Queensland (abbreviated as Qld) is the second-largest and third-most populous state in Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. Queensland has a population of 4,580,700, concentrated along the coast and particularly in the state's South East. The state is the world's sixth largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 km2. The capital and largest city in the state is Brisbane, Australia's third largest city. Referred to as the 'Sunshine State', Queensland is home to 10 of Australia's 30 largest cities and is the nation's third largest economy.
Queensland was first occupied by Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, who arrived at least 40,000 years ago. The first European to land in Queensland (and Australia) was Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606, who explored the west coast of the Cape York Peninsula near present-day Weipa. In 1770, Lieutenant James Cook claimed the east coast of Australia for the Kingdom of Great Britain. The colony of New South Wales was founded in 1788 by Governor Arthur Phillip at Sydney; New South Wales at that time included all of what is now Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. Queensland was explored in subsequent decades until the establishment of a penal colony at Brisbane in 1824 by John Oxley. Penal transportation ceased in 1839 and free settlement permitted in 1842. Queensland was separated from New South Wales, forming a self-governing colony, on 6 June 1859, a date now celebrated state-wide as Queensland Day. Queensland achieved statehood with the Federation of Australia on 1 January 1901. The state was named in honour of Queen Victoria, who on 6 June 1859 signed Letters Patent separating the colony from New South Wales. Queen Victoria, who went on to become Britain's longest reigning monarch, chose an eponymous name for the colony over Cooksland, which had been suggested by the influential local Presbyterian minister John Dunmore Lang in honour of navigator James Cook.
Colloquially known as 'Surfers', the suburb has many high-rise apartment buildings and a wide surf beach. The feature of the central business district is Cavill Mall, which runs through the shopping precinct. Cavill Avenue, named after Jim Cavill, an early hotel owner, is one of the busiest shopping strips in Queensland, and the centre of activity for night life.
Surfers Paradise is the Gold Coast's entertainment and tourism centre and the precinct's high-rise buildings are the best known feature of the city's skyline. Surfers Paradise is also one of Australia's iconic coastal tourist destinations, drawing visitors each year from New Zealand, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and around Australia.