The name may also refer to the Brisbane central business district or the City of Brisbane (the LGA within which inner Brisbane is located). Skyline from Kangaroo Point Cliffs; Queenslander architecture, North Stradbroke Island Gorge Walk; Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, City Hall; Story Bridge, Merivale Bridge; St John's Cathedral, Treasury Building The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River Valley between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range, sprawling across several of Australia's most populous local government areas (LGAs), most centrally the City of Brisbane, which is by far the most populous LGA in the nation. One of the oldest cities in Australia, Brisbane was founded upon the ancient homelands of the indigenous Turrbal and Jagera peoples.

Named after the Brisbane River on which it is located – which in turn was named after Scotsman Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825 – the area was chosen as a place for secondary offenders from the Sydney Colony.

A penal settlement was founded in 1824 at Redcliffe, 28 kilometres (17 mi) north of the central business district, but was soon abandoned and moved to North Quay in 1825, opening to free settlement in 1842.

The party settled in Redcliffe on 13 September 1824, under the command of Lieutenant Henry Miller with 14 soldiers (some with wives and children) and 29 convicts.

However, this settlement was abandoned after a year and the colony was moved to a site on the Brisbane River now known as North Quay, 28 km (17 mi) south, which offered a more reliable water supply.

Sir Thomas Brisbane visited the settlement and travelled 28 miles up the Brisbane River in December 1824, bestowing upon Brisbane the distinction of being the only Australian capital city set foot upon by its namesake.

Brisbane was chosen as the capital when Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales in 1859.

During World War II, Brisbane played a central role in the Allied campaign and served as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas Mac Arthur.

Today, Brisbane is well known for its distinct Queenslander architecture which forms much of the city's built heritage.It also receives attention for its damaging flood events, most notably in 19.The city is a popular tourist destination, serving as a gateway for visitors to the state of Queensland, particularly to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, popular resort towns immediately south and north of Brisbane, respectively.Several large cultural, international and sporting events have been held at Brisbane, including the 1982 Commonwealth Games, World Expo '88, the final Goodwill Games in 2001, and the 2014 G-20 summit.The Moreton Bay area was initially explored by Matthew Flinders.On 17 July 1799, Flinders landed at what is now known as Woody Point, which he named "Red Cliff Point" after the red-coloured cliffs visible from the bay.