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The capital of Queensland, Brisbane is a city trying to break out of the shadow from Sydney and Melbourne. With a subtropical climate, Brisbane offers winter warmth that Australia’s other major cities could only dream of. The city also offers countless attractions: climb the legendary Story Bridge or cuddle with a koala in the popular Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. While Australia’s third largest city is not located on the ocean, it is perched along a large river and can still offer travellers water-based activities, such as kayaking and fishing.
With large art galleries, expansive farmers markets and innovative restaurants,
Brisbane is a cultural and cosmopolitan highlight of Australia’s east coast.
Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world's first and largest koala sanctuary. The institution has over 90 years of experience and was opened as a safe refuge for sick, injured, and orphaned koalas, at a time when the species was being culled for the fur trade. Feed kangaroos and wild lorikos by hand, hold a koala or even have a coffee with one in Koala Forest. A lovely way to reach the sanctuary is by river cruise from downtown Brisbane.
South Bank Parklands is Queensland's premier lifestyle and cultural centre. It has become one of Brisbane's most important hosts of large-scale festivals and events. Little Stanley Street, with over 30 cafés, bars and restaurants is known as one of Brisbane's most popular eating destinations and can be found in the Parklands. Visitors should also be sure to explore one of the 40 interactive science centre exhibits in the South Bank Cultural District, such as the Queensland’s Performance Arts Centre; Queensland Museum and Sciencentre; the Gallery of Modern Art; and the State Library of Queensland.
This gallery of modern art is located in two riverside buildings in the cultural district of the South Bank Parklands. QAGOMA presents a constantly changing program of Australian and international exhibitions, focusing on contemporary art in Australia, Asia and the Pacific. The QAGOMA also offers cafes, modern restaurants and unique shops.
The City Botanic Gardens are located on the riverside of Brisbane. Originally planted with food crops by and for local prisoners, the park is the oldest in Brisbane and includes ancient trees, rainforest glades and unique areas such as a bamboo grove, Weeping Fig Avenue and much more. Free guided walks are available from Monday to Saturdays; on Sundays, you’ll also find a river market where you can buy clothing as well as food.
This huge shopper's paradise in downtown Brisbane features more than 700 retailers. The facility includes six distinct shopping centres, with the Brisbane Arcade, from 1923, a highlight. After your shopping marathon, be sure to treat yourself to a break in the most popular Brisbane spa: the Aquarius Health Medispa.
Just off Brisbane’s shoreline, you’ll find the third largest sand island in the world. Explore Moreton Island’s sand dunes, abundant wildflowers and pristine beaches on a day trip from Brisbane. Hand-feed wild dolphins, dive or snorkel among mysterious shipwrecks, or try your hand at sand tobogganing. From June to October, you can also take a whale watching cruise from the island to view migrating Humpback Whales.
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