Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city and the state capital of Queensland. Located in the southeastern corner of the State, it is a river city, situated 25km (15mi) upstream from the mouth of the Brisbane River.
Brisbane was established when Sydney and the colony of New South Wales needed a better place to store its more recalcitrant ‘cons’. The tropical country further north seemed a good place to put them and in 1824 a penal settlement was established. This was soon abandoned in favor of the riverside site to the south where Brisbane’s business district now stands.
The penal settlement was abandoned in 1839 and the area was thrown open to free settlers in 1842. As Queensland’s huge agricultural and mineral resources were developed, Brisbane grew into a prosperous city, and in 1859 the state of Queensland separated from the colony of NSW, and Brisbane was declared its capital.
By the 1860s Brisbane had shed its convict background and developed into a handsome provincial center, although it wasn’t until the 1880s that the central business district was transformed by the construction of many fine public and commercial buildings.
At Brisbane’s geographic heart, downtown is where locals play, eat and work. Here people from all continents have found a home. It houses Queensland’s leading arts precinct, offers physical adventures, 2000+ shops and natural wonders – including ancient gardens and a massive rainforest.