Queensland is known as the Sunshine State with fine, mild weather conditions much of the time. To make the most of these weather conditions, outdoor activities are very popular, including eating outdoors such as at barbeques and picnics. Leisure time activities vary considerably between families.
Many families enjoy participating in and watching sports, entertaining friends in their home, watching TV, visiting the cinema, going to concerts and live performances and meeting with friends.
Weekends are a great time for you to participate in activities with your host family, your classmates and other friends. Many international students find that weekends are a great chance to improve their spoken English by mixing with Australians in social situations. EQI organises school vacation programs which visit a variety of locations in Australia. These EQI holiday programs are a great way to visit tourist attractions with other students in a safe and supervised program. Ask your school for details.
Queensland cities have some great shopping opportunities.
At outdoor markets, shopping centres, beachside and pedestrian shopping malls you will find everything you might need as well as some great souvenirs to take home.
Shopping hours vary across Queensland, but shops are generally open from 9.00am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. Cities have night shopping one night of the week. Weekend opening hours also vary, but most shops open from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm on Saturday. Some centres, malls and markets are open on Sundays too.
Queensland has beautiful beaches and experiencing them will be a great part of your stay in Australia. However, waves are often very rough and there are strong undercurrents compared to many overseas beaches.
Some hints for making your day at the beach as safe as possible include:
Read and obey the warning signs on beaches and at beach access points
Always swim between the red and yellow flags – never outside them. The flags mark the safest place to swim and the area where lifesavers and lifeguards patrol
Always swim with others and never alone
Always tell someone where you are going
Be aware of your ability in the water and avoid swimming in situations that require stronger swimming than that of which you are capable
Be aware that most Australians learn to swim from a young age – a beach full of swimmers does not necessarily mean that the water is calm and safe
Never run, jump or dive into shallow water
Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs and avoid swimming after dark
If you get into trouble, don’t panic. Stay calm, float with the current and raise your hand, so that a lifeguard will see you. Swim across a rip (current), not against it
As the sun in Queensland is very strong, always wear a shirt, hat, sunglasses and sun screen lotion at the beach
Take care if coming into contact with sea creatures as some may sting or bite and
Be particularly careful of marine stingers in the coastal areas of northern Queensland.