City staycation: for the history buff - Visit Brisbane

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City staycation: for the history buff

Brisbane may be young at heart, but it has a rich, colourful and intriguing history. Discover a story at every turn and a secret around every corner; from creatively repurposed buildings and beautifully restored architecture; to decades-old shopping arcades and the old-world charm of restaurants and bars.

Where to stay

Every Treasury Heritage Hotel room has its own story and its own secrets. The five-star hotel features more than 120 unique rooms, each melding modern luxury with old-world elegance. Dig deep into the past in the regal splendour of the Premier Parlour Suite with its lofty corner vantage point, original exposed beams and majestic 18ft high ceilings. The well-appointed rooms and suites offer unparalleled luxury across an entire City block including marble bathrooms, private balconies, queen and king-sized beds and even lounge and dining areas. The Treasury Building itself, also previously known as the New Public Offices, was built between 1886 and 1928 in an Italian Renaissance style and was added to the Queensland Heritage Register.

Treasury Heritage Hotel

Where to play

One of the best ways to discover Brisbane is through the eyes of a local. Brisbane Greeters are proud and passionate volunteers who share Brisbane’s stories, point out great spots and reveal the untold secrets of the City’s surprising history. Whether you’re keen to delve into Brisbane’s Indigenous history, discover more about the City’s wartime period, travel back to its penal colony roots or learn about its strong German heritage, there is a Brisbane Greeter who can curate a bespoke historical tour of the city. See landmarks such as the Shrine of Remembrance, Dandiiri Maiwar, Windmill Tower and Commissariat Store through new eyes.

Brisbane Greeters

Where to eat

Delight in one of Brisbane’s best steak dinners in a gloriously restored Heritage-listed building at Walter’s Steakhouse. Bringing timeless charm to Brisbane’s modern downtown precinct, Walter’s occupies the former Old Mineral House warehouse, designed by Richard Gailey and built in 1888. The restaurant retains its historical glory with airy spaces, warm wood highlights and plush leather interiors overlooking the City Botanic Gardens. Walter’s signature dish is a 270-day grain fed, dry-aged porterhouse, prepared and cooked with specialised methods to tenderise the beef and intensify its natural umami.

Walter

Where to kick back

The Elizabeth Picture Theatre returns the “grand old days” of cinema to Brisbane. Located in Tara House, a heritage-listed club house fronting Elizabeth Street, the building was designed by Richard Gailey and built in 1878. It was once home to the Brisbane Irish Club before being converted to a cinema in 2017 with many of the original historical aspects, fittings and fixtures retained. Grab a drink or popcorn from the leadlight-decorated bar and recline in one of the original drawing rooms before heading into either the restored Harp Room or Tara Room – or one of the new, modern Royal Rooms – to see a film.

The Elizabeth Picture Theatre

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