Brisbane central business district

The Brisbane central business district (CBD), officially gazetted as the suburb of Brisbane City and colloquially referred to as 'the city', is the heart of the state capital of Queensland, Australia.[3] It is located on a point on the northern bank of the Brisbane River. The triangular shaped area is bounded by the median of the Brisbane River to the east, south and west.[4] The point, known at its tip as Gardens Point, slopes upward to the north-west where the city is bounded by parkland and the inner city suburb of Spring Hill to the north. The CBD is bounded to the north-east by the suburb of Fortitude Valley. To the west the CBD is bounded by Petrie Terrace, which in 2010 was reinstated as a suburb (after being made a locality of Brisbane City in the 1970s).

Brisbane CBD
Brisbane from Howard Smith Wharves.jpg
Brisbane CBD from Howard Smith Wharves
Brisbane CBD is located in Queensland
Brisbane CBD
Brisbane CBD
Coordinates27°28′07″S 153°01′28″E / 27.46861°S 153.02444°E / -27.46861; 153.02444Coordinates: 27°28′07″S 153°01′28″E / 27.46861°S 153.02444°E / -27.46861; 153.02444
Population9,460 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density4,570/km2 (11,840/sq mi)
Area2.07 km2 (0.8 sq mi)
LGA(s)City of Brisbane
(Central Ward)[2]
ParishNorth Brisbane
State electorate(s)McConnel
Federal Division(s)Brisbane
Suburbs around Brisbane CBD:
Red Hill and Paddington Spring Hill Fortitude Valley
Petrie Terrace Brisbane CBD New Farm
South Brisbane Woolloongabba Kangaroo Point
Map of the CBD


Skyline of the central business district from Mount Coot-tha 2017.

The Brisbane central business district is an area of densely concentrated skyscrapers and other buildings, interspersed by several parks such as Roma Street Parklands, City Botanic Gardens and Wickham Park. It occupies an area of 1.367 km2. The city is laid out according to a grid pattern surveyed during the city's early colonial days, a feature typical of most Australian street patterns.

Most central streets are named after members of the House of Hanover. Queen Street (named in honour of Queen Victoria) is Brisbane's traditional main street and contains its largest pedestrian mall, the Queen Street Mall. Streets named after female members (Adelaide, Alice, Ann, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Mary) run parallel to Queen Street and perpendicular to streets named after male members (Albert, Edward, George, and William).

The CBD's squares include King George Square, Post Office Square and ANZAC Square (home to the city's central war memorial).

The Brisbane central business district was built on a spur of the Taylor Range with the highest spot in the suburb being Wickham Terrace.[5] North Quay is an area in the CBD that was a landing point during the first European exploration of the Brisbane River.

Petrie BightEdit

Petrie Bight is a reach of the Brisbane River (27°27′49″S 153°02′06″E / 27.4636°S 153.0351°E / -27.4636; 153.0351 (Petrie Bight)),[6] which gives its name to the small pocket of land centred on the area under the Story Bridge's northern point, around the Brisbane River to Admiralty Towers II. The location was originally known as Petrie Gardens and was an early settlement farm, one of two that provided food for the colony.[7] The site was named after Andrew Petrie and has been the base for water police and in earlier times wharves.[8] The location of Customs House and the preference for wharves was due to site being directly downstream from the central business district.[8]


On 2 April 1860 the Queensland Government opened its first school, the Brisbane National School in Adelaide Street under headmaster John Rendall with an initial enrolment of 50 boys and 8 girls.[9]

The Brisbane City Library opened in 1965, moving into Brisbane Square in 2006.[10]

Buildings and precinctsEdit

Soleil building under construction

Up until 1964, a Brisbane City Council regulation limited building heights to 132 ft (40 m).[11] Some of the first skyscrapers built in the CBD include the SGIO building (now Suncorp Plaza) in 1970 and AMP Place in 1977.

In the last few decades the number of apartment buildings that have been constructed has increased substantially. Brisbane is home to several of Australia's tallest buildings. Brisbane's tallest buildings are Brisbane Skytower at 270 metres, One William Street at 260 metres, Soleil at 243 metres, Aurora Tower at 207 metres, Riparian Plaza at 200 metres, One One One Eagle Street at 195 metres, and Infinity at 249 metres, which was completed in 2014.

The Brisbane CBD is one of the major business hubs in Australia.[12] The City contains many tall office buildings occupied by organisations, businesses and all three levels of government that have emerged into a number of precincts. The areas around the Queen Street Mall and Adelaide Street is primarily a retail precinct. A legal precinct exists around the various court buildings located around the intersections of George Street and Adelaide and Ann Streets.

The government precinct is an area centred on the Executive Building that includes many Queensland Government offices. 111 George Street, Mineral House, and Education House are also located here.


High rise view of the CBD at night.

The city is serviced by a number of schools in the surrounding suburbs including the Petrie Terrace State School in Paddington and The Albert Park Flexi School in Petrie Terrace.

Rental pricesEdit

Like most other Australian capital cities, Brisbane has experienced dramatic rises in rental prices for residential and office space before the global financial crisis. At the beginning of 2008, the Brisbane central business district contained 1.7 million square metres of office space.[13] High demand in the office market had pushed vacancy rates in the Brisbane CBD to 0.7% by January 2008, the lowest in Australia.[13] Premium grade office space was even less vacant with an occupancy rate of 99.9%. By the end of 2009 the situation had reversed. In mid 2013 the market for office space had declined to its worst position in two decades with a vacancy rate of just under 13%.[14]


Major landmarks and attractions in the CBD include City Hall (including the Museum of Brisbane), the Story Bridge, the Howard Smith Wharves, ANZAC Square, St John's Cathedral, the Brisbane River and its Riverwalk network, the City Botanic Gardens, Roma Street Parkland, Queensland Parliament House, Old Government House and Customs House.

Heritage listingsEdit

The National Australia Bank Building, located on Queen Street, was heritage listed in October 1992.

Brisbane has many heritage-listed sites, including:


In the 2016 Census, there were 9,460 people in Brisbane City. 32.2% of people were born in Australia. The most common countries of birth were China 8.9%, South Korea 8.3%, England 3.7%, Taiwan 3.2% and Brazil 2.8%. 43.7% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Mandarin 12.3%, Korean 7.7%, Cantonese 3.6%, Spanish 2.9% and Portuguese 2.7%. The most common responses for religion were No Religion 43.0% and Catholic 16.8%.[1]


By road, four road bridges connect the CBD with the southern bank of the Brisbane River: the Captain Cook Bridge, the Victoria Bridge, the William Jolly Bridge and the Go Between Bridge. The Story Bridge connects Fortitude Valley with Kangaroo Point and provides access to the city from the southern bank. The Captain Cook Bridge connects the Pacific Motorway, south of the river, with the Riverside Expressway which runs along the south western edge of the city. Heading under and bypassing the CBD is the Clem Jones Tunnel.

By bicycle and foot, the Goodwill Bridge allows cross river access to South Bank. The Kurilpa Bridge allows cross river access from North Quay to South Brisbane. Cyclists and pedestrians may also cross while using the Victoria, William Jolly, Go Between and Story road bridges.

The Brisbane central business district is the central hub for all public transport services in Brisbane. Bus services are centred on the Queen Street bus station and King George Square busway station. Suburban train services pass through Central railway station, and Roma Street railway station. Roma Street also serves as the terminus for long distance and country services. The central business district is served by various city ferries. Brisbane's CityCat high speed ferry service, popular with tourists and commuters, operates services along the Brisbane River between the University of Queensland and Northshore Hamilton, stopping at several CBD wharves.

The Brisbane Riverwalk, a pedestrian and cyclist pathway adjoins the central business district along the river bank.[26]

King George Square Busway Station, an underground bus station

In popular cultureEdit

The Brisbane CBD has featured in a number of films, including:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Brisbane City (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2017.  
  2. ^ "Central Ward". Brisbane City Council. Brisbane City Council. Archived from the original on 18 February 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Brisbane (entry 49245)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Queensland Globe; Layer:Boundaries".
  5. ^ Gregory, Helen (2007). Brisbane Then and Now. Wingfield, South Australia: Salamander Books. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-74173-011-1.
  6. ^ "Petrie Bight (entry 26538)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Brisbane – Then and Now – The Centenary of Federation". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 April 2001. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  8. ^ a b Gregory, Helen (2007). Brisbane Then and Now. Wingfield, South Australia: Salamander Books. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-74173-011-1.
  9. ^ "Agency ID 8518, Brisbane National School". Queensland State Archives. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Public Libraries Statistical Bulletin 2016-17" (PDF). Public Libraries Connect. State Library of Queensland. November 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  11. ^ McBride, Frank; et al. (2009). Brisbane 150 Stories. Brisbane City Council Publication. pp. 284–285. ISBN 978-1-876091-60-6.
  12. ^ "Brisbane business visitor numbers skyrocket". Brisbane Marketing Convention Bureau. e-Travel Blackboard. 3 January 2008. Archived from the original on 20 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  13. ^ a b "Business boom leaves Brisbane without office space". News Limited. Archived from the original on 28 July 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2008.
  14. ^ Marissa Calligeros (15 August 2013). "Brisbane office space overload". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Howard Smith Wharves (entry 601781)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  16. ^ "Coronation Drive (North Quay) Retaining Wall (entry 600134)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  17. ^ "Roma Street Railway Station (entry 601208)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  18. ^ "Eagle Street Fountain (entry 600087)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  19. ^ "Eagle Street Fig Trees (entry 602440)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  20. ^ "Wenley House (entry 600128)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  21. ^ "First Brisbane Burial Ground (entry 700009)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  22. ^ "William Jolly Bridge (entry 601694)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  23. ^ "Brisbane Dental Hospital and College (entry 601909)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  24. ^ "King Edward Park Air Raid Shelter (entry 602475)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  25. ^ "Hellesvere (entry 600280)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  26. ^ "About RiverWalk". Brisbane City Council. Archived from the original on 16 September 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2008.
  27. ^ Arnold, Rikki-Lee (30 May 2015). "Lockyer Valley, Gold Coast and Brisbane star in background of disaster film San Andreas". The Courier-Mail. Archived from the original on 14 October 2017.
  28. ^ Price, Amy (12 April 2017). "Thor Ragnarok trailer features scene filmed in Brisbane laneway". Archived from the original on 19 April 2017.

Further readingEdit

  • Petrie-Terrace Brisbane 1858–1988 – Its ups and downs, R. Fisher, Boolarong, 1988 ISBN 0-86439-050-5

External linksEdit