Brisbane may just be one of Australia's most underrated cities and tends to be overlooked when compared to its boastful southern neighbours; Sydney and Melbourne. But that's exactly the way we like it! The city was recently named "Australia's Hippest City" by the Lonely Planet and offers the perfect combination of that laid back Queenslander way of life coupled with all of the events, attractions and sights that you'd expect from a bustling city. So we beg of you... give Brissie a "go" and check out these 10 best places to visit in Brisbane.
Brisbane's Southbank sits upon the shores of Brisbane River and is just a short walk over the bridge from the CBD. There is a free Red City Hopper ferry that operates throughout the city centre to and from Southbank. Why is it worth visiting? Firstly, there is a man made beach overlooking the city and the surrounding parklands hosts a year's worth of events including Night Markets, Weekend Markets, Festivals and Green Jam Sessions - a free live music and a pop up bar every Friday night from 5pm. Here you will also find loads of public BBQs, picnic spots, the Brisbane Wheel, Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and more. Find out more about Southbank here...
2. Boundary Street Night Markets
Located in West End, a suburb just south west of the CBD, the Boundary Street Markets are open every Friday and Saturday night from 4pm to 10pm. West End is bustling with quirky bars, cool cafes, loads of restaurants, live music venues and too much craft beer to stomach in one night. The Markets are always a buzz and you will be able to pick up a cheap eat from one of the food stalls, some unique jewelry or clothing and enjoy a drink and live music in one of the pop up bars.
3. Mount Cootha
For amazing views of the city centre and surrounds, a walk to the top of Mount Cootha is an absolute must! On the top of the mountain sits Brisbane Lookout which is just a 7km walk from the west side of the CBD. If you don't fancy the 7km walk then there are buses available that depart from Adelaide St in the city. When you get to the top? Reward yourself with a coffee (or a beer)!
4. Fortitude Valley
The nightlife epicenter of Brisbane! Fortitude Valley is located just north east of the CBD and has anything and everything you need for a night (or day) out. There are loads of pubs (some of the oldest in Queensland), live music venues, fancy night clubs, loads of restaurants and just about every type of cuisine you can think of.
5. New Farm Park
Where the locals hang. Our tip? take a scenic ferry ride along Brisbane River to New Farm (and don't forget to pack a picnic and some drinks). It's a great place to chill out and watch the day fade away. There are usually Farmers Markets on the weekends and sometimes you may be able to catch a music or film festival at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Find out more info here...
6. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
The LARGEST Koala enclosure in Australia has got to be on your bucket list. Entry to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is reasonably cheap and you can pay a little extra to have a photo with a Koala. There are over 130 cute (and not so cute) Koalas that live at the park and it's a great place to learn about one of Australia's most unique animals.
7. Moreton Island
Ok so this one is not IN Brisbane but is well worth a day trip! Day packages including bus transfers from the CBD and your ferry can be organised at Nomads Brisbane and the island (unlike Fraser) is a great place for snorkeling, sand boarding, dolphin spotting and all sorts of water sports! Find out more here...
Image: Moreton Island via instagram.com/blakemartin92
8. Queen Street Mall
Located in the CBD of Brisbane, Queen Street Mall is a pedestrian only area lined with loads and loads of retail stores (over 700 in fact), shops, cafes, bars and more. You will always find the streets lined with buskers, streaming with tourists and roaming performers.
9. Suncorp Stadium
The traditional home of Rugby League, Soccer and Rugby Union in Queensland. If you consider yourself a sporting enthusiast then hitting up a game at Suncorp Stadium needs to be on your bucket list. The grounds also transform in a live music venue for big artists and events. See what's on at Suncorp Stadium here...
10. City Botanical Gardens
Aussie's love their nature and you will find a botanical garden in just about every Australian inner city. There are free voluntary walks that take place daily around the gardens and there are always loads of events on. Brisbane's Botanical Gardens are located in the CBD and you will be sure to find yourself your own little private chill spot.