By John Morrad

Brisbane itself is a thriving cosmopolitan city of about 1.2 million people, situated in Queensland’s South East.

It is the fastest growing area in Australia, famed for its relaxed, easy going lifestyle and its wonderful climate.

Al fresco dining here is as good as anywhere in the world with superb seafood, locally caught, being the order of the day and whether you want to eat “5 star” or “fish and chips” style you’ll find something to tempt your taste buds.

A small city by comparison to it’s southern counterparts (Sydney and Melbourne), Brisbane has everything the visitor could possibly want (except snow, you’ll never be able to ski in Brissie!!).

The climate is superb, winter days are generally quite warm with sunny blue skies and no rain, summer can get very hot and humid, sometimes with severe thunderstorms in the evening.

Take a coach ride to the famous Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast , both less than an hour away, and spend a day or two on the best beaches in the world, (at least that’s my opinion), enjoy the surf, soak up the sun, chat to the locals, they’re all very friendly and they’ll tell you the best places to eat, dance, and have fun.

Stay at the Hilton or the Sheraton for 5 star luxury, or go to one of the local backpacker inns and receive a good clean bed in very safe and friendly surroundings, Brisbane has both, as well as a good supply of accommodation which fits between the two extremes.

To find the best, and cheapest places to eat, what’s on in town this week, gigs, movies, live theatre, the best bars and so on try here , you’ll find all you need to know.

In the central coastal region of Queensland is a collection of 74 beautiful islands, only 8 of which are inhabited and, together with the adjoining coast they make up The Whitsundays.

Approximately seventy percent of the region is national forest and marine park, protected by legislation.

Stunning beaches and spectacular rainforest where many species of native birds, mammals and reptiles abound.

Local estuaries and wetlands that meander inland from the coast to the Proserpine River are also a feature.

The Whitsundays are unique, exotic and spectacularly beautiful – one of those rare and unforgettable places where Mother Nature is at her best, and where there is nature, there is adventure.

The Whitsundays experience is indeed something extraordinary, particularly when it comes to outdoor adventure and recreational activities, offering something for everyone.

On the islands you can indulge yourself in all the creature comforts you could want, sip cocktails while sitting on the beach alone or around the pool with friends, pamper yourself with a relaxing massage or party into the night with a loved one.

You choose.

Most of the islands cater for families as well as couples, many offering such delights as ‘kids clubs’ with organised activities, a boon for frazzled parents who just would like some time to indulge themselves. Whether you visit Daydream Island, renown for its world class spa, Hamilton with its 10 restaurants, 7 swimming pools and more than 40 activities or Hayman’s five star luxury surrounded by calm crystal clear water, whether its Long Island ( perhaps the prettiest of them all ) with its 20 kilometres of beautiful bush walks or casual and relaxed South Molle, you’ll find great food, from silver service to ‘cheap eats’, cocktails and cold beer ( an Aussie icon ) and enough entertainment to keep you amused or wear you out.

If you’re going to the Whitsundays let’s not forget the mainland where the dining and entertainment options centre around Airlie Beach.

The food is excellent, clubs and bars are plentiful and the shopping is as good as anywhere.

Every Saturday the Airlie foreshore and parkland transforms into a bustling market with stalls selling fresh fruit and veges, local arts and crafts and all manner of goods under the shade of the coconut palms.

Airlie Beach is lined with unique shopping experiences from clothing to jewellery to gifts.

There is a range of diverse shops, most opening all day, every day, into the early evening.

Most of the islands have kiosks selling basic provisions for any unexpected holiday needs and some of the larger islands also have general stores to allow for self-catering if desired.

All the islands have gift shops or boutiques to satisfy all of your shopping cravings.

— Check back tomorrow for Part – 2

About the Author

for more information visit: http://www.the-discount-travel-guide.com/Queensland.html