The city is a popular tourist destination, serving as a gateway to the state of Queensland, particularly to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, popular resort areas 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.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.

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These historic buildings, along with the Story Bridge which opened in 1940, are key landmarks that help define the architectural character of the city.

During World War II, Brisbane became central to the Allied campaign when the AMP Building (now called Mac Arthur Central) was used as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas Mac Arthur, chief of the Allied Pacific forces, until his headquarters were moved to Hollandia in August 1944.

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.

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.

The newly selected Brisbane region, at the time, was plagued by mosquitos.These immigrants were selected and assisted through immigration programs established by John Dunmore Lang and Johann Christian Heussler and were offered free passage, good wages and selections of land.He created a substantial settlement of brick and stone buildings, complete with school and hospital.Despite steady growth, Brisbane's development was punctuated by infrastructure problems.The State government under Joh Bjelke-Petersen began a major program of change and urban renewal, beginning with the central business district and inner suburbs.Mac Arthur had previously rejected use of the University of Queensland complex as his headquarters, as the distinctive bends in the river at St Lucia could have aided enemy bombers.