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Brisbane CBDandSB.jpg
Brisbane and the Story Bridge.
Brisbane is located in Australia
Population: 1,945,639 (2008)[1] (3rd)
Density: 918/km² (2,377.6/sq mi) (2006)[2]
Established: 1824
Coordinates: 27°28′04″S 153°01′40″E / 27.46778°S 153.02778°E / -27.46778; 153.02778Coordinates: 27°28′04″S 153°01′40″E / 27.46778°S 153.02778°E / -27.46778; 153.02778
Area: 5904.8 km² (2,279.9 sq mi) [3]
Time zone: AEST (No Daylight Saving) (UTC+10)
LGA: Brisbane
County: Stanley
State District: various (38)
Federal Division:
Mean Max Temp Mean Min Temp Annual Rainfall
25.5 °C
78 °F
15.7 °C
60 °F
1,146.4 mm
45.1 in

Brisbane (pronounced /ˈbrɪzbən/[4]) is the state capital of the Australian state of Queensland and is the largest city in that state. The statistical division of Brisbane has an estimated population of approximately 2 million, along with its LGA registering a bit over a million, it is also the third most populous city in Australia[5].

The city is situated on the Brisbane River on a low-lying floodplain between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range in southeastern Queensland. The local indigenous people knew the area as Mian-jin, meaning 'place shaped as a spike'.[6] Brisbane is named after the river on which it sits which, in turn, was named after Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825. Brisbane's demonym is a Brisbanite. The first European settlement in Queensland was a penal colony at Redcliffe, 28 kilometres (17 mi) north of the Brisbane central business district, in 1824. That settlement was soon abandoned and moved to North Quay in 1825. Free settlers were permitted from 1842. Brisbane was chosen as the capital when Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales in 1859. Brisbane also Borders the Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Somerset, Logan and the Redland Areas.

At a municipal level, the city is governed by the Brisbane City Council. In 1925, the City of Brisbane Act was passed by the Queensland Government, abolishing 20 local government authorities in the city and forming the largest local authority in Australia.[7] The city played a central role in the Allied campaign during World War II as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur. Brisbane has hosted many large cultural and sporting events including the 1982 Commonwealth Games, World Expo '88 and the final Goodwill Games in 2001. In 2008, Brisbane was classified as a gamma world city+ in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory by Loughborough University.[8]



The Old Windmill in Wickham Park in Brisbane. Built by convicts in 1824, it is one of Brisbane's most significant and oldest heritage landmarks.

Brisbane was inhabited before it was settled by Europeans by the Turrbal people [9] whose ancestors migrated to the region from across the Torres Strait. They knew the area as Mian-jin, meaning 'place shaped as a spike'.[6]

The Moreton Bay area was initially explored by Matthew Flinders, landing and naming "Red Cliff Point" – after the red-coloured cliffs visible from the bay, known today as Woody Point – on 17 July 1799.[10] In 1823, Governor of New South Wales, Thomas Brisbane, instructed that a new northern penal settlement be developed, and an exploration party led by John Oxley further explored Moreton Bay.

Oxley discovered, named and sailed up the Brisbane River as far as Goodna, some 20 km upstream from the Brisbane central business district.[11] Oxley recommended Red Cliff Point for the new colony, reporting that ships could land at any tide and easily get close to the shore.[12] The party settled in Redcliffe on 13 September 1824, under the command of Lieutenant Henry Miller with 14 soldiers, some with wives and children, and 29 convicts.

However, this settlement was abandoned after one year and the colony was moved to a site on the Brisbane River now known as North Quay, 28 km south, that offered a more reliable water supply. Chief Justice Forbes gave the new settlement the name of Edenglassie before it was named Brisbane.[13] Non-convict European settlement of the Brisbane region commenced in 1838.[14]

German missionaries settled at Zions Hill, Nundah, as early as 1837, five years before Brisbane was officially declared a free settlement. The band consisted of two ministers, Christopher Eipper (1813–1894) and Carl Wilhelm Schmidt, and lay missionaries whose names were Haussmann, Johann Gottried Wagner, Niquet, Hartenstein, Zillman, Franz, Rode, Doege and Schneider.[15]

They were allocated 260 hectares and set about establishing the mission, which became known as German Station.[16] Free settlers entered the area over the following five years and by the end of 1840 Robert Dixon began work on the first plan of Brisbane Town in anticipation of future development.[17]

Queensland's first Government House was completed in 1862 and is located within the grounds of the Queensland University of Technology near the City Botanic Gardens

Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony on 6 June 1859 [18] with Brisbane chosen as its capital, although it was not incorporated as a city until 1902.

Over twenty small municipalities and shires were amalgamated in 1925, to form the City of Brisbane which is governed by the Brisbane City Council.[19][20]

ANZAC Square and the Shrine of Remembrance, Brisbane (c1930)

1930 was a significant year for Brisbane as it had gained some landmarks which would define the identity and character of the city. The Story Bridge and Brisbane City Hall, then the city's tallest buildings, were both completed. Additionally, the Shrine of Remembrance, in ANZAC Square, became Brisbane's main war memorial.[21]

American Fleet Marching Down Queen Street, March 1941

During World War II, Brisbane became central to the Allied campaign when the AMP Building (now called MacArthur Central) was used as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur, chief of the Allied Pacific forces.

MacArthur had previously rejected using the University of Queensland complex as his HQ, as the distinctive bends in the river at St Lucia could have aided enemy bombers. Also used as a Headquarters by the American troops during World War II was the T & G Building.[22]

Approximately 1,000,000 US troops passed through Australia during the war, as the primary coordination point for the South West Pacific.[23] In 1942 Brisbane was the site of a violent clash between visiting US military personnel and Australian servicemen and civilians which resulted in one death and several injuries. This incident became known colloquially as the Battle of Brisbane.[24]

World Expo 88 as seen from the Brisbane River.

Postwar Brisbane had developed a "big country town" stigma, an image which the city's politicians and marketers were very keen to shake[25][26]. Despite growing steadily, Brisbane was punctuated by infrastructure problems.

The State government under Joh Bjelke-Petersen began a major program of change and urban renewal beginning with the CBD and inner suburbs. Trams in Brisbane were a popular mode of public transport and Brisbane and the city became the last Australian city to completely close its tram network in 1969. The 1974 Brisbane flood was a major disaster which temporarily crippled the city.

During this era Brisbane grew and modernised rapidly becoming a destination of interstate migration. Some of Brisbane's much loved landmarks were lost including the Bellevue Hotel in 1977 and Cloudland in 1982, demolished in controversial circumstances by the infamous Deen Brothers demolition crew. Major public works included the Riverside Expressway, the Gateway Bridge and later the redevelopment of South Bank starting with the Queensland Art Gallery.

Brisbane staged the successful 1982 Commonwealth Games and the 1988 World Exposition (known locally as World Expo '88) during 1988. These events were accompanied by a scale of public expenditure, construction and development not previously seen in the state of Queensland.[27][28]

Brisbane's population growth has exceeded the national average every year since 1990 at an average rate of around 2.2% per year.


Satellite Image of Brisbane Metropolitan Area from the International Space Station.

Brisbane is in the southeast corner of Queensland, Australia. The city is centred along the Brisbane River, and its eastern suburbs line the shores of Moreton Bay. The greater Brisbane region is on the coastal plain east of the Great Dividing Range.

The city of Brisbane is hilly.[29] The urban area, including the central business district, are partially elevated by spurs of the Herbert Taylor Range, such as the summit of Mount Coot-tha, reaching up to 300 metres (980 ft) and the smaller Enoggera Hill. Other prominent rises in Brisbane are Mount Gravatt and nearby Toohey Mountain. Mount Petrie at 170 metres (560 ft) and the lower rises of Highgate Hill, Mount Ommaney, Stephens Mountain and Whites Hill are dotted across the city.

The city is on a low-lying floodplain.[citation needed] Many suburban creeks criss-cross the city, increasing the risk of flooding. The city has suffered two major floods since colonisation, in 1893 and 1974. The 1974 Brisbane flood occurred partly as a result of "Cyclone Wanda". Heavy rain had fallen continuously for three weeks before the Australia Day weekend flood (26 – 27 January 1974).[30] The flood damaged many parts of the city, especially the suburbs of Oxley, Bulimba, Rocklea, Coorparoo, Toowong and New Farm. The City Botanic gardens were inundated, leading to a new colony of mangroves forming in the City Reach of the Brisbane River.[31]


Urban Structure

Brisbane central business district, with the Brisbane City Botanical Gardens on the left.

The Brisbane central business district (CBD) lies in a curve of the Brisbane river. The CBD covers only 2.2 km2 (0.8 sq mi) and is walkable.

Central streets are named after members of the royal family. Queen Street is Brisbane's traditional main street. Streets named after female members (Adelaide, Alice, Ann, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Margaret, Mary) run parallel to Queen Street and Queen Street Mall (named in honour of Queen Victoria) and perpendicular to streets named after male members (Albert, Edward, George, William).

The city has retained some heritage buildings dating back to 1820s. The Old Windmill, in Wickham Park, built by convict labour in 1824,[32][33] is the oldest surviving building in Brisbane. The Old Windmill was originally used for the grinding of grain and a punishment for the convicts who manually operated the grinding mill. The Old Windmill tower’s other significant claim to fame, largely ignored, is that the first television signals in the southern hemisphere were transmitted from it by experimenters in April 1934 — long before TV commenced in most places. These experimental TV broadcasts continued until World War II.[32]

The Old Commissariat Store, on William Street, built by convict labour in 1828, was originally used partly as a grainhouse, has also been a hostel for immigrants and used for the storage of records. Built with Brisbane tuff from the nearby Kangaroo Point Cliffs and sandstone from a quarry near today's Albion Park Racecourse, it is now the home of the Royal Historical Society of Brisbane. It contains a museum and can also be hired for small functions.[34][35][36]

BrisbaneRiver02 gobeirne-edit1.jpgWalter Taylor, Albert, unnamed, Jack Pesch bridges
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University of Queensland (UQ) St Lucia Campus
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Queensland University of Technology
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The Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and the Royal Children's Hospital
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Victoria Park Golf Course
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Floating pedestrian concourse
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Indooroopilly Golf Course (Long Pocket)
1 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Walter Taylor Bridge (road) (left), Albert Bridge (rail) (center), unamed bridge (rail) (right), Jack Pesch Bridge (far right)
2 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Eleanor Schonell Bridge (Green Bridge) (pedestrians, pedal cycles, buses)
3 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Merivale Bridge (rail)
4 white, red rounded rectangle.svg William Jolly Bridge (road)
5 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Victoria Bridge
6 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Captain Cook Bridge
7 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Story Bridge
8 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Pacific Motorway
9 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park) (Rugby league/Rugby Union/Soccer ground)
10 white, blue rounded rectangle.svg Norman Creek
11 white, blue rounded rectangle.svg Oxley Creek
12 white, blue rounded rectangle.svg Brisbane River
13 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Indooroopilly Shoppingtown
14 white, red rounded rectangle.svg "The Gabba" (Brisbane Cricket Ground)
15 white, green rounded rectangle.svg South Bank arts and recreation precinct
16 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Central business district
17 white, red rounded rectangle.svg University of Queensland (UQ) St Lucia Campus
18 white, green rounded rectangle.svg City Botanic Gardens
19 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Gardens Point Campus
20 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Goodwill Bridge (pedestrians and pedal cycles)
21 white, red rounded rectangle.svg The Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and the Royal Children's Hospital
22 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Mater Private Hospital
23 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Roma Street Rail Station
24 white, green rounded rectangle.svg Roma Street Parkland
25 white, green rounded rectangle.svg New Farm Park and Powerhouse
26 white, green rounded rectangle.svg Victoria Park Golf Course
27 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Brisbane Exhibition Ground
28 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Floating pedestrian concourse
29 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Inner City Bypass (rail) (left) (road) (right)
30 white, green rounded rectangle.svg Indooroopilly Golf Course (Long Pocket)

The city has a density of 379.4 people per square kilometre, which is high for an Australian city and comparable to that of Sydney. However like many western cities, Brisbane sprawls into the greater metropolitan area. The lower population density reflects the fact that most of Brisbane's housing stock consists of detached houses.

View of Western Side of CBD from William Jolly Bridge

Early legislation decreed a minimum size for residential blocks resulting in few terrace houses being constructed in Brisbane. Recently the density of the city and inner city neighbourhoods has increased with the construction of apartments, with the result that the population of the central business district has doubled over the last 5 years[37] and closing the gap on Sydney and Melbourne.[38]

Brisbane has a lower inner city population density than Australia's two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, although constant population growth. The high density housing that existed came in the form of miniature Queenslander-style houses which resemble the much larger traditional styles but are sometimes only one quarter the size. These miniature Queenslanders are becoming scarce but can still be seen in the inner city suburbs.

Multi residence accommodations (such as apartment blocks) are relatively new to Brisbane, with few such blocks built before 1970, other than in inner suburbs such as New Farm. Pre-1950 housing was often built in a distinctive architectural style known as a Queenslander, featuring timber construction with large verandahs and high ceilings. The relatively low cost of timber in South-East Queensland meant that until recently most residences were constructed of timber, rather than brick or stone. Many of these houses are elevated on stumps (also called "stilts"), that were originally timber, but are now frequently replaced by steel or concrete.

Currently, Brisbane has only two buildings greater than 200 metres in height. The tallest is a residential tower, Aurora Tower and the second is a mixed use tower Riparian Plaza. There is also a further three buildings over 200 metres which are either under construction or have had construction put on hold.


Brisbane has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cfa) with hot, humid summers and dry, mild winters.[39] From November through March, thunderstorms are common over Brisbane, with the more severe events accompanied by large damaging hail stones, torrential rain and destructive winds.

The city's highest recorded temperature was 43.2 °C (110 °F) on 26 January 1940. On 19 July 2007, Brisbane's temperature fell below the freezing point for the first time since records began, registering −0.1 °C (31.8 °F) at the airport.[40]

Brisbane's wettest day was 21 January 1887, when 465 millimetres (18.3 in) of rain fell on the city, the highest maximum daily rainfall of Australia's capital cities.

From 2006, Brisbane and surrounding temperate areas have experienced the most severe drought in over a century, with dam levels dropping below one quarter of their capacity. Residents were mandated by local laws to observe level 6 water restrictions on gardening and other outdoor water usage. Per capita water usage is below 140 litres per day, giving Brisbane one of the lowest per capita usages of water of any Western city in the world.[41]/ Despite this, Brisbane's water storage is currently 97% of full capacity with permanent water conservation measures.

Dust storms in Brisbane are extremely rare; on 23 September 2009, however, a severe dust storm blanketed Brisbane, as well as other parts of eastern Australia.[42][43]

Climate data for Brisbane
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.4
Average high °C (°F) 29.1
Average low °C (°F) 20.9
Record low °C (°F) 16.0
Precipitation mm (inches) 113.0
Avg. precipitation days 12.5 11.8 11.3 10.6 10.1 8.7 6.3 5.5 6.1 8.2 11.6 10.8 113.5
Source: [44][45]


Unlike other Australian capital cities, a large portion of the greater metropolitan area of Brisbane is controlled by a single local government entity, the Brisbane City Council. Since the creation of the Brisbane City Council in 1925 the urban areas of Brisbane have expanded considerably past the City Council boundaries[46]. Prior to that, a far smaller area (comprising the inner suburbs of Brisbane today) was controlled by the Brisbane Municipal Council.

The City of Brisbane is divided into 26 wards, with each ward electing a Councillor as their community representative. The Lord Mayor of Brisbane and Councillors are elected every four years by popular vote, in which all residents must participate. The current Lord Mayor of Brisbane is Campbell Newman, who was elected to the position in March 2004[47] and re-elected in 2008.[48]

Brisbane City Council is the largest local government body (in terms of population and budget) in Australia. The Council, formed by the merger of twenty smaller councils in 1925, has jurisdiction over an area of 1,367 km2 (528 sq mi). The Council's annual budget is approximately $1.6 billion, and it has an asset base of $13 billion.[49]


Brisbane City Skyline viewed from the Riverside Walkway
Virgin Village, the Virgin Blue Holdings Limited/Virgin Blue head office in Bowen Hills, Brisbane

Brisbane's economy has white-collar and blue-collar industries. White-collar industries include information technology, financial services, higher education and public sector administration generally concentrated in and around the central business district and recently established office areas in the inner suburbs.

Blue-collar industries, including petroleum refining, stevedoring, paper milling, metalworking and QR railway workshops, tend to be located on the lower reaches of the Brisbane River and in new industrial zones on the urban fringe. Tourism is an important part of the Brisbane economy, both in its own right and as a gateway to other areas of Queensland.[50]

Since the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Queensland State Government has been developing technology and science industries in Queensland as a whole, and Brisbane in particular, as part of its "Smart State" initiative.[51] The government has invested in several biotechnology and research facilities at several universities in Brisbane. The Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland (UQ) Saint Lucia Campus is a large CSIRO and Queensland state government initiative for research and innovation that is currently being emulated at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Campus at Kelvin Grove with the establishment of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI).[52]

Brisbane is one of the major business hubs in Australia.[53] Most major Australian companies, as well as numerous international companies, have contact offices in Brisbane, while numerous electronics businesses have distribution hubs in and around the city. DHL Global's Oceanic distribution warehouse is located in Brisbane, as is Asia Pacific Aerospace's headquarters. Home grown major companies include Suncorp-Metway Limited, Flight Centre, Sunsuper, Orrcon, Credit Union Australia, Boeing Australia, Donut King,, WebCentral, PIPE Networks, Krome Studios, NetBox Blue, Mincom Limited and Virgin Blue.

Brisbane has the fourth highest median household income of the Australian capital cities at $40,973.[54]

Port of Brisbane

The Port of Brisbane is on the lower reaches of the Brisbane River and on Fisherman's Island at the rivers mouth, and is the 3rd most important port in Australia for value of goods.[55] Container freight, sugar, grain, coal and bulk liquids are the major exports. Most of the port facilities are less than three decades old and some are built on reclaimed mangroves and wetlands.

The Port is a part of the Australia TradeCoast, the country's fastest-growing economic development area.[56] Geographically, Australia TradeCoast occupies a large swathe of land around the airport and port. Commercially, the area has attracted a mix of companies from throughout the Asia Pacific region.[56]


Brisbane has a range of retail precincts, both in the Central Business District and in surrounding suburbs. The Queen Street Mall has a vast array of cafes, restaurants, cinemas, gift shops and shopping centres including: Wintergarden, Broadway on the Mall, QueensPlaza, Brisbane Arcade, Queen Adelaide Building, Tattersalls Arcade and The Myer Centre.

The majority of retail business is done within the suburbs of Brisbane in shopping centres which include major department store chains. There are 3 major Westfield shopping centres in Brisbane located in the suburbs of Chermside (Westfield Chermside), Mount Gravatt (Westfield Garden City) and Carindale (Westfield Carindale).[57]

Other large shopping centres exist at Indooroopilly (Indooroopilly Shopping Centre), Toombul (Centro Toombul) and Mitchelton (Brookside Shopping Centre). Other major shopping centres through-out the metropolitan area include North Lakes (Westfield North Lakes), Strathpine (Westfield Strathpine) and Loganholme (Logan Hyperdome).


Significant overseas born populations[58]
Country of Birth Population (2006)
United Kingdom 95,315
New Zealand 73,128
South Africa 12,824
Vietnam 11,857
People's Republic of China 11,418
Philippines 9,871
Germany 8,645
India 7,544
Netherlands 7,014
Fiji 6,791
Papua New Guinea 6,706
Italy 6,704
Malaysia 6,686
United States 6,057
Hong Kong 6,036
South Korea 4,841

The statistical division of Brisbane includes much of Brisbane's Local Government Area as well as the cities of Ipswich, Redcliffe and Logan City and Redland City which demographically are part of a single conurbation. The 2006 census reported 1,763,131 residents within the Brisbane Statistical Division, making it the third largest city in Australia.[59] Brisbane recorded the largest growth rate of all capital cities in the last Census, with an annual growth rate of 2.2%.[60] The median age across the city was 35 years.[3]

The 2006 census showed that 1.7% of Brisbane's population were of indigenous origin and 21.7% were born overseas. Of those born outside of Australia, the three main countries of birth were New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Approximately 16.1% of households spoke a language other than English, with the most common languages being Mandarin 1.1%, Vietnamese 0.9%, Cantonese 0.9%, Italian 0.6% and Samoan 0.5%. Areas of significant overseas populations were in the southern region of Moorooka where those of African descent reside. Most of the Vietnamese population reside in the suburbs of Darra and Inala while those from Mainland China are often found not in one particular area but all around Brisbane. Sunnybank is where most of the majority of the Chinese population reside, comprising mainly of people from Taiwan and Hong Kong. Brisbane has the highest population of Republic of China (Taiwanese) citizens in Australia. It has been estimated that the population has grown to an estimated 35 000+, making them the highest Asian population in Brisbane. Consequently, Sunnybank and its surrounding suburbs have often been dubbed as the 'Real Chinatown' and 'Taiwan Town'.

The inner southern suburbs were considered the most densely populated areas of Southern European descent, primarily Greek and Italian. There are also a major number of Bosnians, Croatians, Indians, Pakistanis, South Africans and Fijians in the city.


The Forgan Smith Building and the Great Court, University of Queensland.

Brisbane has multi-campus universities and colleges including the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University. Other universities which have campuses in Brisbane include the Australian Catholic University, Central Queensland University, James Cook University, University of Southern Queensland and the University of the Sunshine Coast.

There are three major TAFE colleges in Brisbane; the Brisbane North Institute of TAFE, the Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE, and the Southbank Institute of TAFE.[61] Brisbane is also home to numerous other independent tertiary education providers, including the Australian College of Natural Medicine, the Brisbane College of Theology, QANTM, as well as Jschool: Journalism Education & Training.

The majority of Brisbane's preschool, primary, and secondary schools are run under the jurisdiction of Education Queensland, a branch of the Queensland Government.[62] There are also a large number of independent and Roman Catholic run schools.


Arts and entertainment

Brisbane has a growing live music scene, both popular and classical. The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), which is located at South Bank, consists of the Lyric Theatre, a Concert Hall, Cremorne Theatre and the Playhouse Theatre. The Queensland Ballet, Opera Queensland, Queensland Theatre Company and other performance art groups stage performances in the different venues. It is also the major performing venue for The Queensland Orchestra, Brisbane's only professional symphony orchestra and Queensland's largest performing arts company. The Queensland Conservatorium, in which professional companies and Conservatorium students also stage performances, is located within the South Bank Parklands.

The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), opened in December 2006, is one of the latest additions to the South Bank precinct and houses some of the most well-known pieces of modern art from within and outside Australia. GOMA is the largest modern art gallery in Australia. GOMA holds the Asia Pacific Triennial (APT) which focuses on contemporary art from the Asia and Pacific in a variety of media from painting to video work. In Addition, its size enables the gallery to exhibit particularly large shows — the Andy Warhol exhibition being the largest survey of his work in Australia. GOMA also boasts Australia's largest purpose-built Cinémathèque. The Gallery of Modern Art is located next to the State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Art Gallery.

Along with Beijing, Berlin, Birmingham and Marseille, Brisbane was nominated as one of the Top 5 International Music Hotspots by Billboard in 2007. There are also popular entertainment pubs and clubs within both the City and Fortitude Valley.[63][64]

The Brisbane Powerhouse in New Farm and the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts on Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley also feature diverse programs featuring exhibitions and festivals of visual art, music and dance.

The La Boite Theatre Company performs at the Roundhouse Theatre at Kelvin Grove. Twelfth Night Theatre at Bowen Hills is also a professional theatre. The Powerhouse complex stages a range of productions.

There are numerous amateur theatre groups in Brisbane. The oldest is the Brisbane Arts Theatre which was founded in 1936. It has a regular adult and children's theatre and is located in Petrie Terrace.

Annual events

Fireworks over the South Bank Parklands man-made beach - a.k.a Streets Beach

Major cultural events in Brisbane include the Ekka (the Royal Queensland Show), held each August, and the Riverfestival, held each September at South Bank Parklands and surrounding areas. Warana, (meaning Blue Skies), was a former spring festival which began in 1961 and was held in September each year. Run as a celebration of Brisbane, Warana was similar to Melbourne's Moomba festival. In 1996 the annual festival was changed to a biennial Brisbane Festival.[65]

The Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) is held in July/August in a variety of venues around Brisbane including the Regent Cinema in Queen Street Mall. BIFF features new films and retrospectives by domestic and international filmmakers along with seminars and awards.

The Paniyiri festival at Musgrave Park (corner of Russell and Edmondstone Streets, South Brisbane) is an annual Greek cultural festival held on the first weekend in May. The Brisbane Medieval Fayre and Tournament is held each June in Musgrave Park.

The Valley Fiesta is an annual three-day event organised by the Valley Chamber of Commerce. It was launched by Brisbane Marketing in 2002 to promote Fortitude Valley as a hub for arts and youth culture. It features free live music, market stalls, food and drink from many local restaurants and cafés, and other entertainment.

The Bridge to Brisbane fun run has become a major annual charity event for Brisbane.

Tourism and recreation

Tourism plays a major role in Brisbane's economy, being the third-most popular destination for international tourist after Sydney and Melbourne.[66] Popular tourist and recreation areas in Brisbane include the South Bank Parklands, Roma Street Parkland, the City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane Forest Park and Portside Wharf. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary opened in 1927 and was the world's first koala sanctuary.[67]

The suburb of Mount Coot-tha is home to a popular state forest, and the Brisbane Botanic Gardens which houses the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium and the "Tsuki-yama-chisen" Japanese Garden (formerly of the Japanese Government Pavilion of Brisbane's World Expo '88).

Brisbane has over 27 km (16.8 mi) of bicycle pathways, mostly surrounding the Brisbane river and city centre, extending to the west of the city.[68] The river itself was popular with bathers, and it permitted boating excursions to Moreton Bay when the main port was in the city reaches.[67] Today fishing and boating are more common. Other popular recreation activities include the Story Bridge adventure climb and rock climbing at the Kangaroo Point cliffs.


An NRL game at Suncorp Stadium
Queensland Tennis Centre at Brisbane International is a professional tennis tournament

Brisbane has hosted several major sporting events including the 1982 Commonwealth Games and the 2001 Goodwill Games. The city also hosted events during the 1987 Rugby World Cup, 1992 Cricket World Cup, 2000 Sydney Olympics, the 2003 Rugby World Cup and hosted the Final of the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. In 2005, then Premier Peter Beattie announced plans for Brisbane to bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games,[69] which in August 2008 received in principle Australian Olympic Committee support, including that of the Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman.[70]

Two of the city's major sporting venues are the Sleeman Centre at Chandler, and the stadium facilities of the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre in Nathan. With the closure of the Milton Tennis grounds in 1994, Brisbane lacks a major tennis facility. In 2005, the State Government approved the State Tennis Centre a new A$65 million tennis stadium. The construction was completed in 2008. The Brisbane International is held here from January 2009. Brisbane has teams in all major interstate competitions, excluding the National Basketball League.

Sport Team Name League Stadium Reference
Rugby League Queensland State of Origin Suncorp Stadium [71]
Brisbane Broncos National Rugby League [72]
Rugby Union Queensland Reds Super 14 [73]
Association football Brisbane Roar A-League [74]
Cricket Queensland Bulls Sheffield Shield
Ford Ranger One Day Cup
KFC Twenty20 Big Bash
The Gabba [75]
Australian rules football Brisbane Lions Australian Football League [76]
Netball Queensland Firebirds ANZ Championship Chandler Arena [77]


The main newspapers of Brisbane are The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail, both owned by News Corporation. Brisbane receives the national daily, The Australian, and the Weekend Australian, together with Fairfax papers Australian Financial Review, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and Fairfax website Brisbane Times. There are community and suburban newspapers throughout the metropolitan and regional areas, including Brisbane News and City News, many of which are produced by Quest Community Newspapers. mX, a free daily commuter newspaper, was launched in 2007, following the newspaper's success in Melbourne and Sydney.

Brisbane is served by all five major television networks in Australia, which broadcast from the summit of Mount Coot-tha. The three commercial stations, Seven, Nine, and Ten, are accompanied by two government networks, ABC and SBS, with all five providing digital television. 31, a community station, also broadcasts in Brisbane. Optus, Foxtel and Austar all operate PayTV services in Brisbane, via cable and satellite means.

The ABC transmits all five of its radio networks to Brisbane; 612 ABC Brisbane, ABC Classic FM, ABC NewsRadio, Radio National, and Triple J. SBS broadcasts its national radio network. Brisbane is serviced by major commercial radio stations, including 4KQ, 4BC, 4BH, 97.3 FM, B105 FM, Nova 106.9, and Triple M. Brisbane is also serviced by major community radio stations such as 96five Family FM, 4MBS Classic FM 103.7, 4EB FM and 4ZZZ 102.1.



Brisbane is covered by Queensland Health's "Northside" and "Southside" health service areas.[78] Within the greater Brisbane area there are 8 major public hospitals, 4 major private hospitals, and smaller public and private facilities. Specialist and general medical practices are located in the CBD, and most suburbs and localities. Private hospitals in Brisbane include Greenslopes Private Hospital, Redlands Private Hospital, Mater Private Hospital, Brisbane Private, Wesley and RBH Private.


Brisbane has an extensive transportation network within the city, as well as connections to regional centres, interstate and to overseas destinations.

The use of urban public transport is still only a small component of total passenger transport, the largest component being travel by private car.[79]

Public transport is provided by bus, rail and ferry services. Bus services are operated by public and private operators whereas trains and ferries are operated by public agencies. The Brisbane central business district (CBD) is the central hub for all public transport services with services focusing on Queen Street Bus Station, Roma Street and Central railway stations, and various city ferries wharves. Brisbane's CityCat high speed ferry service, popular with tourists and commuters, operates services along the Brisbane River between the University of Queensland and Apollo Road.

The Citytrain urban rail network consists of 10 suburban lines and covers mostly the west, north and east sides of the city. It also provides the route for an Airtrain service under joint public/private control between the City and Brisbane Airport. Since 2000, Brisbane has been developing a network of busways, including the South-East Busway and the Inner Northern Busway, to provide faster bus services. "TransLink", an integrated ticketing system operates across the public transport network.

The Brisbane River has created a barrier to some road transport routes. In total there are ten road bridges, mostly concentrated in the inner city area. This has intensified the need for transport routes to focus on the inner city. There are also three railway bridges and two pedestrian bridges. The Eleanor Schonell Bridge (originally named The Green Bridge) between the University of Queensland and Dutton Park is for use by buses, pedestrians and cyclists. There are currently multiple tunnel and bridge projects underway as part of the TransApex plan.

An extensive network of pedestrian and cyclist pathways have been created along the banks of the Brisbane River to form a Riverwalk network.[80]

Houghton Highway, the longest bridge in Australia)

Brisbane is served by several freeways. The Pacific Motorway connects the central city with the Gold Coast to the south. The Ipswich Motorway connects the city with Ipswich to the west via the southern suburbs, while the Western Freeway and the Centenary Freeway provide a connection between Brisbane's inner-west and the outer south-west, connecting with the Ipswich Motorway south of the Brisbane River. The Bruce Highway is Brisbane's main route north of the city to the rest of the State. The Bruce Highway terminates 1,700 km (1,056 mi) away in Cairns and passes through most major cities along the Queensland coast. The Gateway Motorway is a private toll road which connects the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coasts by providing an alternate route via the Gateway Bridge avoiding Brisbane's inner city area. The Port of Brisbane Motorway links the Gateway to the Port of Brisbane, while Inner City Bypass and the Riverside Expressway act as the inner ring freeway system to prevent motorists from travelling through the city's congested centre.[81]

Brisbane's population growth placed strains on South East Queensland's transport system. The State Government and Brisbane City Council have responded with infrastructure plans and increased funding for transportation projects, such as the South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program. Most of the focus has been placed on expanding current road infrastructure, particularly tunnels and bypasses, as well as improving the public transport system.

The International Terminal at Brisbane Airport

Brisbane Airport (IATA code: BNE) is the city's main airport, the third busiest in Australia after Sydney Airport and Melbourne Airport. It is located north-east of the city centre and provides domestic and international passenger services. In the 2008-2009 year, Brisbane Airport handled over 18.5 million passengers. The airport is serviced by the Brisbane Airtrain which provides a rail service from Brisbane's city centre to and from the airport. Archerfield Airport (in Brisbane's southern suburbs) acts as a general aviation airport.


Water storage, treatment and delivery for Brisbane is handled by SEQ Water, which sells on to Queensland Urban Utilities (previously Brisbane Water) for distribution to the greater Brisbane area. Water for the area is stored in one of three dams; Wivenhoe, Somerset and North Pine. As of 13 May 2005, Brisbane has enforced water restrictions due to drought.[82] This has also led to the State Government announcing that recycled sewage will be pumped into the dams once the pipeline is complete in 2009.[83]

Electricity and gas grids in Brisbane are handled by Energex (electricity), and Origin Energy (gas), with each company previously holding a monopoly on domestic retail supply. Since 1 July 2007 Queensland regulation changes have opened up the retail energy market, allowing multiple companies to resell both gas and electricity.[84]

Metropolitan Brisbane is serviced by all major and most minor telecommunications companies and their networks. Brisbane has the largest number of enabled DSL telephone exchanges in Queensland. An increasing number are also enabled with special hardware (DSLAMs) which enable high speed ADSL2+ internet access. The Brisbane CBD also features a complete underground fibre optics network, with numerous connections to the inner suburbs provided by various service providers.

Telstra and Optus provide both high speed internet as well as Pay TV through their cable services for the bulk of the city's metropolitan area. Both of these providers also host wireless networks with hotspots within both the inner and suburban areas. In addition, 3 Mobile, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all operate both 2.5G, 3G and 3.5G mobile phone networks citywide.[85]

Sister Cities

Brisbane has sister city relations with the following cities:[86]

See also


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External links


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