Brisbane is the capital of the state of Queensland. It is the third largest city of Australia after Sydney and Melbourne. In the last few years the city has abandoned its image of a sleepy metropolis and evolved to a modern and growing centre.
The city is known for its universities and is the gateway to the nearby beach areas of the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. It is therefore one of the favourite destinations for surfer and sun-worshiper.
The Brisbane River winds its way through the city and its suburbs along numerous hills and provides a broad townscape. The city centre itself is rather small. Worth seeing are the City Botanical Gardens, Southbank Parklands (a park for recreation) and the esplanade along the river with its cafes and restaurants. There are only a small number of historical buildings in the city centre for instance the Observatory Tower and the Old Commissariat Store (the oldest buildings), City Hall, Queensland Aboriginal Creations Gallery, The Mansions and St. Johns Cathedral. The people of Brisbane are proud of their Brisbane Casino. The Casino is situated in the Treasury Building, a magnificent sandstone building in Renaissance style.
A stone’s throw from Brisbane towards the coast is Morton Bay with the town Redcliffe. The bay has about 365 islands; some of them are sand islands. The islands form a natural corridor to the wider ocean. The so sheltered bay offers good fishing and water sports activities, great scenery and rare wildlife.