The gateway to sub-tropical Queensland, Brisbane may not have the cachet of its rival Sydney but it has an innovative and vibrant edge – without the sky-high costs.
A diverse and surprisingly green city, it boasts one of the fastest growing economies in Australia and a distinctive style of its own – you’ll see the timber-clad Queenslander buildings built on ‘stilts’ with their attractive verandas throughout the city and surrounds.
The meandering River Brisbane provides a focal point for the numerous activities that take place both on and off the water. From kayaking at night to fine dining at one of the many riverside restaurants, Brissie’s South Bank offers an amazing array of bustling markets, cutting-edge museums, contemporary art exhibitions and award-winning shows.
A good way to acquaint yourself with the city’s sights is to take a free guided walk. Tours depart from the Brisbane Visitor Information & Booking Centre, Monday to Friday at 12pm, taking in the Brisbane Arcade, City Hall, Treasury Casino, Queens Gardens, Old State Library, Botanical gardens, Old Government House, Brisbane Club and the only statue of Queen Victoria.
Shopaholics will not be disappointed, either, thanks to a wonderful array of outlets, everything from heritage-listed arcades and funky shopping precincts to the 700 stores in the glittering Queen Street Mall.
Night owls will find the nightlife as hot as the sub tropical climate, with a variety of hip bars and funky clubs to choose from.