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How to Dress Like a Local in Queensland


Plan on visiting Queensland, not everyone likes the term ‘tourist’. Some people shudder when the word is used, whilst others don’t really care. Which camp do you fall into?

Whichever side of the argument you’re on, when you’re attempting to travel in an authentic and real way, it’s a good idea to try and blend in with the locals. There are many advantages to this, not least the safety side of things, but overall, if you’re going to try and immerse yourself in the culture and feel of a place, at least take the time to do it completely!

Queensland is quite a laid-back affair. To be honest, it’s hard to be anything else when the weather is so warm and sticky! You’ll see a huge range of different dress types wandering around, and in Brisbane, you’ll still see business suits and formal attire, albeit with short sleeves. Nobody wants to swelter, and why should they?

The whole Australian surf vibe is generally very alive and well in Queensland overall, but on the Sunshine Coast, you’ll see this even more. In this area, the generally accepted local attire goes a little like this:

  • Board shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Sleeveless shirts
  • Beach skirts
  • Casual beach dresses
  • Thongs – beach flip flops

It’s important to make a point about thongs. In some parts of the world, a thong is a type of underwear. You might be quite surprised to hear someone say they’re going to buy a new pair of thongs, or something similar. Don’t worry, there is nothing 50 Shades going on, they mean they’re going to buy a new pair of beach shoes, or flip flops as they are more widely known!

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Location Differences And Tips

We’ve mentioned that Queensland is all about the casual, but there are a few exceptions to that rule, and if you want to avoid embarrassing slip-ups, and if you want to truly blend in with the locals, you need to pay attention.

If you’re thinking of enjoying a round or two of golf, then you should check when you book your game whether there is a dress code or not. Some courses do, and many don’t. It really depends on how exclusive the club is, but a general rule of thumb for blending in with the locals on the green is to wear shorts, a polo shirt, and a hat. Avoid the ‘thongs’ at this point, and wear your golfing shoes.

If you’re going into the hinterland to check out nature then there might be a difference in weather, which could be a lot cooler than the coast and possibly wetter. You might be thankful for this! Pack a light jacket just in case, and if you’re heading out and about during the winter months, you’ll need a bigger coat for these types of open and natural areas. Of course, comfortable walking shoes are a must – don’t go hiking in flip flops!

Dress For The Weather in Queensland

Basically, Queensland locals dress for the weather. If it’s hot, you’ll see shorts, vest tops and thongs everywhere – literally everywhere. If it’s a little cooler, you’ll see linen, quite a lot of linen, and layers. In Queensland, it can be hot in the day and then go cool at night, so if you’re out and about for a long day, you’ll need layers to be able to dress to the weather. The key rule of looking like a local in this sun-drenched state.

You’re really not going to need socks, let’s put that out there. The only exception to that rule is if you’re going hiking. If you are, wear the low sports shoe type socks, and not the thick woolly ones – you’ll stick out like a sore thumb if you do.

Remember, the average year-round temperature in Queensland is a massive 29 degrees C. That’s the average! It rarely goes below that during the spring and summer months, and it often goes above. Dressing like a Queensland local is therefore about adapting to the heat and making yourself comfortable. Having said that, you won’t see many people walking around bare-chested or just in a bikini top away from the beach. If you want to dress like a local, remember that little rule – if you go away from that rule, you’re basically straying into tourist territory.

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Evenings Are Laid Back

So, we’ve covered day wear, but what do you wear at night? Again it totally depends on the weather, but evenings in Queensland can be humid and very warm. Again, it’s about layers.

There could be a cool breeze one evening, so pack a light cardigan in your bag ladies. Guys, it’s really about short-sleeved shirts and smart shorts if you’re heading out. Ladies, think summer vacation evenings – we’re talking maxi dresses and light fabrics.

Whatever you do, don’t go over the top. You won’t see many Queenslanders dressing up to the nines, unless it is a very special occasion, or they are going out to a top club in Brisbane. If you are, remember there will be a dress code, which is likely to be shirts and smart clothes for guys, and possibly a jacket. This also covers fine dining establishments, so it’s best to check if there is a dress code when you call up to book a table.

A Few Other Things to Bear in Mind …

Aside from blending in and looking like a local when you’re visiting Queensland, you need to remember a few common sense things too. We’re talking sun safety here.

Locals do not get sun-burnt – this is because they are sensible and realise how dangerous the sun can be. This is not about getting a tan, this is about your health. The number one way to look like a visitor from somewhere else is to walk around with terrible tan lines and a lobster skin tone. You won’t get much sympathy either.

So, let’s cover a few vital rules:

  • Wear high factor sun-cream – Regardless of cloud cover, if you’re not planning on staying out for too long, or if it’s morning and you don’t think the sun is too strong – it is, very
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat all year round – It doesn’t matter if it’s so-called ‘winter’ or not, protecting yourself against the heat of the sun and its dangerous rays is vital. A hat will protect your head, stop you from getting sun-stroke, and if you’re travelling with children, this is even more of a vital step
  • Avoid the midday to mid-afternoon period – You’ll fry in the summer months, and if you have to be out and about, seek out shade

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