Life in Brisbane

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and the third largest city in Australia. It is close to the Pacific Ocean and is situated beside the Brisbane River in the south-east corner of the state.

With a population of 2.1 million, it is friendly and relaxed with the convenience of a large city.


The city is named in honour of Sir Thomas Brisbane who was Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825. The original settlement grew from a harsh penal colony established at his direction in 1824 at Redcliffe, 28km to the north.

The colony was moved to what is now the location of the Brisbane CBD in 1825, and free settlers were permitted from 1842.

It was chosen as the capital when Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony in 1859. The city developed slowly until World War II, when it played a central role in the Allied campaign as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur. 


Brisbane has a humid subtropical climate with average summer temperatures of 20–28C and winter temperatures of 10–22C.


  • Queensland Cultural Centre - including the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and State Library of Queensland
  • City Botanic Gardens - there are walking and cycling tracks and often exhibitions.


  • Kangaroo Point - the wall along the Brisbane River is a popular spot for abseiling, rock climbing, kayaking, skating and cycling. There are also barbecue and picnic areas and an excellent view of the Brisbane CBD skyline
  • Story Bridge Adventure Climb - offers the opportunity to scale the top of Brisbane’s iconic bridge
  • rent a bicycle - getting around the city and the surrounding area is easy thanks to the many cycle paths along the river. Bicycles can be rented in the centre of the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens and also at Brisbane Bicycle.


Brisbane has a thriving live music scene, as well as theatres and museums. It is the birthplace of internationally acclaimed singers, music bands, authors, actors, artists, sculptors and fashion designers.

See more information about Brisbane entertainment here.


There are many restaurants with a variety of cuisines, particularly in Brisbane City and Spring Hill, Fortitude Valley and New Farm, Southbank and Woolloongabba, on Milton and Park Road and Paddington.

Meet friends

Fortitude Valley is a unique area of Brisbane, catering to the live music scene with a large number of clubs and bars. The West End, a bohemian district popular with locals, offers a few hip clubs, intimate restaurants and a laid-back atmosphere.


  • Queen Street Mall - the main shopping mall in Brisbane. It has a large variety of shops and several shopping centres within it
  • Valley Markets - a shopping must for locals and tourists. It operates every weekend and you can find jewellery, fabulous handmade accessories and artwork.