Brisbane Destination Guide
Australia’s New World City, Brisbane has really stepped things up in the last few years. No longer a backwater town, Brisbane isn’t simply following the trends – this little- city-that-could is making them! Home to world-class galleries, the world's only inner-city man-made beach, year-round sunshine and an increasing list of trendy bars and unique dining options, the River City is blowing it out of the water.
What you get on a Brisbane holiday is up to you. Families are well catered for with the likes of Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, while Brisbane's growing food-truck and market scene will pique even the most discerning traveller’s interests. Arty laneways, world-class exhibitions, a booming live music scene, big-name flagship fashion stores and easy access to both the Gold and Sunshine Coasts... Brisbane's got it all.
- Country: Australia
- Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)
- Offical Language: English
- Visas: International visitors need a visa to enter Australia and different types apply depending on country of origin, your travel agent can advise
- Tipping: Voluntary, tips of around 10 per cent are optional for good service
- Electricity: Australian outlets run on an average 230 volts and use Type I plugs
Temperature (max C)
J 29, F 29, M 28, A 26, M 24, J 21, J 21, A 22, S 24, O 26, N 27, D 29
Rainfall (max mm)
J 158, F 175, M 139, A 90, M 99, J 71, J 63, A 43, S 35, O 94, N 97, D 126
When the sun is shining - and that’s a guarantee just about every day in Queensland’s capital - locals and tourists alike flock to South Bank Parklands and man-made Streets Beach for a day of leisure. Just a stone’s throw from wine bars, pubs, restaurants, boutiques, cinemas, and the Cultural Precinct, there’s something here for everyone.
The Goodwill Bridge links the City Botanic Gardens to South Bank Parklands (as well as CityCat, public bus and train services located close by), making a day at Southbank hard to beat.
Jump on a CityCat and head around the river bend to explore New Farm Park, then dine in style or catch a show at the too-cool, graffiti-clad Brisbane Powerhouse arts space. Sports fans need look no further than The Gabba, home to the Brisbane Lions; or Suncorp Stadium, home to the Broncos, Reds and Roar.
Don’t leave Brisbane without eating your way through the Eat Street Markets, seeing sunset at Kangaroo Point Cliffs or trying a craft beer at the Newstead Brewery.
Brisbane, like a fine wine, has matured into a city that loves to please the palate. With new restaurants popping up left right and centre, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to a unique dining experience, from supper clubs to food trucks and a swag of Hatted restaurants.
To sample some of the culinary offerings, make a reservation at one of the restaurants at Woolloongabba's trendy precinct, or wander down one of the city's made–over laneways to discover a dining scene to rival the southern states. Some of the best dining experiences can be found at Esquire, Malt, Alchemy, Il Centro, The Euro, Public, Sake, 1889 Enoteca... the list goes on.
Grab a drink at Gerard’s Bar on James Street Precinct, or head west and settle into one of the fine West End establishments along Boundary and Vulture Streets. Given that The Gresham in the heart of the city has recently taken out the title of Australia's best bar, it's a decent place to have a tipple too.
Brisbane accommodation is mainly concentrated in the city centre, with some the city's high–rise hotels and apartments overlooking the Botanical Gardens, Story Bridge or Brisbane River. Hoteliers are flocking to Brisbane including Sheraton Four Points, the group’s first Brisbane hotel in 16 years, Hotel Jen, and Next Hotel set in the bustling Queen Street Mall. For something a little quieter and more indulgent, check out the New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites or Spicers Balfour in brunch-hub New Farm.
For a more boutique experience, or if you plan on exploring Brisbane's nightlife to its fullest, consider staying at one of the boutique hotels in Fortitude Valley like Tryp Hotel, Brisbane’s first ‘street art’ hotel. Hotels in Fortitude Valley like Tryp or Limes Hotel offer a more intimate experience and are still only a short public bus ride away from the city centre. South Bank is also a great place to stay to be amongst the action.
As Brisbane undergoes its exciting renaissance, the art of shopping is not forgotten. The Queen Street Mall is home to many of the city’s flagship stores, from trusted department stores to luxury brands, and is soon to welcome the likes of Uniqlo and H&M to its ranks. The Mall is divided into the Queens Plaza, Wintergarden and Myer Centre precincts.
For boutique fashion finds, specialty stores and homewares, head to James Street on the cusp of Fortitude Valley and Newstead, home to the likes of Pottery Barn, Sass & Bide and Camilla, not to mention some seriously chic places to refuel in between. For quirky antiques and one-off finds, check out Latrobe Terrace in Paddington or the exciting gentrification of Woolloongabba.
On the weekends, Brisbane gets its fill on the local market scene. Locals haul farm fresh produce, amongst an eclectic range of handmade and second-hand goods and vintage threads, all while enjoying a range of food options from the latest food trucks. Some of the best markets include Jan Power's Farmers Markets, Eagle Farm Markets, and the new Bakery Lane Providore Markets.
Brisbane Like a Local
When you hear a local waxing lyrical about their day at GOMA, they are referring to the beloved Queensland Gallery Of Modern Art. Since its inception in 2006, GOMA has gained a reputation for being one of the best galleries in Australia, hosting a wide range of leading international exhibitions by artists such as Andy Warhol, Picasso and Valentino.
Far from stuffy or pretentious, the gallery has a number of interactive exhibits, inspiring talks, popular events as well as dedicated areas where children can engage with art and play games. Even if you know nothing about art, a day at GOMA will be an inspiring visual feast.
Aside from being a cultural leader amongst the art pack, Brisbane is also a great place to see live music with legendary venue, The Zoo, going strong for more than 22 years. Newcomers The Triffid, Brooklyn Standard and Crowbar are giving old-timers like the Tivoli a run for their money.
Did you know...? Find out why the river is a key attraction in its own right. A CityCat ferry ride from Hamilton to St Lucia is a must. Less than $4 with a go card buys you more than an hour on the water.