Best and Worst Things About Living in Queensland
Thinking of moving to or visiting Queensland? Want to know the good, the bad and the bits that Tourism Queensland won’t tell you?!
*This post was written in 2014 but I’m reposting it as it’s a fun topic which continues to generate lots of interest and comments.
When I first moved to Queensland in 2009 I wrote about the Best and Worst Things About Living in Australia so it’s about time we discussed the pros and cons of living in Queensland too.
I’d love it if you can help out and pitch in some of your ideas by leaving a comment.
Best Things About Living in Queensland
• The weather – I moved here so we could swim in the sea all year round and although I don’t do that you could (at least on the Sunshine Coast where we don’t get saltwater crocs or killer jellyfish). The climate is lovely for thin-skinned people like me who can’t stand the cold. Except in January and February (like now) when we cook. I am literally melting as I write this.
• The produce – We have tropical fruits all year round and a huge selection of fruit and veggies on sale in the supermarkets, markets and greengrocers. I eat papaya for breakfast all year round and we enjoy seasonal fruit and vegetables as they become available. At the moment you can get 10 mangoes for $15 from roadside stalls, the watermelon are $1.49 per kilo (about $8 for a huge specimen) and lychees are $5 for a big box.
• Casual attire is the go – Think jandals (you may call them flipflops or thongs), shorts and sundresses. Dressing is easy, comfy and fun.
• Fitness and sports culture – I’m not sure if it’s because the climate is mild but the Queenslanders are a sporty bunch and I join them at 6am for regular walks, swim, runs and sessions on the killer steps. I like that there are a lot of people who want to look after themselves and stay fit. The local swimming pool facility in my hometown of Noosa is gorgeous with three outdoor heated pools and room for the fitness fanatics as well as the casual swimmers like me and the kids who just want to have fun.
• Prawns – I love all seafood but it’s quite expensive here in Australia compared to New Zealand prices. Apart from the prawns which are very reasonably priced and can often be found on special at the supermarket. Sadly prawns are ecological so make sure you buy Australian prawns and look our for those that are Marine Stewardship Council certified.
• Kid friendly – It’s a laid-back lifestyle here in Queensland so you can wear what you like and take your kids anywhere.
• The Hinterland – When you think Queensland you might think beaches, Great Barrier Reef and water play but the hinterland is gorgeous too. I love the Bunya Mountains, the Gold Coast hinterland and a few special areas of the Noosa hinterland.
Worst Things About Living in Queensland
• Over-regulation – There are too many laws here and some of them are silly like the one that says it’s illegal to leave your car unlocked because you are inciting crime. Personally I think I’m big enough to decide for myself when to lock my car and wear a bike helmet or not. Free trade is dead here and starting a business is hard because you have to jump through a thousand hoops to get started.
• Unpopular with the rest of Australia – Queensland has a bad reputation just about everywhere else in Australia. They call us Queenslanders ‘banana benders’ which makes me laugh.
• It’s huge – so big lots of Queenslanders have never even visited its most famous landmark the Great Barrier Reef and while I dream of visiting the northern tip of Queensland and Cape York it would take days to drive there.
• Harsh sun – We Queenslanders are all in danger of getting skin cancer, though probably no more so than in the rest of Australia and NZ. I wear sunscreen on my face every single day but the wrinkles are still developing nicely.
• Sexism – A friend of mine complains about seedy TV and radio ads which I’ve happily missed because I don’t watch TV or listen to the radio. But I have noticed that women are viewed as sex objects half the time. Even at local events like lighting the Christmas tree on Hastings Street in Noosa, Santa is accompanied by sexy young women helpers in red mini skirts and low cut tops. Bad Santa, he should get that sorted out.
• Mono-cultural – I’ve written about racism in Australia before so I won’t go there again but in Queensland one of the things I do note is it’s very much a white area, especially where I live. I know there are plenty of indigenous Australians in Queensland but sadly I don’t see them much and most of the immigrants are Caucasian like me.
• No daylight savings – Unlike the rest of Australia Queensland stubbornly refuses to change their clocks in summer so it gets like at 4.30am which is too early for my liking.
• Creepy crawlies and more – We have cockroaches, cane toads, snakes, jellyfish and all kinds of other creepy crawlies but you get used to that.
• Creepy crawlies and more
And there’s one more thing which I’m not sure if to put on the best or worst list. Queenslanders are incredibly proud of their state. They support their football team furiously, they chant “Queenslander” at sporting events and they emblazon it on their caps and T-shirts. Sometimes I think it’s a bit much.
But then again Queensland is a pretty special place and, as the hard-core Queenslanders say, it’s “beautiful one day, perfect the next.”
Well, the benefits and good things about living in Queensland far outweigh the drawbacks and for us, it’s the right balance for a happy lifestyle.
What do you think are the best and worst things about living in or visiting Queensland?
Great post – and that is saying something from me, as I have difficulty admitting to faults of my home state!
Some of your faults belong to Australia as a whole or at least large parts, not just Queensland – over-regulation, sexism, harsh sun, vastness and mono-culturalisim.
I do disagree with your con of “unpopular with the rest of Australia” – I think us Aussies defend our own state by putting down others, so we all have reputations. I don’t think we are more unpopular than the other states – just maybe for different reasons.
I think you missed one pro – our variety. Partly because we are so big, but we have pretty much everything except true mountains and snow – beaches, deserts, rainforest, bush, reef, mountains (or “hills), flat country, farms for just about everything, mines, cities and beautiful country. Most of this is within reach of anyone who lives here.
Thanks for adding those great points about Queensland! I haven’t visited every state in Australia yet so that’s good to hear.
It’s a beautiful part of the world. No doubt about that. Whenever I get to spend some time there I feel as if I’m very lucky to experience such a special place that ticks so many of the boxes for good living.
The one drawback (and I’m talking about SE Queensland, the part I know best) perhaps is the lack of an edge. There is not much in the way of grittiness. Not much fire somehow. Of course edginess can go in the wrong direction, and be annoying or uneasy, but it also has an aliveness to it that can be stimulating.
I am totally in agreement with that. My area of Queensland feels very safe which is great for the kids and for me as a parent but as an adult it feels stifling at times.
I love the fact that there is a laid back lifestyle in Queensland. That’s my kind of place! I must visit someday. Thanks for this post!
One of my good friends lives in Queensland and I’m in Sydney…the no daylight savings thing is quite annoying for her. Haha!
I love your list. Queensland is awesome.
I live a little south of you (Moreton Bay Region) and I love that I can drive into the mountains, or over to a surf beach, or visit country hideaways, or take any number of interesting day trips from here.
This region is probably more diverse in culture, with plenty of Polynesian families, but I don’t see many indigenous Australians either.
As for worst things? I would add the road works. Some stretches of road seem to take years to finish. I don’t know if it is the heat but the workers always seem to be on a break when I pass.
Great post about QLD. I moved up here a week ago from Adelaide as my family was really tired of the 5 months of cold weather this year in SA. (what happened to global warming!!??). The road network is really great, being able to get from Brisbane to the Gold Coast on the M1 is fantastic.
Looking forward to the rest of our lives in a sub-tropical climate. Don’t forget to mention that the shopping centres up here are massive and look fabulous with the palm trees and water features etc, This is a really nice place to live!!
Forgot to mention that the NO daylight savings thing is actually quite crazy. I can’t believe that it is light so early and dark so early in the evening. If there one just ONE thing that I could change about QLD, it would be to put QLD on daylight savings time. Its silly not to! Anyone know why the QLD govt doesn’t do it?
Mono Cultural a bad thing? Europeans are having no choice but to flea their own countries because of multiculturalism. How many thousands of women and children have been raped and murdered by multiculturalism? The Japanese, and Chinese people I’ve met overseas feel sorry for us.
multiculturalism doesn’t equate to rape, murder, and disaster. Murder statistics actually pretty much to me seem to me, statistically, to be reliant entirely on if its a first world country or not. The idea that multiculturalism means that there will be more rapes and murder in itself is just further(from all the studies on it) proof that yeah, growing up without a multicultural point of view harvests racism.
Jacko – No Way, Mono Cultural-ism is not a bad thing. I have watched Sydney turn into an absolute dump over the last twenty or so years. With very few suburbs I would even consider living in -that’s if I could afford to. Melbourne is not much better.
It’s a shame what’s happening all over the world. Scares the hell out of me as I have children.
you’re saying that other races are what make Sydney(and other areas frequented by immigrants) ‘a dump’, and scares your kids ? Are you sure there’s not another social or economic issue that could be creating this ? Even if the immigrants are poor, I’d hardly say that immigrants are the problem, and rather the lack of effort put into integrating them. Its not like once rich areas are going to become poor because a Syrian family moved there anyways.
I come from the Wide bay area of Queensland. I’ve lived down here in Wollongong for 21 years now, looks like I’m moving back soon if all goes well. I can’t wait I’m so tired of the cold and rain. and the variety of food down here is terrible!
Hi Annabel, thanks for your post. I am black African looking on migrating to Queensland. I’m very sensitive to racism and now i wonder which place is less racist in Australia? You can email me please?
I saw your comment and I think you may be there by now however, Queensland is more a white area in general. I believe that it’s not particularly multicultural, as I lived there and saw mainly white people.
Although I lived right on main beach.
May be Brisbane is different than the Gold Coast.
Do you have friends or family there you could ask?
I am thinking of moving to Queensland very soon from Vancouver, B.C. Vancouver is a horrible city- full of greedy, materialistic, shallow people more concerned with money and materialism. Can anyone recommend a town in Queensland for this free spirited, creative health professional. I am so done with large cities. I am very people and community oriented and need to find a friendly community that is cultural, liberal and alternative, at least in many ways. Thanks
Just a thought. If i live somewhere in Africa and complain that its only black people – does it make me a racist? How about if i visit the middle east and say “those arabs are everywhere”?
If “Mono-cultural” is a negative for you then you are a racist yourself. Just the kind of racisism that for whatever reason is acceptable and actually encouraged today.
Im an Immigrant that lives in Germany btw. And those evil Nazis arent everywhere – you would really have to look for them. But german hating immigrants (yes even from the same country i came from) are on every corner.
I think it’s more the fact that Australia is a very multicultural country?
Brisbane would be fine, maybe just some of the smaller communities west of the coast might have their backwards views.
just to add to everyone talking about monoculturalism, no it’s not always a bad thing but in somewhere like Australia which has a lot of indigenous people, yet is mostly Caucasian-monocultural, it can be a big sign that Indigenous, as well as other groups, have trouble integrating into society there. Of course, ethnic-nation states are pretty good and have their own benefits, but a place that was invaded and then waged genocide on the native people, you can’t act like acting as a monocultural society will ever be reasonable. Monoculturalism allows people to harvest further hate, examples being that alot of people think nonwhite=slums and poverty(a result of previous situations, moving costs, or trouble integrating, etc). This way multiculturalism is very important and healthy for a country because it creates a good perspective, too. As a Canadian I see the same problems as well, and know it’s very harmful.
Its like a white peoples refuge from the multicultural states of victoria and nsw
I am Australian originally from WA but have lived in the UK for about 10 years and to put it bluntly i have had enough of this place and am coming home.
Queensland seems like the ideal place for us we have a moderately successful small business here in the UK and for better or worse would like to try it in Qld
I note that you say it is hard to start a business in Qld in what way?
Moved to qld in 2014, I have a count down timer until we move back to VIC. I’ve not found one good point but plenty of bad.
Why is everything crumbed? Kebabs toasted, roe cut off scollops which are then crumbed. Pizza is garbage everywhere and most places use frozen bases.
No Daylight savings.
I won’t argue this one, the days are shorter here (hours of day light) but everyone says the days are longer and dst would make it too hot.
Holly crap nobody can drive, tailgating, speeding everywhere and almost ramming those who don’t.
Nothing is ever open.
Some say it’s great 9 months of the year, I say the reverse, it’s humid and sticky 9 months of the year and the sun burns all year.
In Rocky at least it’s a 4-5 hour trip to anything.
Won’t go there.
Everything is banned.
Perhaps that explains most behaviours.
I could go on and on, QLD is the most backwards state in the country, full of thieves, rednecks and neo nazis and is very regressive. Can’t own a rabbit but swords and knives are fine?
Bob that’s such a great description of QLD!
The only place in Queensland I dont really mind is Cairns. I’m in Hobart Tasmania now. Not looking forward to the winter but the summer is very nice down here. Brisbane is quite a nice area but expensive and alot of crime and not that friendly for living. Might go up to the Sunshine Coast some day or Bunderburg. Australia as a whole I don’t find to be very friendly reall, after lived in Asia China for awhile, and yes Australian people can be a very racist. People can be very aggressive toward each other. Anyone have any views on living in Bunderburg? It seems nice there but the shops still close so early on a Saturday and not open on Sunday?
You know what grinds my gears? When people complain that Queensland “lacks” diversity. Why the hell does anyone want diversity? Europeans created the modern world. No other culture can bring anything to the table. I lived most of my life in Sydney and all that “diversity” ever offered was violent crime. European culture is the best there is. Fact.
I like the comments about very suburban and lacking edge…that’s what I worry about in moving back to oz…but then I’m sick of being stressed in a city and seeing dirty buildings everywhere (London) so I guess it has to be a trade-off…
I do agree with the over regulation. The rental laws are stressful for tenants and can easily be caught by speed camera traps but hooning seems Okay. No one can drive and the only time they love Rugby League is when state of origin is on. I can’t wait to move back to NSW.
Parts of queensland are really beautiful, shame about all the things that want to eat you, bite you or sting you. Human and animal. Would avoid logan if at all possible. probably the seediest part of queensland. Bogan just does not cover it. Security guards while you grocery shop – and yes you need them. Fights outside and in. Definitely not safe after dark. Worst place i have ever been. But i am sure there are worse other places. Very racist, very bigoted, way too many inbred locals, with all that entails. A place to be avoided at all cost.
Over-regulation has gotten much worse for Queensland.
If you like being overseas more than 6 months for travel, work, education, having a career break, or thinking of retiring, whatever the reason – then do not buy property in Queensland. You will become a prisoner of the state and your ambitions/dreams will be shattered.
It is the ONLY state in Australia to implement a very nasty ‘Absentee Surcharge’ on its own Australian citizens (Victoria also has an absentee surcharge but only for foreign residents, Australians and New Zealanders are exempt! ). Queensland Land Tax Act 2017.
The new law introduced in May 2017, means that if you are outside Australia for a mere 6 months or more then you are considered an absentee.
The Absentee Surcharge is added to an Absentee rate Land Tax as well. This terrible law applies if you own a property in Queensland with a land value of $350,000 and above.
The double tax is multiple the amount of normal land tax (which only starts from land valued over $600,000). The ramifications are severe.
Queensland Labor (under Premier Palaszczuk and Treasurer at the time Curtis Pitt) also made it retrospective so that if you were absent from the 1 July the previous year you were deemed an absentee – I was one of them caught up and I did not buy my property (with my medical discharge payment and superannuation) until the following year.
There are now people financially ruined and suicidal.
I am one whose health has suffered immensely and now have had to move back to Australia – outside my property where I desperately need rental income to live off – the taxes almost wipe that out they are so extreme. Currently earning below what a pensioner receives. Making me caught in a Catch 22. Sell the property now and I will lose immensely from upfront costs. And it is all I have until I die.
Others are even worse off – owning larger land with a home on it – their bills are coming in at $18,000 to $20,000. Others even more extreme. These are bad even for ‘one-off’ bills.
Has forced people who are/were overseas to now have to return to Australia as well as consider selling their properties.
Retirees booked on adventure of a lifetime vacations overseas, non-refundable trips, have been stung with the unannounced taxes and others have to cancel or cut their trips short.
The 6 month rule is a joke. There are only limited exemptions and good luck with that even. The Office of the State Revenue in QLD are ruthless. You are going to be in for a lot of stress.
Labor try to justify the tax by claiming it is because residents are subjected to taxes that absentees ‘generally’ are not as well as infrastructure spending that will improve property values.
Both arguments are flawed as anyone holding property whether absentee or not is subject to a range of taxes and fees. On top of that, the additional taxes charged to an absentee are so exorbitant that they far exceed what any additional taxes a person not overseas may be paying extra for.
We are talking additional taxes that would only be obtained from things such as electricity, water bills, internet and telephone bills, public transport, road taxes (if you even own a motor vehicle) from registration and road tolls. And GST from shopping (Commonwealth tax anyway). Added up it falls way short of the additional tax.
The infrastructure argument is flawed – it only applies to areas where infrastructure is being built. Many properties do not benefit from government spending. But everyone is taxed the same. The QLD government were able to find tax money to spend before, but suddenly they had to find a way to get more money out its people.
That should not be something that a government dictates you should be contributing towards anyway. But Queensland Labor seems to think it is okay.
Premier Palaszczuk spruiked investors to buy in Queensland in 2015 when Victoria introduced their Absentee Surcharge in Victoria. She told foreign investors to buy in Queensland as they did not have this tax. Two years later, after Millions invested, she back-flips and introduces the surcharge, trapping those already invested.
Foreign investors – many would be absentees. Bingo! Instant revenue. And then throw in Aussies as well. If a private corporation did this ASIC would be laying charges for fraudulent benefit by deception/appropriation.
Many Aussies still do not know of the taxes and the media were very slow to find out because the Treasurer did not mention Australian citizens during the budget announcement. Surreptitiously included.
Queensland has become a Socialist Dictatorship. Avoid buying property there unless they scrap this disgraceful absentee surcharge on its own citizens. It is only this year that QLD has agreed to implement a QLD Human Rights Act, hence why they have been able to get away with such punitive legislation.
University of Queensland in Brisbane was our son’s home for about six months while he was on a study abroad program from America. He has said how great it was to go by boat on the Brisbane River from campus to downtown and back.
Awkward first impression at Uni: Settling into his dorm room on the first day, he plugged in the American power adapter for his Apple computer. The electricity went off in the whole tower of dorm rooms. Later, in the main meeting room, he volunteered responsibility for the blackout by saying, “Hello, my name is Kyle. And I am from California.” The tag stuck with him as he was described many times during the six months on campus as, “Kyle from California.”