Queensland's capital is a major centre of culture
Brisbane’s attractions such as the Queensland Museum, Queen Street Mall and South Bank Parklands, are as exciting as the landscape is lush. Balmy weather calls for alfresco dining – either in the shade or under the stars at one of the city’s fine riverside restaurants or stylish watering holes. When you’ve had your fill of food and drinks, there’s plenty to fill your social calendar, most notably events like its many lifestyle and foodie markets and its big-ticket cultural events like Ekka (the Royal Queensland Exhibition), the Brisbane International Film Festival and the Brisbane Festival. Beyond that, daytrippers needn’t venture far to trade the cityscape and urban vibe for hills, sand and turquoise waters as Moreton Bay, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are within easy reach.
Things to do
Brisbane regularly hosts world-class productions and exhibitions at venues like the Queensland Art Gallery, which is located on the southern bank of the Brisbane River. The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) is the crown jewel of a crowded cultural scene. It’s the largest modern and purpose-built art museum in the Southern Hemisphere and has a well-earned reputation for staging exclusive Australian and international exhibitions. Make time during your stay to visit the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Queensland Museum and the State Library of Queensland.
The world’s third-largest sand island is just outside of Brisbane. Moreton Island is home to crystal-clear lakes and lagoons, abundant wildflowers, pristine beaches and towering sand dunes. Dive or snorkel to experience the wrecks and colourful reefs here but be sure to be shore-side at dusk to handfeed the dolphins. There’s also quad biking, four-wheel driving and sand tobogganing.
The good life
Making for an idyllic escape from the concrete confines of the CBD, South Bank’s bars, boutiques, cafés, restaurants and cultural venues blend in seamlessly with the lush foliage, public beach, lagoons and picnic areas.
Two neighbouring, nondescript Queenslander homes stand proudly on the corner of Alfred and Constance Streets in Fortitude Valley. Beneath their archetypal tin roofs and verandahs are six retro eateries and bars, which are open on weekdays from 7am and on weekends from 8am until late.
Wine and dine
Gourmands take heed; Esquire is the fine dining venue of choice when in Queensland’s capital. Executive chef Ryan Squires and head chef Ben Devlin blend a host of flavours and textures to create their delicious dishes. Next door, sister establishment Esq. takes a more relaxed approach to dining with its inviting à la carte menu. The extensive wine list is shared between the two venues, so you can opt for the degustation menu to go with your Argentinian malbec or enjoy pub fare like ribs or chicken wings. The riverside location, décor and service are all top of the line. Don’t leave either eatery without first sampling the widely acclaimed Popcorn Parfait dessert.
Travel time 25 minutes
Taxi Approx AUD $45
Con X-ion Bus Departs every 40 minutes. One-way: AUD $20, return AUD $36. Discount for two or more passengers. Takes 30 minutes.
Train Every 15 minutes during peak hours. One-way: AUD $15; return AUD $28.Back to top
When to go
Temperatures in the humid summer months (December-February) average around 30°C though this is also the time of heaviest rainfall. During autumn (March-May), the days are warm and the nights are cool while winter (June-August) sees similar conditions, though with slightly lower temperatures. Warm and sunny, spring (September-November) is marked by cool sea breezes.
For sports fans, March to September is the time to come in order to catch the National Rugby League’s Brisbane Broncos and the Australian Football League’s Brisbane Lions. EKKA with its fireworks and after-dark shows takes place in August, the Brisbane Festival happens in September and the Brisbane International Film Festival is held in November.Back to top
Use the touch-on, touch-off “Go Card”, which is accepted on buses, CityCats, ferries and trains. Go Cards are available at most newsagents and at the Translink office at the Visitor Information Centre on the Queen Street Mall. The free Loop bus service is a quick and convenient way to explore the CBD. Operating Monday to Friday from 7am to 6pm, the Loop runs every 10 minutes and is a hop-on, hop-off service.Back to top