Did you know the British could have named Queensland — “Cooksland” — after British explorer James Cook, if Queen Victoria didn’t have her way? Queensland Day celebrates the birthday of the Australian state every year on June 6. It was on this day, in 1859, that Vicky granted the state the right to form its own government.
The day commemorates the struggle against British Rule. It is also an opportunity to celebrate everything that’s great about Queensland, from its many Natural Heritage Sites to the sunny days (which make for great barbecue opportunities).
Queensland Day timeline
Agitation by various factions in Moreton Bay results in a petition being sent to the Queen for separation of Moreton Bay from New South Wales.
The Imperial Parliament passes an act granting the British Government the power to form new colonies.
The Queen signs Letters Patent, allowing Moreton Bay to form its own government —Queensland is adopted as the name of the new colony.
June 6 is officially celebrated as Queensland Day for the first time.
Queensland Day Activities
Host a barbecue
Start your winter on the right note with a barbecue lunch on Queensland Day. Invite friends, get the grill ready, and make sure you have a bucket full of ice and beer!
Take a drive
Queensland has five Natural Heritage Sites and 200 national parks. Take this opportunity to explore the natural wonders of the state. If you are short on time, a drive down Gold Coast with family is always an experience.
Catch up on history
Pick a book on the British Empire or watch a documentary that chronicles its rise and fall. "British Empire in Color" is a worthy recommendation here. While it is important to let the past go, we also believe it is important to know your roots.
5 Things No One Ever Actually Explained To Us About Queensland
It's home to the Dingo Fence
The fence, which runs from central Queensland to South Australia, is twice the length of the Great Wall of China.
Queensland’s Parliament didn't have women's toilets
When it was first built, the parliament of the state didn't have any women's toilets, since there were no female MPs.
Lung Fish lives here
Lung Fish is a living fossil, which dates back to the Triassic period. It is about 350 million years old.
First to stop capital punishment
Queensland was the first British Commonwealth colony to abolish death penalty (1922).
Tall rainforests grow in sand here
Fraser Island in Queensland has rainforests growing in sand dunes, the only place in the world where such a spectacle can be seen.
Why We Love Queensland Day
Power to the people
The British finally granted Queensland the right to form its own government after the people of the state started demanding a colony separate from New South Wales. The day commemorates Australians' struggles against British rule.
An excuse to explore
The second-largest Australian state has a lot to offer, from the famous Gold Coast to a number of World Natural Heritage Sites. Queensland Day is the perfect excuse to celebrate the geography, heritage, and culture of the state.
So much maroon
On Queensland Day, you'll find government buildings, landmarks, and monuments decorated with maroon lighting. Even pavement turns maroon on this day.
Queensland Day dates