Brisbane Travel Guide
Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city and the capital of Queensland. With a population of two million, it is growing rapidly and offers an abundance of excitement.
This city oozes confidence and a positive attitude, driven by youthful enthusiasm. It is said to be the friendliest city on Australia’s east coast, where the abundant migration from South East Asia and elsewhere has created a diverse cultural mix.
The pleasant atmosphere, spectacular surrounding landscape and year-round warm climate make Brisbane an attractive and always welcoming place.
- Top 5 reasons to visit Brisbane
- What to do in Brisbane
- When to visit Brisbane
- Getting to Brisbane
- Where to stay in Brisbane
- Getting around Brisbane
- Cost of living in Brisbane
- Where to eat in Brisbane
Top 5 reasons to visit Brisbane
Manly Boat Harbour
Manly Boat Harbor connects the city to Moreton Bay, which has stunning canals and many islands to explore. Manly Harbour Village offers a beautiful marina with many interesting restaurants and shops.
Mount Coot-tha is the highest mountain in the Brisbane area and offers excellent views of the city. It is also home to the planetarium and botanical gardens. It features scenic hiking and biking trails through the forest.
South Bank hosted the 1988 World’s Fair. It has now been transformed into a shopping and dining area with extensive parks and an artificial beach. It’s a great place to hang out and enjoy a swim.
Roma Street Parkland
Roma Street Parkland is the largest urban subtropical garden in the world, bringing together some 2000 unique plant species. It allows you to walk through the rainforest and admire art exhibitions that reflect the urban spirit of Brisbane.
The area around Brisbane is full of national parks, vineyards, lakes and rainforests. The McPherson Range, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a magnificent experience of Australia’s spectacular nature.
What to do in Brisbane
Visit a koala sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the largest and oldest koala sanctuary in the world. Located on the banks of the Brisbane River, it has a long history of bringing these friendly animals to the general public. After hugging one of them, admire wombats, Tasmanian devils, kookaburras, emus and other local species – there’s even a kangaroo enclosure where you can feed them!
Enjoy culture in Queensland
The heart of Brisbane has a thriving cultural centre. You can’t miss the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art, both with world-class collections and world-renowned shows. In addition, the Centre for the Performing Arts programmes spectacular performances. Take advantage of this cultural immersion to relax in the riverfront South Bank Parklands and then ride the CityCat Ferry.
Admire the Story Bridge
This feat of design and engineering is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. The iconic Story Bridge connects the northern suburbs of Brisbane to the Central Business District. Thousands of people cross it every day, whether by car, bicycle or on foot. The views are splendid. After sunset, the wonder becomes even more impressive with the illumination of the night sky.
Relive history at Brisbane City Hall
Built in the Italian Renaissance style, Brisbane’s City Hall stands out in the heart of this city for its majestic atmosphere. Elegant yet sturdy, it has a clock tower that rises to the sky and rings every quarter hour. Its peculiar sound reaches as far as the neighbouring suburbs. Tourists enjoy tours of the historic building and tower, as well as access to the Brisbane Museum, located on the rooftop. There are also beautiful cafes to relax in.
Admire Australian flora in the botanical gardens
Spend a relaxing day in the city’s botanical gardens along the Brisbane River, which are full of delicious sights and lush smells. The grounds, where local species have flourished for more than a hundred years, remain Queensland’s horticultural pride. Various contemporary sculptures complement the landscape, which you can cycle through.
When to visit Brisbane
One of Brisbane’s advantages is its excellent annual climate. It avoids the worst of the wet season in northern Australia and stays warm when the south cools down in summer. Summer temperatures reach a maximum of 35°C and winter temperatures rarely fall below 20°C.
Getting to Brisbane
Brisbane Airport (BNE) is 19 km northeast of the city centre. It connects well with all major Australian cities and links through South East Asia to Europe and North America. The airport is also well connected to the city. The Airtrain leaves every 15 minutes and costs A$ 17, taking about 30 minutes to reach the city. CoachTrans will take you to your accommodation for A$ 20, while a taxi to the centre will cost about A$ 35.
Brisbane is well served by two rail networks. Countrylink links it to other major Australian cities such as Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. Queensland Rail offers additional services.
Visitors driving from major southern cities can reach Brisbane via New England or Pacific Highways. The A1 connects the city to northern Queensland, while the M1 travels to the Gold Coast.
Premier Motor Service links most centres on the east coast, while Greyhound Australia has connections to almost every major city.
Airports near Brisbane
(OOL) Coolangatta Gold Coast
(MCY) Maroochydore Sunshine Coast
Where to stay in Brisbane
Brisbane’s Central Business District (CBD) includes most of the city’s shopping streets, parks and historical sites. It also brings together some of the major hotel chains.
Brisbane City Backpackers offers budget accommodation, while The Emporium Hotel is a good exclusive accommodation, with excellent rooms, spa and gym. Raceway Motels dot the city with good quality accommodation at affordable prices.
Neighbourhoods of interest in Brisbane
South Bank has many restaurants, an urban beach and promenades. It is also home to the Brisbane Cultural Precinct, with the Queensland Art Gallery, the Queensland Museum, the Queensland Centre for Performing Arts and the Gallery of Modern Art.
Fortitude Valley is the hub of nightlife and the alternative shopping district. It also includes Brisbane’s Chinatown. You’ll find many bars and clubs with famous DJs. It is possibly the best district for live entertainment and music in Australia.
New Farm is Brisbane’s exclusive shopping and dining area. Perfect to see and be seen, it is usually frequented by the local public.
Getting around Brisbane
Brisbane has three public transport networks: buses, ferries and trains. They all share a ticketing system, TransLink, which makes it possible to transfer between them. Fares start at A$4 for a single journey. Another possibility is to buy a Go card, starting at A$ 10.
Taxis in Brisbane are plentiful and reliable. The main companies are Black & White Cabs and Yellow Cabs. You can stop them on the street – except on Friday and Saturday nights in the centre – and pay by cash or card. A 5-mile trip will cost you about A$22.
The city centre only allows one-way traffic, so driving can be confusing. Parking in the centre costs between A$ 15 and 40 per day. There are many toll roads and rush hour traffic can be extremely slow. Renting a car for a day will cost you A$50. You can do this with Avis, Budget and Thrifty.
Cost of living in Brisbane
You’ll find most of the major stores in the CBD. The Queen Street Mall is the best shopping destination in Queensland. It has over 700 stores in six shopping centres and you can buy everything from fashion to jewellery and hunting items. There are also restaurants, a casino, a cinema and street entertainment. More artsy, diverse and local shops are available in the West End and Paddington.
Groceries and more
Brisbane has a wide range of supermarkets, including Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and IGA. A beer in a bar will cost you A$6 and a drink will cost you between A$15 and 20.
Where to eat in Brisbane
The Beach House Bar & Grill on Albert Street is a good value restaurant, serving bar food in larger portions and offering live entertainment. You will pay A$ 15 for a plate with a drink. Little Tokyo is the oldest Japanese restaurant in Brisbane. For the best steaks in the city, and maybe Australia, stop by the Cha Cha Char Wine Bar & Grill on Eagle St. Expect. A three-course menu will cost you about A$ 75.