Queensland were 156 for 9 with 69 balls remaining when last batsman Joe Dawes joined Nathan Hauritz at the crease.
They repelled an onslaught from leg spinner Stuart MacGill and paceman Stuart Clark to salvage some pride from a match which New South Wales dominated from the beginning.
MacGill, who appeared to have given New South Wales victory with 3-0 in six balls and another wicket shortly afterwards in the final session, finished with 5-72 from 30 overs.
New South Wales had held a 207 run first-innings lead over Queensland before declaring their second innings at 218 for 6.
New South Wales had needed the six points awaded for victory to climb to the top of the competition. Instead Western Australia's victory over Tasmania in Hobart left them on top.
Western Australia successfully completed a team-record run chase against Tasmania to win by six wickets.
After Tasmania had declared their second innings at 226 for 5 early in the first session, Western Australia reached the victory target of 397 for 4 with nine balls remaining.
The win bettered Western Australia's previous highest successful run chase of 390 against South Australia in 1992-93.
In Melbourne, Victorian paceman Mick Lewis skittled the South Australian tail, taking 5-46 as they cruised to an innings and 57-run victory.
South Australia crumbled from 41 for 1 overnight, with Ryan Harris's 47 the top score, to be dismissed for 180. Victoria had declared on Sunday on 428 for 9 in reply to South Australia's first innings of 191.