Brisbane Destination Guide
Boasting a warm subtropical climate, a world-class café and restaurant scene and easy access to some of Australia’s most beautiful natural wonders, Brisbane has all your holiday bases covered. This vibrant, flourishing city maintains its laid-back and friendly small-town attitude despite being amongst the fastest growing cities in Australia. From art galleries and river cruises to major sporting stadiums and botanical gardens, Brisbane puts on a great show for domestic and international visitors alike.
Brisbane is built upon the meandering banks of the Brisbane River, so there’s no better way to get acquainted with the city than to take a leisurely ferry ride right through it. Take some time to simply absorb the atmosphere, or use the ferry as a hop on/hop off experience to access your destinations of choice. Be sure to take another ride at dusk for twilight views that will leave a lasting impression.
Both the young and young at heart can’t resist a trip to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary when in Brisbane. Considered to be one of the top zoos in the world, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary offers the unique chance to cuddle a koala and get up close to more than 100 different species of native Australian animals. Pat a kangaroo, feed a lorikeet or hold a python – the choice is yours. A place like no other, the sanctuary is even popular with visiting celebrities.
Those looking for respite from the city will enjoy a stroll through City Botanic Gardens. Situated on the Brisbane River, the City Botanic Gardens is a tranquil place to wander beneath canopies of weeping figs and explore enchanting bamboo groves. Enjoy a picnic down at the waterfront or take a complimentary guided tour to learn more about the native plant life and the fascinating history of the gardens.
South Bank, a popular dining, entertainment and cultural precinct, offers an excellent array of local and international cuisine, from Turkish banquets and Spanish tapas to gastro pub classics. Across town, West End, a colourful, creative and eclectic hub, offers fantastic drinking, dining and nightlife options. Venture down Boundary Street for a selection of excellent coffee, great eats and seriously good cocktails to relish on a night out in Brisbane.
Where you rest your head at night will depend on what your idea of fun is. West End is great if you want to be close to Boundary Street’s relaxed strip of bars and eateries and overall bohemian atmosphere. If partying the night away is more your style, Fortitude Valley, north of the CBD, is where nightclubs, bars and live music reign supreme.
For a quaint and trendy experience try leafy Paddington. Set in the hills west of the city centre, this lovely pocket is home to a range of charming bed and breakfasts.
Kick your shopping bonanza off in the heart of Brisbane at one of Australia’s most popular pedestrian malls, Queen Street Mall. You can spend hours walking along the mall and discovering all the big names in local and international fashion, as well as exploring the smaller arcades that branch off it. Lovers of vintage fashion should make a beeline for West End, Fortitude Valley and Paddington, while Paddington will also satisfy those searching for homewares, antiques and art.
Brisbane like a Local
To market, to market – that’s what Brisbanites do. Kick off your morning with a coffee at the Sunday Eagle Farm Markets at Ascot as you browse fresh produce, gourmet food, gift ideas and clothes. Or head south to the Global Food Village markets every Sunday morning in Logan where you can breakfast on ethnic food from around the world including African, Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern offerings.
West End’s Boundary Street Markets come alive all weekend for a feast of entertainment and a bustling multicultural experience. And, always popular with foodies, the Eat Street Markets on Hamilton Wharf run every Friday and Saturday night.