Australia’s third most populous city after Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane is the capital of Queensland. Initially inhabited by the indigenous tribes of Jagera and Turrbal, the first European settlement was established in Brisbane during 19th century.
Since then the city has grown into a dynamic metropolis with modern architecture, large zones of greenery, fascinating museums and lively nightlife. The locals are considered to be some of the country’s most friendly and laid-back residents.
Brisbane features an excellent public transport network, which includes train, bus and ferry routes. Tickets of all means of transport are zone oriented, but most of the city’s attractions are located within the first zone, which includes the city centre and nearby suburbs.
If you plan to take more than one rides per day, it is worth purchasing a daily ticket, which comes with the same price of two single tickets and allows unlimited travel for the whole day. Children pay a half reduced ticket.
The top-5 things to see and do in Brisbane
Visit Queensland Cultural Centre
Located on South Bank, Queensland Cultural Centre is a fascinating complex, which houses three of the city’s museums, concert halls, conference facilities and the state library.
Queensland Museum is the most visited out of the complex’s attractions. The museum focuses on Queensland’s history, from prehistoric age to modern times. Among the most popular exhibits you will find the skeleton of a domestic dinosaur and the airplane which first completed the route from England to Australia.
Queensland Art Gallery hosts some interesting collections of both European and Australian artists. Undeniably more interesting than Queensland Art Gallery is the nearby Gallery of Modern Art, which is also a part of Queensland Cultural Centre. Works by Australian artists are on display, including paintings, sculptures, photography, video art and contemporary installations.
Spend a day at one of the city’s outstanding parklands
Brisbane offers several large parklands, where locals come to relax, jog, play or have a bite among lush greenery. Located by the river, South Bank Parkland is a great place to spend the day, especially if you are travelling kids. Take a refreshing waterside walk or dip in the artificial lake, which also features its own artificial beach!
Roma Street Parkland, on the other hand, is the largest subtropical garden around the globe, presenting coffee plantations, colourful flower gardens and beautifully arranged stone gardens. Bring your own supplies and take advantage of the public barbeques to enjoy a lovely pick-nick.
Take an up-close look at lazy koalas at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Situated a few kilometres away from the city centre of Brisbane, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is home to more than 130 cute koalas, which makes it the largest koala sanctuary in the world. Apart from the lovely lazy bears, you also have a chance to interact with other Australian animals, such as kangaroos, Tasmanian devils and dingoes.
Climb up Story Bridge
Australia’s longest cantilever bridge, Story Bridge also offers another unique feature. It is one of the three bridges worldwide (two in Australia and one in New Zealand), where climbing is allowed.
Of course you can only do that as part of an organised tour, but it is still a very extraordinary experience. The fee to join is not cheap, but you can enjoy the best river and city views from the top of the bridge.
Take a cruise down Brisbane River
One of the most popular tourist attractions, Brisbane river cruising is a nice way to meet with the city and enjoy some lovely views.
Several different companies organise such tours, some them also offering combined tickets which also include other activities, such as riding the riverside Ferris wheel.