The capital of the "Sunshine State" of Queensland , Brisbane is a metropolitan city full of exciting things to discover. Voted as Australia ’s most liveable city, it’s the third largest city in the country and highlights some great galleries, museums, restaurants, nightlife and a fabulous live, original music scene. It’s a city with charm, character and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
It’s best to get accommodation in the centre of town to be close to all the action. Dorm beds in the city start from $25, the cheapest double room is $60 and a 5 star on the river can set you back between $300 and $400. For a special stay head to Southbank on the other side of the Brisbane River and get great views overlooking the city.
There are so many things to do in the city but the sites are quite far from each other so you might want to hire a car or get to know the bus system very well. In the centre you can take a walk along the river to the City Botanic Gardens then across to Southbank for a swim in the lagoon or an ice cream while sitting on the boardwalk. You’ll come across a few museums and galleries along the way so be sure to stop in and check them out.
The Mount Cootha Forest and Mountain is the highest point in Brisbane and great for both bushwalking during the day and lovely views by night. There’s a great restaurant on the summit and it’s definitely worth having a meal there. On the way up the mountain you can stop at the Botanical Gardens and view the local flora and fauna.
Take an overnight camping trip or day cruise to the incredible Moreton Island , North or South Stradbroke Island or catch a bus to Redcliffe for a great day out. Take a diving trip or walk along Kangaroo Point and watch all the rock climbers along the wall or you can even have a try yourself.
Fortitude Valley is the place for live music. Day or night you can chill out in the beer gardens and enjoy some of the country’s best original bands. There are some great clubs in the Valley but don’t turn up in a collared shirt and dress shoes or you might not get in! If you go out in the city you must wear a collared shirt and look smart or again, you won’t get in. Always carry your identification on you or you definitely won’t get in anywhere. Be careful in the Valley at night when the clubs close.
There’s some great international food throughout the city. China Town (next to the Valley) is the place for dim sum and cheap noodles. Or one of the many sushi places for a healthy snack. Food can be expensive so shopping and making your own meals might be better if you’re on a budget.
You can wander around the city for days, there’s so much to see. Use Brisbane as a base for the great surrounding areas up and down the coast or inland. Be sure to have a chat to the locals as you might find yourself with a great new group of friends!
(By Kelly Luckman)