Major Heritage Buildings

Brisbane possesses a rich architectural heritage that traces its development from a penal colony to a vibrant, sub-tropical capital. Heritage buildings also provide important insights regarding some of the interesting personalities hosted within – if only the walls could talk.

Did you know that Brisbane City Hall is regarded as one of the top 10 heritage-listed buildings in Australia? Here's just a taste of the impressive array of heritage buildings located across Brisbane, Australia’s new world city. Let our Greeters take you there!
Experiences may include:

Walter Taylor Bridge

Walter Taylor Bridge

Can you imagine living inside a bridge pylon? Walk around and across the Walter Taylor Bridge, a bridge of state significance, and take a special peek inside the bridge pylon. Enjoy fantastic views of the Brisbane River from the pylon balcony and learn about the site’s fascinating history, including the discovery of gold and a mighty tale of lost convicts.

Brisbane City Hall

Brisbane City Hall

Once the tallest building in Brisbane, the iconic Brisbane City Hall is seen by many as the heart of Brisbane, and is an official symbol of Brisbane City. With beautiful, ornate features inside and out, Brisbane City Hall offers a breathtaking experience, and is must-see heritage building.

Be sure to check out the magnificent domed auditorium modeled on the Pantheon in Rome, the massive bronze doors at the main entrance, and the intricate timber work and leadlights, all carefully restored or replicated in recent renovations completed by Brisbane City Council.

Old Government House

Old Government House

Old Government House occupies a unique place in the history of Brisbane as the first public building to be designed and built in the new colony of Queensland. Completed in 1862, it was home to successive Queensland governors until 1909. Today, Old Government House offers a fascinating insight into colonial life in the early days of Queensland.

Become a Governor in an interactive simulation, and discover what early Brisbane was like. Take in the views of the City Botanic Gardens and the picturesque Brisbane River, while enjoying a coffee and light refreshments in the Old Government House Tea Room, based in the 1872 kitchen. Also enjoy hearing the tale about where Australia's famous Lamington cake was born.

Parliament House

Parliament House

Parliament House became the first parliament house in the country to boast electric light when it was connected to the nearby Government Printing Office by an underground cable. Today it is home to Australia’s unicameral state parliament, a single house parliament as there is no Upper House in Queensland.

Visitors are welcome in the public gallery when the Legislative Assembly is sitting, the gallery providing a bird’s eye view of the workings of the members seated on the level below. 

The Treasury Casino

Treasury Casino & Hotel

When the Governor of Queensland, Baron Lamington, read the proclamation of the federation of the Australian Commonwealth from a balcony in the Treasury Building in 1901, he could never have imagined that one day it would house a casino. Completed in 1889 and occupying an entire city block, for years the Treasury Building was a symbol of Queensland self-government and the centrepoint of celebrations and patriotic displays.

St Stephens Cathedral

St Stephen's Cathedral

The moment you enter St Stephen’s Cathedral, the focal point of Brisbane’s Catholic community, you will feel the cool, calming tranquility of its vast and silent space. Built between 1864 and 1922, it is a gothic revival cathedral and offers striking features such as spire-topped sandstone towers and imported stained glass windows from Germany. 

Be sure to also visit Stephen's Chapel - immediately to the south of the cathedral – it is the oldest Catholic church in Queensland. You may be surprised by the Shrine to Mary MacKillop, Australia’s only Saint – it’s one of Brisbane’s most unique experiences.

St John's Cathedral

St John's Cathedral


St John’s Cathedral, the city’s Anglican cathedral, stands as a glorious monument to the combined efforts of the clergy, stonemasons and architects who worked together for more than a century to see it completed. It was finally finished on 29 October 2009, 103 years after construction began and 108 years after the laying of the foundation stone. It was not until 2008 that the two huge copper spires were fitted to the roof, taking St John’s 17m closer to heaven.

When you visit, make sure you take a look at the elaborately carved stalls and the archbishop’s throne. You will also see, in front of the altar in the sanctuary floor, two pieces of mosaic from the Holy Land. These were brought back to Australia by members of the Australian Light Horse Regiment when they returned from World War I. The cathedral also has the largest cathedral organ in Australia.

Brisbane Arcade

Customs House

Brisbane Arcade

Brisbane Arcade was designed by Richard Gailey (Jr), who is regarded as one of Queensland’s most important earlier architects. The building links Queen St to Adelaide St, and the design of the arcade reflects the archetype of the traditional arcade, which developed in Europe in the late 18th century.
The arcade has three levels of shops flanking a lofty central gallery under a solid roof with clerestory lighting. Architectural details of interest include the Edwardian Baroque-style street facades, original terrazzo stairs, balustrades and dado panelling. The Brisbane Arcade received Heritage Listing in 1992.

Customs House

Customs houses were built in all major Australian ports in the 19th century. Customs and excise duties were an important source of revenue, levied on goods from overseas and in some cases from other colonies. Shipping was crucial to Brisbane's development. Exports of timber and wool were matched by imports of manufactured goods and foodstuffs. Opened in 1889, the impressive copper-domed Customs House reflected the growing prosperity of maritime trade in the colony.

The grand facades of the building, designed to demonstrate the economic strength and stability of the colony. Brisbane Customs House is a fine example of Victorian Free Classical style, with its grand colonnades and portico, and a dome which still manages to be a major feature on the landscape.

The Regatta Hotel

The Breakfast Creek Hotel

Regatta Hotel

For almost 140 years Brisbane has met, mingled and created memories – stories – at The Regatta Hotel’s historic bars and on her ornate iron-laced verandahs. Many Brisbanites will tell you they have their very own stories at the Regatta. One of the most famous involves Merle Thornton chaining herself to the bar and demanding to be served just like her male counterparts. Named famously after a woman dear to the Regatta’s heart, the Merle Bar offers nothing short of sophistication, with an assortment of cocktail concoctions and fine wines. Passion does seem to flow here.

Breakfast Creek Hotel

The Breakfast Creek Hotel is arguably the most famous watering hole in Queensland and one of the most iconic in Australia. It's more than just a venue – it's a major destination. Built in the French Renaissance style in 1889, the Breakfast Creek Hotel is famous for its premium quality steaks and "beer off the wood" seven days a week. Offering five unique bars, a historical tropical Beer Garden and the famous Spanish Garden Steakhouse, it is little wonder that this institution is recognised as "Brisbane's best-loved pub".