The capital of Queensland, Brisbane is a sun-soaked riverside city of history, cultural attractions, gardens, shopping, edgy cafés and a cool, laid-back vibe that’s generally not found in cities. Each year it welcomes over a million visitors who stay in chic city apartments and waterfront holiday homes around the Brisbane area. Winding through the city is the broad Brisbane River, overlooked by the high-rise CBD and the famous Story Bridge.
Visitors to Brisbane will find this compact but hilly city easy to get around on foot, bicycle, free bus or ferry. Riverside dining, grand architecture and an eclectic arts scene provide something for everyone.
Stanley Street Plaza is the place to find handmade jewellery and vintage gifts at the weekend Collective Markets. Brisbane’s South Bank is the cultural and arts hub with museums, galleries, restaurants and 42 acres of parkland. And you can catch a glimpse of it all from the Brisbane Wheel on the waterfront.
Postcard pretty South Bank even has its own pristine man-made city beach and Aquativity water park located next to the Brisbane river, and promises to keep the kids happily entertained for hours. For a bit of extra adventure, you can access South Bank and other parts of Brisbane via the local ferry service called the CityCat.
Nearby coastal towns like the Gold Coast (south) and Sunshine Coast (north) are packed with fun-filled activities for the whole family and are an easy two-hour drive or train ride away. With so much to in and around Brisbane, it’s the perfect base for your next family holiday.
On the North Bank, James Street is the hub for shopping, lined with speciality stores offering home-grown Australian designer names. Winn Lane and Bakery Lane offer a clutch of quirky boutiques while Fortitude Valley is the place to find lively nightlife and evening entertainment.
Things to do in Brisbane
Brisbane’s landmark Story Bridge is the longest cantilever bridge in Australia. Visitors can cruise beneath it or climb this Queensland Heritage-listed monument. A 2-hour guided ascent offers panoramic views of the city and World Heritage listed Gold Coast Bushland and it’s a speedy 98-foot abseil back down!
Art enthusiasts can visit the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) while music lovers should head to The Triffid which frequently hosts top concerts.
Mount Coot-tha is the best place for panoramic city views from the pleasant Brisbane Botanic Gardens. You may even spot your Brisbane holiday home from the bushland lookout.
Kayaking on the Brisbane River with a local guide is a novel way to see all the city landmarks. Tours are offered by day or by moonlight and some tours end with a barbecue or king prawn dinner. Other fun tours to enjoy from Brisbane holiday accommodation include Craft Beer Tours and Chocolate Tours, both with plenty of samples along the way.
Brisbane’s offshore islands offer idyllic sandy beaches for surfing, swimming, snorkelling, diving and spotting migrating whales from May to October. Explore the tiny villages on North Stradbroke Island (Straddie) or spend the day on Moreton Island for eco-tours, fishing, sandboarding and diving the famous Tangalooma Wrecks. They are all just a short ferry ride from your Brisbane holiday rental.