Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland and is situated about half way up the east coast of Australia. The presence of the Gold Coast in the south and the Sunshine Coast in the north as well as a wide variety of natural attractions within and around the city make it an extremely popular choice with visitors to the country.
While the first European settlement in the region was not until 1823 at Redcliffe, the Brisbane region has been inhabited by Aboriginal tribes for up to forty thousand years. The natural flora and fauna in the area attracted tribes from hundreds of kilometres around and many of the local place names have descended directly from the original settlers.
Following the region's exploration by Briton, John Oxley, in the 1820s, the city started out as a penal colony which grew and flourished as a result of the discovery of gold around Queensland.
In 1859 the state became a separate colony with Brisbane as its capital. In the decades which have elapsed since then, the city has continued to thrive. It is now home to approximately 1.5 million people, the third largest population in the country.
In addition to its major galleries and museums Brisbane has a host of attractions. For a taste of Australiana Australia's native fauna is a feature of wildlife parks at several locations around Brisbane and the region. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary at Fig Tree Pocket is the world's largest koala sanctuary.
The riverside garden setting is also home to a large community of kangaroos, wallabies, emus, wombats and native birds. A great spot to visit very close the Brisbane city.
Brisbane city's best lookout is at Mt Coot-tha with expansive views over all of Brisbane and out to Moreton Bay. The lookout complex includes viewing terraces, a cafe, gift shop and restaurant.
Brisbane's riverside walks are an ideal way to get to know the city. On the South Bank, walks and cycle paths extend from under the Story Bridge, along the riverbank with picnic huts and sculpture gardens dotting the trail to the South Bank Precinct.
Kangaroo Point cliffs and Wilson's Outlook at New Farm both have good views of the Brisbane city skyline and bridges: or head for Mt Glorious and Mt Nebo for the city and coastline. Also at Mt Glorious on the western side is a lookout over the D'Aguilar Ranges and Lake Wivenhoe.
The extensive Botanic Gardens at the foot of Mount Coot-tha has beautiful garden walks and several themed garden areas. An excellent location for a stroll in a beautifully maintained garden environment.