As international guests descend upon Brisbane for the G20, we all want to show off our city to the world. But how much do you really know about Brisbane?

We asked Brisbane Greeter Blair Allsopp, a true local expert, to share 10 fun facts that might surprise even the most knowledgeable Brisbanite.

  1. Brisbane and London both boast buildings designed by Augustus Pugin. We’ve got St Stephen’s Chapel, completed in 1850, and they’ve got the Palace of Westminster, completed in 1870.
  2. The Story Bridge is a twin of the Jacques Cartier Bridge in Montreal, Canada!
  3. Our streets were set out to be “one chain” wide (66 feet, or 22 yards… about 20m), the same as the length of a cricket pitch.
  4. The QLD Parliament building was the first in the British Empire to have electric lights.
  5. Brisbane City Hall was recently rebuilt with about 10 per cent of the cost (that’s around $20 million) being raised through public donations. It was the largest public fundraising project in Australian history outside of a natural disaster.
  6. The world’s first cultivated Macadamia tree was planted in Brisbane’s botanical gardens in 1858. It is still standing.
  7. The “sister” of the Liberty Bell (which was rung with the declaration of independence in the USA) is here in Brisbane.
  8. Our two great cathedrals (St Stephen’s and St John’s) both took over 100 years to complete.
  9. The average age in Brisbane is just 35 — we are younger than the Gold Coast.
  10. South Bank was once a coal port, then the site of Expo ’88. Today it is our most popular urban park and home to a beach lagoon the size of five Olympic pools.

What fun facts do you know about Brisbane? Let us know in the comments!

Are you proud of your city? You can find out more about Brisbane (and discover some impressive Brisbane success stories) at You can follow Team Brisbane conversations and events using the hashtags #teambne or #brisbaneanyday.