Brisbane often gets overlooked in favour of its bigger sisters, Melbourne & Sydney, but the sublime weather isn’t the only reason locals & travellers alike are always smiling. Find out why the city was named the Coolest City in Australia by Lonely Planet and check out my favourite things to do in my hometown next time you’re in the sunshine state.
1. Eat Street Markets
Gorging on gourmet street food at the open-air Eat Street Markets is officially Brisbane’s favourite pastime, and it’s sure to be yours too. Catch the City Cat (Brisbane’s zippy ferry) to Hamilton and take the short walk to the markets, a moreish foodie mecca constructed from shipping containers. Bring cash & a huge appetite – you’ll be spoilt for choice with French, Singaporean, Argentinian, Malaysian, American, Modern Australian, Italian, Indonesian, Japanese and Greek cuisine, just to name a few. The food is not always cheap, but it’s always lip-smackingly delicious.
2. Stroll through South Bank
Walk through the beautiful South Bank precinct along the Brisbane River with views across to the city. If it’s warm, go for a dip with river and city views at the manmade Streets Beach or check out the young designer markets held on the weekend. Don’t miss the stunning photo op under the flower-covered arbour that hangs over the central walkway.
3. Party like a Queenslander… in a Queenslander
Brisbane is full of Queenslanders, of the human and housing variety. The latter refers to the timber houses with a tin roof and a wrap-around verandah. Head to Fortitude Valley for one of Brisbane’s coolest bars, Alfred & Constance, which is housed in two converted, adjoining Queenslanders. It’s now home to five themed bars with a nightclub downstairs and a late-night pizza joint next door.
Find out why Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art is Australia’s most visited art gallery and check out a free exhibition. GoMA has done a remarkable job of nabbing exclusive rights in Australia for big-ticket exhibitions and making art accessible (and fun!) for everyone, from tiny tots to the most art illiterate among us.
5. Mount Coot-tha
Watch the sun go down over the city from the vantage point at Mount Coot-tha. Take the bus, drive or hike to the top (if you’re feeling athletic) and treat yourself to an ice cream or a meal at the Summit Restaurant.
Guest author Genevieve is a Melbourne-based travel blogger juggling a bossy inner wanderbug who wants to do nothing but travel and the responsibilities (and perks) of a fixed life with a full-time job. Check out her blog, The Wanderbug, for her stories & tips for travelling the world while working full time.