Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, is midway up the east coast of Australia - 27.5oS, 153oE. With the Gold Coast to the south and the Sunshine Coast to the north, domestic and international airports, Brisbane is an ideal headquarters for an Australian holiday. Brisbane, indeed all Queensland, operates on Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT all year round - Summertime or Daylight Saving is not practiced in Queensland.
Residents and visitors to Brisbane enjoy a wide range of landscapes and lifestyles. The inner-city, metropolitan Brisbane is surrounded by leafy, sometimes very hilly, suburbs. Further out in the suburbs, the traditional Australian house on a large block or even acreage dominates.
Moreton Bay and its islands provide water sports, sailing and sea-side suburbs. The Pacific Highway leads south to the Gold Coast and its well-known surf beaches.
North is the seaside town of Redcliffe, the rainforest and picturesque countryside of Pine Rivers, Caboolture and the Glasshouse Mountains. Bribie Island offers the first surf beach to the north. The Sunshine Coast towns and hinterland are popular holiday spots.
Travelling west of Brisbane, past Ipswich, you soon climb the Great Dividing Range to Toowoomba and the rich plains of the Darling Downs.
In Australia, we drive on the left side of the road. Although there are trains, buses and ferries in Brisbane, most families own at least one car. The local currency is Australian dollars and the smallest coin in use is the 5 cent coin.
In July 1825, after an unsuccessful attempt to settle at Redcliffe, a harsh penal colony was established on the present site of Brisbane, by order of the then Governor of New South Wales, Sir Thomas Brisbane. In March 1826, Captain Patrick Logan was appointed the new commandant and during the next four years gained a reputation as the most cruel in the colony. An unflattering convict ballad, "Moreton Bay" was dedicated to Logan after his murder in 1830.
A convict built windmill, later an observatory, built in 1828 still stands. The attached treadmill made the windmill useful both for grinding corn and for mass punishment. By 1840, all surviving convicts had returned to Sydney and, for white Australians at least, Brisbane became a free settlement.
Another building from this period is open to the public today. Newstead House, built in 1846, for a time served as an unofficial Government House.
In 1859, Brisbane was separated from New South Wales and Queensland was proclaimed a new colony by its first Governor, Sir George Ferguson Bowen. From 1901, Queensland has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Two city administrations, six towns, 12 shires and four other authorities amalgamated to form Brisbane City Council on 1 October 1925 (Brisbane Day).
Many British, American and Australian troops were based in Brisbane and Pine Rivers in the Second World War.
Trams were last used in Brisbane in 1969.
The flood of January 1974, caused by Cyclone Wanda, is remembered by many residents. 14,000 homes had to be evacuated, the Centenary Bridge at Jindalee was severely damaged by a runaway gravel barge and all air, road and rail communication with the outside world was cut off. Saturday 26th was the wettest day in Brisbane since 1887.