Brisbane often gets overlooked in favour of the Gold Coast, but this is a mistake. The city is packed with culture, history and fun, and has plenty of things to do for visitors of all ages.
Brisbane is full of frangipani, poinciana and jacaranda trees, making you feel like you’re wandering through a garden, and in the winter locals will shiver if it looks like it might get cooler than 20 degrees. The steady climate also means that you can pack light, so if you need a new bag, be sure to get one before you go at Bags To Go.
Your best bet is to arrive mid-afternoon so you can drop your bags at your hotel and freshen up before heading out to explore. Cross the river by visiting the CityCat terminal and climb the bridge to see spectacular views of the city.
Once you’re finished gawking at the view, head into the city and find some grub. Moda is popular with visitors, and the chef Javier Codina makes his creation with local produce. After you’ve digested, get an early night so you can have a whole day of exploration ahead of you tomorrow.
In the morning, be sure to put on some comfortable shoes and head to the city centre. If you’re looking for breakfast, stop at the Queen Street Mall before visiting King George Square and taking some photos of City Hall. Next up is the Museum of Brisbane where you can take the elevator to the top and tour the clock tower for free.
Head across the Victoria Bridge and (if you don’t mind heights) take a ride on the Wheel of Brisbane. Next up is lunch, and with so many restaurants available to choose from, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Along the South Bank Parklands (the River Quay end) you’ll find a variety of options, ranging from the super healthy to carb-loaded Italian.
The Queensland Cultural Centre is a must-visit, and you’ll enjoy free admission at the Gallery of Modern Art where you can see some of the best contemporary art in Australia before strolling through the Queensland Art Gallery to see a collection of Australian indigenous art.
Nature lovers should head to the Botanic Gardens to get some exercise and work up an appetite, before heading to Alchemy- one of the best restaurants in Brisbane. The view is outstanding and they even have desserts which are infused with liquid nitrogen.
Another option is to try the Brisbane City Lights Dinner Cruise, where you’ll enjoy a 3 course meal and live Cabaret performance as the paddle wheel vessel cruises along the Brisbane River.
The next day, be sure to have the obligatory koala-cuddle at Lone Pine Sanctuary, where you can also see kangaroos, snakes, cockatoos and more. Spend the afternoon browsing the many stores, and enjoying the cafe scene, before checking out of your hotel and heading to the airport.