Brisbane was a large country town for a very long time. At least in my lifetime I first went to Brisbane when it was had a Main Street and the feel you would expect in from a country town. Very relaxed. Easy going.
Brisbane today has hints of this feel but it is no longer a large country town but a buzzing metropolis. It has grunge in the valley, sophistication in the city centre and urban chic in the suburbs. The cafes have moved in and Brisbane is awake and moving forward rapidly. With vast improvements to both the airport and other infrastructure it is now hard to imagine it was described as a country town. Not only that, the result is a collaboration of innovative and exciting new concepts throughout the city.
As I have done with reviews of Sydney and Melbourne I will list my must do’s and you can build from there dependent upon how much time you have. They have looked at what other cities around the world are doing and made changes to suit their environment. It’s working.
Brisbane sits on a river inland from the coast. The river brings with it lovely walks and parks along the foreshore. The new development at Southbank is both the setting for a perfect afternoon stroll, but also a lovely dinner or lunch out. Pack your scooters and you have the perfect setting for an afternoon of fun.
Here’s my list of what you must see, you build on this from here.
- River cruise – this will give you a chance to sit back and gather your bearings and get an understanding of what is where in this city.
- Southbank. Take a stroll along the river front and part take in the free yoga or the free Capoeira lessons. There is always something happening down here and you will be bound to find something as you wander. South Bank Parklands are home to the Queensland Art Gallery, with the Gallery of Modern Art, State Library, Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, and Streets Beach (pack swimwear and towels)
- Eat Street Market from Friday – Sunday between 4-10pm the alleyways of shipping containers down by Hamilton Wharf become a bustling night market filled with food, gifts and entertainment sparkling fairy lights.
- Kanagroo Point is home to Riverlife Adventure Centre which offers a range of activities. Kayaking, bikes and scooters can all be hired. Once again, you’ll find paths and tracks along the river.
- Roma Street Parkland is full of winding shaded paths. There is a café and wide open spaces of lawn. Brisbane is full of parks and places outside. Read more here.
- New Farm is a great area where you stop at the nearby shopping centre before taking a run at the nearby parklands. The park is surrounded by lovely figs that create much needed shade in Brisbane’s climate but also hiding places for kids as they run around.
I have family on the North side so I tend to stay in Spring Hill. There are lots of groovy apartment style accommodation that won’t leave you feeling like you are staying in a boring old hotel room.
Rydges at Southbank is a great location if you want to be near the river and have access from your doorstep to meander along the riverbank. Kangaroo Point has a multitude of apartment style hotels.
Roma Street Parkland – playground.
Photo courtesy of news.com.au Southbank Beach.