What should probably be the first stop for any tourist in Brisbane, the Southbank is located perfectly in the city center. The parklands here boast a beach, gardens, restaurants, cafes a movie theater and the Brisbane Eye, which is perfect for viewing the city lights in the evening. What’s more, regular theater and performance events take place in the area, along with free fitness classes, children’s art workshops and open-air cinema showings.
Southbank, Stanley Street, South Brisbane, Australia, +61 7 3156 6366
Next stop is GOMA, Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art, which is situated within walking distance of the Southbank area. This one is a constantly changing exhibition space and often features well renowned artists from both Australia and abroad. The gallery specializes in art installations in particular, with each room offering a different creative experience. What’s more – and this is definitely the best part – it’s all completely free!
GOMA, Stanley Place,South Brisbane, Australia, +61 7 3840 7303
Mt Cootha without a doubt has the best views on offer of the whole city. The bay can be seen in the distance, and by night the city lights are nothing short of spectacular. A great outdoor activity on a sunny day is parking at the bottom of the mountain and trekking up one of the many paths to enjoy the view at the top. There are plenty of picnic spots along the way, and it’s great fun to watch the panorama of Brisbane develop as you get higher and higher along the ridge.
New Farm Park & Powerhouse
The Powerhouse is an old power station turned theater, and is a popular location for functions and weddings. You can catch comedy shows or art exhibitions here, but if you’re looking for an option without a price tag, pack a picnic and enjoy it next door in New Farm Park, where views of the city can be enjoyed from the flower gardens. On-site there’s also a bandstand and plenty of seating areas facing the skyline of the town across the river – perfect for soaking in the Brisbane sun.
Shop on James Street
After stopping off at the riverside gardens of New Farm, hit up James Street, which sites just 10 minutes’ stroll away. The veritable nerve center of Auckland’s shopping line-up, this one is loaded with outlets and high-street regulars, perfect for picking up Australia’s best in fashion, design and the latest trends. The street is also loaded with high-class restaurants, meaning its perfect if you forgot that picnic.
Enjoy a night out at Eagle Street Pier
In the evening, why not head for a classy cocktail and a night out at the Eagle Street Pier? The restaurant options here are the best around and there are also a range of cocktail bars and clubs to choose from, so get your dancing shoes out! Blackbird, Jade Buddha and Fridays Riverside are just a few to check out, all after enjoying a fine dinner at the River Bar and Kitchen, Sake or George’s Seafood Paragon – the choices and combos are endless!
Eagle St, Brisbane City, Australia, +61 13 12 30
North Stradbroke Island
“Straddie”, as its known endearingly to the locals here, is an otherworldly paradise, just a short ferry trip from Brisbane central. Offering white-sand beaches with sparkling turquoise waters, the best accommodation is at Point Lookout, however a day trip is feasible too. Catch the ferry from Cleveland, where you can get a connecting bus to the Point or stop off at Cylinder Beach along the way. The burger joint behind the hill at Cylinder Beach is a favorite and offers some fine lunchtime treats to travellers.
Eat Street Markets
Eat Street Markets is where the best culinary geniuses around Brisbane get together on Friday and Saturday nights and sell their delicious creations out of the back of vans. There are oodles of different cuisines and kitchens on offer, coming from places all around the world; from Japanese to donuts to kale salads done in the vein of healthy vegetarianism. It’s a wonderful, wonderful place for any budding foodie!
Eat Street Markets, Macarthur Avenue, Brisbane, Australia, +61 7 3358 2500
Rockclimb at Kangaroo Point Cliffs
For anyone feeling in need of a little exercise after indulging at the uber-tasty Eat Street Markets, a spot of rock climbing at Kangaroo Point might just be the perfect thing. Most evenings clubs are climbing the sheer cliff faces here, enjoying the killer views and stretching their muscles to the limit. Don’t miss a chance to get the adrenaline pumping in the middle of the Brisbane cityscape!
Jan Power’s Farmers Markets
Wednesdays in Anzac Square, Saturdays at the Powerhouse and Sundays at Michelton and Manly are the beautiful locations in which you will find the Jan Powers Farmers Markets in Brisbane. The locally grown products are fresh, seasonal and patrons will be supporting local businesses as they buy. A great place to pick up lunch or some delicious ingredients for a home-made dinner, this one is local and welcoming to the T.