Our top sights, highlights and exclusive tips
Brisbane, a city populated with warm urbanites and a subtropical climate, is famed for its friendly nature. But it’s the glut of eateries and drinkeries, an evolving music scene, and blaze of galleries spread across this burgeoning eastern treasure that has helped form its identity. Story Bridge provides climbing opportunities that lead to eye-opening views of skyscraper skylines, while Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (130 and counting) provides personal wildlife introductions.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
South Bank Parklands
Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
Queen Street Mall
The first and largest sanctuary for Koalas is more than a world record. It is a place to meet, hold and feed animals in their natural environment. It’s also an opportunity to connect emotionally with nature as you learn about the importance of habitats in relation to wildlife preservation. Take a river cruise from downtown Brisbane to this forested sanctuary retreat.
Proudly regarded as Queensland’s premier cultural destination, South Bank Parklands hosts bumper sized festivals and exquisitely curated events. Hit up South Bank Cultural Precinct and take your pick from an array of art centers, a state library, and plenty of museums. Little Stanley Street bulges with cafés, bars and restaurants that will only delight the pallet.
For the forward-thinking art lover—Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art is a must-see venue full of boundary pushing works. A single institution split across two adjacent riverside buildings, its exterior alone is worth a look. A constantly evolving program of international and Australian exhibits excites year-round at this one-off venue of progressive arty pleasures.
Located by the riverside waters is an outstanding botanic garden that was once a park planted by convicts with crops used to feed a prison colony. Today it’s a well-deserved central attraction full of rare species and plantation such as the encasing Bamboo Grove. The verdant Weeping Fig Avenue is another of the many highlight attractions you’ll discover at Brisbane City Botanic Gardens.
A bumper-sized retailer paradise with enough retail stores and city dwelling spots: it’s nearly impossible not to find something that takes your fancy. 700 retailers spread over 430,000 square feet includes six distinct centers. After a marathon day spent working your wallet, treat yourself and head the popular Aquarius Health Medispa for some TLC.
75-minutes from Brisbane is the world’s largest sand island. Climb sand dunes and explore beaches that are surrounded by an abundance of wildflowers. In the waters of Moreton Bay, hand feed wild dolphins or explore mysterious shipwrecks with a dive or snorkel. A highlight is the natural ocean pool: Champagne Pools. Whale watching cruises run from June to October. Stay awhile or come back to visit this island escape.
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