Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia, with a population of over 2 million. It was chosen as the capital of Queensland when it was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales in 1859. The city is named after the river on which it sits, which, in turn, was named after Scotsman Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825.
The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River valley between the bay and the Great Dividing Range to the east. The city is sometimes called "Bris Vegas" in reference to its expanding live music scene and has hosted many large cultural and sporting events including the 1982 Commonwealth Games and World Expo '88.
Brisbane is relatively hilly – the urban area is partially elevated by spurs of the Herbert Taylor Range, such as the summit of Mount Coot-tha, reaching up to 300 metres (980 ft) and the smaller Enoggera Hill. Streets in the city centre are named after members of the royal family. Queen Street is Brisbane's traditional main street. Streets named after female members (Adelaide, Alice, Ann, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Margaret, Mary) run parallel to Queen Street and Queen Street Mall (named in honour of Queen Victoria) and perpendicular to streets named after male members (Albert, Edward, George, William).
The Valley Fiesta is an annual three-day event organised by the Valley Chamber of Commerce. It was launched in 2002 to promote Fortitude Valley as a hub for arts and youth culture. It features free live music, market stalls, food and drink from many local restaurants and cafés, and other entertainment.
Tourism plays a major role in Brisbane's economy, being the third-most popular destination for international tourists after Sydney and Melbourne. Popular tourist and recreation areas in Brisbane include the South Bank Parklands, Roma Street Parkland, the City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane Forest Park and Portside Wharf. There are also over 27 km (16.8 mi) of bicycle pathways, mostly surrounding the river and city centre, extending to the west of the city. Other popular recreation activities include the Story Bridge adventure climb and rock climbing at the Kangaroo Point cliffs.
Accommodation in Brisbane’s residential colleges and halls
Brisbane is home to the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University, James Cook University and the University of Southern Queensland. Accommodation is generally provided by residential colleges, located in or near the city centre. It should be understood that these residences and colleges are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, they do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.
Getting around Brisbane
The use of urban public transport is still only a small component of total passenger transport, since the majority of the inhabitants drive cars. The river has created a barrier to some road transport routes; there are only ten road bridges, mostly concentrated in the inner city area. The city is served by several motorways: the Pacific Motorway connects the city with the Gold Coast to the south and the Bruce Highway is Brisbane's main route north, passing through most major cities along the Queensland coast and terminating in Cairns.
The CBD is the central hub for all public transport services with services focusing on Queen Street Bus Station, Roma Street and Central railway stations, and various city ferries wharves. The CityCat high-speed ferry service, popular with tourists and commuters, operates services along the river between the University of Queensland and Apollo Road. The Citytrain urban rail network covers mostly the west, north and east sides of the city and provides the route for an Airtrain service to and from the Airport in the north-east of the city.