Brisbane is located on the banks of the meandering Brisbane River in the southeast corner of Queensland. It is built on a low-lying coastal plain between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range and is fairly hilly. It was developed as a penal colony in 1824 and free settlers were allowed from 1842. Some of the oldest buildings were built by convicts.
In 1859 Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony, and Brisbane was chosen as the capital at that time. It was incorporated as a city in 1902. During World War II Brisbane was the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur, making it important to the Allied campaign. Brisbane hosted the 1982 Commonwealth Games and the 1988 World Expo.
Facts About Brisbane
Brisbane is the largest city in Queensland, with a population of around 2 million. This makes it the third largest city in Australia. The CBD lies in a curve of the Brisbane River and the main streets are named after members of the British royal family. Streets named after female members are crossed by those named after male members.
The climate is classified as humid subtropical, where the summers are hot and humid and the winters are dry and mild. Thunderstorms can occur from spring to early autumn and occasionally bring hail stones which can cause a lot of damage. The hottest months are January and February and December is normally the wettest month.
Brisbane Accommodation and Dining
Brisbane has plenty of centrally located accommodation close to business and shopping areas. Make sure you choose somewhere with air-conditioning to escape the summer heat. There are quality hotels overlooking the Mall, the Brisbane River and the Botanical Gardens. There are also plenty of quality four and five star apartments. Downtown there are smaller less expensive hotels and backpacker style accommodation is available in Upper Roma Street.
Brisbane has plenty of good restaurants, and the South Bank area offers a myriad of options including many restaurants with magnificent views. There is something for every taste and budget from luxury to casual dining to romantic to family friendly. Brisbane also has a Chinatown area with an array of Asian cuisine. A popular dining option is a Brisbane dinner cruise which lasts about 2 hours.
Things to Do in Brisbane
The South Bank parklands are a “must see” with swimming, sandy beach and a rainforest boardwalk. Markets are held here on the weekends. Whatever time of year you visit Brisbane there are always galleries, museums, parks, festivals and events to visit. The Brisbane Botanic Gardens include a Planetarium, and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary was the world’s first koala sanctuary when it was opened in 1927.
Nearby Moreton Bay offers lots of water sports and whale watching at certain times of year. In the regions around Brisbane there are national parks, lakes and rainforests. There are also wineries to visit, and a range of activities that include sky diving and hot air ballooning, as well as a variety of guided tours.
Australia’s other capital cities are Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin. Canberra is also the National capital.