Getting Oriented

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Getting Oriented

At 1,727,999 square km (667,180 square mi) and more than four times the size of California, Queensland has enormous geographic variety. Its eastern seaboard stretches 5,200 km (3,224 mi) from the subtropical Gold Coast to the wild and steamy rain forests of the far north. Away from the coastal sugar and banana plantations, west of the Great Dividing Range, Queensland looks as arid and dust-blown as any other part of Australia's interior. Not surprisingly, most of the state's 4 million or so inhabitants reside on the coast; Brisbane and the beach resorts, toward the south of the coast, have experienced dramatic expansion over the past decade. The region's main attractions (apart from the kitschy "Big Things" that dot its highways) are its glorious coastline, the fertile hinterland flanking it, and the reefs and islands that lie offshore.

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