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Brisbane skyline at night
Brisbane skyline at night

Brisbane (/ˈbrɪzbən/ (About this sound listen)) is the capital of and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of 2.4 million, and the South East Queensland region, centred on Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3.5 million. The Brisbane central business district stands on the original European settlement and is situated inside a bend of the Brisbane River, about 15 kilometres (9 miles) from its mouth at Moreton Bay. The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River Valley between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range, sprawling across several of Australia's most populous local government areas (LGAs), most centrally the City of Brisbane, which is by far the most populous LGA in the nation. The demonym of Brisbane is Brisbanite.

One of the oldest cities in Australia, Brisbane was founded upon the ancient homelands of the indigenous Turrbal and Jagera peoples. Named after the Brisbane River on which it is located – which in turn was named after Scotsman Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825 – the area was chosen as a place for secondary offenders from the Sydney Colony. A penal settlement was founded in 1824 at Redcliffe, 28 kilometres (17 mi) north of the central business district, but was soon abandoned and moved to North Quay in 1825, opening to free settlement in 1842. The city was marred by the Australian frontier wars between 1843 and 1855, and development was partly set back by the Great Fire of Brisbane, and the Great Brisbane Flood. Brisbane was chosen as the capital when Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales in 1859. During World War II, Brisbane played a central role in the Allied campaign and served as the South West Pacific headquarters for United States Army General Douglas MacArthur.

Today, Brisbane is well known for its distinct Queenslander architecture which forms much of the city's built heritage. It also received attention for its damaging flood events, most notably in 1974 and 2011. The city is a popular tourist destination, serving as a gateway to the state of Queensland, particularly to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, popular resort areas immediately south and north of Brisbane, respectively. Several large cultural, international and sporting events have been held at Brisbane, including the 1982 Commonwealth Games, World Expo '88, the final Goodwill Games in 2001, and the 2014 G-20 summit. In 2016, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked Brisbane as a Beta world city.

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Aerial view of the central business district (top) from the east
The Brisbane central business district (CBD), or 'the City' is a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and is located on a point on the northern bank of the Brisbane River. The triangular shaped area is bounded by the Brisbane River to the east, south and west. The point, known at its tip as Gardens Point, slopes upward to the north-west where 'the city' is bounded by parkland and the inner city suburb of Spring Hill to the north. The City is bounded to the north-east by the suburb of Fortitude Valley.

The City is laid out according to a grid pattern surveyed during the city's early colonial days, a feature typical of most Australian street patterns. As a general rule, the streets aligned northwest-south east are named after male members of the House of Hanover, while the northeast-south west aligned streets are named after female members. [citation needed] Queen Street was the central roadway, that was turned into a pedestrian mall. It forms the pivotal axis for the grid of roads within the district.


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The Story Bridge.
Credit: Steve Collis from Melbourne, Australia

The Story Bridge is a cantilever bridge and the second crossing of the Brisbane River. It connects Fortitude Valley with Kangaroo Point.

Did you know?

  • Brisbane is the state capital of the Australian state of Queensland and is the largest city in that state
  • Brisbane is named after the river on which it sits which
  • Brisbane was classified as a gamma world city+ in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory by Loughborough University
  • Approximately 1,000,000 US troops passed through Australia during World War II
  • The city has retained some heritage buildings dating back to 1820s
  • Brisbane City Council is the largest local government body (in terms of population and budget) in Australia
  • The Port of Brisbane is the 3rd most important port in Australia for value of goods
  • Brisbane is the third-most popular destination for international tourist after Sydney and Melbourne

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