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.