The first European exploration of Moreton Bay, where Brisbane lies, was carried out in 1797 by Matthew Flinders, who landed where today Redcliffe is situated. In 1799, Flinders, in the Norfolk, charted the east coast of Queensland. In 1823, John Oxley in the Mermaid named the Brisbane River after the Governor of New South Wales at the time and travelled 100 kilometres up the river.
A convict settlement was established at Redcliffe in 1824 and moved to Brisbane in the following year. At the time, this territory was still part of New South Wales. The first free settlers arrived in 1837 and by 1840 all convicts had been withdrawn from Brisbane. By 1851, the residents of Queensland had started to think of independence from New South Wales. Queen Victoria was petitioned and agreed, understandably preferring the name Queensland to the alternative suggestion of Cooksland. Queensland was proclaimed on 6th June 1859.
One of the great wonders of the world is the Great Barrier Reef stretching up the coast of Queensland, and it is one of the reasons why Queensland is the most popular state for visitors to Australia. The Great Barrier Reef extends for over 2,000 kilometres and actually consists of some 2,500 individual reefs and 700 small islands, covering a total area of 345,000 square kilometres. There is much more to explore in Queensland and browse some of the destinations below.
Free camping in Queensland
| Charters Towers
| Mission Beach