Brisbane: A City of Sunshine and flowers

“A cheerful city, happy in rain and sun.”

Cities have as many moods as people. Some cities hide behind hills and appear to the passing motorist on the high road only at the last moment, as if unwilling to be discovered. They’re just around the corner. Other cities, on the other hand, prefer to surprise you; they appear out of nowhere.

Brisbane is one of these cities.

The river whisks you right into the heart of the city before you know it. Brisbane is a city of hills, but it is the river that gives it character; for this reason, among others, Brisbane is more like Perth than any other city in the Commonwealth. This city is certainly beautiful; it has an intangible quality, a distinct ethos, character, temperament, atmosphere — call it what you will – that is unlike anything else in Australia.

Brisbane’s appearance is reminiscent of Hawaii or the West Indies. Visitors are immediately struck by the abundance of rich floral colours and the bright sunshine – much brighter, they say, than in the Southlands.

In Brisbane, you are on the tropics’ threshold, and a little of the tropics comes over to meet you. None of the East’s teeming, pulsating life, all its colour and smells; only the heat and the fruits and flowers, the velvety nights, the stars like lamps in the sky. You sleep under a fan, wake up to orange juice, and begin your breakfast with papaw and a slice of lime. You take shower baths whenever you can, and you’ve learned to tolerate the constant hum of refrigerators because their produce is so welcome. You can wear your thinnest clothes in the winter and summer, when it is wet and fine. Except for rain, they are suitable for all weather conditions.

Then you’ll need a diving suit.

But, of course, the rains in Brisbane fall during the summer, primarily in December, January, and February, and they are nothing like the torrential downpours experienced in the coastal areas between Ingham and Cairns. That is the true beauty of winter in Queensland. There are no temperature extremes, no rain or thunderstorms, and the seas are calm. It’s worth noting that during our winter months of June, July, and August, Brisbane enjoys approximately 628 hours of bright, warm sunshine, compared to 395 hours in Melbourne, 384 hours in Auckland, and 569 hours in Sydney.

Although winter is officially from June to August, the weather in the Queen State is pleasant from April to October, which is the peak tourist season.