Brisbane has 2 million residents, making it the third largest city within Australia and an exciting destination to explore. Sydney has its harbour, Melbourne its port and Brisbane has its river. On the north bank of the river is the CBD, with its sky-scraping offices; on the ‘South Bank’ is the artistic centre of Brisbane and famous as the home of the 1988 World Expo. We’ll show you some of our picks on these two sides of the river, plus other areas nearby like Fortitude Valley and New Farm.
Start your day on the South Bank and have breakfast/brunch at Gauge. It opened this year and has a reputation for original, quirky dishes. Gauge has no website, but can be found at 77 Grey Street. From there head to GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) and see if you can spot any elephants standing on their heads. Stop for a coffee in their ground floor café, which has views of the river and city. Make time to enjoy the parklands on the South Bank and walk along the riverside walkway to see ‘The Wheel of Brisbane’.
Book a river cruise and see the city from the water – some will even take you to a koala sanctuary!
Back on dry-land in the CBD, walk to Queen Street Mall which is full of shops and a fantastic farmers market (perfect for lunch, but it only operates on a Wednesday). For those looking for the most stylish shops, a visit to Queen St Plaza is a must.
James Street is in Fortitude Valley. The hipster heart of Brisbane, full of creative speciality shops including fashion, health & beauty, lifestyle & design. Wander around and see what gifts you can find to take home. Hungry? Try and get into Longtime Restaurant & Bar. Incredibly busy, but it serves fantastic thai food (the chefs have cooked for the British and Thai royal families!).
Head back to the CBD and have a cocktail in the small and intimate Laneway Bar. As the name suggests, it is tucked away and not that easy to find!
WHERE TO STAY?
Our top picks are:
Ovolo Inchcolm - “distinctly boutique hotel of impeccable style and clandestine character”.
Spicers Balfour Hotel - “Located in the fashionable suburb of New Farm, Spicers Balfour Hotel is an award-winning boutique hotel just minutes from the Brisbane city centre. Step inside this iconic Queenslander and you'll discover a chic and stylish interior.”