Moving to Queensland soon? It’s a good idea to do some background reading – or chat with someone who lives in the Sunshine State – before you arrive. That way, you’ll be fully prepared for the exciting opportunities that living in Queensland brings!
To help you get familiar with this beautiful Australian state, here are 10 pointers and interesting facts I wish I knew before moving to Queensland.
1. Queensland’s First Nations groups are vast and varied
Of all the Queensland facts we’ve put together, it’s perhaps most important to understand the legacy of the state’s First Nations. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have called Australia home for around 50,000 years.
According to the 2021 Census, 237,000 people in Queensland identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, representing 4.6 per cent of the state’s total population. This was an increase from the 4 per cent reported in 2016 and the 3.6 per cent reported in 2011.
A great place to start familiarising yourself with these important cultures is by learning the name of First Nations groups near you. Brisbane, for example, is the land of numerous groups, including the Yuggera people. You can also check out The State Library of Queensland’s free online resource that outlines where First Nations languages are spoken across the state.
2. The state’s size
Australia is a large country, and Queensland is its second-largest state. That means it’s big – very big. For comparison, Queensland is five times the size of Japan or two and a half times the size of Texas!
Driving north from the New South Wales border, it can take up to three hours to reach the top of the Sunshine Coast, which is where South East Queensland ends.
From there, the coastline stretches for thousands of kilometres, giving you an idea of just how expansive the state is. More than anything, its size means there’s a whole lot to see and do in Queensland – not only in the capital city of Brisbane, but also in regional centres across the state.
3. Public transport options
Melbourne is well-known for its tram network, and Sydney boasts an innovative double-decker train design. When it comes to public transport in Brisbane, alongside buses and trains, it’s the city’s ferry service that gets people moving.
Every day, thousands of residents take the CityCat ferry up and down the river for work, study and leisure. It’s a truly stunning way to see Brisbane (including the Brisbane River) in all its glory.
As an international student, you’ll have to secure accommodation before moving to Queensland. With so many options available – including purpose-built student accommodation, homestays and private rentals – this process may seem daunting.
If you need accommodation support, get in touch with your education provider or relevant study body, such as Study Queensland.
5. Queensland takes pride in its sports culture
As a general rule, Australians love to watch and play sports. Queenslanders are especially enthusiastic and support a number of local teams across various sporting codes, including rugby league (NRL) and Australian rules football (AFL).
Arguably, the biggest sporting occasion of the year is the State of Origin, a series of special rugby league games played between Queensland and New South Wales. The rivalry between the Queensland team, known as the Maroons, and the New South Wales team, known as the Blues, is a source of great pride for each state. Whether you watch the match from home or attend in person, you’re in for an unforgettable experience.
6. There are many international food spots
Have you ever arrived in a new city and wondered if you’d be able to find your favourite ingredients from home or dishes that cater to your taste buds?
Well, you’ll be glad to hear that Queensland is packed with international foodie spots. In nearly every city – including Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Cairns, Townsville and more – you’ll find international supermarkets and restaurants serving various cuisines.
For example, in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane, you’ll find Chinatown, which houses an amazing selection of Chinese restaurants, Asian supermarkets and the Chinatown Mall.
7. You can eat on a budget
Speaking of food, international students in Queensland, like anywhere in Australia, will likely have their eye on cheap food options when sticking to a budget. The good news is that there are many cheap eats in Brisbane and across the rest of the Sunshine State.
A great way to find cheap eats in your city is to chat with a local and get their insider knowledge and recommendations.
8. Practise the unique slang
Australian English has evolved into its own unique local dialect. You might have heard some Australian slang words already – ‘arvo’ meaning afternoon, for instance. But did you know that differences also exist between states and territories?
Many Queenslanders refer to swimming costumes as ‘togs’, which are called ‘cossies’ or simply ‘swimmers’ in other states. But even Queenslanders don’t always agree on which word works best, so don’t be surprised if you hear more than one word being used!
9. Prepare for a warm climate
Queensland is well-known for having a hot and humid climate. Whether you live in Brisbane, Bowen or Bundaberg, be ready for long and hot summers with high rainfall by packing appropriate clothing.
On the other hand, winter nights can be quite cold too, particularly out west and near the New South Wales border.
10. There are so many incredible travel opportunities
No matter where you live in Queensland, you should absolutely make time to explore the state, which has gems in every corner. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with our list of the best eight places to visit in Queensland.
From world-renowned reefs to lush rainforests to pristine beaches, there’s no shortage of amazing travel opportunities.
Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.