The capital city of the Sunshine State exudes warmth with tropical temperatures and a laid-back lifestyle that has earnt Brisbane a place in the top ten most liveable cities in the world. At the heart of the city flows the river, with an array of water based activities to cool off from the summer sun; forget hitting the pavements, take a river cruise from your luxury hotel and explore this city by water. Strung along the river is an eclectic collection of urban suburbs to explore from your luxury accommodation, featuring charming shops, shady parks and classic Queenslander architecture, interspersed with a plentiful selection of cafes to sip your perfectly brewed latte. Discover colonial heritage buildings and the City Botanical Gardens where huge Moreton Bay Fig trees offer the ultimate green oasis for quiet strolls, picnics or a laze in the sunshine. At South Bank Parklands, you can swim at the artificial riverside beach, or visit museums and art galleries to learn more about Australian culture both past and present. Brisbane also serves as a perfect gateway to the beautiful golden beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts for which Queensland is renowned.
The capital city of sunny Queensland, Brisbane is a great destination to see and explore. After securing accommodation at a luxury hotel in the city, it is time to plan your personalised travel itinerary. To assist you in organising your dream vacation, we have compiled a list of the top things to see and do, in and around Brisbane.
Located in Fortitude Valley, James Street is a haven for those who enjoy fine dining and boutique shopping. Many of Australia’s finest designers and luxury brands have flagship stores or boutiques along this road, including Camilla, Zimmermann, Natasha Schweitzer, Aje and Bespoked. There are also international homewares stores and art galleries selling pieces from contemporary Australian artists. Once you have finished shopping you can choose a fine dining restaurant to enjoy, such as Gerard’s Bistro, Bucci and Hellenika.
Throughout the day you can hop aboard a comfortable ferry and cruise along the Brisbane River, taking in the riverside city sights. Many of these cruises offer high tea or dinner service, and you can choose the route depending on the sights you are most interested in looking at. If you want to go further afield, there are also ocean-going sailboats that head up the river and out into picturesque Moreton and Horseshoe Bays’.
Located under the iconic Story Bridge, Howard Smith Wharves is filled with a range of dining establishments to suit every occasion and palate. You can choose to enjoy one of a range of different experience, including a beer hall atmosphere, delicious Italian food, a European beach club vibe, homestyle cooking with a gourmet twist or an energetic Japanese bistro. After your meal enjoy a drink at Fiume, a rooftop bar above the wharves that has a sweeping view of the river.
In the heart of Brisbane is the Queensland Cultural Centre, home to the state’s premier art, culture, and historical institutions. At the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) you can view a large collection of works by artists from across the ages. Nearby, Queensland Museum showcases a range of artefacts which teach visitors about different parts of history including the dinosaurs, ANZAC legacy, extinct creatures, and Australian biodiversity. Also in the precinct is the Queensland Performing Arts Centre which hosts different shows throughout the year.
From Brisbane you can organise to spend a day out in the gorgeous Springbrook National Park. This beautiful rainforest is filled with hiking trails to explore. You can walk up to, and behind, the stunning Twin Falls, and experience a panoramic view of the area from Canyon Lookout. Springbrook National Parks is also home to a population of glow worms, which can be seen after sunset in the Natural Bridge Cave.
The Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha are an incredible collection of gardens located just outside of Brisbane. There are themed sections for visitors to explore, including a fragrant garden with medical plants, a Japanese garden, tropical dome, collection of native rainforest trees, desert region space, Bonsai collection and bamboo grove. Only a short distance from the gardens is the Mount Coot-tha lookout, which overlooks the city of Brisbane and it perfect for sunset.
The Queen Street Mall is a large pedestrian shopping mall with a range of international and local luxury brands. Along the mall there are a few shopping centres, including Wintergarden, The Myer Centre and historic Brisbane Arcade. For more shopping, turn onto Albert Street and then make your way along Edward Street, Adelaide Street and Elisabeth Street. At the end of a hard-days retail-therapy, why not stop and refuel your body with one of the many fine eateries in the area. For details on some of the best places in Brisbane to grab a pizza check out our travel guide here.