Queensland’s capital city is a truly cosmopolitan centre with a laid-back atmosphere that’s well suited to its subtropical setting. It serves as a gateway to both the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coasts and is deserving of its reputation as a world-class destination in its own right. Here are our top five things to make the most of your time in Brisbane.
1. Shop until you drop
Brisbane is retail therapy heaven, offering an extensive selection of designer boutiques, vast shopping malls, fashion outlet centres and bustling markets. The pedestrianised Queen Street Mall is a haven of designer brands and high street brands in the CBD, while the tree-lined tranquillity of James Street offers a blend of high-end local and international fashion in a European-style setting. Brisbane City Markets are a great place to stock up on mouth-watering picnic supplies, while the Collective Markets offer late-night shopping for handmade crafts, homewares and fabulous street food.
2. Follow the River
The Brisbane River, which flows through the heart of the city before emptying into Moreton Bay, is an essential component of the Brisbane experience for locals and visitors alike. It’s trailed by networks of parks and paths that beg to explored on foot or by bicycle, and its banks are dotted with cafes, bars and restaurants that provide the ideal setting for a morning coffee or an evening cocktail.
3. Go island hopping
Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) is just a short distance from the city, but a world away in terms of experience: spend your days kayaking, swimming, four-wheel driving or browsing artists’ galleries. During winter months, migrating humpback whales can often be seen in the surrounding waters, and year-round you can delve into the culture and history of the Quandamooka people who are traditional custodians of the land. Nearby Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) is the world’s third-largest sand island and is renowned for the many water-based activities available, including snorkelling around the Tangalooma Wrecks and feeding the island’s resident population of dolphins.
4. Visit the Scenic Rim
South-west of Brisbane lies the region known as the Scenic Rim: a haven of national parks, eco-adventures and incredible food and wine experiences. Shop for opal jewellery at Tambourine Mountain, sample locally produced sparkling rosé from the Granite Belt region or go ziplining over the rainforest at Lamington National Park.
5. Love the nightlife
As the daylight fades, Brisbane reveals another side – one with vibrant dining, drinking and entertainment options. Fuel your evening with locally roasted coffee in the city’s lively laneways, catch a live gig at Fortitude Music Hall or try a locally brewed craft beer at one of Howard Smith Wharves’ waterfront bars. If you’re looking for a memorable way to see the city lights, a night-time ascent of the iconic Story Bridge will place you 74 metres up for sweeping views of the city skyline and Moreton Bay.
House of Travel acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of these lands and recognises their continuing connection to the land and waters of this region. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
For more amazing Brisbane holiday ideas, talk to House of Travel.