Brisbane - Australia's City du Jour, image courtesy Brisbane MarketingBrisbane is Australia’s fastest-growing and third-largest city. Famous for its balmy weather and al fresco lifestyle, it offers the very best in food, wine, arts, entertainment and major sporting events. Brisbane was considered a big country town until it reinvented itself as the cosmopolitan host for the 1986 Commonwealth Games and the 1988 World Expo. Originally the home of the Jagera and Turrbal Aboriginal clans, Brisbane’s European history dates back to 1823 when John Oxley first explored the area. Like other eastern seaboard cities, Brisbane started out as a penal colony until free settlers pushed for the end of the convict settlement and the opening up of the area in 1837.

Brisbane’s population of 1.8 million is spread from the shores of Moreton Bay in the east along the Brisbane River Valley to the foothills of the D'Aguilar Range. The suburbs are a blend of colonial and modern homes and offer a range of tourist attractions from shopping and eating precincts to parks and nature reserves. A curiosity for many visitors are the Queenslander style homes, with their corrugated iron roofs, weatherboard walls and sprawling verandahs, often set high on stumps or poles.

The centrepiece of the city is the Brisbane River, which winds its way through the CBD and suburbs. A pleasant way to see the city is to take a trip on the CityCat ferry. Brisbane is also the centre of a region renowned for its beach, rainforest and mountain experiences. Just a one-hour drive from the CBD are the lush country hinterland, mountains and forests of southeast Queensland and the magnificent beaches of the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. Brisbane’s own aquatic playground, Moreton Bay and Islands, is the perfect place for watersports.

On the north-western outskirts of Brisbane, the Brisbane Forest Park isa 29,000ha natural bushland reserve in the D’Aguilar Range which is great forbushwalks, cycling, horse riding, camping and scenic drives. North is theseaside town of Redcliffe, the rainforest and picturesque countryside of Pine Rivers, Caboolture and theGlass House Mountains. Bribie Islandoffers the first surf beach to the north. South of the river are theseaside suburbs of Redland Bay, which is the gateway to Moreton Bayand more than 155 subtropical islands. The western suburbs are dominatedby Mount Coot-tha, an excellent vantage point for panoramic views of the cityand the surrounding countryside, from Moreton Bay north to the Glass House Mountains, and south to Mount Tamborine. The Centenary Freeway, to the west of the city, leads visitors to thehistoric city of Ipswich.

Geographic Location

Brisbane is a city of small hills sprawling along both banks of the serpentine Brisbane River. It is bounded by Brisbane Forest Park to the west and Moreton Bay to the east, with some of Australia’s most magnificent surf beaches just a one hour drive south and north.

Population

1.8 million

Climate

Brisbane has a balmy, subtropical climate with an average daily summer temperature of 29°C and an average daily winter temperature of 15°C.

Major Attractions

South Bank Parklands, Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, Botanical Gardens, CityCat ferries, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Mount Coot-tha, Moreton Bay islands, markets, restaurants and cafes.