Named after Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, British Army officer and governor of New South Wales between 1821 and 1828, Brisbane began its history as a place to send British convicts in 1824. Settlers began to migrate to Australia, and the migration patterns pressured local officials to allow free settlers that were attracted to Brisbane because of the location’s rich fishing, timbering, and mining. In 1842, the government officially allowed free settlement and, by the 1880’s, people recognized the Queensland colony as a commercial hub and as a major metropolitan area. During this period of rapid growth, Brisbane witnessed the construction and development of its historic buildings including the Old Government House and Queensland Museum in 1862, the Parliament House in 1869, the Cathedral of St. Stephen in 1874, and the Customs House in 1889, among others.
Growth and Economy
While the population of Brisbane continued to grow rapidly, the 20th century brought with it challenges, including an outbreak of bubonic plague. However, World War II provided the city with the perfect conditions to continue to grow and flourish. Today, Brisbane is still a major metropolitan area and is the third largest city in the country, providing tourists with rich historical sites within its city limits and other attractions throughout its surroundings.
For local residents and Australia as a whole, Brisbane contributes with an economy worth 154 billion Australian dollars, leading in the healthcare, retail and trade, scientific and technical services, construction, and education industries. Brisbane continues to grow, and respected local real estate agent Ryan McCann suggests that homebuyer interest in the area remains high and is projected to remain strong for 2018. Therefore, the city continues generating the curiosity that attracted settlers back in the 19th century.
Things to Do
What to do in Brisbane? The city is full of attractions! Whether tourists are looking to explore historic sites or enjoy nature, the area provides visitors with many options that suit all preferences. For example, hikers and nature lovers can experience hikes that are near the city. Those looking to live a cuddly version of the Aussie experience can visit the Daisy Hill Koala Centre or the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. The sanctuary is located off the Brisbane River and houses other animals, such as wallabies, dingoes, kangaroos, snakes, and other wildlife. The Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha provides nature lovers with panoramic views that include themed gardens and more than 128 acres of horticulture.
When visiting the city, tourists should enjoy the Queen Street Mall and it’s 700 retailers that showcase a variety of local and national designs and includes a farmer’s market that provides local flowers and produce. Additionally, Brisbane is home to the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, located in the Cultural Precinct. The art galleries are both free and display more than 1700 works of art, focusing primarily on Asia and Australia. The Cultural Precinct also hosts a combination of additional attractions, including the Museum of Science, perfect for families that travel with kids.
As a historical tribute to the city and to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the state of Queensland, the Wheel of Brisbane opened in 2008. Designed by Ronald Bussink, the wheel stands 60 meters tall and can hold 332 people while providing visitors with a spectacular 360-degree view of the city. With Brisbane’s rich history, amazing attractions, and innovative industries, the metropolis continues to be a center of attraction for tourist and residents alike.