Brisbane, capital of Queensland, is a large city on the Brisbane River. We lived in Brisbane on several occasions and still continue to visit once or twice a year. Like most locals who rarely take in the tourist sights within their reach, we now enjoy walking throughout the city and beyond to see many amazing attractions that Brisbane has to offer. Most of what I have mentioned here is free or at the cost of a transport ticket. In saying that, some of the ferries (City Hopper) and buses (City Loop) are also free.

This post will focus on the Brisbane City Hall and Queen Street, while further posts will feature historic buildings, churches, the Brisbane River and Southbank Parklands.

Let’s begin our city tour with the Brisbane City Hall. Built in 1917, it was once the tallest building in Brisbane. Officially opened in 1930 by the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, William Jolly (a bridge is named in his honour), it has served as the home of the City Council for many years.

Brisbane - City Hall

Of course, the main feature is the 64 metre clock tower where the bells can be heard every 15 minutes.

Brisbane City Hall

Free tours are offered daily taking the ride in the old lift and seeing behind the clock faces.

Brisbane City Hall

The City Hall underwent a 3-year restoration project from 2010-2013. The interior has a fresh new look. Step inside to the foyer, look up to the ceiling with its beautiful lighting. Shooting these photos in black and white really added ambiance to the scenes.

Brisbane City Hall

Brisbane City Hall

Take a walk up the marble staircases to the balcony.

Brisbane City Hall

Brisbane City Hall

Brisbane City Hall

The auditorium is a large circular hall seating up to 1,600 people. The massive pipe organ which was built in 1891 stands pride of place at the rear of the stage.

Brisbane City Hall

Tours of the City Hall are free. You will learn about the history of the building from knowledgeable and cheerful guides.

Brisbane City Hall

Finish off your tour by stepping into the Museum of Brisbane located the third level. The museum explores contemporary and historic Brisbane and its people with art and social exhibitions.

The latest exhibition is “The Story Tellers”.

Brisbane City Hall

Brisbane City Hall

My favourite was the story of the iconic old Queenslander home with its poinciana tree, written by Matthew Condon.

Brisbane City Hall

The City Hall faces King George Square, a remodelled area that now includes a plaza, restaurants and a stage for public events.

Brisbane City Hall

Walking around the square you will notice the statue of King George V, the famous bronze lion sculptures (similar to those in Trafalgar Square, London), and the Petrie Tableau based on the life of the pioneering family and Brisbane’s first Mayor John Petrie.

Brisbane - King George Square

Brisbane - King George Square

Brisbane - King George Square

There are other statues located throughout the square as well. Emma Miller (1839-1917) was a voice for women’s rights and their right to vote. Steele Rudd (1868-1935), a well-known Australian writer. His Dad and Dave characters from “On our Selection” are part of Australian folklore.

Brisbane - King George Square

Getting to know the streets of Brisbane is quite simple – all streets parallel to Queen Street are female royals, while the streets perpendicular are male royals.

The Queen Street Mall is home to more than 700 stores as well as a place to meet with friends to relax and watch buskers, live music and talent shows.

Brisbane - Queen Street Mall

Queens Plaza (David Jones), the Myer Centre and Wintergarden are the main shopping centres within the Mall.

Brisbane - Queen Street Mall

Brisbane - Queen Street Mall

Brisbane - Queen Street Mall

Brisbane - Queen Street Mall

Two historic arcades – Brisbane Arcade and Tattersalls Arcade are worth checking out for their architecture and charm.

Brisbane - Queen Street Mall

Brisbane - Queen Street Mall

Brisbane - Queen Street Mall

Walking along the mall, take a look above the shops to see the facades of older buildings mixed with newer, modern outlooks.

Brisbane - Queen Street Mall

Brisbane - Queen Street Mall

Brisbane - Queen Street Mall

Brisbane Queen Street Mall

The Regent Cinema, built in 1928, was one of the original Hoyts’ Picture Palaces from the 1920’s. In 1978, it was saved from complete demolition and today houses 4 cinemas. You can still see the marble staircase and vaulted ceilings of the entrance hall and grand foyer.

Brisbane - Queen Street Mall

The Tourist Information Centre is on the ground floor. Wow, what a location to step into.

Brisbane - Queen Street Mall

The Treasury Building, located at the top end of Queen Street is a heritage-listed former government building built from 1886-1928.

Treasury Building - Brisbane

Brisbane - Treasury Building

The building occupies an entire city block with its main frontage facing Queen Street. At the rear are the Queen’s Gardens.

Brisbane - Treasury Building

Since 1995, the refurbished building has housed the Conrad Treasury Casino.

Brisbane - Treasury Building

The Brisbane General Post Office (GPO) was built in 1872. Still in use as a Post Office, it is located in a beautiful setting with some great architecture..

Brisbane - General Post Office

Brisbane - General Post Office

Customs House, built 1886-89, it was originally used for the collection of customs duty on imported products coming into the port of Brisbane. Now dwarfed by surrounding skyscrapers, this iconic building is home to a restaurant and event centre.

Brisbane - Customs House

It can be viewed both from the front entrance in Queen Street and the back facing the river.

Brisbane - Customs House

Across from Customs House is this beautiful building.

Brisbane Queen Street

As you wander the streets of Brisbane, step into some of the laneways known for their funky art, graffiti and of course coffee shops.

Brisbane - Burnett Lane

Brisbane - laneways

Brisbane City coffee shop

This area at the bottom end of Queen Street is a popular meeting place for people who work in the area.

Brisbane Queen Street

High-end shops, bars, and restaurants abound in the city and there is something for eveyone’s taste and budget.

Brisbane Queen Street Mall

Brisbane Queen Street Mall

Keep an eye out for many statues and sculptures located throughout the city.

Brisbane

Brisbane Queen Street

Brisbane Queen Street

Gestation – below is one of a series of sculptures created for Expo 88 and now a focal point at the top of the Queen Street Mall.

Brisbane Queen Street

So take a trip into the centre of the city to view lots of great buildings and spaces, stop for a drink or a meal and do some shopping. Then it will be time to walk a little further afield to see much more.

FOR MORE GREAT POSTS ON BRISBANE….

Brisbane – A walk around the City – Part 2

Brisbane – Views of the river and its beauty

Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge and Howard Smith Wharves