Brisbane, situated 40 km from the mouth of Moreton Bay, extends from the bay along both sides of the River Brisbane. Initially a penal colony, it was given city status in 1824. The city developed rapidly, particularly from 1859, when it was proclaimed the capital of Queensland. The one million inhabitants of Australia’s third largest city, reside among the hills surrounding the city.. This helps in giving Brisbane an intimate atmosphere.
The tranquil city centre is harmonized by Brisbane’s Victorian style. Spring hill, the city’s old residential area, enchants and confuses with its maze of old-style houses. The newer areas of the city follow a more rational urban plan and are more welcoming, with their numerous parks and gardens. Queen Street Mall, in the middle of Brisbane, is the shopping heart of the city. It is full of fashion boutiques, speciality shops and restaurants. South Bank Parklands, situated on the opposite bank, offers excellent dinners with views over the river and is only a few minutes away from the city’s art galleries and museums.
Brisbane is a city of open spaces, with numerous botanical gardens, like the new Farm Park: a riverside park rich in trees and rose bushes. Moving away from the river to the in-land areas of the city, there are numerous examples of typical Queensland houses, with corrugated iron roofs and wide verandas, which reflect the old life-style of sun and relaxation.
There are many tropical style buildings raised above the ground, with verandas looking out over the river, or onto a picturesque square Some of the many bridges that span the river, are note-worthy: the beautiful Story Bridge, The William Jolly Bridge, The Victoria Bridge and The Captain Cook Bridge.
Brisbane is the site of the University of Queensland, Australia’s second university. It is surrounded by the meandering river, set in spacious parkland with sandstone buildings, cloisters and statues.
The National Art Gallery is also located in Brisbane, housed in the Queensland Cultural Centre, a magnificent complex, that extends along both sides of Melbourne Street, in South Brisbane.
The city is also host to The Queensland Art Gallery, The State Library, The Performing Arts Complex and The Queensland Museum, which includes both a notable whale section and a section dedicated to Paleonthology and Geology.
Many of the city’s historic buildings date back to the last century: The Old Windmill, The Palace of Treasure, The Parliament building, The Mansions, The Old Saint Stephen Gothic church, and The National Bank, an example of Italian Renaissance Architecture in Australia.
Brisbane is well serviced by both bus, taxi, train, and boat. Citybus operates a service from the city centre to the suburbs, with frequent stops. For a faster and more direct route, it is advisable to use the Cityexpress buses. If you would prefer to skirt the city, it is possible to catch The Great Circle Line which also runs to Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens .
The centre of Brisbane, located on a wide curve of the River Brisbane, is well serviced by ferry boats, which link the two banks of the river. These ferries help connect various points around the city, such as: Kangaroo Point, Dockside and South Bank. Queensland Rail operates the railway line, that links Rome Street and Central Station with both the suburbs and tourist destinations, such as South Bank. Numerous taxis operate within Brisbane and are available 24 hours a day.
Hotels and lodging
Ridge on Leichhardt Hotel Brisbane 189 Leichhardt Street, Spring Hill, Brisbane, QLD 4000 +61 7 3831 5000 http://www.ridgeonleichhardt.com.au/ Brisbane city accommodation doesn’t get mush easier than this, many Brisbane hotels around the location of inner city Brisbane CBD envy the position of the Ridge on Leichhardt Hotel. Recommended by: portmultimedia
 Evolution Apartments: 18 Tank St, Brisbane. Fully serviced and offer excellent facilities including a media room, swimming pool, deck with BBQs and business center.
Mt. Coot-tha, 8 km from the centre, is the best place to gain a panoramic view of the city. On a clear day, it is possible to make out, not only the shape of the distant islands of Moreton and Stradbroke, but also Stradbroke’s mountains to the North and the mountains behind the Gold Coast to the South.
Mt Coot-tha offers varied and beautiful walks, one of which leads to the JC Slaughter Falls. At the foot of the mountain it is possible to visit the vast and interesting Mt Coo-tha Botanical Gardens and the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, the largest in Australia.
The Brisbane Forest Park, is another highly recommended visit. The park is accessible either by car or bus. Visitors, arriving by bus are transported to within a very short distance from The Information Centre. This large natural reserve of 285 km, located in the D’Aguilar Range, begins in the outskirts of Brisbane and stretches for over 50 km both to the North and East. The numerous well sign-posted trails are excellent for back-packing, hiking, biking and horse- riding..
Maps and transportation
Getting to Brisbane
Newstead House, located in the outskirts of Brisbane, is the oldest Victorian building in this area, and is well worth a visit. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, is one of the most famous Australian parks and is the refuge for an enormous variety of native species, such as the duck-billed platypus, kangaroo and koala.
Moreton Bay, with its crystal- blue waters, offers diverse water sports. It is possible to hire a boat and either explore the cliffs, which surround the dozens of islands, or try your hand at marlin fishing.
Brisbane’s best beaches are located around Point Lookout, on the North-East point of the island. In order to arrive here, it is necessary to catch the bus, or train, to Cleveland and from here the ferry to the island. Some ferries also offer the possibility of taking your car.
Practical information and resources
Currency : Australian Dollar.
Electric supply: 240 Volts AC, 50 Hertz. The electric plugs are flat, three pinned and necessitate the use of an adaptor.
Climate : The city is a few degrees South of the Tropic Of Capricorn. The best period to visit is between April and November, when the temperature varies between 20 °C and 27 °C. It frequently rains during the Summer months, December, January and February.
Language : English(official), Aborigine
Opening hours : Shops are open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5:30pm. On Saturday from 9am to noon. There is no Friday closing in Brisbane. The banks are open from Monday to Thursday from9.30am to 4pm and on Friday from 9:30am to 5pm. The public offices are open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
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