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Brisbane Fast Facts

POPULATION     1,000,000
AREA     1373 km²
LANGUAGE     English
TIME ZONE     GMT +10 hours
CLIMATE     Sub-Tropical


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Getting to Brisbane and Where to Stay

Brisbane is the capital city of the state of Queensland, Australia. The City of Brisbane has around 960,000 inhabitants, while the surrounding metropolitan area population is around 1.77 million and is one of the fastest growing areas in Australia.

Getting to Brisbane has never been easier. One of the most modern airports in Australia is linked to the city of Brisbane through a modern elevated railway servicing all terminals. With international flights direct from Europe, Asia and North America as well as domestic Australian air services reaching Brisbane is easy. Brisbane Airport car rental is available through www.diycarhire.com.au partners, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty at the International and Domestic terminals. Brisbane car rentals are also available from these companies.

Hotel accommodation is plentiful and there is something for every budget. An excellent range of facilities, at discount prices, can be booked through sites such as Wotif or Quickbeds.

Brisbane History

The city is named for Sir Thomas Brisbane (1773–1860), British soldier and colonial administrator born in Ayrshire, Scotland.

In 1823, the explorer John Oxley landed at the Brisbane River and named it after Sir Thomas Brisbane, Governor of New South Wales and astronomer. In 1824, the first convict colony was established at Redcliffe Point. Only one year later, the colony was moved south from Redcliffe to a peninsula of the Brisbane River, site of the present Central Business District, called "Mean-jin" by the local Turrbul inhabitants. The settlement was named "Edenglassie" (in honour of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland) by British pioneers but was subsequently re-named to match the river.

The colony was originally established as a "prison within a prison" - a settlement, deliberately distant from Sydney, to which convicts who re-offended while serving their sentences could be sent as punishment. It soon garnered a reputation, along with Norfolk Island, as being one of the harshest penal settlements in all of New South Wales.

Private settlement near the area was forbidden for many years, and the colony was sluggish in development. As the inflow of new convicts decreased steadily, the population began to decline. In 1842, the area was opened up for free settlement. Settlers took advantage of the abundance of timber in local forests inhabited by humans and wildlife that could be displaced with no legal recourse. Grazing and farming took hold quickly on the fertile land of the coastal plain, and the convict colony was eventually closed.

By 1869 almost all of the Turrbul people had died from gunshot or disease. The few remaining survivors escaped the region with the help of a settler, Tom Petrie, (now associated with the suburb of Petrie in Pine Rivers Shire, north of Brisbane)

Queensland was formally established as a self-governing colony of Britain separate from New South Wales in 1859. Brisbane was declared the capital, but not until 1902 was it officially designated a city. Severe flooding in the 1890's devastated the city and destroyed the first of several versions of the Victoria Bridge. Even though gold was discovered north of Brisbane, around Maryborough and Gympie, most of the proceeds went south to Sydney and Melbourne. The city remained an underdeveloped regional outpost, with comparatively little of the classical Victorian architecture that characterized southern cities.

The first railway in Brisbane was built in 1879 when the line from the western interior was extended from Ipswich to Roma Street Station. Trams operated in Brisbane from 1885 till 1969. Tramway employees stood down for wearing union badges on 18 January 1912 sparked Australia's first General strike, the 1912 Brisbane General Strike which lasted for five weeks.

In an effort to prevent overcrowding and control urban development, the Parliament of Queensland passed the Undue Subdivision of Land Prevention Act 1885, resulting in Brisbane and other Queensland cities having very low population densities and covering large areas compared to similar Australian cities.

In 1924, the City of Brisbane Act was passed by the Queensland Parliament, amalgamating the Cities of Brisbane and South Brisbane; the Towns of Hamilton, Ithaca, Sandgate, Toowong, Windsor and Wynnum; and the Shires of Balmoral, Belmont, Coorparoo, Enoggera, Kedron, Moggill, Sherwood, Stephens, Taringa, Tingalpa, Toombul and Yeerongpilly to form the current City of Brisbane in 1925. To accommodate the new enlarged city council the current Brisbane City Hall was opened in 1930.

During World War II, many US forces were stationed in and around the city, and, for a time, it was the headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander, South West Pacific Area. Buildings and institutions around Brisbane were given over to the housing of military personnel as required. The University of Queensland campus at St. Lucia was converted to a military barracks for the final three years of the war, one whole section of which was given over to a notoriously prosperous but illegal tavern, gambling hall and brothel complex.

Brisbane marked the northern point of the "Brisbane Line" - a controversial defence proposal, allegedly formulated by the Menzies government, that would, upon a land invasion of Australia, surrender the entire continent bar the populated coastal strip south of Brisbane to the Japanese.

On November 26 and November 27, 1942 rioting broke out between US and Australian servicemen stationed in Brisbane. By the time the violence had been quelled one Australian soldier was dead, and hundreds of Australian and US servicemen were injured along with civilians caught up in the fighting. [1] Hundreds of soldiers were involved in the rioting on both sides. This incident, which was heavily censored at the time and apparently was not reported in the US at all, is known as the Battle of Brisbane.

Brisbane has been inundated by four severe floods of the Brisbane River — in 1864, 1893, 1897 and 1974. A comprehensive flood mitigation scheme was instituted for the Brisbane River catchment area in the aftermath of the 1974 flood. Since then the city has remained flood free during unbroken cycles of drought, locust plagues and outbreaks of infectious, insect-born diseases including malaria, Dengue fever and Ross River virus. During this period real estate values in Brisbane have risen 15 fold.

In 1976 Brisbane's first FM radio station began broadcasting from a studio at the University of Queensland Student's Union. 4ZZ (later 4ZZZ) became a catalyst for the development of original music in the Queensland capital. Bands such as The Saints, The Go-Betweens, The Riptides and The Laughing Clowns established an ecosystem for alternative music that continues to flourish.

In the 1980s Brisbane came of age as a metropolis in its own right, finally discarding its perceived image as a "big country town" of little importance. The city hosted two important events that attracted international attention - the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and Expo 88 in 1988. These events co-incided with a massive growth in urban development and population in metropolitan Brisbane, a boom that is yet to cease.

Brisbane Geography and Climate

Brisbane is situated in the southeast corner of Queensland, an hour north of the Gold Coast by road or rail at a latitude and longitude of 27°28' S 153°02' E. The city straddles the Brisbane River, and its eastern suburbs line the shores of Moreton Bay. The greater Brisbane region lies on the coastal plain east of the Great Dividing Range though the city is very hilly in some areas, and the urban area is punctuated by large hills reaching up to 300 metres such as Mount Coot-tha, Mount Gravatt, Whites Hill and Stephens Mountain.

One feature of Brisbane's urban geography is its lower population density compared to other Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. There are very few terrace houses in Brisbane and apartments dating before 1970 are relatively rare. Most of Brisbane's housing stock consists of detached houses on large blocks of land featuring sub-tropical gardens. Pre-1950 housing stock is often built in a distinctive architectural style known as a Queenslander, featuring large verandahs and built upon stilts, in order to maximise the circulation of cool air during summer months.
Brisbane has a subtropical climate with hot, moist summers and mild, dry winters. Brisbane is subject to high humidity, mainly from November through to April. Summer thunderstorms are common, and Brisbane frequently experiences hailstorms, cyclonic winds and more recently severe drought during the summer months.

Climatic averages:
• Mean January maximum temperature — 29°C (85°F)
• Mean January minimum temperature — 21°C (69°F)
• Mean July maximum temperature — 20°C (69°F)
• Mean July minimum temperature — 10°C (49°F)
• Mean annual rainfall — 1146 mm (45.1 inches)
• Wettest month on average — January, 160 mm (6.3 inches)
• Driest month on average — August, 46 mm (1.8 inches)

Historical extremes:
• Hottest maximum temperature — 43.2°C (109.8°F), 26 January 1940
• Coldest minimum temperature — 2.3°C (36.1°F), 12 July 1894 and 2 July 1896
• Wettest month — 1026 mm (40.4 inches) of rainfall, February 1893
• Wettest day — 465 mm (18.3 inches), 21 January 1887
• Highest wind gust — 145 km/h (90 m/h)

Brisbane Demographics

The population of the City of Brisbane is estimated at 957,010 (as of June 2004). Together with six surrounding Local Government Areas, Brisbane has an estimated metropolitan population of 1,774,890 as of 2004. Brisbane City Council is the most populous Local Government Area in Australia and is one of the largest cities in the world in terms of geographic area. Brisbane boasts Australia's highest rate of capital city population growth. The metropolitan population reportedly grew by 11.5% between 1999 and 2004.

The Local Government Areas surrounding the City of Brisbane which are part of the Brisbane metropolitan area are:

• Ipswich - A coal mining township and home of the Queensland Rail workshop. Ipswich's population has nearly doubled since 1994. Population: 135,500.
• Logan City - A high-growth area in the Brisbane-Gold Coast corridor. Population: 173,300.
• Redcliffe - Famous for brown sandy beaches and one of the longest bridges in the Southern Hemisphere which connects the outskirts of the city to the Redcliffe Peninsula. Population: 52,300.
• Caboolture - A dairy farming region to the north of Brisbane characterised by recent residential development along the Bruce Highway. Population: 120,800.
• Pine Rivers - Brisbane's northern shire. Population: 133,800.
• Redland - A shire overlooking Moreton Bay on the east of Brisbane. Population: 127,700.

Brisbane Economy

Brisbane has a diverse and vibrant economy with many sectors and industries represented in the city's total production of goods and services. Both white-collar and blue-collar industries are present, with white-collar industries such as information technology, financial services, higher education and public sector administration generally concentrated in and around the central business district and recently established office parks in the inner suburbs. Blue-collar industries such as petroleum refining, stevedoring, paper milling, metalworking and QR railway workshops tend to be located on the lower reaches of the Brisbane River and in new industrial zones on the urban fringe. Tourism is an important part of the Brisbane economy, both in its own right and as a gateway to other areas of Queensland.

Traditionally, Brisbane was somewhat of a "branch office" city, with most major financial institutions having their headquarters in Sydney or Melbourne. To encourage diversification, during the late 1990s and early 2000s the Queensland state government has been developing technology and science industries in Queensland as a whole, and Brisbane in particular, as part of its "Smart State" campaign. The government has invested in several biotechnology and research facilities at several universities in Brisbane. The Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland (UQ) St Lucia Campus is a large CSIRO and Queensland state government initiative for research and innovation that is currently being emulated at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Campus at Kelvin Grove. According to the state government this QUT facility is intended to cross-fertilise with the UQ facility and make Brisbane a science and research hub of Australia and the region.

Brisbane Government

Unlike most other Australian capital cities that have their urban areas controlled by dozens of different municipal authorities, Brisbane is controlled by the Brisbane City Council, the largest local government body (in terms of population) in Australia, and in terms of area is one of the largest in the world. The Council, formed by the merger of many small councils in 1925, has jurisdiction over most of the inner and outer suburbs, borders the City of Redcliffe, Pine Rivers Shire, Esk Shire, the City of Ipswich, the City of Logan and Redland Shire.

Brisbane Events

1974 Brisbane River flooding causes major damage across city
1982 Commonwealth Games
1988 Expo 88
1991 International Convention of Lions Clubs International
2000 Olympic soccer matches during Sydney Olympics
2001 Goodwill Games
2002 7th annual conference of the World Wide Web consortium
2003 International Convention of Rotary International
2003 Hosted matches during Rugby Union World Cup
2001-2003 Brisbane Lions won consecutive Australian Football League premierships
Annual Brisbane Exhibition Agricultural Show or "Ekka"
Annual Gabba Test Cricket match
Annual State of Origin Rugby League football series at Suncorp Stadium
Annual Brisbane River Festival in September.


Popular areas for tourists in the city include the Southbank Parklands (the site of Expo 88) and the recently developed Roma Street Parklands. Major shopping precincts exist throughout the CBD, in the Queen Street Mall and in Fortitude Valley. Brisbane is also home to a colonial era botanic gardens in the CBD, rockclimbing cliffs at Kangaroo Point, an extensive riverside bikeway, and the Mount Coot-tha state forest which includes a lookout over the city, contemporary botanical gardens, and the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.

Brisbane Landmarks

Popular areas for tourists in the city include the Southbank Parklands (the site of Expo 88) and the recently developed Roma Street Parklands. Major shopping precincts exist throughout the CBD, in the Queen Street Mall and in Fortitude Valley. Brisbane is also home to Botanic Gardens in the CBD, rockclimbing cliffs at Kangaroo Point, riverside bikeways, lookouts at Mount Gravatt, Mount Petrie, and Mount Cootha, which includes a lookout over the city, Botanic Gardens, and the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.

Brisbane is home to many traditional and modern landmarks. Here are some of Brisbane's finest:

Story Bridge - One of Australia's finest bridges and a true Queensland and Brisbane landmark. The bridge is the home of the River Festival and is beautifully lit up by night. Bridge climbs are becoming a major tourist attraction.

Central Plaza 1 & 2 - Currently Brisbane's tallest inhabited office building and second-tallest structure, and the third highest skyscraper in Queensland. Central Plaza 1 sits at 174m, 571ft and was constructed in 1988. It has been a feature landmark in Brisbane City ever since that date. Designed by famous Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa modelled on a split shard of crystal.

Waterfront Place - The Waterfront Place is the second tallest building in Brisbane. At 162m, the tower also houses many restaurants, cafes and bars at the ground level, the Waterfront Place is the most recognisable tower in the Brisbane skyline.

State Law Building - With its unique design, the State Law Building is known locally as 'Gotham City' because of its similarities to buildings in the Batman series. The refurbishment was designed by a local female architect from Conrad & Gargett.

Brisbane City Hall - The Brisbane City Hall was the most expensive building in Australia until the creation of the Sydney Opera House. At night, the Brisbane City Hall is lit up for a spectacular view.

Lang Park - Known these days as Suncorp Stadium, the stadium is the home of Queensland Rugby League and has been for many years. Recently reconstructed, the stadium is recognised as one of the greatest sporting venues in Australia.

Treasury Casino - Housed, as the name suggests, in the old Treasury building, the casino has an attractive Edwardian sandstone facade.

ANZ Stadium - The third largest sporting arena in Queensland (after Suncorp Stadium and The Gabba), ANZ Stadium has a great history. Historic events that have happened at the ground include the 1982 Commonwealth Games and the 2001 Goodwill Games.

The Skyneedle - Originally built for the World Expo '88 which was held in Brisbane, the Skyneedle stands 88m from the ground and in special events it is able to beam lights like a lighthouse and can be seen from more than 60km away. The Skyneedle was about to be relocated to it's new destination which would have been Disneyworld in Tokyo, but a local hairdresser bought the rights to claim it Brisbane's own and also relocated the famous Queensland Monument 500m away from it's original location in South Bank. The copper canopy below was originally a gift to Expo 88 from MIM Holdings.

The Gabba - Sporting venue for the Queensland Bulls (Cricket) and the Brisbane Lions (Aussie Rules) and was also home of football (soccer) matches during the Sydney 2000 Olympics. The Gabba traditionally hosts the first domestic cricket test of each season in November.

Brisbane Exhibition Ground - Operated by the RNA (Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland), the showgrounds are home to the annual RNA Show, better known as the Ekka which attractions more than 600,000 visitors every year. The showgrounds are also periodically used for other large events.

Queensland Museum - Brisbane is home of the Queensland Museum which is located next to the South Bank Parklands.

AMP Place - Brisbane's first 'true' skyscraper at 130m and built in 1978 in an area of the CBD that was still mainly wharves, it set a benchmark for new towers that proceeded it.

Riverside Centre - A modern, heritage-listed building which hosts weekend markets and is also the location of several well-known restaurants, as well as the Brisbane Stock Exchange. Designed by Harry Seidler in 1986.

Brisbane Culture and Entertainment

Brisbane has a modest performing arts culture, distributed throughout venues such as La Boite's Roundhouse Theatre in Kelvin Grove, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (incorporating the Playhouse, Lyric Theatre, Concert Hall and Cremorne Theatre) at Southbank, the Powerhouse in New Farm, the Brisbane Arts Theatre on Petrie Terrace and the recently opened "Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts" in Fortitude Valley.

Brisbane is home to several major performing arts companies including The Queensland Orchestra, Opera Queensland, Queensland Ballet and Queensland Theatre Company.

Brisbane's CBD, centred around the Queen Street pedestrian mall, offers a range of restaurants, award winning shopping centres, night clubs, music and souvenirs. Other popular restaurant districts across the city include Fortitude Valley, New Farm, Teneriffe, West End, Bulimba, Milton, Rosalie, Paddington and Sunnybank.

South Bank Parklands is built on the former World Expo site and is famous for firework displays that attract thousands of spectators. Tourists and locals alike frequent the beautiful bougainvillea lined Riverside Walkway at all times of the year and flock to the area during music and arts festivals.

Fortitude Valley, known popularly as 'the Valley' was zoned as an entertainment precinct in 2004. The Valley is home to pubs, bars, nightclubs, restaurants and cafés and to Brisbane's Chinatown precinct. The Brunswick Street mall hosts bustling pedestrian markets on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Brisbane was the birthplace of some of Australia's best-known bands and contemporary musicians, including The Bee Gees, The Saints, The Go-Betweens, Powderfinger, Regurgitator, George, GANGgajang, The Sunnyboys, The Riptides, Tex Perkins, Custard and Savage Garden.

Close to Brisbane

The Gold Coast is about 70 km south-east of Brisbane. It is a major tourist zone with approximately 40 km of beaches, as well as theme parks, canals and mountain hinterland. Its population is approximately one quarter of Brisbane's.

The Sunshine Coast is a collection of beachside communities backed by a subtropical hinterland.

Toowoomba is a garden city located inland and 700 m above sea level on the Great Dividing Range.

Ipswich is a satellite city located approximately 40 km South-West of Brisbane. It well known for its Queensland Rail Workshop in the north of the town and RAAF Base Amberley to the south-west, as well as Queensland Raceway and the Willowbank drag strip.

Logan is a city roughly 27 km south of Brisbane. It is known for being the "gateway" between the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Although Logan is its own city, it has no major commercial development, Logan is more like an extended surburb of Brisbane.


Brisbane is served by seven broadcast television stations: ABC, ABC2 (digital), Seven, Nine, Ten, SBS, and community television station Briz 31.
In addition to the community radio stations 4ZZZ, BayFM 100.3, multicultural 4EB and the radio station for the print handicapped 4RPH, 98.9 FM for the Best Country (it was the first indigenous radio station in a capital city), 101FM (Logan), 4OUR (Caboolture), 997FM (Redcliffe), Switch 1197 AM, 96.5 FM Family, 4MBS Classic FM 103.7 and 4TAB (betting), there are these commercial radio stations in Brisbane: 4BC, 4BH, 4KQ, B105 FM, Triple M, NEW 97.3, River 94.9 and NovaFM.
The ABC transmits all five of its radio networks to Brisbane: 612 ABC, Radio National, Triple J, Newsradio and ABC Classic FM. SBS also broadcasts its national radio network to Brisbane. WorldAudio National Radio 2 transmits on 1620AM (City) and 1629AM (North). Radio Brisvaani provides a voice to the Indian community with Hindi language service on 1701AM.
Brisbane has only one daily newspaper, The Courier-Mail, and one Sunday paper, The Sunday Mail, both controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. There are numerous community and suburban newspapers throughout the metropolitan area.

Brisbane Sport

Brisbane's local sporting teams include:

Basketball — Brisbane Bullets
Cricket — Queensland Bulls
Rugby Union — Queensland Reds
Rugby League — Brisbane Broncos
Australian Rules Football — Brisbane Lions
Football (Soccer) — Queensland Roar FC
Netball — Queensland Firebirds


A number of tertiary education institutions have campuses in Brisbane, or in the surrounding areas:
• Australian Catholic University
• Brisbane College of Theology
• Griffith University (Brisbane, Gold Coast)
• Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane)
• University of Southern Queensland (Toowoomba)
• University of Queensland (Brisbane).

Brisbane Sister cities

Kobe, Japan (July 1985)
Auckland, New Zealand (August 1988)
Shenzhen, People's Republic of China (June 1992)
Semarang, Indonesia (January 1993)
Kaohsiung, Republic of China (September 1997)
Saint Louis, Missouri, United States (November 2004)

The information in this guide has been compiled with the grateful assistance of www.wikipedia.org and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. This page uses material from the Wikipedia article "Brisbane". Now you know about it, book a BRISBANE RENTAL CAR and get out there and see it with DIY Car Hire Australia.

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Hugh Macintosh is a regular user of DIYCarHire.com.au - It's Fast & It's Free!
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