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Brisbane Travel Guide

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Queensland Australia
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About Brisbane


Brisbane is a city of 2 million people located on the banks of the Brisbane River. With a nice year round climate, you can vist Brisbane at anytime of the year. The city is the biggest in Queensland and the population has been expanding beyond the national average since 1990 being a popular destination for immigrants. Brisbanite's are known as being friendly and pleasant.

Geography and climate

With an almost perfect climate, Brisbane has an average of more than seven hours of sunshine per day with most rain falling between December and March. While Sydney and Melbourne the other east coast cities are enduring cool temperatures in winter, Brisbane still has many sunny days reaching into the 20s celcius, (68+ fahrenheit). The city itself is located on low lying land between the Great Dividing Range to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. Being relatively flat, it is an easy city to walk around.

Getting around

The Airtrain is a train system that links the city to the airport. It stops at a few major stations in the city so it is a fast way to travel. It also links to the Gold Coast with a connecting bus.

CoachTrans is a shuttle bus service from the airport to Brisbane City and the Gold Coast. It cost slightly more than the Airtran.

Travelling within the city can be done with a TransLink which gives you seamlessly access to ferries, buses, and trains using a go card. If you do nine single trips in a week using your go card, then the travel is free until Sunday. Single tickets on ferries, buses, and trains are also available but work out quite expensive compared to the go card.

There are a number of other usual options such taxis and limos, but for a real bargain, you could use The Brisbane City Loop which runs a free circuit around the city centre and departs every ten minutes.

Places to see

The Queens Street Mall is the main area for shopping and dining, alternatively you can visit the markets on Sunday which are held in the Riverside Centre. The rest of the CBD has other malls, cinemas, parks, and historical sites

Brisbane location mapSouth Bank is a cultural area containing the Performing Arts Centre, Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Museum, and the State Library. Among these cultural city icons are ethnic restaurants, trendy cafes, and even a beach on the river bank. Along the river bank are boardwalks offering great views of Brisbane's skyline on the northern side of the river.

West End just back from South Bank is an artistic and bohemian style. The area is home to cultic book shops, cafes, and lots people generally described as non conformists or alternative types.

Fortitude Valley combines Brisbane's Chinatown with quirky shops, trendy bars, excellent clubs, DJs, and live music. In short, this is one of Australia's most vibrant night life spots.

New Farm lies next to Fortitude Valley and is the place to be seen as it offers upmarket shops, and high class restaurants.

Paddington is another upmarket area with boutique shops and shops sporting local designs and fashions.

Portside Wharf is where big ships dock on the Brisbane River. There are restaurants, cinemas, and shopping here.

Bulimba is across the river from the CBD. Take the ferry across and you can enjoy some of the best restaurants in Brisbane.

Natural highlights

Mount Coot-tha is a suburb and hill just west of the city centre. Take the scenic drive up to the reserve at the top and you get 360 degree views of the city and surrounding area. The Botanic Gardens is located here with lots of walks including a walk to the Planetarium.

Beyond Brisbane

In every direction from the city there are great places to visit. From scenic national parks and reserves in the nearby Great Dividing Range to Moreton Bay with hundreds of islands, there is a lot to see and do.

The commerical Gold Coast is located about one hour to the south while the laid back Sunshine Coast is over one hour to the north.

NEXT: Queensland Travel Itinerary
OR: Back to the Australian Cities Guide


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Author & photographer: David Johnson (Virtual Oceania)

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