Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland located on the River Brisbane near Moreton Bay. Brisbane, named after Sir Thomas Brisbane, the governor of New South Wales at the time of the settlement, is the fourth-largest of Australia's state capitals. Nestled between the Gold Coast to the south and the Sunshine Coast to the north, laid-back Brisbane makes the most of its magnificent beaches. Wander in the lush Botanical Gardens, shop in the Queen Street Mall, or enjoy the countless cafes and restaurants along the banks of the Brisbane River.
Among older buildings are Parliament House (1868); the Central Railway Station (1901); the People's Palace, notable for verandas and cast-iron balustrades; the town hall; and the only two surviving public buildings from the convict past-the stone Commissariat Store on the river and the Old Windmill (1827-1829), later transmuted into an Observatory, on the hill near Wickham Park.
City Hall houses an art gallery and museum on Brisbane's history and growth. Earlystreet Historical Village is an open-air museum conserving many characteristic Queensland buildings for posterity. Miegunyah Folk Museum, in an 1886 stilt house, records the lives and times of colonial women, and Newstead House, 4 km (2.5 mi) from central Brisbane, dates from the early 19th century and is the city's oldest private residence. Of much more recent provenance (completed 1985) is the arts complex on the South Bank just across Victoria Bridge. This comprises the Queensland Art Gallery, which has an interesting Australian collection, the museum, and the state library and performing arts theatres.
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