Brisbane is the capital of the state of Queensland. It has a population of about 2 million people, making it the third-largest city in Australia.
It’s a positive attitude and creative confidence that makes Brisbane a genuine new-world city. Even though Brisbane is rapidly developing and forward-thinking, it maintains a youthful enthusiasm and has what is arguably the most vibrant, laid back and friendliest atmosphere of any east-coast capital city.
Gaining international exposure during the 1982 Commonwealth Games, the 1988 World Expo and the 2001 Goodwill Games, Brisbane's year-round warm climate, spectacular scenery and pleasant locals has been the draw-card for many domestic and international visitors, making Brisbane the fastest-growing city in Australia.
For many thousands of years Aboriginal people have lived in what is now known as Brisbane. In 1823, John Oxley was the first English colonist to explore Brisbane, which was then selected by the colony of New South Wales as the location for a new jail, intended to house dangerous prisoners in a remote location. The settlement was named "Brisbane" after Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales at that time. The original settlement was established in what is now the suburb of Redcliffe but was later moved to a location further down the bay.
In 1837, free settlers moved to the area and pushed to close the jail and to release the land in the area.
In 1859, a gold rush led to the establishment of the colony of Queensland with Brisbane as its capital, named after Sir Thomas MakDougall Brisbane, the sixth Governor of New South Wales.
In 1925, the Queensland State Parliament created the City of Brisbane Act, and set up a single government for the city of Brisbane.
Recent strong migration to Brisbane and the whole of south-east Queensland is taking place due to cheaper house prices, a pleasant climate, and good employment opportunities. The area is currently facing the challenge of providing enough fresh water for its residents. You're not likely to find the tap dry or see any visible signs of the shortage, but keep your showers relatively brief (local water restrictions call for 4 minute showers) and expect the locals to be horrified if you walk away from a running tap.
Brisbane is notorious for having been established on the floodplain of the Brisbane River, which has resulted in major floods in 1893, 1974 and 2011. The flood in January 2011 damaged various infrastructure along the river and surrounding suburbs, but most businesses and services have since recovered from this event.
Brisbane has a year-round living climate. When the wet season hits the northern Australian tropics, Brisbane enjoys hot and clear summer days (with afternoon thunderstorms). When winter hits the southern capitals of Sydneyand Melbourne sending temperatures into the low teens (°C) the Brisbane climate stays mostly dry and sunny, with daytime temperatures usually remaining above 20°C.
Humidity is high during the summer months and daytime temperatures can get as high as 35°C with night temps rarely dropping below 20°C. Occasional heat waves can raise the temperature in excess of 40°C, however these are not common. Just about any outdoor activity you do at the height of a regular summer day in Brisbane will leave you bathed in sweat. In summer, a t-shirt with shorts and thongs (flip-flops) is appropriate attire for most casual activities, and air-conditioning will ensure you of a comfortable night’s sleep. Summer storms with hail and heavy rainfall are common in afternoons on hot humid days. They usually pass quickly and often put on a good lightning show.
Limit your outdoor physical activity in the summer until you are used to the heat and drink plenty of water. Cover up with sunscreen, loose clothing, and sunglasses to protect from sunburn.
The Brisbane Visitor Information Centre and Booking Centre on the Queen Street Mall, M–Th 9AM–5:30PM, F 9AM–7PM, Sa 9AM–5PM, Su and public holidays 9:30AM–4:30PM, closed Good Friday and 25 Dec. ☎ +61 7 3006-6290. Web
Brisbane has a relatively low crime rate in comparison to other cities of such size. In most cases being aware of your environment and using common sense will keep you safe. Like Sydney and other large cities, trains and train stations are usually considered a common crime zone throughout the afternoons and nights, however trains and stations are patrolled by Police, Transit Officers, railway personnel and private security guards. Cameras are also used to increase security. It is advised to exercise caution when travelling on trains and buses during these periods of the day.
(Advice from a local): Crime isn't a major issue for most people in Brisbane. It is generally a case of "wrong place, wrong time" and many crimes are considered out of the ordinary when they occur.
Here are some particular areas of note:
Throughout Australia, the number for emergency services (Police, Fire and Ambulance) is 000. When using a mobile or cell phone, the numbers 000 and 112, are free of charge, and connect using any of the available networks.
Emergency numbers such as 911 and 999 do not work within Australia.
Probably the worst thing that can befall your trip to Brisbane is sunburn and other heat-related issues. The local UV Index is almost always in theextreme rating during the day (10AM-3PM) and precautions should always be taken. Do not be fooled though, even in the cooler months or when it is overcast you can still be affected by UV rays or the heat. Sunscreen, shirts, sunglasses and lots of water are essential