Australia’s Most Underrated City: A Guide to Brisbane
For many visitors, Brisbane, the capital of Queensland and Australia’s third largest city, isn’t usually high on the list of places to see.
The more celebrated and larger cities of Melbourne and Sydney tend to be more popular, but there are good reasons to include Brisbane in your itinerary.
Brisbane is very much the gateway to Queensland for those travelling north to Sydney or Melbourne, and offers an easy base to access the delights of the Gold Coast and its 30 beaches to the south and the beautiful Sunshine Coast area to the north. Book your car rental in Brisbane to open up an even bigger Aussie adventure.
Sights, culture, cuisine, shopping and relaxation
Brisbane has much to offer including one of the best climates in the country; being sub tropical it’s warm more or less all year round with temperatures ranging from 21 to just under 30 °C in the summer and between 11 and 21 °C in the winter.
An area of the city containing a diverse mixture of activities and attractions including: great shopping including street markets and ‘one off’ boutique style shops, culture in the form of the Queensland Art Gallery and Performing Arts Centre, relaxing picnic areas, the Brisbane Wheel affording fantastic panoramic views of the city, and lovely walks including the riverside promenade.
Queen Street Mall
A pedestrianised area full of retail stores (more than 700), shops, cafés, bars and more – and there’s plenty of buskers and street performers to add variety and colour.
More great shopping is available in this area from quirky boutiques to high end Australian designer speciality stores.
Visit the Collective Markets held over weekends at Stanley Street Plaza featuring handmade jewellery, antiques, vintage fashion and art.
The walk up is reasonably gentle and you’re rewarded with great views over the city and Moreton Bay.
City Botanical Gardens
A relaxing oasis of calm and beauty right in the central area of Brisbane, you can take time out to sit and relax or wander around the pretty gardens with the bustle of the city just a stone’s throw away.
One of Brisbane’s signature structures, the climb up the bridge takes you 80 metres above sea level and affords spectacular views across the city and north to the Glasshouse Mountains and south to the Gold Coast areas.
You can abseil down it if you’re feeling particularly daring.
The coastline features many idyllic islands including Moreton Island; the third largest sand island in the world and reachable in 70 minutes by ferry from Brisbane.
It’s a beautiful mix of sandy beaches, lagoons and bush and great for snorkelling and diving round the Tangalooma Wrecks. North Stradbroke Island features three villages, glorious surf beaches and viewings of migrating whales between June and October.
If you just fancy easy to access beach relaxation, Brisbane offers Streets Beach – an inner-city man-made beach at South Bank.
Enjoy a dip in the water within sight of the cityscape.
A quick 12 kilometre ride in your hire car gets you to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary.
You can handle a koala, feed a kangaroo and – if you’re feeling brave – hold a snake or bird of prey and learn about more than 100 species of Australian wildlife.
Art and culture
On the South Bank explore the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art housed in two riverside buildings containing more than 17,000 works of modern, contemporary and historical art.
Dining and drinking
There’s no shortage of dining and drinking options from fine dining, international cuisine and value for money establishments; Grays Road has a wide selection of eating and drinking places to refuel after all the sightseeing and shopping.
Worth a visit
Brisbane is certainly worth a visit; it’s a great prelude to your trip into Queensland or an ideal way to grab a city experience after the beaches and sights further north.