It's the greatest rivalry in Australian sports. Queensland v New South Wales. These two teams have been battling it out for almost 40 years in the annual best-of-three State of Origin series. It's basically Australia's answer to the Super Bowl and whether you follow rugby league or not, the whole country is consumed by this long-standing rivalry. It's not just on the field where tensions run high. This competitive streak spills over into other areas too, including the tourism industry. Each state is adamant that it offers the best, that it IS the best. So while the two states battle it out on the sporting field, we take a look at how they stack up as holiday destinations. Who will claim the ultimate victory?
Capital City: Brisbane
|Annual Visitors||37,433,000 Domestic||7,767,000 International||45,200,000 Total|
|Average Length of Stay||4 Nights Domestic||22 Nights International||26 Nights Total|
|Average Cost per Night||$180 Domestic||$93 International||$273 Total|
Queensland Average Annual Climate
|Min Temp (C)||21||21||19||17||13||11||9||10||12||15||17||20|
|Max Temp (C)||28||28||28||26||23||21||20||21||23||25||27||28|
Gold Coast: Named after its glittering golden beaches and fantastic weather all year round, the Gold Coast is renowned for its excellent surf, vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches and outstanding shopping. One of Queensland's premier holiday destinations, the Gold Coast enjoys a unique blend of spectacular beachfront accommodation and stunning hinterland retreats, all within minutes of each other. Ideally situated in south east Queensland, the Gold Coast is perhaps most famous for its theme parks and thrill rides. Just an hour's drive from Brisbane, the Gold Coast also features its own airport making it an easily accessible holiday destination popular with both domestic and international visitors.
Sunshine Coast: A gorgeous stretch of coastline roughly an hour's drive north of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast is a relaxing holiday destination known for its beaches, wildlife, natural attractions, family friendly activities and the upmarket area of Noosa. This leisure and relaxation capital offers clear blue water, stunning beaches, fantastic surfing and is a popular fishing and boating hot spot. As its name suggests, the Sunshine Coast enjoys warm sunny weather throughout the year and offers fun, adventure, peace, relaxation and a wonderfully diverse natural environment. A cosmopolitan hub of luxury resorts, fine dining and boutique shopping, the Sunshine Coast enjoys the best of both worlds with its affordable, relaxed beach town vibes.
Whitsundays: Located just off the coast of Queensland, the Whitsundays are a stunning string of islands that have become a Queensland icon. Popular with visitors from all over Australia and indeed the world, the Whitsundays offer unprecedented access to a whole range of must-see natural attractions including the biggest drawcard of all - the World-Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. This tropical getaway titan boasts a breathtaking natural environment and a treasure trove of outdoor activities and watersports. Of course can also relax by the pool with a cocktail or indulge in a relaxing massage. A wide range of islands offer everything from affordable and family-friendly resorts to luxurious and romantic escapes. You'll find all you want and more in the Whitsundays.
Tropical North Queensland: There are nine distinct regions that make up Tropical North Queensland and while each has its own unique charm, they're all within minutes of each other, giving you the chance to explore them all. The cosmopolitan tourist hot spot of Cairns is the gateway to North Queensland while the charming seaside town of Port Douglas is perfect for kicking back. The relaxing waterfront of Mission Beach boasts sprawling beaches and all the modern comforts while Palm Cove is popular thanks to its laidback tropical atmosphere and proximity to famous attractions. Offering easy access to the iconic Great Barrier Reef, the star attraction is actually the World Heritage listed Daintree rainforest, which features an incredible ecosystem considered the 'oxygen factory' of the world.
Great Barrier Reef: No holiday to Queensland would be complete without experiencing the beauty and wonder of the Great Barrier Reef. One of the seven Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef is a breathtaking natural attraction and the largest reef in the world. A declared marine park, the Great Barrier Reef is perhaps one of the most popular snorkelling and diving sites in Australia if not the entire planet and contains hundreds of thousands of species of coral and marine life. Boasting the world's largest collection of coral, the Great Barrier Reef offers an other-worldly underwater experience of a lifetime. Best of all, it's easily accessible from a number of popular holiday destinations along the Queensland coast, meaning you can make the most out of your trip by combining your holiday and visit to the reef.
Capital City: Sydney
|Annual Visitors||55,341,000 Domestic||9,700,000 International||65,041,000 Total|
|Average Length of Stay||3.25 Nights Domestic||24.5 Nights International||27.75 Nights Total|
|Average Cost per Night||$177 Domestic||$97 International||$274 Total|
New South Wales Average Annual Climate
|Min Temp (C)||18||18||17||13||10||8||6||7||10||12||15||17|
|Max Temp (C)||26||26||25||22||20||17||16||17||20||22||23||25|
Sydney: Perhaps the most iconic city in Australia, Sydney is bursting with culture and character. Whether you seek exploration, exhilaration or 100% relaxation the vibrant city of Sydney caters to all your desires. The capital of New South Wales, Sydney offers a unique blend of trendy dining, designer shopping and a whole range of recreation options. Home to iconic landmarks and attractions including the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Luna Park, this bustling city is set on an incredibly picturesque harbour. Jump on a ferry and explore the stunning waters of the harbour at a leisurely pace. Don't miss the dining and drinking hub of Darling Harbour or the incredible Taronga Zoo, a haven for animals situated on its own little island in the harbour.
Hunter Valley: One of Australia's premier wine growing regions, the Hunter Valley is an interesting and diverse tourist region just a couple of hours' drive from Sydney. Food and wine lovers will be in heaven in the Hunter Valley and its welcoming country atmosphere makes it feel much more secluded than it is. The ideal place to escape the bustle of daily life, the 'wine country' of the Hunter Valley boasts some of the finest wines in the country as well as gourmet local artisanal cuisine. Wine and cheese tasting tours are one of the most popular ways to spend your time in Hunter Valley, however there are also historical tours, a spectacular National park and wide range of native wildlife as well as one of Australia's most scenic golf courses.
Blue Moutains: Centrally located in the Sydney basin under two hours from Sydney city, the Blue Mountains are a natural wonderland of native wildlife, untamed bush and iconic rock formations. The picturesque region is made up of sandstone plateaus which are divided by steep gorges where conservation areas and National Parks thrive. Despite its proximity to the city of Sydney, the Blue Mountains offer all the charm of a sleepy small town, so don't be surprised if the baker remembers your name after the first time you pop in for a fresh loaf of bread. A steady stream of tourists continue to visit natural and historical attractions around town including the famous Three Sisters rock formation, the incredible underground Jenolan Caves and the historic Zig Zag Railway.
Coffs Harbour: One of the largest cities in New South Wales, Coffs Harbour is a beautiful beachside holiday destination situated on the coast, approximately 6 hours north of Sydney. Enjoying a relaxed atmosphere, Coffs Harbour is known for its wonderful weather and stunning beaches as well as its gorgeous natural attractions. Kick back and relax or explore the banana plantations and photo ops of the iconic Big Banana, the oldest and most visited 'big' attractions in Australia. If you love the great outdoors, don't miss the local national parks, marine parks and waterfalls. The kids will also love the wildlife encounters of Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve, Butterfly House and the daily dolphin and seal shows at Dolphin Marine Magic.
The Entrance: Considered one of the Central Coast's prettiest towns, The Entrance is located on a strip of land separating Tuggerah Lake and the Pacific Ocean. Located north of Sydney, this picturesque holiday destination boasts a cosmopolitan atmosphere and enjoys a fantastic range of holiday resorts and dining options. Studded with lakes, lagoons and world-class beaches, The Entrance is a leisure and recreation playground ideal for swimming, sailboarding, fishing, rowing, canoeing, sailing and water skiing. Playing host to a number of annual food and music festivals, The Entrance is also known for its large pelican population which assembles everyday - rain, hail or shine - for feeding at 3.30pm. Meeting and feeding these local pelicans is a must-do on any holiday to The Entrance.
So who is the ultimate champion? It might just be too close to call!
Time to call in the video ref...