Getting to know Brisbane

The expansive Queensland capital with its bayside suburbs is a brilliant city to visit in its own right, but if you fly into it, you’re also on hand for some fantastic day-trip destinations that warrant adding some extra time to your itinerary. We’ve looked at the best things to do in and just outside this welcoming city.

Getting to know Brisbane

What to do in Brisbane

Situated on the Brisbane River, the third-largest city in Australia finds its cultural heart at the waterside South Bank complex, home to the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (the biggest contemporary art collection in the country, Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, and galleries galore).  This vast green space also features lush parkland, an urban beach on a vast swimming lagoon, picnic spots with barbecue facilities, fantastic cycle trails (extending through much of the city), playgrounds, live music and an array of restaurants. There’s more culture in store at Brisbane City Hall with its guided tours, its vintage elevator rides up the Clock Tower for panoramic city views, and its wonderfully far-ranging Museum of Brisbane.

Brisbane is a subtropical city, so it’s a fantastic foodie destination. Don’t miss a morning at a local farmers’ market, which include the Jan Powers Farmers Market in New Farm, the West End Markets and Global Food Markets in Woodridge, with everything from mango, tamarind, taro, jackfruit and spice stalls to coffee carts. Another unmissable foodie spot is Eat Street Northshore, a street-food village within upcycled shipping containers, offering treats from around the globe.

To work up an appetite, head for the Story Bridge, the longest cantilevered bridge in Australia. Walking or cycling across it with its views of glittering skyscrapers is fun, but the best experience is to be had by signing up for the Story Bridge Adventure Climb – preferably at twilight. You can choose from regular climbs, abseiling and even ‘lean-outs’ for full-on thrill-seekers. If you’re more of a spectator than an athlete, there are also world-class sporting events at The Gabba and Suncorp Stadium.

Day trips out of Brisbane

Brisbane’s stunning natural surroundings include waterfalls, mountains, lookout points, pristine ocean waters amazing for snorkelling, beaches popular with sandboarders, wildlife experiences, off-road driving and plenty more besides. The best way to make the most of this region is by hiring a car or 4X4.

Thirty kilometres south-east of central Brisbane, in Moreton Bay, North Stradbroke Island is a place of soaring cliffs and spectacular beaches, forests and wildlife, from stingrays to kangaroos. To the north of it is Moreton Island, a protected sand island also known for its beaches, its steep dunes, its Tangalooma Wrecks (a dive site with coral and tropical fish around a group of sunken boats) and its humpback whale sightings from Cape Moreton headland.

South-west of Brisbane, in West Moreton, the Scenic Rim Region is an area of national parks, other parkland, mountain ranges and dams, named by adventurer and naturalist Arthur Groom. Among its highlights are the glorious 47km multi-day Scenic Rim Trail taking you hiking through the Gondwana rainforest and along the ridges of the Main Range National Park, the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk and the Glow  Worm Caves. Many of Australia's most iconic species can be spotted within the Scenic Rim Region, including kangaroos, koalas, platypus, echidna, kookaburra, lyrebird, wedge tailed eagle, cockatoos, goanna and carpet pythons.

To book your stay in or around Brisbane, flying into the Queensland capital and including full financial protection, call your Travel Counsellor today.

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