Secrets Of Brisbane's Cbd

Brisbane’s CBD may be a bustling, modern, retail and commercial hub, but its streets contain a motley bunch of secrets that only few are privy to. Some are well-hidden, some you need to head off the beaten track to find, and a few are walked past every day without being noticed.

From convict relics to mushroom farms in historic basements, here are some of Brisbane CBD’s secrets revealed:

The Pantry

Brisbane's first purpose-built Government House is also home to this charming little sandstone walled courtyard cafe that is worlds away from the bustling city streets...more

Archives Fine Books

More than a million books are packed into the shelves of this museum-like bookshop in a century-old warehouse, including rare and out-of-print editions and pre-loved books across all genres...more

Masonic Temple

Behind the stately Corinthian columns of this grand Masonic Temple lies an extraordinary ornate hall decorated with gold leaf and with one of Qld's oldest organs, with tours available on Open House Day...more

Brisbane's Oldest Library 

Brisbane's oldest collection of books & publications including the 1st edition of The Moreton Bay Courier can be found inside Parliament House and accessed by the public as part of the visitor's tour...more


Down an old carriageway and a left turn reveals the entry to a basement cafe with vintage furniture that serves coffee, snacks and light brekkie in the morning and small batch beer and wine on Friday night...more

Record Exchange

Take a secret staircase up from the street to a mind-blowing lost world of more than 250,000 vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, collectibles, T-shirts, posters and memorabilia from last century...more

John Mills Himself

Tucked away in a laneway at the rear of the heritage warehouse housing Archives Books is another hidden treasure - a quaint pocket-sized cafe, cocktail and craft bar with its own piano...more

St Stephens Chapel

Behind the GPO near St Stephen's Cathedral is  oldest chapel c1850, designed by Gothic revivalist Pugin and still in use, noted for its life-size camphor sculpture of St Mary MacKillop...more

Commissariat Stores

One of only 2 remaining convict-built buildings from the penal settlement offers a glimpse into the convict era and early colonial times of Brisbane from the fascinating little in-house museum...more

Macarthur Museum

General Macarthur's wartime office sits untouched from the time he sat at the leather-top desk during World War II, the HQ from where he directed the entire Asia Pacific wartime effort...more

Festival Hall Walk of Fame

Brisbane's iconic Festival Hall, where the entertainment greats of the 20th century performed may be gone but inside Oaks on the Albert St corner where it stood is a gallery of photos from its glory days.

Waterline Park Gym

Underneath the south-east freeway is another world, with this brand new start-of-the-art gym that is free to use that comes with its own urban ping pong tables... more

Anzac Square Memorial Galleries

Everybody knows the landmark Shrine of Remembrance overlooking Anzac Square but few take time out to visit the galleries underneath where you'll get an extraordinary insight into...more

St Andrews

Many walk past this city church without a clue that inside are some amazing historical relics from Gallipoli in World War I and from the Braveheart era of seventeenth century Scotland...more

Mooney Memorial Fountain

One of Brisbane's earliest drinking fountains and a rare public relic from the Victorian era, this ornate Gothic monument was originally a memorial to a death in the great fire of 1877...more

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