Some people call it Bris-vegas which is maybe taking it a bit far, but Australia’s third largest city definitely has a real buzz about it. Finding enough to do in Brisbane to fill three days is easy; the trick is in what to leave out.
The Gallery of Modern Art opened in 2006, housing works by contemporary, historical, indigenous and international artists. Tracey Moffatt, Rachel Whiteread and Anish Kapoor are on display here among many others – an enthralling way to spend an afternoon and escape the city heat.
On the banks of Brisbane River sits the Powerhouse, a creative hub set in a monumental space, which serves as gallery, theatre, restaurant, festival and party venue, and artists’ workshop, depending what you’re after.
If you’re of an iron disposition, take a tour of the notorious Boggo Road Gaol, Queensland’s answer to Alcatraz. Learn about the prison’s violent past, and the stories of the men and women who resided here on both sides of the bars, but watch your step, ghosts are said to prowl the corridors!
The Inner City is where you’ll find vintage clothing, second-hand books and art galleries, and an evening stroll round the South Bank Market showcases pieces by fantastic local designers and artists.
Food & Drink
Take home a “Growler” or “Squealer” from the Green Beacon, Brisbane’s finest hand-crafted ale house. Their ethos is drink less, but drink better, and the passion for quality can be tasted in every drop. A seafood menu which varies depending on the catch of the day makes a tasty companion-piece.
Tank serves high-end Asian cuisine, elegant dishes such as Pacific oyster, and grilled Atlantic salmon with spanner crab. Calm, clean interiors make for a relaxing dining experience.
If you can track down the Bun Mobile, then do, and grab a delicious, healthy bite on the go. A simple, Japanese-infused menu uses locally-sourced ingredients has drawn a loyal following of “Bunsters” who follow the van’s progress around the Brizzy neighbourhoods.
For the kids, a trip to the Koala Sanctuary and a cuddle from one of the furry critters is a must-visit. Animal-lovers will also get a kick out of dolphin and whale-watching tours that run out of the bay.
Sadly the Brisbane Riverwalk was washed away by floods in 2011 and is still being rebuilt, but there are masses of green spaces and cycle-paths to explore, and you’re never far from a beach here.
Speaking of which, Scarborough beach must be one of the most beautiful in Queensland, golden sands and cottonwood trees, family-friendly with loads of picnic spots and a real bohemian vibe you’ll love.
Flights to Brisbane tend to be cheapest around August-September, which happily ties in nicely with our amazing River Festival, so you can sample the best of Australian comedy, live music, theatre and circus acts during your stay.