Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail. ~Proverb
We are Queenslanders. That's the bright lolly pink bit in the first map. It's the second largest state & roughly 25% of Australia or to put it into perspective 7 times the size of Great Britain, more than double the size of Texas. Yeah, it's a big place.
I was toddling round on the net just double checking my facts because anything to do with numbers I'm likely to get wrong & I was pretty mind boggled. Now for some reason [probably due to my technological incompetence] I landed on tourist sites ~ which is all well & good but totally misleading. Seriously misleading. And they were all saying the same thing. Sub~tropical.
Now we are subtropical, ie below the tropic of Capricorn. Cairns isn't. Oh deary me no! No, Cairns is definitely tropical; tropical as in Cairns has 2 seasons. It has a wet season [summer] & a dry season [winter] ~ just the two seasons. If you live there you wear a woolly jumper in winter. Everyone else goes swimming.
If you live out west you're probably part of the desert that just flooded. The climate in the Great Dividing Mountains is different again. By sub~tropical I can only think they mostly mean Brisbane, which is the capital of the state, & where the plane's most likely to offload you unless you realise there's an international airport at Cairns & it's right next door to the Great Barrier Reef. Most people don't & they get dumped at Brisbane airport & Brisbane is sub~tropical, which means we get mild, pleasant winters whose temps range between 14 ~ 28C [57.2 ~ 82.4F]. Cairns on the other hand has winter temperatures ranging between 20 ~ 30C [68 ~ 86F]. We won't go into their summer temps. Sticky!
Last time I was in Cairns the wet season arrived with a vengeance & the rain chased us down the coast flooding the rivers as we passed. Just so you know.
We get somewhere in the vicinity of 1.5 million tourists a year, give or take the odd million. They arrive with lists of the day trips they've got planned. A cursory study of the map reveals 7, 400 ks plus of coastline ~ most of it a long, long way from Brisbane. This is important to know because Queensland has 1 of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world & 4 World Heritage listed sites ~ none of which are in Brisbane. The 2, 300 k of the Great Barrier reef is the largest natural feature in the world & can be seen from space ~ but you can't see it from Brisbane. It requires you travel quite some distance from Brisbane in order to see it. Just now from Bowen to Gladstone 90% of the reef's gone, smashed to smithereens by cyclone Hamish.
We have the world's largest sand island [184 000 hectares], Fraser Island, but it's 4 hours from Brisbane & world heritage listed so worth the visit because it's the only place in the world tall rainforest grows on sand dunes. Or there's the Daintree, the oldest rainforest in the world but it's 2 hours north of Cairns. Also world heritage listed, 1 200 square ks of rainforest that is home to 30% of reptile, marsupial & frog species in Oz, habitat to 65% of butterfly & bat species & 20% of our bird species. Thirteen species of the birds are found nowhere else in the world. Oh, & it's totally gorgeous! Moving right along & still heading north up into the Gulf you will find yet another world heritage listing : Riversleigh, home to Australian marsupial fossils. Nowhere else in the world will you find such a continuous, rich, detailed record at a single site. The 4th world heritage listing is the Great Barrier Reef.
We get 300 days of sunshine a year I'm told but we haven't been seeing much of the sun recently. It's been wet. Very, very wet. Tropical wet. Someone should inform whoever's responsible for the weather that we're sub~tropical & are supposed to have more than 2 seasons a year.
And just so you know, unless you're out in the sticks or at the zoo you're extremely unlikely to see kangaroos or wallabies or koalas wandering round. We're out in the sticks so we see these things but Brisbane is a modern city. No wildlife allowed.