Brisbane is a river city with a population of over 2 million, making it Queensland’s largest city, and the third largest city in Australia.
Brisbane is also Australia’s fastest growing city. The Central Business District is very compact and is easy to walk around and is centered on King George Square. The Queen Street Mall features a wide range of cafes, eating houses, gift shops and cinemas.
The City Botanic Gardens on the end of Gardens Point adjacent to the Downtown area provide an oasis of well kept lawns, trees and shrubs bounded on three sides by the Brisbane River. Many Kms of riverside walking, jogging and bicycling paths wind through Downtown and the suburbs. Lunch on a river cruise is a relaxing view of the city.
Things to do in Brisbane
- Watch the sun rise over Brisbane CBD
- Taste craft beer at the local breweries
- Paddle to Moreton Island
- Art at QAGOMA
- Bar crawl through the city laneways
- Abseil down the Kangaroo Point Cliffs
- Ride the CityCat river ferry
- Hold a koala at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
- Pat a kangaroo selfie at Lone Pine
- Clock tower tour up Brisbane City Hall
History of Brisbane
After its first discovery by Matthew Flinders in 1799 when he landed at Moreton Bay, Brisbane was established as a Convict Penal Settlement in 1823. Free settlers started establishing themselves in the Brisbane area in 1838 and Brisbane was officially declared a free settlement in 1842. During World War 2, Brisbane was the command headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur, and since the 1950’s has been one of the fastest growing cities and urban areas in Australia. A series of major floods over the years, the latest in 2011, have created a lot of damage, though Brisbane’s population growth has been greater than the Australian average for many years.
The City Botanic Gardens were established in 1916, and are the made up of of the original Brisbane Public Gardens established in 1828, the Brisbane Domain and Queen’s Park. Today, Brisbane is a vibrant city, fast growing and confident, enjoying a mild sub-tropical climate and a young, energetic population.
Geography and Weather
You can expect mild, sub-tropical weather in Brisbane. Warm to hot, wet summers and cool to warm, dry winters. In Summer expect daily average highs of 30 C (86 F) and average overnight lows of 21 C (70 F). In winter, the average daily highs will be 22 C (71 F) and the overnight averages 16 C (61 F). Pretty nice weather. Annual rainfall averages 1008 mm (40 in) a year, most of it falling in Summer. Brisbane is located on a flood plain of the Brisbane River between the Australian Great Dividing Range and Moreton Bay.
The Brisbane Downtown area on Gardens Point is not a beach area – an hours drive to the north and the Sunshine Coast around Noosa and Caloundra is where the great beaches are found. The very popular Australia Zoo, home to the late Steve Irwin, is to the north of Brisbane city. Excellent Hotel Accommodation is available throughout the city area, though the precinct on Gardens Point near the Botanic Gardens is my favourite. The City Cat Ferry service is a great way to discover Brisbane from the water.
Map of Brisbane
Zoom in and out for an interactive map of Brisbane