Queensland (QLD) is Australia’s second biggest state and covers an area of 1,727,200 km². If it were a country in its own right, it would be the 18th biggest in the world, just behind Libya. The UK could fit into it over 7 times and it is the same size as America’s biggest state, Alaska.

It has a population of around 4.66 million people. It is known as “The Sunshine State” and its residents are affectionately called “Banana Bender’s” or sometimes, less affectionately, “Cane Toads”.

Queensland Location MapIts most famous attraction has to be The Great Barrier Reef, arguably the best place on the planet to look at the pretty fish.

Famous Queenslanders include Geoffrey Rush, actor, Rod Laver, tennis star and Powderfinger, one of Australia’s most successful rock groups. But surely the states most famous resident was John McCallum. John who? McCallum! Creator of Skippy, Australia’s most famous resident of ALL time.

Places in Queensland

The capital city of Queensland is Brisbane, but there are plenty other major towns, cities and localities to choose from within the state.

Here’s a list of all of them with a population in excess of 10,000 people along with a guide to how many people live there.

Populations of places change on a daily basis. When I compiled this list in 2011, I got my population figures from various sources and some of them are from the census of 2006. I have decided not to try to constantly update these population numbers, so if you are interested in a certain city or town, then you may want to search online for updated information about the population.

That way you can see if the population is growing, unchanged or shrinking.

  • Gold Coast – over 450,000
  • Sunshine Coast – over 180,000
  • Townsville – over 128,000
  • Cairns – over 98,000
  • Toowoomba – about 95,000
  • Mackay – about 66,000
  • Rockhampton – approximately 60,000
  • Bundaberg – approaching 50,000
  • Hervey Bay – over 40,000
  • Gladstone – about 28,000
  • Maryborough- over 20,000
  • Mount Isa – about 19,000
  • Cairns Northern Beaches – over 15,000
  • Bongaree – around 14,000
  • Nambour – about 13,000
  • Yeppoon – about 13,000
  • Warwick – over 12,000
  • Emerald – about 11,000
  • Gympie – about 11,000

And then there are all the towns with less than 10,000 population, we’ll be adding those as we go. If you live in one any of these towns, or the smaller ones not yet listed, why not tell us about it in the comments below…

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{ 176 comments… add one }
  • woj March 24, 2017, 3:07 am | Link

    Hi Bob !
    Ive written numerous Times before as i had a lot of questions regarding life in queensland and also a partner visa we had been applying for, for my wife.
    Well, things have moved up a Little. My wife received the partner visa and we Just got back from oz (we had to fly in to activate the visa). Queensland? We loved it!
    We stayed at coolum Beach and Mt coolum. We are taking the Kids and moving down this yr 🙂
    Job wise, are places like coolum and mooloolaba Comparable? We are looking for somewhere not far from the Beach and which is Great for family life (we have 2 small Kids aged 7 and 3.5), so party and club life is not nr 1 on my priority list. A place which has a fair bit of shops, schools etc so we have all we need locally 🙂
    Any suggestions as to pros and cons of places like coolum Beach, mooloolaba? Maybe something else worth considering?

    • BobinOz March 24, 2017, 6:45 pm | Link

      Hi woj, yes, I remember you well. Mooloolaba would be the bigger of the two places but I think the problem with both of them, and one that is associated with Sunshine Coast, is that jobs are hard to find. Other than that, it’s a great place to live and I know they have some very good schools and obviously the beaches are great.

      Work is the problem, but that very much depends on what you do. I suggest you do a good deal of research into this, my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship will help you with that.

      By the way, congrats on getting the visa, I’m very pleased for you and your family 🙂 and yes, Queensland is pretty good isn’t it?

      • woj March 24, 2017, 11:09 pm | Link

        Pretty good? Its Great! 🙂
        I have read that employment is the biggest problem on the SC. I work in the sports field (tenis coach and personal trainer) so maybe in my line of work job would be possible. My wife can work anywhere really – she has experience in office work but would not be scared to work anywhere (retail etc). I always thought that you can always find a job if u Look hard enough. Unless there are no Jobs to find, full stop. But im sure its not that bad?
        Bob, once again thanks for all the help 🙂

        • Rob March 25, 2017, 12:12 pm | Link

          Have lived and worked throughout a lot of Australia and am throwing in my 2 pence worth.
          You are right to be impressed with the Sunshine Coast, but it does cover a big area and although historically a tourism and agricultural area times have changed and are now changing faster. Sunshine Coast is a high growth area, Maroochydore is now the chosen area for a large city centre and currently undergoing massive development. There are many other large scale developments going on which bring more work. The Sunshine Coast University Hospital precinct which is completely new and AUstralia’s largest new hospital in 35 years, it looks like a whole town and starts to open this month. It has brought with it masses of linked industries into the Kawana/Caloundra area as well as major companies starting to move there, one of Australia’s largest insurance companies, YOUI, is one of many commercial operations that now moving to SC. In the same area a new city is being built by SC largest developer Stocklands, this area next to Caloundra is near enough to Brisbane to be commutable, 60+ mins drive is a low price to pay to live near beautiful beaches and sceneary and is quite common to do so, especially from Caloundra. As you go further north up the coast, this option is not possible (Noosa to Caloundra is a 90 minute drive itself). Remember that the closer to the beach you are, the higher the price but go a few streets back and the prices start dropping but the blocks will inevitably be small. As to your area of work, SC folk are generally healthier than their city counterparts. I use the very unscientific shopping mall test and the SC has a tangible healthier and less obese population that the city areas, which sort of makes sense. Great climate fot Tennis and there are many private and council courts, most golf clubs have excellent courts that offer trainers. Boot camps are commonly seen all over and the trainers are mainly self employed.
          Migration is a leap of faith – I came here over 20 years ago, no money, no job or anywhere to live but just tried to get on with it. Australia is by no means perfect and the petty everyday anoyances are here as well, I will never know if I did the right thing but when I take the dogs for a warm walk along the side of the Pacific ocean life doesn’t seem too bad especiall if it is winter and whales are breaching 400m from the beach!.

          • woj March 25, 2017, 3:59 pm | Link

            Rob. Thanks for your reply!
            Yep we fell in love with it. Of course like you write, Australia has its downsides – but everywhere does. For Us its about where we arę comfortable being with the family and im sure our Kids will Simply love those Beaches and sun, will never know until we try i guess..
            We lived at Mt coolum. We are thinking about that area, allthough have also been at Mooloolaba and loved it. Buderim was also nice but Mooloolaba on the Beach which is better for Us.
            Would u say that a place like Mooloolaba Would have better job prospects than a place like coolum? According to Google the population of the two places is similar but Mooloolaba Just seemed more developed with the shops etc.

          • Woj March 25, 2017, 5:01 pm | Link

            Rob. Was looking through the net – I think Ive just answered my own question regarding Mooloolaba vs Coolum. Maroochydore being the coasts CBD is 5km away from Mooloolaba, from Coolum – 20km. Now thats a difference when trying to find or commute to work!
            What about places like Alexandra headland, Buddina?. Out of the suburbs, are there any “better” or “worse” in that area? Meaning more or less safe? Like I mentioned. We are looking for a place which will be Family orientated.

            • BobinOz March 27, 2017, 6:47 pm | Link

              Firstly, thank you Rob for the update on the Sunshine Coast, sounds like things are moving in a positive direction when it comes to finding work there. I never knew, so thanks for taking the time to spread the news.

              Woj, I’ve been to SC many times, and stayed in both Alexander Headland and Buddina, they are both very nice suburbs and I think it’s fair to say it’s all very safe around that area. Rob will probably be able to give you more specifics, but I thought I’d throw in my 2p.

              • Woj March 27, 2017, 7:41 pm | Link

                Thanks Bob. All comments are kindly seen, no matter wether they are 2p worth or 50p worth. U know how it is. 50p here and 10p here and another 5p here…sum it up and u have a lot more than you started with 🙂
                We are making all the arrangements to make the move. Selling up, starting to look for tickets (the sooner you buy the less it will be). Such a huge step for us. Excited is an understatement 🙂

                • BobinOz March 28, 2017, 7:19 pm | Link

                  Yes, I can remember how excited I was at the same stage. Still lots to do, but it’s exciting to do it, rather than a chore, knowing where it leads. Hope it all goes smoothly 🙂

  • Henry Osebor Obinomen February 18, 2017, 9:07 pm | Link

    Hello BOB,
    The contributions and info here are of great help.

    • BobinOz February 19, 2017, 9:06 pm | Link

      Thanks Henry 🙂

      • Henry Obinomen March 25, 2017, 11:06 pm | Link

        Hello Bob,
        I will be moving to Brisbane in June for a Master degree in Marketing at CQUNIVERSITY.

        What suburb should be preferable in terms of closeness to CQU and finding a part time job?

        • BobinOz March 27, 2017, 7:22 pm | Link

          CQU is right in the heart of Brisbane city, so anywhere close to the university should also be good for finding a part-time job. It might be an idea to contact the university to find out if there is any cheap local student accommodation nearby where the rest of their students tend to live. It’s always good to live close to your fellow students if you can, that way you can get to know them socially as well. Good luck, Bob

          • Henry Obinomen March 27, 2017, 8:18 pm | Link

            Thanks Bob. I will contact CQU ASAP with respect to the accommodation.

            Your responses are always of great help.


  • Mariha February 11, 2017, 4:24 pm | Link

    Hi Bob and everyone,
    I have applied for a TR and nominated by state of Queensland for skilled regional visa. I have been wondering when i fly to Queensland with Brisbane and Gold coast off the option, what may be a good regional option to live with a 4 year old. Also where do i go on day 1 and stay

    • BobinOz February 12, 2017, 8:33 pm | Link

      Interesting question, but I just don’t know. I wouldn’t think there would the any problem you flying into Brisbane or Gold Coast, I think the idea of the skilled regional visa is that you need to ultimately live and work in a regional area.

      I don’t think it matters where you go or stay on day one, it only matters where you finally choose to reside and work. If you used a MARA agent for your application, they would be able to tell you with more accuracy what the rules are.

      As for a good regional option to live with your for your four-year-old, I’d go where the work is. If you have a choice on that, then come back and let us know what it is, and may be me or somebody else here can help.

      • Mariha February 13, 2017, 6:41 pm | Link

        Thank you Bob!
        Will touch base once i have more details.

  • Khalil ur Rahman January 2, 2017, 12:31 am | Link

    Hi, I have planned to come for a six month visit and stay to the university of Queensland. I am a student please tell me where I should plan my accommodation which is reasonable for me in term of distance and specially in cost.

    • BobinOz January 2, 2017, 6:33 pm | Link

      I would stay as close to the campus as possible, lots of housing in the area has been converted for student use and is available at reasonable rates.

  • Shivani December 15, 2016, 5:45 am | Link

    Hello Bob and everyonr
    How is Mackay to live in!

    • BobinOz December 15, 2016, 8:57 pm | Link

      Well, I couldn’t tell you what it’s like to live there, but I have written three posts about Mackay after my recent visit. The first is here…


      And that post links to the next and so on. That’s all I know about Mackay, but maybe somebody who does live there can tell you more.

    • Chris Jelliffe December 16, 2016, 7:00 pm | Link

      Hi Shivani- I’m a doctor and lived in Mackay for two years that I’d rather forget.
      We too saw the tempting you-tube tourist footage promoting the region and its quite genuine- but sees the region with rose tinted specs big time. Life is not all about driving miles out of the city to see the few “local” amenities- it’s very different living there rather than having a holiday there as I know! The beaches are better suited to wildfowling which is illegal here.
      Mackay bloomed about ten years ago on the back of the mining boom, which has now collapsed. Hence property prices have plunged, there is high unemployment, and the city is in serious recession. In its heyday it was a blossoming mining city, but the collapse of the industry has left Mackay floundering. There are very few decent restaurants, the shopping centre at Canelands is marginal, and the word on the street is that the Myers that opened there to great fanfare is struggling in a city with no money.
      So- Bob says he likes its remote feel- but lives in Brisbane?
      If you have a great job offer in Mackay that doesn’t rely on mining- go for it.
      But if you are looking for a great place to move to for no particular reason- I’d personally avoid Mackay like the plague!
      Good Luck!
      Chris of

  • Godwin December 11, 2016, 8:45 am | Link

    Please, advice me where best to stay in Australia and be happy living. I am a Doctor of Biochemistry, University lecturer and researcher. My wife has a Master of Education degree. We have three beautiful daughters. We wish to find work, earn a decent living and raise our children.

    • BobinOz December 12, 2016, 7:14 pm | Link

      Many will tell you that happiness comes from within 🙂

      Seriously though, there is no particular place to go in Australia for happy living, I’m sure there are happy people spread out all over Australia. Choose somewhere that suits you best, my page A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia might well help you with that.

    • Scott January 24, 2017, 9:00 pm | Link

      I would start looking at the weather and population on Wikipedia, do you like busier, faster paced cities, slower country town cities or in between. Cold winters with rain or warm weather all year round? Or Cold or year round!
      Then it really is best to choose two or three and visit for at least one to two weeks if possible, and look at other things like are you children into sports/music, where the recreation centres are etc. Do you like the beach? Australia really has something for everyone.

  • Moka October 25, 2016, 9:41 am | Link

    I just finish submitting my EOI stating Queensland as my target state. My question is do i have to have the funds needed for state sponsoring (45000 AUD in my case) as it seems that they ask for a bank statement and if not how much should i have as minimum in my account?

    Thank you in advance.

  • Chantelle October 25, 2016, 2:24 am | Link

    Where is the best place to buy a farm for cattle and sheep?

    • BobinOz October 25, 2016, 8:06 pm | Link

      I have no idea, but I’m sure there are plenty in the outback. Rockhampton is known as the beef capital here, but I would have thought most of our major cattle farms are more remote than that.

      Maybe somebody else who knows outback Queensland better than I do can help; can anyone help Chantelle with this?

      • Chris in Townsville October 28, 2016, 6:40 pm | Link

        Hi Bob- you certainly get some “curved ball” enquiries don’t you! Lol
        Chris in Townsville

        • BobinOz October 30, 2016, 6:24 pm | Link

          Yes, and it all adds to the fun 🙂

  • Folukemi October 22, 2016, 6:48 am | Link

    Hello House.
    I am Folukemi from Nigeria. I, my husband and our two year old baby girl are relocating to Australia in November, Queensland precisely. It’s a state sponsored visa 489 which allows us stay in regional areas for four years, please I need your advise as to which region is best for us. I am a poultry farmer, but open to any other opportunity. My husband is a chemical Engineer. We need your help please.

    • BobinOz October 23, 2016, 9:21 pm | Link

      I would say the best place for you to go would be where ever it is that you have the best opportunity of securing work. You can research that by using the links on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and searching for the kind of work you would like to do to see where the most opportunities are for you.

      I recently did a road trip up the Queensland coast through mostly regional areas, you may like to read the series to get an idea of what some of these places are like. If you start with this post…


      You should then be able to follow through the whole series from the links in each post. Hope that helps, Bob

      • Folukemi October 31, 2016, 9:48 am | Link

        Thanks a lot Bob. I find this very helpful

    • Godwin December 11, 2016, 8:50 am | Link

      Folukemi, I am sure you have moved to Australia by now. I hope to do same by early 2017, Dv. I would sure need to glean on your experiences. My email address is ‘[email protected]’.
      Thank you and regards to your family.

  • Fatai riliwan adewale September 27, 2016, 7:41 am | Link

    Pls i need a sponsor to australia for the farm work

  • Jenny September 19, 2016, 2:26 pm | Link

    We are a young retired couple looking to relocate from Melbourne to somewhere warmer. We are looking at Cairns. But are very naieve of which suburb would suit our age group ie quiet close to amenities etc.

    • BobinOz September 20, 2016, 8:18 pm | Link

      I was in Cairns a couple of months ago for a holiday, I was really impressed with it all. It looks like a great city to live in. Of course, I don’t know it well enough to recommend any particular suburbs, so hopefully somebody else will read this and help you out.

      Anybody got any suggestions for Jenny?

      • Paul November 28, 2016, 9:11 am | Link

        Hi there, Cairns is a nice city to live in but is VERY humid in the summer with plenty of rainfall. As for which suburbs to live in, historically try and avoid all the suburbs beginning with the letter ‘M’ (Mooroobool, Manunda etc). These are in West Cairns and traditionally have had problems although this may be changing. Try Redlynch Valley and the Northern Beaches.

        Paul – Expat now living in Hervey Bay QLD

        • Martin November 28, 2016, 11:08 pm | Link

          Hi Paul,
          I have been eyeing harvey bay for a while. What is it like living there? I have heard stories that it is very quiet and not much to do there.

        • Al November 29, 2016, 1:20 pm | Link

          Hi I live in Cairns and definitely do not recommend Mannora or Manunda suburbs, as majority of low class lievs here and you can get stabbed in your back iof walking at night on the street. But Moroobool has changed, especialy upper part, million dollar homes are here . I was onsidering Mooroobool wher were looking for a hopuse but ended up in White Rock. Nothern Beaches and Redlynch Valey are for higher income earners as rents/houses are more expensive here. Humidity in Cairns is bearable and we have not had rain for the third straight year. It is humid from Jan til April, the rest of the year is fantastic. While the rest of Australia is wearing jackets and gloves during the winter nights, You can expect to sleep with open windows. I think it is the best town to live in Australia in regards to climate. Jobs and opportunities are not so big as in major cities, but competition for them as well. Highly recommend.

  • theresa June 2, 2016, 4:23 pm | Link

    Hello Bob,
    Good day!

    I am really confusing about a situation right now…i want to go in australia as a nanny or caregiver..i already have my sponsor the problem is, that job is not in skilled job in list of sponsorhip.
    Please can u advice me for other way to do?

    thank you

  • claire de sousa May 19, 2016, 7:42 pm | Link

    Please leave some comments as to where a good area (good schools, space, family activities, reasonably priced accommodation) would be in Australia. Considering relocating from South Africa…


    • Chris jelliffe May 19, 2016, 8:25 pm | Link

      Awesome question Claire – bit like saying ‘ I want a house’ ! More info maybe!! ?family, what do you all do, what do you enjoy doing, what do you want to do? Are you city or bush folk? Wine bars or pig shooting?
      Why do you want to leave SA, what has made you think about Australia?
      Give us a clue!!

      • BobinOz May 20, 2016, 8:23 pm | Link

        It’s also probably worth mentioning that there are already thousands of comments around this website all about suburbs, schools, safety and so much more. So it’s already been done, all you have to do is read them.

  • John Amodu Samba April 18, 2016, 6:50 pm | Link

    Am john Amodu Samba, l hails from Benue state of Nigeria.looking for a friends that will makes my dreams come through.l graduated Benue state university makurdi in the department mass communication.

  • David Jaycocks March 6, 2016, 3:52 am | Link

    Can you advise the best healthcare for a family with two children 6+7.
    We arrive in Brisbane on the 19th March on a 489 sponsored visa.

    Kind Regards


    • Chris jelliffe March 6, 2016, 11:35 am | Link

      Hi David – some info for you.
      The Aussie medical system is very complex – I’m an ex-pat Doctor and don’t fully understand it all!
      I’ll try to precis:- All citizens and permanent residents are entitled to a ‘Medicare’ card. This allows free access to the public system (NHS equivalent). If you don’t have a medicare card you can get medical insurance through one of a few of the Health funds. My son was covered under an overseas visitors policy by Medibank Private, one of the bigger funds. This however only entitles you to public health access.
      Privately insured patients get a portion of their medical costs reimbursed by Medibank, a further portion reimbursed from their health fund, and any excess is paid by the patient themselves (so called ‘Gap payment’). With me so far??
      So – if you don’t have a medicare card you can’t take out a private health policy under this system. I am sure that some of the healthcare funds will provide full cover for your family without medicare cards, but I don’t have any details to hand, and it won’t be cheap.
      Brisbane has a number of excellent hospitals, including the new Lady Cillento Childrens hospital, and the back up in the public system in Brisbane is very good.
      Primary care is a mixed bag – a lot of GP’s are private, but some ‘bulk bill’ which means they send their account to medicare not you.I think you are covered by the basic visitors insurance but again each healthcare fund is very different.
      Suggest you contact Medicaire for further details- they have a website (allbeit a complex Government site)
      Another useful contact would be the AHSA, the Australian Health Service Alliance, which represents a number of Private Health Funds across the country.
      Most of the health funds under their ‘blanket’ are easy to deal with.
      Good luck and enjoy – Brisbane is very liveable city and probably a good starting point if you are considering staying here permanently.
      Get in contact again via this website if I can be of further help.
      Chris Jelliffe

      • BobinOz March 6, 2016, 10:02 pm | Link

        Good answer Chris, thanks. I’ve also got a post about it, David you might like to read…


        If you do, you will see that I also use Medibank Private.

        I think it’s worth remembering that they are all just insurance companies, so the best insurance is the one that allows you to choose your own hospital/doctor/specialist and I think most of them do that. Check the small print to make sure you are aware of what they do cover and what they don’t cover.

        Good luck, Bob

  • Chris jelliffe February 22, 2016, 9:47 pm | Link

    Hi Ann
    Further to Bob’s helpful and realistic comments, I have no idea how the rental market works in New Zealand. In Australia rentals are “leased out” rather than being given the option to give notice either way (as in the UK). Six month leases are perhaps more difficult to find than the usual one year lease. If you break the lease and move out earlier than the lease period, you are liable for the rental fees until the place is re-let, and you also have to fund the re-advertising fees to re-let the property. You should(but may not – check with the agent) get your rental bond back from the agent.
    I think the system is interesting to say the least, but you may have had the same (very harsh) arrangements in New Zealand. I own a rental property in Mackay, and as soon as we suggested a ‘periodic’ lease to the tenants (ie a fixed term of notice either way) they immediately panicked and assumed we were selling out so left forthwith. Can’t win really!
    Have fun

  • Ann February 20, 2016, 8:23 am | Link

    Hi, my husband has recently got a job working in fortitude valley area. We currently live in NZ and will be moving to Brisbane probably for 1-5 yrs depending on what happens.
    We are in our early 50’s no children but have one small dog. Need to look at renting but not sure what area to look in. Want to avoid flood zones and short commute to his work ….less than 20mins.
    Prefer to be close to area with parks for walking, running, biking but also with good access to shopping, restaurants etc.
    Where would you suggest and are we likely to be able to rent with our small dog..

    • BobinOz February 22, 2016, 5:37 pm | Link

      Well you won’t want to live in Fortitude Valley, it’s Brisbane’s main nightclub area. If I were you I would try to get anywhere that’s conveniently located and will allow your pet and then try and get a six-month rental lease.

      Then spend that time having a good look around at convenient suburbs to see what might suit you best. The Gap to the west might be a good area to start, given your requirements. Good luck, Bob

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