Centrally positioned on Australia’s north-east coast between Sydney and Cairns, Brisbane is a cosmopolitan city in an idyllic location. Set on the banks of the Brisbane River, with mountains, waterfalls and lush eucalypt forests to its west and mangrove forests and sandy subtropical islands surrounding its eastern shores, it’s hard to believe there’s a city in among all of that. The popular holiday regions of the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast are immediately to its north and south respectively and Brisbane is the gateway to Queensland’s spectacular World Heritage sites of Fraser Island, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest area.
Founded originally as a penal colony in 1824, Brisbane today has a population of over 2.2 million people, making it Australia’s third largest city. Its growth and prosperity over the years has been due to its rich natural resources, but of course its location means that tourism also plays a huge part in its success.
Brisbane locals love the outdoors and enjoy a fantastic lifestyle with great weather, wonderful natural attractions and delicious local fruits of both the land and the sea. Life is spent by the water whenever possible and there are plenty of parklands in and around the city for recreation, including the South Bank precinct and the City Botanic Gardens.
Brisbane’s central business district has some wonderful art deco style Heritage buildings and a cityscape uniquely different to other Australian capitals. Foundation buildings from the 1800s such as Parliament House, City Hall, the Queensland National Bank and St John’s Cathedral are well worth visiting, as is Australia’s largest modern art gallery, QAGOMA (Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art).
The city’s arts and culture scene is vibrant and diverse and there are plenty of precincts and neighbourhoods to explore before and after a night of live theatre, music or dance. The bar and café scene is strong and some of the nation’s best chefs are based in Brisbane’s restaurants; with such an abundant food bowl in their backyard, culinary inspiration here is at its finest.
Brisbane is the perfect base to start your Aussie adventures from, exploring many of Queensland’s greatest attractions, as well as being the ideal jumping off point to South East Asia, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand. The locals are friendly, the weather is magnificent and the city has an energy that somehow makes every day feel like a holiday.