Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern corner of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory to the west, South Australia to the south-west and New South Wales to the south. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. The state is Australia's second largest by area, following Western Australia, and the country's third most populous after New South Wales and Victoria.
The area was first colonised by Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, who arrived between 40,000 and 65,000 years ago, according to various dating methods. Later, Queensland was made a British Crown Colony that was separated from New South Wales on 6 June 1859, a date now celebrated annually as Queensland Day. The area that currently forms Brisbane was originally the Moreton Bay penal colony, intended as a place for recidivist convicts who had offended while serving out their sentences in New South Wales. The state later encouraged free settlement, and today Queensland's economy is dominated by the agricultural, tourist and natural resource sectors.
The population is concentrated in the south-east corner, which includes the capital Brisbane, Logan City, Redland City, Ipswich, Toowoomba, and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Other major regional centres include Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, and Mount Isa. Queensland is often nicknamed the Sunshine State, since it enjoys warm weather and a sizable portion of the state is in the tropics.