Brisbane Travel Guide
Introduction to Brisbane
As a subtropical metropolis of over two million people, it’s not hard to see why people love living in Brisbane. With “winter” highs that average around 22 degrees Celsius in July, it is the perfect city break for Sydney and Melbourne residents grappling with the crummy weather during that time.
For foreign visitors, there is plenty to see and do here before heading south to the Gold Coast or north towards the Tropic of Capricorn and the Great Barrier Reef. From cultural institutions which draw art patrons from across Queensland to getting up close and comfy with a koala, there is enough to fill 3-4 days of your travel itinerary here.
Cultural Attractions in Brisbane
Connect with the visual arts scene of Brisbane by spending a couple hours exploring the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. Situated in the South Bank Cultural Precinct, it focuses on modern and contemporary pieces produced by artists from Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.
This modern structure is a wonderful work itself, and it only gets better as you go inside. With two floors featuring its permanent collection, a cinema, and a space which hosts special exhibitions, there are plenty of works to admire here. Just be sure to visit outside school holidays if you don’t like crowds, as this attraction is popular among local youth when school is not in session.
Still haven’t satisfied your desire for cultural attractions in Brisbane? Plan to attend a show at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. With over 1,200 performances per year, there will likely be a production going on during your visit, so stop by to inquire about what’s on when you arrive in the city.
This facility is home to the Queensland Theatre Company, Opera Queensland, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and the Queensland Ballet – in addition to the international artists who stop by, you will have plenty of choices when it comes to live entertainment in Brisbane.
Get in touch with Australia’s correctional past by touring the Boggo Road Gaol. A Victorian-style jailhouse which has retained its dark edge, it is the last surviving correctional facility of its kind in Queensland.
The tours available here will have the hair standing up on the back of your neck, as its ghost tours will detail the horrors of being locked up in 19th century Australia. From grimy cell blocks to its austere exercise yards, you’ll be thankful you never found yourself on the wrong side of the law centuries ago in Brisbane.
Other Attractions in Brisbane
The Koala Bear is one of Australia’s most iconic species – indeed, its cuteness has led many visitors to want to get up close to it. At the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, located just outside Brisbane, you’ll get that chance.
The first and largest sanctuary of its kind in the world, it is home to 130 koalas. While the top reason for visiting involves being able to hold and cuddle with these adorable creatures, this wildlife park is also home to kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, and wombats, making a great place for animal lovers.
Get away from the glass, concrete, and steel of the CBD of Brisbane by paying a visit to the Roma Street Parkland. Comprised of over 16 hectares of land near the city centre, it is home to one of the best contemporary gardens in Australia.
Formerly the primary train yard for the city of Brisbane, it is home to numerous types of subtropical flora, which are endemic to this part of the world. With beautiful water features and a children’s playground, it is also an excellent place for a picnic lunch, so pick up some take away food before heading over to this attraction.
Get the best possible views of Brisbane by heading up to the Mount Coot-tha Lookout. While you can hike up to the top, the summit can also be reached via car, making it accessible to travellers of all abilities.
In addition to the shots you can get from the viewpoint, there is an excellent botanic garden that green thumbs will enjoy, as it is home to a hot house which houses a wide variety of tropical plants.