Our top sights, highlights and exclusive tips
A cultural hub with abundant nature, what more could you want? Of course, you’ll want to bask in the subtropical climate and meet some of the famous animals either scuba diving at the great barrier reef or on land at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. But don’t forget about the art and science museums in South Bank Parklands. Here, you can also enjoy an afternoon kayak and a stroll down “Eat Street.” Remember, Brisbane’s burgeoning bar and restaurant scene means your next indulgence is never far away—so skip the reservations and follow your gut.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
South Bank Parklands
Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
Queen Street Mall
Established 90 years ago, Lone Pine is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary with 130 koalas in total. The grounds with their natural vegetation are an important wildlife corridor nestled on the banks of the Brisbane River. Watch koalas play and hand-feed kangaroos. While you’re there, make sure to catch the daily sheepdog show.
There’s always something on in Queensland’s premier cultural district. Take your pick of riverfront activities—swim, stroll, shop, or snack your way through these 17 hectares taking in the sites on the way. Here you’ll find a science centre, art galleries, and the State Library. Take a turn down Little Stanley Street or “Eat Street” for food and drinks galore. Who wouldn’t want to take a seat at one of the bars, cafes, or restaurants after a day on the move?
Two riverside buildings in the cultural centre of Queenstown, QAGOMA represents some of the finest modern art in all the Oceania region. They also have a focus on international exhibitions of contemporary nature. Over 25,000 square metres and a Children’s Art Centre makes for a spacious and engrossing experience. Check-in on the latest international films and contemporary art show through a constantly evolving program.
Find the Botanic Gardens on the lush riverside. Originally opened in 1855 and planted with food crops by local prisoners, the park is the oldest in the city. Discover unusual areas such as Bamboo Grove and Weeping Fig Avenue. Ornamental ponds and Walter Hill Fountain are nice touches to the abundance of nature on show here. Guided tours run every day except Sunday, when you’ll find an outdoor market with artisan food and clothes.
Located in Brisbane’s downtown, this retail paradise features over 700 shops and boutiques for your shopping pleasure. Six distinct centres wait to be explored, but don’t worry, there’s also plenty of eateries to fuel you up as you treat yourself. A visit to the Aquarius Health Medispa is a perfect spot to unwind after a day on your feet.
Explore an island full of sand dunes on the eastern side of Moreton Bay. Walk through the woodlands where trees have fantastical names like Scribbly Gum and Pink Bloodwood. Lounge on the pristine beach or dive into the dolphin-filled waters. Humpback whales migrate from June to October, a spectacle that is unmissable if in the region.
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