Best Places to see in Brisbane

Best Places to See in Brisbane

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and, with a population of over 1.5 million, ranks third in size in Australia after Sydney and Melbourne. Situated on the Brisbane River and surrounded by misty blue hills, the city is known for its scenic beauty, balmy climate and friendly atmosphere. Its tropical vegetation is a great attraction, particularly the bougainvillea, poinciana and fragrant frangipani.

In 1823, the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Thomas Brisbane, decided that some of the more intractable convicts in the Sydney penal settlement needed more secure incarceration. The explorer John Oxley was dispatched to investigate Moreton Bay, noted by Captain Cook on his journey up the east coast 50 years earlier.

Oxley landed at Redcliffe and thought he had stumbled across a tropical paradise. He was soon disappointed, however, as the reality failed to live up to expectations – water was short, the local Aborigines were decidedly hostile when they realized their land was being purloined and the convicts proved less than willing labourers.

It was therefore decided to move the colony inland up the Brisbane River.

Free settlers began arriving in 1837, although they were not permitted to move closer than 80 km (50 miles) to the famously harsh penal settlement. This set a pattern of decentralization which is still evident today: Brisbane consists of several distinct communities as well as the central area. The city’s growth was rapid and, in 1859, when Queensland became a self-governing colony, Brisbane was duly named as the state capital.

As Queensland’s natural resources, including coal, silver, lead and zinc, were developed, so its major city flourished. Brisbane’s status as a truly modern city, however, is relatively recent, beginning with a mining boom in the 1960s. Hosting the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and the 1988 Expo were also milestones, bringing thousands of visitors to the city. Today, Brisbane is a cosmopolitan place boasting some superb restaurants, streetside cafés and a lively arts scene. Yet amid all the high-rises and modernity, pockets of traditional wooden cottages with verandas can still be found, and the relaxed manner of the locals tempers the urban bustle.


Exploring Central Brisbane

Brisbane’s city centre fits neatly in a U-shaped loop of the Brisbane River, so one of the best ways to get acquainted with the city is by ferry. The city centre can also be easily explored on foot.

The streets follow a grid and are named after British royalty: queens and princesses run north–south, kings and princes run east–west. Brisbane’s suburbs also have their own distinct feel: to the east is chic Kangaroo Point; just west of the centre is trendy Paddington; while to the northwest Fortitude Valley has a multicultural population and wonderful restaurants.


Sights At A Glance


Historic Streets and Buildings

Anzac Square

Fortitude Valley and Chinatown

City Hall

Commissariat Store


Customs House

General Post Office

Newstead House

Old Government House

Old Windmill

Parliament House


Churches and Cathedrals

St John’s Anglican Cathedral

St Stephen’s Cathedral


Parks and Gardens

Botanic Gardens

Brisbane Botanic Gardens

Brisbane Forest Park

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

South Bank Precinct


Museums and Galleries

Australian Woolshed

Queensland Cultural Centre

Queensland Maritime Museum

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Brisbane Shopping and Enterta    Gardens-to-see-in-Brisbane    Historical-Streets-and-Buildi    Museums-to-see-in-Brisbane    Parks-to-visit-in-Brisbane   


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