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9 Best Historical Landmarks in Brisbane

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Did you know Brisbane’s over 190 years old? That’s a lot of history packed into one city! If you’re looking to explore the best historical landmarks Brisbane has to offer, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 9 spots you can’t miss. Trust us, you’ll be laughing and learning all the way through this historical journey. So buckle up, it’s time to dive headfirst into Brisbane’s past!

The Old Government House

Next on your list should be the Old Government House, a pivotal piece of Brisbane’s historical tapestry. Now, don’t get it twisted – this isn’t your grandma’s house. It’s a grand, stately affair that gives you a peek into the governor’s lifestyle back when handlebar mustaches were the trend du jour.

The house’s restoration is a thing of beauty. Think less ‘DIY weekend project’ and more ‘Extreme Makeover: Historical Edition’. The old gal was dolled up to the nines, but they did keep her character intact – no botox or plastic surgery facelifts here.

The Commissariat Store

Next up on our tour of Brisbane’s historical landmarks is the Commissariat Store. You’ll be amazed by its architectural features and the significant role it has played in Brisbane’s history.

Currently, it’s a hub for various events, and we’ll talk about how it’s used today.

Store’s Historical Significance

Diving into the heart of Brisbane’s history, you’ll find the Commissariat Store, a landmark that’s steeped in significant historical events. It’s like an Aussie version of the TARDIS, only without the time-travel. But don’t let that put you off!

Preservation efforts have ensured that the Indigenous history woven into the store’s bricks is well-preserved, and trust me, it’s as exciting as a kangaroo on a pogo stick.

Once a convict depot, it’s now a museum packed with artifacts that’ll have history buffs drooling like a dingo at a barbie. So, if you’ve got an itch for a historical scratch, don a hat, slap on some sunscreen, and take a leap into the past at the Commissariat Store. It’s a ripper!

Architectural Features

Stepping into the Commissariat Store, you’ll instantly be struck by its architectural features, telling tales of Brisbane’s past through its very walls. This isn’t just a building; it’s a time machine with a wicked sense of humour.

  1. Colonial Influences: The store has an unmistakable British air, like a cup of tea wearing a top hat. It’s the architectural equivalent of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’.
  2. Indigenous Architecture: Look closer, and you’ll see elements of Indigenous architecture. It’s like finding an Aussie meat pie at a royal banquet.
  3. Stone Walls: These walls aren’t just stony faced; they’re literally made of stone. Back in the day, they were the ultimate status symbol – Brisbane’s answer to the ‘rock hard’ abs.

In this store, history doesn’t just whisper, it guffaws!

Current Use & Events

Nowadays, you’ll find that the Commissariat Store isn’t just resting on its historical laurels; it’s alive and buzzing with events and activities. This old chap has shaken off its cobwebs and is now the life of the party!

Heritage Festivals are a regular gig here, with folks from all walks of life coming to celebrate Brisbane’s rich history. Trust us, these aren’t your grandma’s history lessons – they’re interactive, engaging, and sometimes, downright hilarious!

Public Receptions are also a hit, turning the Store into a networking hotspot. From business moguls to history buffs, you’ll find an eclectic mix of guests.

Brisbane City Hall

You’ll find Brisbane City Hall, one of the city’s most significant historical landmarks, in the heart of the central business district. This old gal’s got serious historical chops, with a past as colorful as a peacock on a rainbow! The Hall’s restoration wasn’t just a facelift, it was a total architectural makeover that’d make any reality TV show proud.

Here’s the skinny on what makes this grand dame tick:

  1. Architectural Influence: Inspired by the Italian Renaissance, it’s got style in spades. It’s like the George Clooney of buildings – classic, yet forever dashing.
  2. Historical Significance: Built in the 1920s, it’s seen more history than your great-great-grandad’s diary.
  3. Restoration Works: The 2010s restoration has returned her to her former glory. She’s not old, she’s vintage!

The Treasury Building

Next on your tour has to be the Treasury Building, a landmark that’s as rich in history as it’s in grandeur. This grand old dame has seen more makeovers than a reality TV star, with the Treasury Building’s transformation from a powerhouse of economic decision-making to a high stakes casino. Quite literally, this place went from managing the state’s dough to taking yours at the poker table!

Its influence on the economy is undeniable, from its early days as the hub of government finances to its current role in tourism and entertainment. Who said history couldn’t be fun?

The Windmill Tower

After soaking in the rich history of the Treasury Building, it’s time to set your sights on the Windmill Tower, another must-visit historical landmark in Brisbane. This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill windmill, if you catch my drift.

  1. Windmill construction: This grand old lady was built by convicts in the 1820s. It’s seen more hard labor than a maternity ward on New Year’s Eve.
  2. Tower view: Climb up and you’ll get a view that’ll knock your socks off. Trust me, you’ll need your socks for the descent, so hold onto them.
  3. Historical Significance: It’s the oldest surviving building in Queensland. That’s older than your great-great-grandad’s false teeth!

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Once you’ve marveled at the Windmill Tower, make your way to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, your third historical landmark stop in Brisbane.

You’ll be bowled over by the Cathedral Artistry, which will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Renaissance painting, only with more koalas.

Don’t forget to check out the Bishop’s Residence next door. It’s not every day you can see where a bishop hangs his mitre!

The combination of stunning architecture and spiritual tranquility might even bring out your inner monk. So, pull up your imaginary monk’s robe, and prepare to walk the hallowed halls of St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

We guarantee your Instagram followers will be green with envy, or at least, cathedral-green with envy!

Customs House

Next up on our historical tour is Customs House. You’ll be blown away by its architectural significance as it stands out as a beacon of Brisbane’s past.

Not just visually appealing, the tourist experiences offered here are top-notch, making it a must-visit.

Architectural Significance

Diving into the architectural significance of Customs House, you’ll quickly notice its stunning 19th-century design that sets it apart in Brisbane’s cityscape. This isn’t your average building, folks!

Colonial influences: The British must’ve left their teacups behind because you can spot their colonial style all over the place. It’s like they played a game of architectural bingo and won!

Indigenous impact: Customs House respectfully nods to the traditional owners of the land. The Indigenous impact is subtle, but once you see it, you can’t un-see it.

Artistic elements: This place is so fancy, even the gargoyles are posing.

Tourist Experiences

Exploring Customs House offers you a unique glimpse into Brisbane’s past, with guided tours that are sure to captivate history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike. You’ll be hobnobbing with the ghosts of customs agents past, while getting an eyeful of splendid Victorian architecture.

Looking to indulge in local cuisine? The Customs House Restaurant’s got your cravings covered. From ‘bush tucker’ to Moreton Bay bugs, it’s a culinary trip through time, without the need for a DeLorean!

And don’t forget the rich Aboriginal heritage woven into the fabric of the place. You’ll be tracing the steps of Brisbane’s original inhabitants, no time machine required!

With a visit to Customs House, you’re not just sightseeing, you’re time travelling!

Boggo Road Gaol

You’ll find a chilling slice of history at Boggo Road Gaol, one of Brisbane’s most notorious historical landmarks. If you’re tickled by tales with a touch of terror, you’re in for a treat with the Gaol ghost stories.

  1. The Phantom Prisoner: This specter is known for its love of pranks. You might just feel a cold hand on your shoulder while taking the tour.
  2. The Haunted Cell Block: Whispered words from past prisoner life experiences echo through the cells. Bring your bravest mate with you, you’ll need them!
  3. The Ghostly Gaoler: This old soul is said to still patrol the corridors, keeping the peace from beyond the grave.

MacArthur Museum

If you’ve got a day to spare, don’t miss out on the MacArthur Museum, a must-visit gem of historical significance in Brisbane.

Wander through rooms brimming with artifacts that whisper tales of MacArthur’s influence during World War II. Don’t worry, they’re not actual whispers, no need to schedule an ear-check up!

You’ll be transported back to the 1940s, when big band music was all the rage and MacArthur was calling the shots.

Marvel at the museum artifacts, each with a story that’ll make history buffs swoon and even the most jaded teenager drop their smartphone in awe.

And who knows, you might leave with more than just a souvenir. Maybe a newfound respect for the past, or a killer idea for that vintage-themed party you’re planning.


So, you’ve explored Brisbane’s top historical landmarks, haven’t you?

Bet you didn’t know that the Old Government House, built in 1862, is Queensland’s oldest surviving public building!

With its rich history and stunning architecture, it’s no wonder Brisbane ranks high among history buffs.

From the eerie Boggo Road Gaol to the grandeur of City Hall, these landmarks offer a captivating glimpse into the past.

Don’t miss out, history is waiting in Brisbane!

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