Brisbane Tourist Attractions
Brisbane, Australia's third largest city and capital of Queensland since 1859, lies on both sides of the Brisbane River, with a total area of 1220 sq.km.
It is bounded on the east by the sea and on the west by the Great Dividing Range. Its suburbs extend north and south to merge into the endless string of holiday resorts along the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.The people of Brisbane call their city 'big, bold and beautiful'; and it must be agreed that this sea of houses reflected in the river is very impressive. Visitors are attracted by its sunny climate, its luxuriant parks and gardens and its more relaxed life-style in contrast to the hectic activity of the cities of the southeast.HistoryLike Sydney, Brisbane was originally a convict colony, established in 1824; but some farmers and cattle breeders also established themselves in the town's hinterland, and when transportation came to an end in 1839 it began to attract numbers of free settlers.In 1859 Queensland was separated from New South Wales, and Brisbane became capital of the new state. Its early years were difficult, and even a hundred years later the town was often dismissed as 'provincial'. Queensland differed from the other Australian states in having a number of centers, each with its own sphere of influence.An important event in the history of the city was the international exhibition held in Brisbane, Expo 88.PopulationThe population of Brisbane increased in successive stages. After the transportation of convicts ceased in 1839 the young colony rapidly grew to 20,000 people, of whom around 5000 lived in Brisbane. The Brisbane conurbation now has a population of more than 1.3 million.EconomyBrisbane is the commercial and financial capital of Queensland, with its most important seaport and largest airport. Industry is well developed round the city, with the processing of foodstuffs (canning) playing an important part. Brisbane is also the business center for the state's prosperous agriculture and mining industry. Tourism is now making an increasingly important contribution to the city's economy.TransportBrisbane has excellent links with the regional and national transport system. In Roma Street, in the northwest of the city, is the Brisbane Transit Centre (Australian Railways), the terminus for state and interstate services, and close by is the central bus station.The national and international airport lies 12km northeast of the city center in the direction of Moreton Bay, with frequent daily flights from all parts of Australia and abroad.Public transport within the city (buses, suburban train services), run by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, is also well developed. Information about services and fares can be obtained from the Public Transport Information Centre at the corner of George and Ann Streets.The ferries on the Brisbane River are a convenient way of getting to know the inner suburbs. The two main landing stages are at Edward Street and the Customs House (Queen Street).ExcursionsThe Golden Mile Ferry Service runs one-hour cruises. One of Brisbane's best known tourist attractions is the Kookaburra Queen, an old paddle steamer based at Pier 9 which runs cruises on the Brisbane River several times daily (with lunch, tea or dinner). The Brisbane Paddlewheeler company (Cameron Street, West End) runs Sunday cruises with jazz music. The ships of the Koala Cruises company sail upstream as far as Ipswich.EntertainmentThere is a wide choice of evening and after-dark entertainment in numerous discos and jazz clubs and in many pubs and night spots. There are theatrical performances and concerts in the Performing Arts Centre in South Brisbane (Concert Hall, Lyric and Cremorne Theatres). Detailed information on events can be obtained in the press, particularly in the Saturday Courier Mail under the heading What's On In Town.ShoppingBrisbane offers a tempting range of large department stores, specialized shops and boutiques. There are nine large shopping arcades, including the new Myer Centre, the Wintergarden on the Mall, the Brisbane Arcade and the Rowes Arcade.
Earlystreet Historical Village
The Earlystreet Historical Village is in the beautiful gardens of the Villa Eulalia, with reconstructed buildings of the colonial period, furnished in the style of the time.
Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha
The new Botanic Gardens (Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens) feature a gigantic glass dome housing over 2000 species of trees and bushes.
Address: Mount Coot-tha Road, Toowong, Brisbane, QLD 4066, Australia
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Aug 31: 8am-5pm
Sep 1 to Mar 31: 8am-5:30pm
Sep 1 to Mar 31: 8am-5:30pm
Entrance fee: FREE
Transit: Bus 471 or Great City Circle bus 598 or 599.
Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium was opened in 1978. It is the only planetarium in Queensland. The planetarium offers educational sessions for the public as well as school students.
Address: Mt Coot-tha Road, Toowong, QLD 4066, Australia
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26)
Entrance fee in AUD: Family $34.20, Adult $12.70, Students $10.40, Child 15 & under $7.40
Useful tips: Reservations are recommended. Call for times.
Facilities: Gift shop
Transit: Public bus 471 or Great City Circle bus 598 or 599.
Brisbane Airport is the largest airport in Australia. The airport serves as the main gateway for travelers to Brisbane and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
Address: Box 61, Hamilton Central, QLD 4007, Australia
Queensland University features a number of museums and sporting facilities. The University centers around the Great Court.
The Physics Museum at Queensland University features a collection of old scientific instruments and books. The museum also features more modern, but also obsolete equipment.
Address: Physics Department, Queensland University, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
Opening hours: 1pm-2pm; Closed: Sun, Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat
Entrance fee: FREE
Useful tips: Only open during teaching semesters. Tours can be arranged at any time. Call ahead for an appointment.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
University Art Museum
The University Art Museum at Queensland University was established in 1976. The museum is tied closely to the Art History Department of the University. The museum features a large collection of Australian art.
The Anatomy Museum at the University of Queensland features a number of exhibits relating to biology and anatomy.
The Antiquities Museum at the Queensland University features coins, glass, and pottery from a variety of ancient civilizations including, Greek, Roman and Persian.
The Warana Festival takes place in September, with numerous musical, dance and dramatic performances; the culminating point is a great parade through the city streets. The Ekka is an agricultural show in the Exhibition Grounds in Fortitude Valley, with riding events and a fair. In September there is the Spring Hill Fair in Leichhardt Street and in October the Colonial George Street Festival.
Perhaps the best known sports grounds are the Gabba cricket ground and the dog-racing track in Woolloongabba, on the south side of the Brisbane River. Brisbane has four racecourses (Albion Park, Doomben, Eagle Farm and Bundamba). The Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Sports Centre in Nathan and the Aquatic Centre in Chandler (both to the southeast of the city center) were built for the 1982 Commonwealth Games.
Bogga Road Gaol (Jail) (closed)
Bogga Road Gaol is the oldest surviving jail in Queensland. Construction of the prison was completed in June of 1903. The prison was built as a a women's prison and now houses a variety of displays on its own history.
Address: 150 -160 Annerley Road, Dutton Park, QLD 4102, Australia
Opening hours: 9am-2pm; Closed: Sun, Sat
Entrance fee in AUD: Family $10.00, Adult $4.00, Students $3.00, Pensioners (OAP) $3.00, Child $2.00
Useful tips: The Boggo Road Gaol is CLOSED to the public until further notice; major civil works are taking place on the surrounding site.
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Map of Brisbane Attractions