Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of 2.3 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred on Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3.4 million. The Brisbane central business district stands on the original European settlement and is situated inside a bend of the Brisbane River, about 15 kilometres (9 miles) from its mouth at Moreton Bay. The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River Valley between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range, sprawling across several of Australia's most populous local government areas(LGAs), most centrally the City of Brisbane, which is by far the most populous LGA in the nation. The demonym of Brisbane is Brisbanite.
One of the oldest cities in Australia, Brisbane was founded upon the ancient homelands of the indigenous Turrbal and Jagera peoples. Named after the Brisbane River on which it is located – which in turn was named after Scotsman Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Walesfrom 1821 to 1825 – the area was chosen as a place for secondary offenders from the Sydney Colony. A penal settlement was founded in 1824 at Redcliffe, 28 kilometres (17 mi) north of the central business district, but was soon abandoned and moved to North Quay in 1825, opening to free settlement in 1842. The city was marred by the Australian frontier warsbetween 1843 and 1855, and development was partly set back by the Great Fire of Brisbane, and the Great Brisbane Flood. Brisbane was chosen as the capital when Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales in 1859. During World War II, Brisbane played a central role in the Allied campaign and served as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur.
Today, Brisbane is well known for its distinct Queenslander architecture which forms much of the city's built heritage. It also receives attention for its damaging flood events, most notably in 1974 and 2011. The city is a popular tourist destination, serving as a gateway for visitors to the state of Queensland, particularly to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, popular resort towns immediately south and north of Brisbane, respectively. Several large cultural, international and sporting events have been held at Brisbane, including the 1982 Commonwealth Games, World Expo '88, the final Goodwill Games in 2001, and the 2014 G-20 summit.
|FOUNDED :||13 May 1825|
|TIME ZONE :||AEST (UTC+10:00)|
|AREA :||15,826 km2 (6,110.5 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||27°28′S 153°02′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.9%|
• Female: 50.1%
|AREA CODE :||7|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+61 7|
Large enough to be cosmopolitan yet small enough to be friendly and accessible, Brisbane is a 'garden metropolis' famous for its leafy, open spaces and the pleasant pace of life that unfolds between the zig-zags of its iconic river. Gaining international exposure during the 1982 Commonwealth Games, the 1988 World Expo, the 2001 Goodwill Games, and the 2014 G20 Summit, Brisbane's year-round warm climate, spectacular scenery, pleasant locals and world-class facilities have been the draw-cards for many domestic and international visitors, making Brisbane the fastest-growing city in Australia. Despite this rapid development, it maintains a youthful enthusiasm and has what is arguably one of the most laid-back and forward-thinking of any Australian capital city.
Tourism plays a major role in Brisbane's economy, being the third-most popular destination for international tourists after Sydney and Melbourne. Popular tourist and recreation areas in Brisbane include the South Bank Parklands,Roma Street Parkland, the City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane Forest Park and Portside Wharf. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary opened in 1927 and was the world's first koala sanctuary. The suburb of Mount Coot-tha is home to a popular state forest, and the Brisbane Botanic Gardens which houses the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium and the "Tsuki-yama-chisen" Japanese Garden (formerly of the Japanese Government Pavilion of Brisbane's World Expo '88).
Brisbane has over 27 km (17 mi) of bicycle pathways, mostly surrounding the Brisbane river and city centre, extending to the west of the city. The river itself was popular with bathers, and it permitted boating excursions to Moreton Bay when the main port was in the city reaches. Today fishing and boating are more common. Other popular recreation activities include the Story Bridge adventure climb and rock climbing at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. The nearby Australia Zoo, made famous by Steve Irwin, also encourages many tourists to visit Brisbane.
In 2015, a competition by travel guidebook Rough Guides saw Brisbane elected as one of the top ten most beautiful cities in the world, citing reasons such as "its winning combination of high-rise modern architecture, lush green spaces and the enormous Brisbane River that snakes its way through the centre before emptying itself into the azure Moreton Bay."
The Brisbane Visitor Information Centre and Booking Centre on the Queen Street Mall is open M–Th 09:00–17:30, F 09:00–19:00, Sa 09:00–17:09, Su and public holidays 09:30–16:30 but closed Good Friday and 25 Dec. +61 7 3006-6290.
For many thousands of years prior to European settlement, the Brisbane area was inhabited by the Turrbal and Jagera Aboriginal people. They knew the area that is now the central business district as Mian-jin, meaning "place shaped as a spike". The Australian English phrase "hard yakka" – meaning "hard work" – comes from the Jagera people, and is certainly what the European settlers faced in Brisbane's humid sub-tropical climate.
The Moreton Bay area was initially explored by English navigator Matthew Flinders. On 17 July 1799, Flinders landed at what is now known as Woody Point, which he named "Red Cliff Point" - now Redcliffe - after the red-coloured cliffs visible from the bay. In 1823 Governor of New South Wales Sir Thomas Brisbane instructed that a new northern penal settlement be developed, intended to house dangerous prisoners in a remote location, and an exploration party led by John Oxley further explored Moreton Bay. The original penal settlement was established in Redcliffe but was later moved to a location further down the bay where freshwater supplies were more reliable. Oxley named this new settlement "Brisbane" in honour of the Governor.
A series of major immigration events took place in the following decades which brought with it strong industry and commercial development in the region. In 1838, non-convict free settlers moved to the area and pushed to close the jail and to release the land in the area. In 1859, a gold rush led to the establishment of the colony of Queensland with Brisbane as its capital, even though Brisbane was not incorporated as a city until 1902. In 1925, the Queensland State Parliament created the City of Brisbane Act that set up a single government for the city of Brisbane, still the largest metropolitan authority in Australia, and one of the largest in the world by area. Over twenty small municipalities and shires were amalgamated to form the City of Brisbane. 1930 was a significant year for Brisbane with the completion of Brisbane City Hall, then the city's tallest building and the Shrine of Remembrance, in ANZAC Square, which has since become Brisbane's main war memorial. These historic buildings, along with the Story Bridge which opened in 1940, are key landmarks that help define the architectural character of the city.
During World War II, Brisbane became central to the Allied campaign when the AMP Building - now MacArthur Central - was used as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur, chief of the Allied Pacific forces. In 1942, Brisbane was the site of a violent clash between visiting US military personnel and Australian servicemen and civilians which resulted in one death and several injuries. This incident became known colloquially as the Battle of Brisbane.
Postwar Brisbane had developed a "big country town" stigma, an image the city's politicians and marketers were very keen to remove, but despite steady growth, Brisbane's development was punctuated by infrastructure problems. The State Government began a major program of change and urban renewal, beginning with the central business district and inner suburbs. Trams in Brisbane were a popular mode of public transport until the network was closed in 1969, leaving Melbourne as the last Australian city to operate a tram network.
The 1974 Brisbane flood was a major disaster which temporarily crippled the city. During this era, Brisbane grew and modernised rapidly becoming a destination of interstate migration. Some of Brisbane's popular landmarks were lost, sometimes demolished in controversial circumstances with much media coverage and public protest. Major public works included the Riverside Expressway, the Gateway Bridge, and later, the redevelopment of South Bank after the city hosted World Expo '88, starting with the Queensland Art Gallery and Performing Arts Centre.
Subsequent years saw strong immigration into Brisbane and the surrounding region, both domestically and internationally, with large influxes from Asia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Polynesia. This was driven by cheaper house prices than in other Australian cities, a pleasant climate and good employment opportunities, especially within the mining and tourism sectors. Brisbane's population growth has exceeded the national average every year since 1990 at an average rate of around 2.2% per year.
Post-2000s Brisbane has seen the city go from drought to flooding rains. In the mid-2000s, lower dam levels led to severe water restrictions for residents. The campaign to lower water usage was so successful that the city now boasts some of the lowest average water use per resident of any developed city in the world. These days you're not likely to find the tap dry or see any visible signs of the shortage. However, out of respect for the locals, keep your showers relatively brief, try your best to conserve water and expect the locals to be horrified if you walk away from a running tap.
A number of extremely wet summers broke the drought and culminated in the January 2011 Flood which devastated the city. In typical Queensland fashion, one of the largest volunteer workforces ever amassed - over 100,000 Brisbane locals and Queensland volunteers - descended on the city to aid in the clean-up, earning the nickname the "Mud Army" and allowing the city to return to business just a week after the flood. The Mud Army were honoured with the naming of a new CityCat Ferry, the "Spirit of Brisbane", and then Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, described Brisbane residents as "the best of humankind", gifting a monument to the city to honour the volunteers.
When the wet season hits the northern Australian tropics, Brisbane experiences hot and clear summer days with stunning afternoon thunderstorms. When winter arrives towards the southern capital cities, temperatures are sent into the low teens (°C), while Brisbane's climate stays mostly dry and sunny, with daytime temperatures usually remaining above 20°C.
- Summer (December–February) humidity is high and daytime temperatures frequently exceed 30°C, with night temperatures rarely dropping below 20°C. Occasional heat waves can raise the temperature in excess of 40°C, however these are not common. Just about any outdoor activity you do at the height of a regular summer day in Brisbane will leave you bathed in sweat. Loose-fitting clothing that protects you from the sun is appropriate attire for most casual activities, and air-conditioning will assure you a comfortable night's sleep or ride on public transport. Summer storms with hail and heavy rainfall are common in afternoons on hot, humid days. They usually pass quickly and often put on a good lightning show.
- Autumn (March–May) sees a cool change in Brisbane with average daytime temperatures between 20-30°C. Most tourists not used to a humid climate will find this the best time to visit Brisbane, as the humidity lowers and the region shifts into a more comfortable, dry and sunny weather pattern, perfect for outdoor activities. Night-time temperatures usually drop to 10-20°C, with ambient heat from the day still radiating from the ground, keeping the early evening still warm and comfortable, though a light jacket may be required later at night.
- Winter (June–August) signals the region's dry season, with Brisbane experiencing cool, sunny, cloudless days. Temperatures typically go up to 25°C during the day with night-time temperatures rarely dropping below 5°C. The early-morning chill usually disappears by mid-morning and most of the daylight hours are relatively warm, however it is still recommended to have something warm to wear as this is not always the case. The eastern suburbs tend to be cooler as sea breezes blow in from the bay.
- Spring (September–November) sees the revitalisation of the city with warmer days and fresh sea breezes coming in from the bay. Weather is similar to Autumn months, with increasing humidity as summer draws closer.
Climate data for Brisbane
|Record high °C (°F)||40.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||30.2|
|Average low °C (°F)||21.4|
|Record low °C (°F)||17.0|
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology.|
Brisbane is in the southeast corner of Queensland. The city is centred along the Brisbane River, and its eastern suburbs line the shores of Moreton Bay. The greater Brisbane region is on the coastal plain east of the Great Dividing Range. Brisbane's metropolitan area sprawls along the Moreton Bay floodplain from Caboolture in the north to Beenleigh in the south, and across to Ipswich in the south west.
The city of Brisbane is hilly. The urban area, including the central business district, are partially elevated by spurs of the Herbert Taylor Range, such as the summit of Mount Coot-tha, reaching up to 300 metres (980 ft) and the smaller Enoggera Hill. Other prominent rises in Brisbane are Mount Gravatt and nearby Toohey Mountain. Mount Petrie at 170 m (560 ft) and the lower rises of Highgate Hill, Mount Ommaney, Stephens Mountain and Whites Hill are dotted across the city. Also, on the west, are the higher Mount Glorious, (680 m), and Mount Nebo (550 m).
The city is on a low-lying floodplain. Many suburban creeks criss-cross the city, increasing the risk of flooding. The city has suffered three major floods since colonisation, in February 1893, January 1974, and January 2011. The 1974 Brisbane Flood occurred partly as a result of "Cyclone Wanda". Heavy rain had fallen continuously for three weeks before theAustralia Day weekend flood (26–27 January 1974). The flood damaged many parts of the city, especially the suburbs of Oxley, Bulimba, Rocklea,Coorparoo, Toowong and New Farm. The City Botanic Gardens were inundated, leading to a new colony of mangroves forming in the City Reach of the Brisbane River.
White-collar industries include information technology, financial services, higher education and public sector administration generally concentrated in and around the central business district and recently established office areas in the inner suburbs. Blue-collar industries, including petroleum refining, stevedoring, paper milling, metalworking and QR railway workshops, tend to be located on the lower reaches of the Brisbane River and in new industrial zones on the urban fringe. Tourism is an important part of the Brisbane economy, both in its own right and as a gateway to other areas of Queensland.
Since the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Queensland State Government has been developing technology and science industries in Queensland as a whole, and Brisbane in particular, as part of its "Smart State" initiative. The government has invested in several biotechnology and research facilities at several universities in Brisbane. The Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland (UQ) Saint Lucia Campus is a large CSIRO and Queensland state government initiative for research and innovation that is currently being emulated at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Campus at Kelvin Grove with the establishment of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI).
Brisbane is one of the major business hubs in Australia. Most major Australian companies, as well as numerous international companies, have contact offices in Brisbane, while numerous electronics businesses have distribution hubs in and around the city. DHL Global's Oceanic distribution warehouse is located in Brisbane, as is Asia Pacific Aerospace's headquarters. Home grown major companies include Suncorp-Metway Limited, Flight Centre, Sunsuper, Orrcon, Credit Union Australia, Boeing Australia, Donut King, Wotif.com, WebCentral, PIPE Networks, Krome Studios, Mincom Limited, TechnologyOne, Thiess Pty Ltdand Virgin Australia. Brisbane has the fourth highest median household income of the Australian capital cities at AUD 57,772.
Port of Brisbane
The Port of Brisbane is on the lower reaches of the Brisbane River and on Fisherman's Island at the rivers mouth, and is the 3rd most important port in Australia for value of goods. Container freight, sugar, grain, coal and bulk liquids are the major exports. Most of the port facilities are less than three decades old and some are built on reclaimed mangroves and wetlands.
The Port is a part of the Australia TradeCoast, the country's fastest-growing economic development area. Geographically, Australia TradeCoast occupies a large swathe of land around the airport and port. Commercially, the area has attracted a mix of companies from throughout the Asia Pacific region.
There are numerous internet cafes around the CBD. Check this webpage for the closest one. Expect to pay around $2–3 per hour, although most places will offer you a discount if you pre-pay a certain number of hours.
There are also alternatives to internet cafes:
- Free Internet access is available at the Brisbane City Council library, although you might need to book your session in advance.
- State Library of Queensland, Cultural Precinct, Stanley Place, South Bank, . M–Th 10AM–8PM, F–Su 10AM–5 PM.Free Internet (including Wi-Fi) access is available at the Queensland State Library, in selected areas. The main Infocentre area is quite large and has a number of 30 minute (no booking) and 60 minute (booking required) computers. The 60 minute computers are booked using a queuing system upon arriving at the library (no library card required). The Infocentre also has a very large lounge and desk area for those with their own laptops wishing to use the free Wi-Fi. Printing is $0.10 per page, but requires the purchase of a $2 copy card in addition to the per page cost. The library is also air-conditioned (as one might expect) so is a good place to spend some time during the scorching mid-day heat.
- Many cafes and hotels provide free Wi-Fi access to patrons. Keep an eye out for signage and use the internet city guide.
- Most McDonald's restaurants have free Wi-Fi (limited to 50MB per session, no time limit).
- Starbucks offers free 30 minute access to Wi-Fi with a purchase of any drink.
- Queensland Rail has installed free Wi-Fi (20MB, resets after 4 hours) on 64 of its trains. They are identified by large stickers near doors, billboards or small stickers on the inside edge of doors.
Payphones are abundant in the downtown area. For Australia wide contact options, such a mobile phones and calling cards, see the entry in Australia