Brisbane, Australia

Brisbane is the capital of the state of Queensland.
It has a population of about 2 million people, making it the third-largest city in Australia,
after Sydney and Melbourne. It’s a positive attitude and creative confidence that makes
Brisbane a genuine new-world city. Large enough to be cosmopolitan yet small
enough to be friendly and accessible, this ‘garden metropolis’ is famous for its leafy,
open spaces and the pleasant pace of life that unfolds between the zig-zags of its iconic
river. Even though Brisbane is rapidly developing and forward-thinking, it maintains a youthful
enthusiasm and has what is arguably the most laid back and liveable atmosphere of any east-coast
capital city. Brisbane’s year-round warm climate, spectacular scenery and pleasant locals have
been the draw-cards for many domestic and international visitors, making Brisbane the
fastest-growing city in Australia. For many thousands of years prior to European
settlement, the Yagara Aboriginal people lived on the floodplain where the greater Brisbane
region is situated. The Australian English phrase “hard yakka” – meaning “hard work”
– comes from these people, and is certainly what the European settlers faced in Brisbane’s
humid sub-tropical climate. In 1823, John Oxley was the first English colonist to explore
Brisbane, which was then selected by the colony of New South Wales as the location for a new
jail, intended to house dangerous prisoners in a remote location. Brisbane has a climate that is enjoyable year-round.
When the wet season hits the northern Australian tropics, Brisbane enjoys hot and clear summer
days (with afternoon thunderstorms). When winter hits the southern capitals of Sydney
and Melbourne sending temperatures into the low teens Brisbane’s climate stays mostly
dry and sunny, with daytime temperatures usually remaining above 20°C. The damaging effects
of the Queensland sun should not be underestimated. The state has the highest per-capita rate
of skin cancer in the world and tourists often come unprepared. On a sunny day in Brisbane,
it is common to be sunburnt after as few as 15 minutes under the midday sun, but sunburn
can also occur on overcast days. This is not exclusive to summer, but can happen all year
round, even in winter.

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