While Sydney and Melbourne love to battle it out for Australian city supremacy, as the ‘other’ eastern seaboard capital, Brisbane has been quietly getting on with the business of being, well, Brisbane. Derided nationally and celebrated locally with nicknames like Bris Vegas and Brisneyland, a penchant for knocking down heritage buildings in the ‘80s, constant construction works and parochial pollies saw Brisbane lumbered with a rep for being a big country town with the old-fashioned values and attractions to match.
However, events such as hosting the Commonwealth Games in 1982, World Expo 88 and the 2001 Goodwill Games have allowed Brisbane to shrug off this small-town reputation and gain worldwide recognition alongside its southern counterparts. In fact, with over two million residents in the country’s third largest city, Brisbane has had the last laugh. Experiencing the biggest population growth in Australia, southerners now flock to the Sunshine State capital to enjoy the great weather, clean environment, affordable housing and laidback lifestyle that Brissie offers.
As a thoroughly modern city and the capital of a state made wealthy by the mining boom, Brisbane is a forward-looking and young metropolis with a positive outlook. Great minds and talents from realms as diverse as fashion and science are nurtured here without the snobbery of a big city mentality. And it’s still a friendly place where people will look you in the eye and greet you when you walk the dog, and allow you to merge while driving on the road.
After all, despite a recent drought followed by epic floods, Brisbanites are a resilient bunch known for their down-to-earth ‘no worries’ attitude where a backyard barbie on a hot, sunny day followed by watching the thunderstorms from the verandah of your Queenslander-style home is the epitome of a great weekend.