- Discover Brisbane
Situated between the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane has it all. It's a big city with a laid back feel like everywhere in Queensland. Great weather, nightlife, restaurants, theatres and museums. The main areas of the CBD are Queen Street Mall and Fortitude valley.
The South Bank beach is the centre of this area. It's an artificial lagoon made to look like the real thing, and is surrounded by cafes and shops. There are also lots of museums and galleries on this side of the river such as the Queensland Museum (Grey Street), and the Queensland Art Gallery (Melbourne Street).
The South Bank Parklands also include the beautiful Arch of Flowers.
There is an 870m long pedestrian and cyclist runway that goes between New Farm and Howard Smith Wharves. It’s very scenic and should not be missed. The Pedestrian route is 2.5km long and the cyclist route is 3.5km. It would be recommended that you walk or cycle it in the morning or the evening as it can get very hot here during the day and there is not much shelter.
The Botanic Gardens are only a 15 minute walk from the city centre. It's free to enter. There are walking and cycling tracks to be enjoyed throughout the park. the park was originally built by convicts in 1825 in order to plant crops to feed the prison colony. There are free guided walks from Monday to Saturday between 11am and 1pm.
Mount Cootha Reserve
There is another botanical gardens at the Mount Cootha Reserve, which is approximately 6km west of the city centre. You can hike to the top of the mountain if you are fit or you can drive through the scenic forest. View the city from the lookout, check out Australias' largest planetarium, walk up to Slaughter Falls or just enjoy the wilderness and spot some possums and other wildlife.
Kangaroo point is a popular recreation spot on the east bank of the city. The Kangaroo Point cliffs runs along the Brisbane River. Rock climbing is popular here. There is a nice lookout spot here as well as kayaking, cycling and more.
You can take a tour of the iconic XXXX Brewery, where you will learn about the history of the beer and how it's made, including watching the beer getting put into the bottles. And you get to pour yourself a cold one.
Chinatown Mall is full of life on the weekends, you will find plenty of restaurants and shops to keep you occupied. There are vintage markets, art installations and live music and entertainment. It's located in Fortitude Valley, though the suburb of Sunnybank is seen by the Chinese themselves as the true Chinatown in Brisbane.
There are no beaches in Brisbane apart from the lagoon in the city centre. But Brisbane is very close to the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast which both have plenty of fabulous beaches. The Sunshine Coast is around an hour's drive north of Brisbane and the Gold Coast is around an hour's south. Woorim Beach on Bribie Island, which is on the way to the Sunshine Coast is a lovely quiet beach with small waves that is worth a visit.
A cost effective way of seeing Brisbane is by water. Brisbane's City Cat service is a fantastic and easy way to enjoy the sites of the city.
Many backpackers and visitors stop in Brisbane as part of their road journey up the east coast. The roads are very good on the coast.
You can get to Brisbane from Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne with Countrylink trains.
Brisbane Airport is 20km from the city centre. It’s a major international hub and you can fly to many Asian cities from here and on to Europe and the US as well as all major Australian cities.
Airtrain leaves the airport every 15 minutes and will bring you to the city centre for around $15.
A taxi will cost you under $40. Make sure the meter is on.
Flight times to Brisbane
Dublin 20.5 hours | London 20 hours | Hong Kong 8.5 hours | New York 19 hours | San Diego 14 hours | Sydney 1.5 hours
Pick up the “Go Card” if you are in Brisbane for more than a day or two. It can be picked up in most newsagents or information centres and can be used on the city’s buses, trains and ferry services.
There is a free City Loop Bus that runs every 10 minutes between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday.
Brisbane is a compact city so getting around on foot is easy.
Brisbane has lots of cycle paths and there are plenty of bike hire places around the city.
There are many taxi ranks around the city and they can also be flagged down.
Crime is a relatively rare occurrence in the centre of Brisbane and Fortitude Valley where there are many bars. Most crime happens in the outer suburbs. Stick together, don’t walk alone at night and you will be fine.