"Brisbane - the big country town has come of age!" Brisbane by al2401

Brisbane Travel Guide: 1,722 reviews and 3,885 photos


In 1823 three runaway convicts discovered the Brisbane River. The famous explorer John Oxley offically found the river a few months later and named it after the then Governor of New South Wales, Major-General Sir Thomas Brisbane.

1824 saw a penal colony established at Redcliffe Point (now the city of Redcliff). It was moved in 1825 to where is now the Brisbane CBD. Free settlers started arriving in 1838 and 1842 saw the penal settlement of Moreton Bay close due to lack of prisoners from Britain.

Many of the buildings from the middle to late 1800's still remain.

In 1925 20 local burghs amalgamated to form the Brisbane City Council making Brisbane one of the first cities to have all its local government services under a single administration. It still has one of the largest municipal areas in the world

For many years Brisbane was regarded as a large country town but became known worldwide when it hosted the 1982 Commonwealth Games closely followed by World Expo 1988.

One of the best loved 'things to do' in Brisbane, the City Cat ferry service, began in 1996.

The River

Nearly all of the activity in Brisbane revolves about the river. From the Port of Brisbane near the mouth past the passenger liner terminal to the bends and curves as it snakes its way through the CBD the river is the life of the city. It is crossed by as many as 14 bridges and one new tunnel.

The river is also the focus of the annual Brisbane Festival staging a fantastic 'choreographed' fireworks display to open the festival.

Many of the city's superb restaurants overlook the river.


Brisbane has many parks and gardens that are open to the public. There are two botanical gardens (one in the CBD the other at Mt Coot-tha), Southbank Parklands with its own beach, Roma Street Parklands and squares like Anzac Square.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A large city with a laid back atmosphere.
  • Cons:A large city
  • In a nutshell:No longer the poor cousin
  • Last visit to Brisbane: Feb 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (35)

Comments (6)

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    I should know Brisbane like the back of my hand but there is always something to learn...My kids did the Story Bridge climb a while back...I will give that a miss.

    • al2401's Profile Photo
      Feb 15, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      I've yet to do that. It will be a pair with Sydney Harbour Bridge which I did 2012.

  • tropicrd's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Great pages Al,it will be be good seeing Brisbane again next month in August 2012.She sure has grown up into a vibrant city.

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    I've gotta get back home....miss Brissy! :o( Great page Al. It made me smile :o) Hugs, Ann.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    Great tips!

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Aug 25, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    What lovely photographs! The views, historic buildings, bridges, parks, and festivals look marvelous! Excellent page!

  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    Alison, Brisbane has what I like. Parklands, bridges, stately buildings and catamaran boats. Nice coverage. Larry

al2401 Was Born Here!


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