9 Reasons Why You Should Visit Brisbane Over Melbourne

Brisbane River at Night © Flickr / Andrew Sutherland
Brisbane River at Night © Flickr / Andrew Sutherland
Photo of Alice Duffield
22 December 2017

You may be fooled into thinking that Brisbane isn’t worth visiting when you’re touring Australia. A modern city without the rich history of Melbourne or Sydney, with less culture to offer on the surface. However, Australia’s third largest city packs a massive punch when it comes to places to visit and things to see. It’s close to some of Australia’s best beaches, shares a state with the Great Barrier Reef, and is home to the largest pineapple you might ever lay your eyes on.

Easy street parking

One beautiful thing about a smaller population – it’s easier to get a park! Unless you want to park in the Central Business District or CBD, you can almost always get a spot that’s within walking distance from where you have to go for a small metered fee.

Better beaches

Brisbane has many beautiful beaches to choose from, either an hour north or an hour south. With crystal clear water, unlike southern beaches, ours can be swam in pretty much all year round. Some of our best beach days are during the winter because it’s not so hot. You definitely couldn’t say that about a Melbourne winter!

Country air and water holes

Because Brisbane’s geographical size is much smaller then Melbourne, we’ve got some great day trip options that are mere 20-minute drives or so from the CBD. Take a picnic lunch and head to the ‘country’ at Samford or pack your swimmers and head to Cedar Creek or Enoggera Reservoir.

Cedar Creek | © Flickr / Andrew Chambers

Small-town vibes

Brisbane has the pros of feeling like a small town – no long lines for lunch, people are polite to one another, and generally everyone can squeeze onto the bus or train the morning. But it also has the perks of being the third largest city in the country – great food scene, a buzzing arts and retail community, and something to do every weekend.

Inner city beach

Yes it’s a little strange that Brisbane has a man-made beach in the middle of the city, but it’s a bit of a novelty that not many cities have so we’re taking it as a win. In the middle of a Brisbane heat wave, you’ll be thankful for bodies of water anywhere you can find them.

South Bank | © Flickr / Paul-in-London

Better weather

We might have some stinking hot days for about 80% of the year but at least you know what you’re getting for the most part. Melbourne will throw you a new weather curve ball every day – hell, every hour! You have to be prepared for everything from 40 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, to torrential rain and cool winds 10 minutes later. Who needs that when travelling?


Generally Brisbane is a pretty safe city – crime rates are low here compared to Melbourne, so if you’re out late in the Valley, you don’t have to worry too much about getting back to the train, etc. It’s the kind of city you visit and think: ‘Yeah, I could settle down here one day’.

Theme parks

Less than an hour’s drive (or there are easy public transport options, too) from Brisbane are some of Australia’s best theme parks to choose from. If you’re a thrill-seeker or just want to kick back and cool down at Seaworld, Brisbane is the place to base yourself.

Movie World | © Flickr / Gary Bembridge

River city

Brisbane is really based around our river. It’s not the most beautiful of rivers – in fact it is (un)affectionately known by locals as the ‘brown snake’ – but it makes for a bit of a nice travel time. Jump on the City Cat and explore areas like New Farm, Bulimba, South Bank, and West End, all while enjoying great city views.

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