Human beings have inhabited the land that today is known as Queensland for thousands of years. Dutch explorers recorded sightings of Indigenous people on the Cape York Peninsula as far back as 1606 and the state has undergone numerous transformations since European settlement in the 1820s.
Queensland has been home to penal colonies and gold rush towns, mining heartlands and vast farming and agricultural empires and, in modern times, tourist meccas and foodie hot spots. Queensland’s historical place in the nation’s development cannot be underestimated and the people and companies behind the state’s ongoing innovation and growth deserve much of the credit.
Mariora Opals is one of Queensland’s great success stories, thanks to the determination of European migrant Mario Antolovich. Arriving by boat with change in his pocket in the late 1950s, he has gone on to build a reputation as one of the state’s most esteemed opal jewelry designers and retailers. Mariora Opals is still family owned and operated, with Mario’s smiling face always there to greet you at their luxurious Marina Mirage store.
Queensland can lay claim to many of Australia’s finest heritage brands and XXXX Brewery is one of the best. Established in 1878 the Australian grown beer icon has been producing fine ales, bitters and lagers for 135 years. The brand is instantly recognisable and today visitors can take in brewery tours and sample great food at the stylish Alehouse restaurant.
Other iconic enterprises have played their part too. Brisbane’s oldest surviving house is Newstead House, a Heritage-listed property that is a living museum. It is one of the state’s most precious and significant properties and has been hosting visitors and events since 1846.
Just a short trip south of Brisbane is another property showcasing the state’s natural beauty in the best way possible. The Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk is a stunning 30-acre property offering eco-walks through the treetops of privately owned rainforest on Tamborine Mountain. The property has been sensitively developed utilising pre-existing access paths and new sustainable structures allow visitors to get up close and personal with the incredible flora and fauna of this area.
So no matter which part of the state you are in, its rich and vibrant history is wonderfully inescapable. From the beauty of its ancient rainforests to the inspiring stories of its migrant settlers, its innovations and its entrepreneurial spirit, Queensland epitomises what it is to be Australian.