Image by Brisbane-based illustrator Hologram Jelly

The Insider Guide to Brisbane

Brisbane is the subtropical capital of Queensland, where the sun shines an average of 283 days a year. With a colourful plethora of museums and galleries and gastronomy, Brisbane has truly come into its own.

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The Main Attractions

The heritage-listed Story Bridge is the most iconic structure in Brisbane, spanning the Brisbane River and bridging the northern and southern suburbs. If you don’t struggle with vertigo, you can take an adventurous climb up the bridge. From the top, you can look out as far as the Glass House Mountains, or to the beautiful Moreton Bay. It also gives you a real sense of the city - looking down on the historic City Hall and the 1860’s Old Government House, which sits on the edge of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. If you’re a lover of art, then you’ve got to stop off at the Queensland Cultural Centre and explore Brisbane's Cultural Precinct. As you’d expect from the name, it’s the art and cultural hub of Brisbane, home to State-leading institutions like the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art (known as the GOMA). At the former, you’ll find more traditional, international work, while at the GOMA it’s all about the new and the modern. The Museum of Brisbane and the State Library of Queensland are also there. The South Bank Parklands are minutes from the Cultural Centre, and there you'll find 17 hectares of riverfront land, free swimming facilities (the wonderful, manmade Streets Beach), picnic areas and plenty more. The area is great for grabbing a bite to eat. Hit Little Stanley Street - one of the most popular places to eat in Brisbane as a whole, whether it's Italian or Vietnamese you're after. Grey Street is another little haven for foodies as well. You’re only a 30-minute bus trip from the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where you can hand-feed kangaroos and meet a koala bear, or if it’s the real beaches you’re after, make that 14km trip up the east coast to Moreton Bay, or visit the ever-popular Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. A four-hour drive from Brisbane meanwhile and you can reach Bundaberg – the southern gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

Neighborhoods in Brisbane