Brisbane, the hub for Queensland, has a reputation for being quiet – but if you’re looking for a city break it has everything you could ask for.
Here’s how to see the best of Brisbane in 24 hours…
Get up early for a Story Bridge Adventure Climb. Starting at the corner of Wharf and Main Streets, the two-and-a-half-hour journey takes climbers over Story Bridge to the other side of the Brisbane River, and offers some great views of the city.
Then follow Adelaide Street until it crosses Queen Street Mall and head into the Brisbane Arcade for fresh coffee and a bite to eat. Built in 1923, the heritage listed building offers three levels of shopping with ornate ceilings.
Before lunch visit Brisbane Botanic Gardens. Located next to the University, their huge, lush trees give the gardens the feel of a rainforest. The white, colonial-style café near the entrance adds to the appeal.
Barbecuing is so popular in Australia that many parks have permanent grilling stations where visitors can set up camp. At weekends, Brisbaners head to the thin slice of park near the CityCat station for a barbie and a cool beer or wine.
Hop on a CityCat river shuttle (£1 for 20 minutes) across to Southbank to see how the many modern skyscrapers sit nose to jowl with the colonial buildings on the river banks.
Brisbane created its own man-made beach at South Bank Parkland, and with white sand, blue water and wide promenades it is the ideal place to sunbathe in the afternoon. The area also has several bars and restaurants and a cinema.
The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and the Queensland Art Gallery are just a short walk away. GoMA’s modern glass building has several galleries, video installations, cinemas, a riverside café and a section for children. A wooden balcony on the third floor allows visitors to walk around the outside of the building.
As the afternoon ends stroll to Kangaroo Point, take a seat on its brick bandstand, pour a drink and watch the sky turn from blue to pink to black, while large skyscrapers light up and the stars start to appear.
Dining in Brisbane is very much about fresh fish and Pacific Rim cuisine, and one of the most popular restaurants in town is in the Story Bridge Hotel. A Brisbane icon, it serves local ales in a bar adorned with battered road signs and serves juicy steaks and prawns the size of fingers.
Locations on Google Maps: Story Bridge Hotel
Brunswick Street, a short cab ride from the restaurant, has the best choice of late-night drinking establishments. Most late-night venues stay open through the night, so start slowly by listening to jazz in one of the many intimate wine bars.
Stay on Brunswick Street for the remainder of the evening and check out some live music at The Arena, a venue showcasing the best in hip hop, Indie and punk from all over the world.
Brisbaners are proud of their varied nightlife, so don’t even think about bed until you’ve checked out the rest of the area – you won’t have to walk far before you stumble across a tiny blues bar or a large gig venue.
Locations on Google Maps: The Arena
Who to book with
Gold Medal Holidays offers an ultimate Brisbane Stopover tour from £260 per person including three nights’ five-star accommodation, a choice of day activities including Dreamworld and Australia Zoo, transfers and breakfast before March 2008.
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