Penal Colony and Early Settlement History
During some of the earliest chapters of Australian exploration, it was decided that a second penal colony should be established at Redcliffe in 1824 to house the most recalcitrant of Sydney’s convicts. It was moved to the site of Brisbane the following year. By 1829 there were almost 1000 prisoners, more than 100 of whom were women, but by 1839 only 107 convicts remained.
The penal era ended in 1842 when the Moreton Bay area was opened to free settlement, with Brisbane Town as its centre. Today, only the Windmill Tower and the Commissariat Store, both built by convict labour, still stand as markers of those times. The colony of Queensland was separated from New South Wales in 1859 and Brisbane, with a population of 6000, was made the capital.
It quickly underwent the first of its many booms, with more than 35,000 new settlers flocking here between 1860 and 1865 and the city as you now see it began to evolve. Marvel at just how far Brisbane has developed in such in a relatively short window of time … our Greeters will transport you back to those wild, colonial times and the early days of statehood. Experiences may include: