Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland and the point of entry for the majority of visitors starting their vacation in Queensland. It is a river city renowned for its excellent climate and laid-back lifestyle and is a great choice for starting an Australian holiday.
Established as a penal settlement in 1824, Brisbane became the focal point for the huge agricultural industries that developed throughout Queensland. Modern day Brisbane has blossomed into a rapidly growing cosmopolitan city with excellent choices of both business and leisure hotel stays.
Although the central city area is reasonably compact the surrounding suburban growth covers a huge area. The dominant feature is the Brisbane River with its river-side parks, walks and bikeways that provide recreational river access.
Queensland's famous holiday destination, the Gold Coast, is an easy one hour drive south on the Pacific Motorway from central Brisbane. The Sunshine coast is Brisbane's northern holiday playground which is also a one hour trip from the city. Brisbane's transit centre is the focal point for train and bus services radiating out across Queensland and south into New South Wales. Holidaymakers will find an extensive network of city bus and ferry services that makes it very easy to tour all the local attractions and highlights.
Things To Do Around Brisbane
Visitors will find there is no shortage of things to do in Brisbane. See the city by tram or hotair balloon. Abseil the rock faces along the river. Visit the several open-air weekend markets. If seeing the local wildlife is a must, then Alma Park, Queensland's first zoo, and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary are within easy reach from central Brisbane.
Paddlewheel cruise the Brisbane River. Ferry to Moreton Island and feed wild dolphins at Tangalooma Island. Also by ferry, try North Stradbroke Island for day trips and bush-walking. Drive to Bribie Island for a spot of surfing or fishing in the Pumicestone Passage. Travel inland for the hiking trails, bushwalks, picnic areas and lookouts at Camp Mountain, Mt. Nebo, Manorina National Park, Mt. Glorious and Lomandra.
Brisbane is a city with a huge metropolitan area, one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere. While the city does have an excellent public transport system, If you plan on seeing the best the city has to offer, a rental car is a good idea. You can check out the best prices available for car rentals in Brisbane from the adblock on the left of this page.
Places of Interest In Brisbane
Tour the "Heritage Trail". St. John's Cathedral, still unfinished since its start in 1901. Customs House with its corinthian columns and copper dome. St. Stephen's Church, the city's oldest with the adjoining and more recent cathedral. The Old Windmill (Observatory) was constructed during the original convict settlement and The Old Commissariat Store is from the same era. The Victorian elegance of The Mansions in William Street. Parliament House and Old Government House show off their distinctive sandstone construction.
Queensland Cultural Centre combines a world class performing arts complex, quality museum and art gallery. The adjoining Southbank Parklands offers entertainment, eateries and access to the river. Chance your luck at the nearby casino on the opposite bank of the river. A visit to Mt. Cootha is a must on any Brisbane visit. It's magnificent botanic gardens and reserve of 57 hectares contain subtropical Australian flora in a setting of lakes, ponds and streams. Mt. Coota also hosts a planetarium and an impressive lookout across the entire city.
Newstead House is a beautifully preserved historic homestead set beside the river and reflecting the lifestyle of the well-to-do in the mid 1800's. The site is open for inspection to the public and included on most Brisbane city sights tours. St. Helena Island contains the ruins of one of Queensland's major prisons. Originally a quarantine station when built in 1866, but almost immediately converted to a prison, the island became a prison farm in 1921 before being abandoned in 1933.
The Kingsford Smith Memorial is located adjacent the Brisbane airport and is home to the "Southern Cross", the Fokker aircraft in which Sir Charles Kingsford Smith flew the first crossing of the Pacific Ocean.