the state as well as the nation.
Australia’s sugar capital, with its excellent tropical climate, colonial architecture and natural attractions, is one of Queensland’s most popular tourist destinations. Whether it is soaking up the history of Queensland’s oldest settlements like Nebo and Clermont, lounging on the pristine Cape Hillsborough beaches and catching a glimpse of wild wallabies, or snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef, a fun and exciting time is guaranteed. Finch Hatton Gorge and Eungella National Park are the most-visited attractions of Mackay, and thronged by visitors from all over the world. Mackay is a cultural hub, home to art galleries and vibrant markets where you can shop for fresh produce and local crafts.
The Whitsunday Islands were named by Captain James Cook as he passed through this archipelago on Whit Sunday, the 7th day after Easter Sunday. Drawing more than 500,000 tourists each year, Whitsundays is the perfect haven for water activities like snorkelling, sailing and fishing. From serving as a romantic getaway to a great vacation spot for families and the average traveller looking to experience the majestic Great Barrier Reef and its marine life, Whitsundays has emerged as a premier vacation destination ‘Down Under’.
Some useful tips for anyone visiting the sunshine state of Queensland
It is not mandatory to leave a tip for restaurant services in Queensland. But it has become common to tip waiters for good service rendered in restaurants; so the choice is yours.
Queenslanders are very sociable and more informal in their interactions. This can be observed in their behaviours, attitudes and dressing style. Sports are a popular and a favourite pastime, with cricket and rugby topping the list.
Medical services in Queensland are top-notch. However, travellers are advised to have sufficient insurance as medical costs can be quite expensive. If you are a UK national, emergency medical treatment in hospitals is free of cost as Australia has a bilateral health agreement with the UK. It is suggested that you check the immunization/vaccination requirements (if any) required for your Queensland trip.