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Three photographers on the South Molle Reef pontoon, Whitsundays Region
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Tourism in Queensland

We invite you to explore selected resources, collections, and research uncovering fascinating stories and facts linking to Queensland's iconic tourism status. 


View several significant collections from the John Oxley Library highlighting early tourism and its impact on our state in the decades since. 

Group visiting Great Barrier Reef in the 1930s
Embury Family Papers, 1927-1934
Amateur scientist Monty Embury organized the first tourist expedition to the Great Barrier Reef in 1927.
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Colour brochure from 1914 inviting travellers to be a tourist
Burns, Philp & Company Ltd
Established in Nth Queensland in 1883, the company opened a tourism department in 1914 offering passengers travel to Melanesia.
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Map of Queensland on a tea towel heralding Queensland as the top state in Australia
Glenn. R. Cooke Souvenir Textiles Collection
Numbered items, mostly tea towels, depicting places in Queensland with emphasis on tourism, place, and sites.
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Who wouldn't want to go to Daydream Island after seeing the colour brochure
Tourism ephemera
Our large collection of tourist brochures is a rich source of information on tourism in Queensland.
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Aerial view looking at resort on Hamilton Island in the 1980s
Hamilton Island Photographs and Papers 1989-1992
Entrepreneur Keith Williams collected photographs and records documenting activities, celebrity visits, and events in the late 1980s – 1990s.
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Colourful float advertising Queensland as a key travel destination, 1956
Queensland Government Tourist Bureau
The Queensland Government Intelligence & Tourist Bureau was responsible for the promotion of tourism in Queensland from 1907 to 1979.
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A taste of Queensland icons, identities and tourist experiences.  

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 Driving through the Glasshouse Mountains District,1935


From the blog

The blogs are State Library of Queensland’s major portal for sharing specific research and knowledge about Queensland, identities and experiences. 

Cora Dunphy trying to reel in a fish at Lindeman Island, 1928.
Embury expeditions to the Great Barrier Reef, 1928 – 1934
One lucky member joins the first tourist expedition to the Great Barrier Reef late 1920s -1930s.
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Estate map showing the division of the them park area and residential blocks
The Business of tourism: Queensland’s 1880s theme park
Queensland’s first theme park, Queensport Aquarium, constructed near Hemmant.
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Islands: hidden histories of Queensland’s islands
What comes to mind when you think of an “island”? Delve deeper into the Lindeman Is experience.
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Journal articles

Journal articles that explore the meaning of tourism, its social context and relevance to Queensland. 

Leader-Elliott, L. (2002). Indigenous Cultural Tourism as Part of the Birdsville/Strzelecki Experience.
Australian Indigenous cultural heritage tourism study, Birdsville and Strzelecki Tracks.
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Heywood, P. (1995). The social context of tourism. Landscape Australia, 17(3), 165–171
Tourism and travel, recognised as being the largest and most rapidly expanding industry globally.
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Barnard, T. (2016). Indigenised souvenirs and homewares in the Glenn Cooke collection.
Interpretive evaluation of a collection donated to the Queensland Museum by Mr Glenn R. Cooke.
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Pearson, M. (2013). Cyclones and coral: Sea routes through the Great Barrier Reef.
Look at the history of the Great Barrier Reef route, significance to communities and environment.
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The Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame, established in 2009 by QUT Business School, State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Library Foundation recognises the public contribution made by leaders of business to the reputation of Queensland and its economic and social development.

Three recipients were recognised for their contribution to business and Queensland tourism. 

Burns, Philp and Co. Ltd building in Mary Street, Brisbane, 1957.
Burns, Philp and Company Ltd shipping company
Named Queensland Business Leader in 2009 in recognition of significant contribution to Queensland.
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Paula Stafford's shop in Cavil Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland, 1973, photographerJohn Gollings
Gold Coast identity Paula Stafford OAM, 1920 – 2022
Fashion designer whose brand significantly enhanced the reputation of the Gold Coast.
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Steve holing a goanna in the Queensland bush
Steve Irwin (1962-2006)
Steve Irwin, wildlife conservationist was awarded recognition in 2009.
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