Welcome to Brisbane! Brisbane is in the southeast corner of Queensland, Australia. Brisbane, or ‘Briz-Vegas’ as it is affectionately known by Australians, is the largest city and capital of Queensland. Although not as hectic as Sydney, Brisbane is a metropolitan city with museums, art galleries, universities, restaurants, and shopping, and a welcoming, relaxed vibe. At night Brisbane comes alive with a very vibrant music scene in the local pubs and nightclubs.
This sub-tropical Queensland capital has a flavor all of its very own and when you scratch the surface you will find an intriguing multicultural city filled with things to do and see.
Brisbane is well and truly a river city and you cannot truly discover the city if you do not get out onto the river waters. One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to do this is to head to a City Cat ferry terminal in the CBD. The City Cat ferries are catamarans that glide up and down the river between Bulimba and the University of Queensland campus at St.Lucia. All vessels in operation are named after Aboriginal place names along the river.
You can choose to sit inside away from the elements, but standing out on the deck with the breeze in your hair is the way to go. Perhaps leave the City Cat at the Gardens Point terminal and you are right near the Botanical Gardens. Take a short stroll through the tropical gardens and then meander over to South Bank on the Goodwill footbridge. At South Bank, you can take a swim in the artificial beach that is located there and spend some time soaking up that famous Queensland sunshine right in the heart of the city. Brisbane attractions are many and include museums, art galleries, historical buildings and parks. Close by to the north is the Sunshine Coast and to the south is the Gold Coast with theme parks and beaches. Visit the seaside towns of Manly and Sandgate where you can enjoy seafood straight from the fishing boats. Offshore are the islands of Moreton Bay with beaches, resorts, and dolphins.
An easy way to see Brisbane attractions and the surrounding area is on one of the Brisbane tours. Excellent transport is available via fast Brisbane ferries on the Brisbane River or the network of buses and trains. If you are an adrenalin junkie try some of the many Brisbane activities such as hot air ballooning.
Brisbane is an outdoor city that combines old sandstone churches with the new glass high rise buildings. Throughout the city are open parklands with palm trees where you can sit, relax and enjoy Brisbane’s subtropical weather.
Whatever the pace Brisbane has it all. Cappuccino by the river, climbing Kangaroo Point cliffs or the Story Bridge, shopping on Queen Street Mall or enjoy the variety of water sports in the area. Plan your trip to Brisbane with Expedia and take advantage of the travel guides it provides to help you decide where to stay and what to do when you’re here.
At night, try the fine restaurants, sophisticated bars and live music venues. If you are interested in something more cultural there are the musicals, art galleries, live theatre, museums and guided walking tours of the city’s historical sites.
Brisbane enjoys year-round great weather and the climate is warm for most of the year. The weather in Brisbane is subtropical with warm, hot and often humid summers and dry, warm winters. The city of Brisbane lies a little inland from the coast, which to some can make summer repressive, and sits 768 kilometers south of the Tropic of Capricorn. During the summer months December to March, thunderstorms are very common with heavy rain, sometimes accompanied by large damaging hailstones. Summer maximum average temperatures hover around only 30C, but there can be some extremely hot days when residents – and visitors – head east to the coast to cool down. By contrast, Brisbane’s weather in winter is mild and very pleasant. The humidity disappears and most winter days are a delight with sunshine and average temperatures of around 15C.
Brisbane itself is built along the Brisbane River and is a great place to base yourself as it is serviced by an excellent public transport system, which includes buses, taxis, trains, and watercraft. The city is also a great place to get all of your tour information and tips for exploring the rest of Queensland. Brisbane city is located just 9km from the airport and is easily accessible by Sky Train from the airport.
Disembark at Roma Street Station, located right beside the gorgeous Roma Street Parklands and a large range of backpacker hostels, friendly tour operators and pubs and clubs for you to meet fellow travelers in. Located just across the river is Brisbane’s South Bank which features a beach, fabulous restaurants and cafes, and acres of parklands for you to enjoy.
Brisbane is fast developing a reputation for its live music scene, so when the sun goes down make your way to Fortitude Valley; home to some of the best nightspots in Brisbane. Brisbane is also a city with a great reputation for its arts scene and venues such as the Queensland Performing Arts Centre or QPAC. When the weekend comes, head to a local market for breakfast and while you are there check out the arts and crafts, great food, second-hand goods, and organic produce.
There are many Brisbane tours some in the city and others a short ride away. Maybe start by conquering your fear of heights with this 2.5-hour bridge climb spanning the Brisbane River. One of only 3 bridge climbs in the world, the Story Bridge climb offers spectacular views from the top – take in the beauty of the river, the towering buildings of the CBD and the dramatic cliffs of Kangaroo Point all in one sweeping panorama. Choose from a daylight or evening tour – or combine the best of both worlds and watch the sunset from the twilight session. Expert guides will outline the history of the Bridge – and the legends and scandals surrounding the structure. Celebrate your climbing prowess with a pint and a bite at the Story Bridge Hotel.
Always wanted to rollerblade but not sure how? Take a lesson with an expert instructor then work those thighs as you cruise along the Brisbane River floating boardwalk. Scale new heights at Kangaroo Point as you learn the finer points of rock climbing at the Riverlife Adventure Centre. Using the craggy outcrops as your guide, the qualified instructors will have you at the top of the twenty-meter cliffs in no time – soak in the views before you jump off and abseil down. If heights aren’t your thing, join a kayak tour group and explore the shoreline of the Brisbane River by day (hold on to your oars as the ferries zip by!) or night (paddle along under the stars, finishing up with a celebratory glass of bubbly!).
Just 75 minutes cruise from Brisbane city lies the tropical escape of Tangalooma. Located on Moreton Island, this resort caters to the day-tripper or the extended guest with a range of land and sea-based activities. Hop on an ATV and be guided through the island’s hilly forests before racing up and down the golden dunes. Grab a snorkel or some scuba gear and dive in to explore the submerged shipwrecks. Easily the most popular attraction is the nightly wild dolphin feedings – resort guests can feed the dolphins by hand from the beach!
Jump into the air-conditioned pods for a spin around the Wheel of Brisbane. Located in the picturesque South Bank Parklands, the Wheel offers 360-degree views of Brisbane – from 60m up in the air!
No visit to Brisbane would be complete without a tour of the famous XXXX Alehouse. Well-informed guides will answer all your questions on the history of the brewhouse, and the interactive tour will show you exactly how Queensland’s favorite beer is made. Stop off at the Alehouse Bar after the tour to sample the best of the brews – don’t miss out on the delicious pub grub either!
Experience the spooky side of Brisbane’s history with a ghostly walking tour or creepy crime walk through the CBD – let the experts show you why Brisbane was once voted the world’s second most haunted city! Still feeling brave? Sign up for a night tour of Brisbane’s largest burial site, Toowong Cemetery.