Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland is considered the most relaxed capital city in Australia. But don’t assume that relaxed means boring. Brisbane doesn’t feel the need to gloat about its attractions, because it’s just part of the lifestyle.
Brisbane is located on the east coast of Australia, approximately 1000 kilometres north of Sydney, a quick 1.5hr flight or a few days’ drive in your campervan or motorhome depending on how much you want to stop and see on the way. With temperatures ranging between 21-30oC in Summer, Brisbane can be quite humid, although relief from the humidity is provided by intermittent summer storms which also make spectacular viewing. In summer take an umbrella wherever you go. Storms are fast and furious and sometimes strike with little warning. I’m not kidding when I say it can be both sunny and raining at the same time! Winter temperatures sit within the ranges of 10-21oC and it’s the driest part of the year.
Brisbane’s balmy climate and river frontage has seen a surge of new restaurants and activities in the city. Southbank Parklands runs alongside the Brisbane River and offers prime views of the city. Its many restaurants, boutique bars, cinemas, beautiful green parkland and picnic areas make it an urban oasis in the heart of the city. Adjacent to Southbank is Brisbane’s cultural precinct. Here you will find the Queensland Performing Arts Complex, Queensland Museum, Sciencentre, Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Theatre Company, Gallery of Modern Art and the State Library. If you love all things cultural – the ballet, the opera, theatre, and music, you are in the right place here.
The Kangaroo Point Cliffs offer a prime view of Brisbane city which is unbeatable. From here you can view the city in all its glory stretching from South Bank to the Story Bridge. Return at night to see a spectacular view of the city skyline. The Ernst & Young building with its spiderweb design is a particular highlight. But the view isn’t the only activity at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs; you can climb those orange-coloured cliffs day and night, visit Riverlife and paddle down the river in a kayak, climb the Story Bridge (situated above the worlds shortest highway) for another amazing view of the city, or abseil down it. I should warn you though, the locals are quite a sporty bunch so expect a lot of runners, walkers and cyclists when you wander around. Some advice: keep to the left.
Brisbane, known as the River City, definitely lives up to its name. During the lunch hour you will find city workers spilling from restaurants and pubs along the river. Follow their lead and head into one of the many restaurants that line the river. Eagle Street Pier and Riverside offer a number of restaurants view great views of the city. Venture further into the heart of the CBD and you will find the Queen Street Mall, Brisbane’s main shopping precinct. Explore the surrounding streets and you will find the most magnificent Moreton Bay Fig ever seen, a 100 year old cathedral, city botanic gardens, the Anzac war memorial and public art scattered around the city.
Brisbane has a number of transport options to get you out and about. Trains and Buses are the most used, servicing a large area of the city and its extension into suburbia. Ferries and CityCats glide up and down the Brisbane River offering a relaxing journey between destinations. There are a few free transport options – City Hopper Ferries, City Circle and Spring Hill bus loop. They have a reliable timetable but are limited to the inner city area.