Brisbane central business district

Brisbane CBD
Brisbane, Queensland

Brisbane CBD from Mt Coot-tha
Brisbane CBD
Coordinates 27°27′45″S 153°01′28″E / 27.46251°S 153.02432°E / -27.46251; 153.02432Coordinates: 27°27′45″S 153°01′28″E / 27.46251°S 153.02432°E / -27.46251; 153.02432
Population 7,888 (2011 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 4000
LGA(s) City of Brisbane
(Central Ward)
County Stanley
Parish North Brisbane
State electorate(s) Brisbane Central
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

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.[2] It is located on a point on the northern bank of the Brisbane River. The triangular shaped area is bounded by the Brisbane River to the east, south and west. 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).


Soleil building under construction
Aerial view of the central business district (top) from the east.

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. As a general rule, the streets aligned northwest-south east are named after male members of the House of Hanover, while the northeast-south west aligned streets are named after female members. Queen Street was the central roadway, that was turned into a pedestrian mall. It forms the pivotal axis for the grid of roads within the district.

The Brisbane central business district was built on a spur of the Taylor Range with the highest spot in the suburb being Wickham Terrace.[3] North Quay is an area in the CBD that was a landing point during the first European exploration of the Brisbane River.

Petrie Bight

Main article: Petrie Bight

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)),[4] 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.[5] The site was named after Andrew Petrie and has been the base for water police and in earlier times wharves.[6] The location of Customs House and the preference for wharves was due to site being directly downstream from the central business district.[6]

Buildings and precincts

Up until 1964, a Brisbane City Council regulation limited building heights to 132 ft (40 m).[7] 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 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 262 metres, which was completed in 2014.

The Brisbane CBD is one of the major business hubs in Australia.[8] 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 a many Queensland Government offices. 111 George Street, Mineral House, Education House and the Neville Bonner building in William Street are also located here.

The Brisbane CBD has only one third the number of premium hotel rooms that either Sydney or Melbourne's central business districts have.[9]


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 prices

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.[10] High demand in the office market had pushed vacancy rates in the Brisbane CBD to 0.7% by January 2008, the lowest in Australia.[10] 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%.[11]


In the CBD there many attractions; Queensland's Parliament House, the Queensland University of Technology Gardens Point Campus and the Brisbane City Hall. The Queens Gardens, Post Office Square, King George Square and the City Botanic Gardens are open public spaces located here.

Heritage listings

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

Brisbane has many heritage-listed sites, including:


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 accrss 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 bus 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.[23]

King George Square Busway Station, an underground bus station

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

See also


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Brisbane City, Qld (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  2. "Brisbane (entry 49245)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  3. Gregory, Helen (2007). Brisbane Then and Now. Wingfield, South Australia: Salamander Books. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-74173-011-1.
  4. "Petrie Bight (entry 26538)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  5. "Brisbane – Then and Now – The Centenary of Federation". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 April 2001. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  6. 1 2 Gregory, Helen (2007). Brisbane Then and Now. Wingfield, South Australia: Salamander Books. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-74173-011-1.
  7. McBride, Frank; et al. (2009). Brisbane 150 Stories. Brisbane City Council Publication. pp. 284–285. ISBN 978-1-876091-60-6.
  8. "Brisbane business visitor numbers skyrocket". Brisbane Marketing Convention Bureau. e-Travel Blackboard. 3 January 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  9. Tony Moore (30 November 2010). "New 32-storey hotel planned for CBD". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  10. 1 2 "Business boom leaves Brisbane without office space". News Limited. Retrieved 25 November 2008.
  11. Marissa Calligeros (15 August 2013). "Brisbane office space overload". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  12. "Howard Smith Wharves (entry 601781)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  13. "Coronation Drive (North Quay) Retaining Wall (entry 600134)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  14. "Roma Street Railway Station (entry 601208)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  15. "Eagle Street Fountain (entry 600087)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  16. "Eagle Street Fig Trees (entry 602440)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  17. "Wenley House (entry 600128)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  18. "First Brisbane Burial Ground (entry 700009)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  19. "William Jolly Bridge (entry 601694)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  20. "Brisbane Dental Hospital and College (entry 601909)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  21. "King Edward Park Air Raid Shelter (entry 602475)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  22. "Hellesvere (entry 600280)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  23. "About RiverWalk". Brisbane City Council. Archived from the original on 16 September 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2008.

Further reading

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