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Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Brisbane is the capital city of the state of Queensland in Australia. Brisbane has long been a popular tourist destination and is renowned for its climate, attractions and nearby beaches. This article will provide the reader information that they may find useful when they visit this city

Geography and Climate

Brisbane is located on the east coast of Australia, approximately 950 kilometres north of Sydney. The population is currently just under 2.2 million, which includes the city and surrounding suburbs, making it the third largest city in Australia 1). The Brisbane central business district is located on the banks of the Brisbane River, and is approximately 10 kilometres from Moreton Bay which faces the Coral Sea.

Brisbane's climate is classified as sub-tropical. The majority of rainfall is usually in the summer months, or better known as the wet season. This climate is attractive to most tourists, and the tourist season is all year long. The average yearly temperature in Brisbane is 25.5 degrees Celsius (78 degrees Fahrenheit), with the warmest month being January with a average temperature of 29.4 degrees Celsius (85 degrees Fahrenheit), and the coolest being July with 20.4 degrees Celsius (69 degrees Fahrenheit). The wettest month is December, with an average monthly rainfall of 159mm (6.25 inches) and the driest being September with and average monthly rainfall of 45mm (1.7 inches) 2).

History

The original inhabitants of the Brisbane area was the Turrbal aboriginal tribe. This custodial areas for this tribe went as far north as Pine River, south to the Logan River and Moggill in the west 3). The first known white settlement of Brisbane was in 1823, however Captain Matthew Flinders first explored the area in 1799. Brisbane was settled due to its potential for farming and good access to water via the Brisbane River 4). In 1859 Queensland was finally declared a state in its own own right, and Brisbane was declared as the capital city 5).

Due to its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, Brisbane played a major role in World War II. Many Australian and United States armed forces personnel were based here. After the war, Brisbane underwent a major construction phase,with many major projects completed. The two biggest events which thrust Brisbane into the world's spotlight was hosting the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and the World's Fair, or Expo, in 1988. Brisbane has continued to grow as a major city and South East Queensland is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia 6).

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Brisbane City Centre

South Bank

South Bank is one the most popular destinations in Brisbane for locals and tourists alike. South Bank, as its name suggests, is located on the southern banks of the Brisbane River. It is home to the Brisbane Museum, Performing Arts Centre and Arts Colleges and Universities. South Bank has a river walk along the banks of the river, and is also home to many restaurants and cafes. There is a playground and free swimming pools with lifeguards for all the family to enjoy.

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Fireworks at Southbank

Nightlife

There are three major areas for nightclubs, bars and pubs in Brisbane. The city centre has a wide choice of all three, and also is home to the Treasury Casino, for those who enjoy having a punt. The East End is home to many wine bars and nightclubs, whilst Fortitude Valley is the centre of all nightlife in Brisbane, with many nightclubs, bars and is a vibrant part of the city. All three locations are within walking distance to the central business district.

Shopping

The shopping options in Brisbane are plentiful. There are many specialist shops and name brand stores scattered within the central business district, with the Queen Street Mall being the largest in terms of concentration. There are many larger shopping centres located in the adjoining suburbs within a short drive or bus trip from Brisbane.

Transport

Being a large city, there are plenty of transport options in and around Brisbane. If you plan on staying predominately in the city, most attractions are within walking distance, or a short bus ride. There are free shuttle buses that can take you around the city, or you can use one of the many buses that link the suburbs. Brisbane also has a rail network, with trains running to all different suburbs, including the outer regions such as the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. For further information public transport please see this site https://translink.com.au. If you plan on driving to some other areas, there are plenty of hire car companies with a vehicle to suit your needs. For tips for driving in and around Brisbane, please see this site http://www.queenslandholidays.com.au/travel-info/health-and-safety/driving.cfm.

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Brisbane Motorway

Chinatown

Chinatown in Brisbane is always a popular location for tourists and locals. It is located in Fortitude Valley, which is a short walk from the city. It is home to many Chinese shops, tea houses and restaurants. Once you walk in via the gates, you are instantly immersed in the sights, sounds and smells that you can only encounter in Chinatown.

North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island is located in Moreton Bay and is approximately 30 kilometres south east of the city. The island is renowned for its pristine surf, swimming and fishing beaches. North Stradbroke Island has a permanent population of around 2,500 people, however these numbers increase greatly during certain periods of the year, especially school holidays. The best way to get to the island is via ferry, with several different companies running services from the western bay side suburbs. You can go there for a day trip or make a holiday of it with plenty of accommodation options. The island is also renowned for its wildlife, with many native Australian species calling it home.

Brisbane River

The Brisbane River runs through the heart of Brisbane, and is a popular destination for tourists. You can ride on one of the many ferries that go across and up and down the river, using the same ticket that you used to catch a bus or train. There are also many private operators offering short cruises which can last a couple of hours or you can choose to take an all day cruise with food and drink provided. If you fancy a night time cruise, there are also operators who have floating restaurants and bars.

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Brisbane River

Other Attractions

Here is a list of some of the other attractions that you can find in and around Brisbane -

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is located at Fig Tree Pocket, a short ferry ride west of Brisbane. Here you can find a host of native Australian animals, including koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and emus. You can choose to have your photo taken with the animals, or help to feed them.

Mount Coot-tha

Mount Coot-tha is located a short drive north of Brisbane, and is renowned for its stunning views which overlooks Brisbane and the coastline. It is best to visit this location at night, and you can enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee at the top whilst enjoying the stunning views.

St Helena Island

St Helena Island is located in Moreton Bay, and is a short ferry ride from the eastern bay side suburbs. On this island you can visit some historic buildings, including one of the earliest penal colonies in Australia. The island also has stunning views looking back towards Brisbane or North Stradbroke Island.

Australia | Travel

1) Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013, 'Regional Population Growth in Australia', Available: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/3218.0~2011-12~Main+Features~Queensland?OpenDocument Accessed 9th of February, 2014
2) Australian Government, BOM, 2013, 'Climate Statistics for Australian Locations', Available: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_040214.shtml Accessed 8th of February, 2014
3) Turrbal Aboriginal Nation, 2012, 'Culture', Available: http://dakibudtcha.com.au/Turrbal/index.php/culture/ Accessed 5th of February, 2014
4) Only Brisbane, 2014, 'History of Brisbane', Available: http://www.onlybrisbane.com.au/45212/history-of-brisbane#.UvboOGKSzfI Accessed 5th of February, 2014
5) David Gibson, 2010, 'An Illustrated Brisbane Timeline', Available: http://talkinghistorywithdavidgibson.com/cms/?page_id=149 Accessed 5th of February, 2014
6) ((Only Brisbane, 2014, 'History of Brisbane', Available: http://www.onlybrisbane.com.au/45212/history-of-brisbane#.UvboOGKSzfI Accessed 5th of February, 2014

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