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Brisbane: Riverside City Living
Brisbane’s appeal reveals itself as you walk down wide streets lined by Queenslander buildings, grab a drink at a rooftop pool bar or cycle for kilometres along the bends of the Brisbane River. While there is plenty to do in the city, a short drive or ride on public transport will get you to several of Australia’s most iconic attractions. The Gold Coast’s beaches and surf culture are just a train ride away. You can also take a public bus to some of Australia’s premier wildlife sanctuaries. Home to a population of 2.3 million, Brisbane offers a wide range of holiday rentals, from stylish apartments in high-rises to large family homes in riverside suburbs, only a short ferry journey from the CBD.
Culture and Heritage in Brisbane
As the capital of Queensland, Brisbane proudly showcases the state’s heritage and present-day culture. Many of the city's museums are within walking distance of each other, set in Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct. Learn all about the state’s natural history at Queensland Museum, discover local and international artists’ works at the Queensland Art Gallery or catch a show at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. In addition, Brisbane’s CBD is home to numerous art galleries, including the Aboriginal Fine Art Gallery, which boasts the largest collection of Aboriginal works in Queensland. Then, there’s the Brisbane Arts Theatre, in operation since the 1930s. If you would like to find out more about Brisbane’s heritage buildings, many of them designed in traditional Queenslander style, take part in a walking tour of the CBD and delve deeper into Brisbane’s past.
Stay Active and Healthy in Brisbane
Thanks to Brisbane’s warm and sunny year-round weather, travelers and locals can spend most of their time outdoors, no matter the season. A popular activity is to rent bikes from one of the many automated stands throughout the city and ride along the tracks by the river. As you cycle, you’ll be able to take in some of the best views of the CBD on one side, as public ferries and other boats glide past on the other. If you’d prefer a leisurely stroll, head to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, which have been divided into themed sections with a wide range of Australian and overseas plant species. Some of theses thematic areas include a Japanese garden, an Australian rainforest and a fragrant plant and herb garden. Entry to the gardens is free and events are held here throughout the year, including the large-scale Japanese Cultural Festival each September. Once you’ve gotten your day’s exercise, unwind at one of the many juice or salad bars around Brisbane's CBD.
Shopping and Dining in Brisbane
With over 1000 shops in the city centre, from independent boutiques to international brands, visitors have endless opportunities to indulge in some retail therapy in Brisbane. If you are looking for the latest luxury fashion, head to trendy Adelaide Street. Alternately, seek out unique finds by independent designers on Albert Street or walk up and down Queen Street Mall, past a combination of high street and higher end storefronts and malls. Conveniently, clusters of restaurants surround Brisbane’s shopping districts, with everything from self-serve frozen yogurt bars to local secrets tucked below street level. For more upscale dining, make a reservation at one of the riverfront restaurants. If you’re seeking a more casual atmosphere, stroll along Southbank, where you’ll find restaurants serving all types of cuisines for all budgets.
Day Trips from Brisbane
Brisbane is a strategic base for day trips, with many hotspots easily accessible via public transport if you don’t have a car. In under two hours by train, you could be soaking up the Gold Coast’s beachside ambiance in Surfers Paradise, wading in the warm water as you watch surfers hit the waves, shopping for the latest surf gear at one of the outdoor malls lining the oceanfront promenade and eating at restaurants or cafes facing the water. If you’d like to get up close and personal with Australian wildlife while supporting conservation efforts, you can take a public bus to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, widely considered one of the best in Australia, where you’ll be able to get your picture taken with a koala and feed wild lorikeets. Tours also depart Brisbane for world-famous Australia Zoo.
Getting to Brisbane
As one of Australia’s major cities, Brisbane welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, both from around the country and overseas. Getting to Brisbane is very easy, with the Brisbane International Airport only 12 km from the city centre. A train links the international and domestic terminals with the CBD, before continuing on to the Gold Coast.