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Travel guide Brisbane

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Brilliant Brisbane
  • Stradbroke Island
  • Manly Harbour Brisbane
  • Brisbane
  • Stradbroke Island

Brisbane is an unexpected pleasure, which unlike some of Australia’s flashier cities, reveals itself slowly.  But don’t think that means there is less on offer!  The city is a blend of old and new … beautiful sandstone cathedrals and modern office towers each have their place in a city that has a pace and a feeling all its own.

The river flows through the heart of the city and has a series of riverfront walks that give a great insight into this always surprising place.  Brisbane has a wonderful climate, although those who feel the heat may prefer to visit in what passes for winter, when both the temperature and the humidity is lower.

What to do
… or rather, how to fit it all in!  Brisbane has something to please all types of travellers, with its combination of nightlife, great restaurants, access to wonderful beaches and lots of choices for the culturally-inclined!  Here is just a tasting plate of the smorgasbord of activities to choose from.

• A great way to get your bearings is by taking a river cruise or ferry along the river, which winds its way through the city before opening up into Moreton Bay.  On Moreton Bay Island you can feed wild dolphins.
•  Take the drive to the top of Mt Coot-tha for a fabulous view of the city and beyond.  Marvel at the distant ranges, the city skyline, the curve of Moreton Bay – all laid out for you.  Make the most of your visit and enjoy a coffee or meal at the top.
• South Bank is uniquely Brisbane, with its array of shops, cinemas, picnic spots, dozens of eating places, sandy beach – and that is just the beginning!  Since its opening it has become the heart of the city – and it is easy to see why.
•  Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the oldest koala sanctuary in Australia, a place where you can cuddle a koala, handfeed the kangaroos and marvel at the wildlife.  A great family day out.
• Don’t forget that the fabulous Gold Coast is just down the road, and theme parks such as MovieWorld and DreamWorld are pretty much halfway between the city and the Gold Coast.

The city centre has it all when it comes to shopping, from city chic to beach casual and everything in between.  Queen Street Mall is almost a kilometre of shopping choices, with everything from flagship stores to unique boutiques and international fashion houses.  With its mix of great dining, coffee shops and street performers, you will find it hard to drag yourself away.

If you are looking for something a little different, visit The Valley, a boho precinct full of edgy designs in fashion and jewellery.  And don’t forget the wonderful shopping choices of South Bank and its surrounds.

Of course, a city with such a wonderful climate is a prime location for outdoor markets so head downtown on the weekends and enjoy digging through a fabulous range of merchandise.

Museums and galleries
South Bank offers more than great food and great shopping; it is also home to the Cultural Centre, comprising the Queensland Art Gallery and the new Gallery of Modern Art.  If you are looking for a little more action with your culture, then the Queensland Performing Arts Centre offers dozens of choices, including drama, opera and ballet.

The Queensland Museum is always popular with its exhibits showing the natural environment and cultural heritage, but kids love its new Sciencentre, with its interactive, science-based fun – for kids of all ages!

For lovers of contemporary arts, the Brisbane Powerhouse Centre for the Arts is home to a progressive program that is sure to intrigue.  There is also a myriad of smaller contemporary and indigenous galleries at Red Hill and South Brisbane.

For the garden lovers
The Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens are only 7kms from the CBD and have a planetarium, lagoon, Japanese gardens, tropical display dome and themed gardens over 52 hectares.  However, you can wander down to the City Botanic Gardens beside the river and enjoy a fascinating walk along the boardwalk through the mangroves.

Another option is to take the train to the Roma Street Parkland the world’s largest urban subtropical garden and a garden-lover’s paradise with distinct precincts showing a diversity of plants – from arid climate succulents to rainforest ferns, coastal wetland species and a spectacular, ever-changing display of annuals in the aptly named Spectacle Garden.

How to get there
An international airport, international port, railways and major highways make Brisbane an easily accessible place. All major airlines and bus companies travel to Brisbane.

Whether you are hoping to relax in a self-contained apartment, luxury hotel, quaint bed & breakfast or prefer the adventure of towing a caravan around Brisbane and beyond, you will find the perfect Brisbane accommodation for you at TakeABreak.com.au. Stay in the Brisbane CBD, or for something different nearby Stradbroke Island.

Ideal length of visit
Brisbane has so much to do and see that you really need at least a week to scratch the surface.  If you have more time at your disposal, you can take the opportunity to explore the hinterland and the nearby glorious beaches of the Sunshine Coast.

Further information
Head to Our Brisbane for more ideas on what to see and do in this city of surprises.

About the Author 
Lisa Monk is a marketing communications writer with a diverse background that includes experience in travel, hotel, finance, public relations and advertising. She has worked with Club Med, the Holiday Inn group and on a number of other travel projects on a freelance basis.  Lisa has travelled extensively throughout Asia Pacific, America and England.

Lisa now works with TakeABreak.com.au as editor of the Holiday Inspirations newsletter and other publications.  She lives in Sydney with her husband Andy, and sons Joseph and Nicholas.


About the author
Find out more about Lisa at http://bit.ly/h_experts

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