Brisbane is the State Capital of the state of Queensland in Australia and is located in the southern part of the state – what is generally called ‘South Queensland’.
The city is the third biggest city in Australia after Sydney and Melbourne, and has a population of around 2 million people. It is a sub-tropical city, but still has seasons – with crisp mornings in the winter and sunny days, and reasonably hot summers.
The central main city streets are set up on a grid pattern, with the names of British Royalty Kings and Queen used for the street names – Edward, Albert, George, William running one way and Ann, Adelaide to the north of Queen Street, and Elizabeth, Charlotte, Mary, Margaret and Alice Streets to the south.
Trees and plants grow well in Brisbane, and in November you will see lots of Jacaranda trees with the lilac purple flowers, and also flame trees – which have spectacular crimson red flowers.
The city is just inland from the coast and built around both sides of the Brisbane River, with the city spreading westwards and also up the coast towards the beaches and towns on Sunshine Coast and southwards to the beaches on the Gold Coast – both coasts being a bit over an hour away from the centre of Brisbane.
If you fly into Brisbane, you will most likely fly over Moreton Bay and possibly Moreton Island and Stradbroke Island and the low tidal mudflats, mangroves and waterways at the mouth of the Brisbane River. The River is navigable to small ships, fishing and leisure craft and both the International and Domestic Aircraft terminals are located just a short way inland from the coast.
The International and Domestic airports are 3 kilometres apart, and if you are in transit, or need to go from one airport to the other, take the Airtrain from one terminal to the other.
The Airtrain, taxi rank, hirecars, hotel buses, cafes and luggage pick up are all well signposted and being reasonably small airport Terminals, it is easy to find your way around.
It will take around 30 minutes to get to the centre of Brisbane from the airport using the Airtrain, by bus, taxi or car. The Airtrain also connects to the Gold Coast and to the city centre, as well as to other suburban train stations in Brisbane. Simply ask at the Tourist information desk or Airtrain ticket booth to find out more.
Brisbane is quite a spread out city, and there are Motorways on some of the roads heading around and in and out of Brisbane – so if hiring a car, ask about tolls, and also ideally get GPS Navigation in the car you are hiring. If you are planning to travel to a number of places in Brisbane or out of the city, it will be cheaper to hire a car, than use taxis and buses to get around.
Most of the big hotels to stay at are located in the city centre CBD – and if you want to stay close in to the city, look for a hotel near Queen Street, Anzac Square and Town Hall. The CBD is located next to the Brisbane River, with bridges leading to the other side of the river, where Southbank is located.
The other alternative would be to look for a hotel on South Bank in South Brisbane. South Bank is a very attractive part of the City, with a special man-made beach area, restaurants and bars, the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and parklands, Conservatorium of Music, Maritime Museum, State Library, South Bank Performing Arts Complex and Lyric Theatre, the State Gallery and Museum, weekend markets and it is a short walk over Victoria Bridge to get to the city centre itself. There is also a Citycat service and wharf at South Bank – making it easy to catch the Citycat and see the city from the river – heading either downstream to Hamilton, or upstream to the University of Queensland. There are 19 Citycats and 9 ferries operating on the Brisbane River, and one of the ferries is called the Cityhopper – which departs from North Quay (near the Treasury Casino) and heads to New Farm and Sydney Street.
Brisbane has always seen itself as a very liveable city, and although it has a big city feel, it has also managed to make the city feel relaxed and easy to get around.
We hope you enjoy getting to know the City of Brisbane.