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Reasons to Visit Brisbane

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When I first visited Australia I had no real intention of spending much time in Brisbane. With so many attractions and activities available up the East Coast and a seriously large mass of country to explore beyond the East Coast Brisbane just seemed like another city. My extended stay in Brisbane came about as one of those series of unfortunate events. In the end I was pretty pleased that I got the chance to explore Brisbane so here are my top ten reasons to visit Brisbane and stay for a few days.

The list below includes some of the best places to visit in Brisbane as well as reasons why you should visit Brisbane and stay for longer than a night or two.

Reasons to Visit Brisbane

1. South Bank

A little piece of everything in 17 hectares. From sub-tropical rainforest, a man-made beach, all the major cultural sites, food from around the globe, markets, awesome shopping, parks, walks, rollerblading and riverside promenade. 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.

reasons to visit brisbane south bank
There’s loads to explore at South Bank

2. 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.

3. The River Cruise

If New Farm Park isn’t your thing then just do the river cruise! It may just be me but there is something pretty cool about a river cruise and a Brisbane river cruise is a must. It’s fun, a little bit different to the usual backpacker activities and you get a nice meal whilst relaxing amongst Brisbane’s attractive surroundings.

visit brisbane river
Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

4. 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.

5. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

The ultimate symbol of Australia, this is the best place to guarantee seeing yourself a Koala as well as learning all about them and the conservation behind it all. Not only koala’s here though – kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, wombats – this is pretty much the place to explore and learn all about the awesome Aussie wildlife.

koala lone pine koala sanctuary
By Andrew Thomas from Shrewsbury, UK [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

6. Mount Coot-tha. The Lookout

The only place to get panoramic views of the city and Moreton Bay. If you have a little bit of cash to spare then dinner at the restaurant or cafe is a cool treat. The other great thing about Mount Coot-tha is that the walk up there is really not so bad.

7. 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 jewellery or clothing and enjoy a drink and live music in one of the pop up bars.

eat street markets brisbane
By Misaochan (Own work) [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

8. Fortitude Valley

It’s not called Bris-vegas for nothing! Ok, so actually no-one really knows why it’s known as Brisvegas, there is a casino (only the one), and it can get hot like Las Vegas, however the fun to be had in Brisbane is endless especially if you head to 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.

9. Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium and Cosmic Skydome

This is cheap and great fun. Watch the Brisbane sky come to life. It’s located within Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, head to the Planetarium for a show or learn about the night sky with an astronomer. This is quite a good idea for a date night with a difference! Check out the opening hours and upcoming events here.

10. Moreton Island

The often missed island by backpackers who are racing up to Fraser Island but you can, and really should, do both. Moreton Island, like Fraser Island, is a sand island, however unlike Fraser Island, Moreton Island is a great place for snorkelling, sand boarding, dolphin spotting and all sorts of water sports! Spend the day scuba diving around the Tangalooma Wrecks enjoying the coral and tropical fish or just enjoy the steep sand dunes and the views. Day packages including bus transfers from the CBD and your ferry can be organised at Nomads Brisbane.

moreton island brisbane
Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

11. Brisbane International Film Festival

Held every July this is a great time to enjoy Brisbane with films aplenty in the modest metropolis. Even if you don’t get the chance to see any films you can enjoy the cafe culture of the South Bank and read all the reviews in the fresh air. This really is a great time to visit Brisbane.

12. 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…

visit brisbane suncorp stadium
Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

13. 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.

14. There are lots of young people

About 2.3 million people live in the Greater Brisbane Region and around 24% of the Brisbane population are aged between 25-35 which means backpackers can meet lots of like-minded people.

15. The weather

One of the best climates in Australia – pleasant and warm pretty much all year round. Being sub-tropical you can almost guarantee good weather, with temperatures between 21 – 29.8°C in summer and between 11 – 21°C in winter. Night time doesn’t generally get much colder! (source)

So there they are… 15 fantastic reasons to visit Brisbane and stay for a while, although there are plenty more this should keep you going for starters. Read our guide to exploring Brisbane on the cheap here if you need a bit more inspiration.

Heading to Brisbane? Stay at Nomads Brisbane Hostel – Book Now!

Images provided by https://teq.queensland.com/ unless otherwise stated

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