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Brisbane from Kangaroo Point.jpg
The Brisbane skyline from Kangaroo Point
Brisbane is located in Australia
Population: 2,146,577 (2011) ( 3rd)
• Density: 346.0/km² (896.1/sq mi) (2006)
Established: 1824
Coordinates: 27°28′22″S 153°01′40″E Coordinates: 27°28′22″S 153°01′40″E
Area: 5949.9 km² (2,297.3 sq mi)
Time zone: AEST ( UTC+10)
  • Brisbane
  • Ipswich
  • Logan
  • Moreton Bay
  • Redland
  • Scenic Rim (part)
Region: South East Queensland
County: Stanley, Canning, Ward
State/territory electorate(s): 41 divisions
Federal Division(s): 17 divisions
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
26.4 °C
80 °F
16.2 °C
61 °F
986.2 mm
38.8 in

Brisbane (pron.: / ˈ b r ɪ z b ən /) is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of 2.15 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centered on Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3 million. The Brisbane central business district stands on the original European settlement and is situated inside a bend of the Brisbane River, approximately 23 km (14 mi) from its mouth at Moreton Bay. The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River valley between the bay and the Great Dividing Range. While the metropolitan area is governed by several municipalities, a large portion of central Brisbane is governed by the Brisbane City Council, which is by far Australia's largest Local Government Area by population. The demonym of Brisbane is Brisbanite.

Brisbane is named after the river on which it sits, which in turn was named after Scotsman Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825. 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.

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. Brisbane is the largest economy between Sydney and Singapore, and as of 2008 is classified as a Global city. It was also rated the 16th most liveable city in the world in 2009 by the Economist Intelligence Unit.


Nineteenth century

The Old Windmill in Wickham Park, built by convicts in 1824.

Prior to European settlement, the Brisbane area was inhabited by the Turrbal and Jagera people. They knew the area that is now the central business district as Mian-jin, meaning "place shaped as a spike". The Moreton Bay area was initially explored by Matthew Flinders. On 17 July 1799, Flinders landed at what is now known as Woody Point, which he named "Red Cliff Point" after the red-coloured cliffs visible from the bay. 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 explored the Brisbane River as far as Goodna, 20 kilometres (12 mi) upstream from the Brisbane central business district. Oxley recommended Red Cliff Point for the new colony, reporting that ships could land at any tide and easily get close to the shore. 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 a year and the colony was moved to a site on the Brisbane River now known as North Quay, 28 kilometres (17 mi) south, which offered a more reliable water supply. Chief Justice Forbes gave the new settlement the name of Edenglassie before it was named Brisbane. Non-convict European settlement of the Brisbane region commenced in 1838. 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 ministers Christopher Eipper (1813–1894) and Carl Wilhelm Schmidt and lay missionaries Haussmann, Johann Gottried Wagner, Niquet, Hartenstein, Zillman, Franz, Rode, Doege and Schneider. They were allocated 260 hectares and set about establishing the mission, which became known as the German Station.

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

Twentieth century

ANZAC Square and the Shrine of Remembrance in 1930.
Queen Street, Brisbane's main street, illuminated for the 1954 Royal Visit.

Over twenty small municipalities and shires were amalgamated in 1925 to form the City of Brisbane, governed by the Brisbane City Council. 1930 was a significant year for Brisbane with the completion of Brisbane City Hall, then the city's tallest building and the Shrine of Remembrance, in ANZAC Square, which has become Brisbane's main war memorial. These historic buildings, along with the Story Bridge which opened in 1940, are key landmarks that help define the architectural character of the city.

RAAF recruits marching along Queen Street, August 1940.

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, until his headquarters were moved to Hollandia in August 1944. MacArthur had previously rejected use of the University of Queensland complex as his headquarters, 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. Approximately one million US troops passed through Australia during the war, as the primary coordination point for the South West Pacific. 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.

Postwar Brisbane had developed a "big country town" stigma, an image the city's politicians and marketers were very keen to remove. In the late 1950s an anonymous poet known as The Brisbane Bard generated much attention on the city which helped shake this stigma. Despite steady growth, Brisbane's development was punctuated by infrastructure problems. The State government under Joh Bjelke-Petersen began a major program of change and urban renewal, beginning with the central business district and inner suburbs. Trams in Brisbane were a popular mode of public transport until the network was closed in 1969, leaving Melbourne as the last Australian city to operate a tram network. 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 popular landmarks were lost, including the Bellevue Hotel in 1979 and Cloudland in 1982, demolished in controversial circumstances by the 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.

World Expo 88 at night – showing the 88-metre high Skyneedle at South Bank Parklands

Brisbane hosted the 1982 Commonwealth Games and the 1988 World Exposition (known locally as World Expo 88). These events were accompanied by a scale of public expenditure, construction and development not previously seen in the state of Queensland. Brisbane's population growth has exceeded the national average every year since 1990 at an average rate of around 2.2% per year.

Twenty-first century

After two decades of record population growth, Brisbane was again hit by a major flood in January 2011. The Brisbane River did not reach the same height as the previous 1974 flood but still caused extensive damage and disruption to the city.


Satellite image of Brisbane Metropolitan Area.
The Brisbane metropolitan area is centred on the Brisbane River.

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. Brisbane's metropolitan area sprawls along the Moreton Bay floodplain from Caboolture in the north to Beenleigh in the south, and across to Ipswich in the south west.

The city of Brisbane is hilly. 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. Many suburban creeks criss-cross the city, increasing the risk of flooding. The city has suffered three major floods since colonisation, in February 1893, January 1974, and January 2011. 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). 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.

Urban structure

Story Bridge was constructed in 1940 to connect Fortitude Valley to Kangaroo Point.

The Brisbane central business district (CBD) lies in a curve of the Brisbane river. The CBD covers 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, 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. 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. 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. This results from the fact that most of Brisbane's housing stock consists of detached houses.

Early legislation decreed a minimum size for residential blocks causing 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. The high density housing that historically 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. Brisbane is home to several of Australia's tallest buildings. Brisbane's tallest buildings are Soleil at 243 metres, Aurora Tower at 207 metres, Riparian Plaza at 200 metres, One One One Eagle Street at 195 metres, and Infinity, at 262 metres, which is currently under construction.

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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Brisbane Riverwalk (Destroyed in 2011 floods)
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Indooroopilly Golf Course (Long Pocket)
1 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Walter Taylor Bridge (road) (left), Albert Bridge (rail) (centre), unnamed 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 ground)
10 white, blue rounded rectangle.svg Norman Creek (Anglican Church Grammar School)
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 Brisbane Riverwalk (Destroyed in 2011 floods)
29 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Inner City Bypass (rail) (left) (road) (right)
30 white, green rounded rectangle.svg Indooroopilly Golf Course ( Long Pocket)


This detailed satellite photograph illustrates flooding in suburbs of the Brisbane metropolitan region during early 2011.

Brisbane has a humid subtropical climate ( Köppen climate classification Cfa) with warm to hot and humid summers and dry moderately warm winters. From November to 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. In 2009 Brisbane recorded its hottest winter day at 35.4 °C (95.7 °F) on 24 August. Brisbane's wettest day occurred on 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 2001 until 2010, Brisbane and surrounding temperate areas had been experiencing the most severe drought in over a century, with dam levels dropping to 16.9% of their capacity on 10 August 2007. 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 developed city in the world. On 9 January 2011, an upper low crossed north of Brisbane and dropped rainfall on an already saturated southeast coast of Queensland, resulting in severe flooding and damage in Brisbane and the surrounding area; the same storm season also caused the water storage to climb to over 98% of maximum capacity and broke the drought. Water restrictions have been replaced with water conservation measures that aim at a target of 200 litres per day/per person, but consumption is rarely over 160 litres. 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.

Brisbane also lies in the Tropical Cyclone risk area, although cyclones are rare. The last to affect Brisbane but not directly cross the city was Tropical Cyclone Hamish in March 2009: it remained approx 350 km (220 mi) north of Brisbane but caused significant damage to beaches as well as the worst oil spill in Moreton Bay. Average annual temperature of the sea is 24 °C (75 °F), from 21 °C (70 °F) in July to 27 °C (81 °F) in February.

In November 2011, Brisbane saw 22 days with no recorded rainfall, which is the driest start to November since 1919.

August 2012 was the city's driest August and the driest month ever experienced in its recorded history (records at the Brisbane Airport commenced in 1929, although the station closed in February 2000). At the meteorological station in the city's downtown core (Brisbane Station), only 0.2 mm of precipitation was recorded in August 2012.

Climate data for Brisbane (Brisbane Station, 1999–2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 40.0
Average high °C (°F) 30.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.8
Average low °C (°F) 21.3
Record low °C (°F) 17.0
Rainfall mm (inches) 141.8
Avg. precipitation days 12.0 12.9 13.4 12.3 9.5 9.0 6.3 5.5 7.5 9.8 11.8 13.6 123.6
 % humidity 57 59 57 54 49 52 44 43 48 51 56 57 52
Mean monthly sunshine hours 263.5 226 232.5 234 238.7 198 238.7 263.5 267 266.6 264 251.1 2,943.6
Source: Bureau of Meteorology


Brisbane City Hall home to the Museum of Brisbane and Brisbane City Council offices.
Parliament House, the home of Queensland's state legislature.

Unlike other Australian capital cities, a large portion of the greater metropolitan area of Brisbane is controlled by a single local government area, the City of Brisbane. Since the creation of the City of Brisbane in 1925 the urban areas of Brisbane have expanded considerably past the council boundaries. The City is by far the largest local government body (in terms of population and budget) in Australia. It was formed by the merger of twenty smaller LGAs in 1925, and covers an area of 1,367 km2 (528 sq mi). The Council's annual budget is approximately AUD 1.6 billion, and it has an asset base of AUD 13 billion. The remainder of the metropolitan area falls into the LGAs of Logan City to the south, Moreton Bay Region in the northern suburbs, the City of Ipswich to the south west, Redland City to the south east on the bayside, with a small strip to the far west in the Scenic Rim Region.


The Soleil Building, now Brisbane's tallest skyscraper, under construction in the Brisbane CBD in 2011

Brisbane has the largest economy of any city between Sydney and Singapore, which includes cities like Jakarta, Darwin, Townsville and Cairns, and has seen consistent economic growth in recent years as a result of the resources boom. White-collar industries include information technology, financial services, higher 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. The city is also investing in hotels to cater to the growing Meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions sector. Over 7,000 delegates and media are expected to visit Brisbane for the G20 Summit in November 2014.

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. 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).

Brisbane is one of the major business hubs in Australia. 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, TechnologyOne, Thiess Pty Ltd and Virgin Australia. Brisbane has the fourth highest median household income of the Australian capital cities at AUD 57,772.


Queen Street Mall.

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. Edward St, in the city, is home to many luxury international retailers, such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Co., Hermès, Gucci, Bally, Montblanc, Canali, Maxmara, Oroton, Polo Ralph Lauren, Bvlgari, and Hugo Boss. The majority of retail business is done within the suburbs of Brisbane in shopping centres which include major department store chains. The largest shopping centres by area are located in the suburbs of Chermside, Upper Mount Gravatt, Carindale and Indooroopilly. Other large shopping centres are located in Toombul ( Centro Toombul), Mitchelton ( Brookside Shopping Centre), North Lakes ( Westfield North Lakes), Strathpine ( Westfield Strathpine) and Loganholme ( Logan Hyperdome).

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. 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. 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.


Chinatown, Brisbane.
Significant overseas born populations
Country of birth Population (2011)
United Kingdom United Kingdom 109,583
New Zealand New Zealand 99,285
India India 22,115
China Mainland China 20,972
South Africa South Africa 19,587
Philippines Philippines 15,941
Vietnam Vietnam 14,107
Germany Germany 9,492
Malaysia Malaysia 9,301
Fiji Fiji 8,568
United States United States 8,304
South Korea South Korea 8,210

The Greater Capital City Statistical Area of Brisbane includes much of Brisbane's Local Government Area as well as the cities of Ipswich, Moreton Bay, Logan City and Redland City which demographically are part of a single conurbation. The 2011 census reported 2,065,996 residents within the Brisbane GCCSA, making it the third largest city in Australia. Brisbane recorded the second highest growth rate of all capital cities since the previous Census, growing by 11.5%.

The 2011 census showed that 2% of Brisbane's population were of indigenous origin and 29.7% were born overseas. Of those born outside of Australia, the three main countries of birth were the United Kingdom, New Zealand and India. Approximately 17.9% of households spoke a language other than English, with the most common languages being Mandarin 1.5%, Vietnamese 0.9%, Cantonese 0.9%, Samoan 0.6% and Spanish 0.5%.

Areas with significant overseas-born populations predominate in the southern suburbs and inner Brisbane. By far the largest ethnic minority are Asian Australians. The area around Sunnybank, Sunnybank Hills, Stretton and Robertson is home to a large proportion of Brisbane's Hong Kong and Taiwanese-born. Brisbane's ethnic Chinese population has traditionally been dominated by those with origins in Taiwan and Hong Kong, still far more prevalent than in Sydney and Melbourne where Mainland Chinese are more numerous. Those with origins in China, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries are more spread around the metropolitan area. Brisbane has the highest population of Taiwanese Australian citizens of any city in Australia, with Sunnybank and its surrounding suburbs dubbed "Taiwan Town" and "Little Taipei". Brisbane has the highest proportion of Korean Australians outside of Sydney. A significant proportion of Brisbane's Vietnamese population reside in the suburbs of Darra and Inala. Moorooka is home to many residents of African descent. The inner southern suburbs were considered the most densely populated with people of Southern European heritage. New Farm was historically home to many of Brisbane's early Italian community. There are also a large number of Indians, Filipinos, Pakistanis, German Australians, Papua New Guineans, Fijians and other Pacific Islander communities 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, all among Australia's highest rated universities. Other universities which have campuses in Brisbane include the Australian Catholic University, Central Queensland University, James Cook University, JMC Academy, 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. Brisbane is also home to numerous other independent tertiary providers, including the Australian College of Natural Medicine, the Brisbane College of Theology, QANTM, as well as Jschool: Journalism Education & Training.

Many of Brisbane's preschool, primary, and secondary schools are under the jurisdiction of Education Queensland, a branch of the Queensland Government. There are also a large number of independent (private), Roman Catholic, and other Christian run schools.


Arts and entertainment

Treasury Casino

Brisbane has a substantial 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 and is home to the Queensland Ballet, Opera Queensland, Queensland Theatre Company, and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. The Queensland Conservatorium, in which professional companies and Conservatorium students also stage performances, is located within the South Bank Parklands. Numerous choirs present performances across the city annually. These choirs include the Brisbane Chorale, Queensland Choir, Brisbane Chamber Choir, Canticum Chamber Choir, Brisbane Concert Choir, Imogen Children's Chorale and Brisbane Birralee Voices. Due to the lack of a suitable purpose built performance venue for choral music, these choirs typically perform in the city's many churches.

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.

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. 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

Major cultural events in Brisbane include the Ekka (the Royal Queensland Exhibition), 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. The Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) is held in July/August in a variety of venues around Brisbane. 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 over two days 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. The Caxton Street Seafood and Wine Festival was launched in 1994 by the Caxton Street Development Association to promote Caxton Street in historic Petrie Terrace as a significant entertainment precinct that celebrates and promotes Australian music, seafood and wine. It features live music, food and drink from Caxton Street restaurants and cafés, as well as Art Exhibitions and Historical Displays and a dedicated annual Festival Band Competition.

Tourism and recreation

Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium at the base of Mount Coot-tha.

Tourism plays a major role in Brisbane's economy, being the third-most popular destination for international tourists after Sydney and Melbourne. 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.

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. The river itself was popular with bathers, and it permitted boating excursions to Moreton Bay when the main port was in the city reaches. 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.

The nearby Australia Zoo, made famous by Steve Irwin, also encourages many tourists to visit Brisbane.


An NRL game at Lang Park.
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 and will host along with the Gold Coast, some events for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. In 2005, then Premier Peter Beattie announced plans for Brisbane to bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, 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. The most popular professional club in the city is the Brisbane Broncos, who play in the National Rugby League competition. Brisbane also hosts a professional football (soccer) team named Brisbane Roar Football Club. They are in the Hyundai A-League.

The city's major sporting venues include Brisbane Cricket Ground, Sleeman Centre at Chandler, Lang Park, Ballymore Stadium and the stadium facilities of the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre in Nathan. With the closure of the Milton Tennis grounds in 1994, Brisbane lacked 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 Lang Park
Brisbane Broncos National Rugby League
Rugby Union Queensland Reds Super Rugby
Football Brisbane Roar A-League
Football Brisbane Strikers Queensland State League Perry Park
Cricket Queensland Bulls and Brisbane Heat Sheffield Shield
Ryobi One Day Cup
KFC Twenty20 Big Bash
Brisbane Cricket Ground
Australian rules football Brisbane Lions Australian Football League
Netball Queensland Firebirds ANZ Championship Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
Baseball Brisbane Bandits Australian Baseball League Brisbane Exhibition Ground



Aerial of part of Mater Health Services campus at South Brisbane.

Brisbane is covered by Queensland Health's "Northside" and "Southside" health service areas. 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.


Houghton Highway, the longest bridge in Australia.
Brisbane Airport Air Traffic Control seen from Airtrain departing station.
CityCat on the Brisbane River.
CityTrain Suburban Multiple Unit at Nambour Station.

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.

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 busway network, including the South East Busway, Northern Busway and the Eastern Busway. TransLink operates an integrated ticketing system 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, and still generally known as, 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.

Brisbane is served by several urban and inter-urban motorways. 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 Motorway 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.

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.

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.

King George Square Busway Station, an underground bus station.


Lake Wivenhoe, Brisbane's primary water reserve.

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. Since 13 May 2005, Brisbane has enforced water restrictions due to drought. This has also led to the State Government announcing that purified recycled water would be pumped into the dams once the pipeline was complete in 2009. More recently, restrictions were lifted and water conservation is no longer a major concern of council, although residents are asked to follow permanent conservation measures.

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.

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.

In popular culture

Bris Vegas

"Bris Vegas" is an ironic nickname given to the city. This has been attributed to an Elvis Presley tribute CD and the city's growing live music scene. It is believed to have been first used in print in a 1996 edition of The Courier-Mail, also approximately the time of the opening of the Treasury Casino in Brisbane and the popularisation of poker machines in Brisbane bars and clubs, a play on the popular gaming ground of Las Vegas. The name has also been attributed to the city's nightlife, compact size of the central business district and previous perceived lack of sophistication, a comparison to the ostensibly crass Las Vegas, Nevada.


Brisbane is the setting for the Australian TV series Slide.

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