Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is a large city on the Brisbane River. Clustered in its South Bank cultural precinct are the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, with noted interactive exhibitions. Another South Bank cultural institution is the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, among Australia's major contemporary art museums. Looming over the city is Mt. Coot-tha, the site of Brisbane Botanic Gardens.
Cairns, considered the gateway to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, is a city in tropical Far North Queensland. Its Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park tells the stories of indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with music and dance. Cairns Esplanade, lined with bars and restaurants, has a swimming lagoon. Northwest of the city, Daintree National Park spans mountainous rainforest, gorges and beaches.
The Gold Coast is a metropolitan region south of Brisbane on Australia’s east coast. It's famed for its long sandy beaches, surfing spots and elaborate system of inland canals and waterways. It’s also home to theme parks such as Dreamworld, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild. Inland, hiking trails crisscross Lamington National Park’s mountain ridges and valleys, home to rare birds and rainforest.