As the capital of Queensland, Brisbane is also widely known as the Sunshine Capital. I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the all-year-round pleasant subtropical temperatures there. Along with the gorgeous Queensland weather, another thing I love about Brisbane is the food! To help you plan your own unforgettable Queensland itinerary, here are just some of the highlights from my short trip.
A Brisbane Queensland Itinerary
Shop ’til You Drop at Queen Street Mall
Located in the centre of the CBD, going on a shopping spree at the Queens Street Mall is one of my favourite things to do in Queensland. With more than 700 stores, shops, bars, and cafes, I never ran out of options when it comes to shopping.
But behind all the glitters, the street is imbued with a bit of history. There are some cool things around the area such as the city hall and the clock tower, which my friends and I climbed to get great city views.
A Picnic at South Bank Gardens
After a morning of shopping, I spent some time relaxing at South Bank, one of the top Queensland attractions. This 17-hectare garden in Brisbane finely combines green parklands with exciting shopping opportunities and major cultural locations. It was a lovely picnic spot with plenty of restaurants around and definitely worthy of a spot on any Queensland itinerary.
Explore the Suburb of Paddington and Eat Breakfast at Kettle & Tin
On the weekend, I just had to pay Paddington a visit. Paddington is definitely my favourite suburb in Brisbane thanks to its small and unique fashion boutiques. It was impossible for me to leave this suburb empty-handed especially if I went to the Paddington Antique Centre, which had all the vintage trinkets I was eyeing on.
Before I started browsing around, I usually went to Kettle & Tin for a perk-me-up breakfast. I cannot recommend the “omelette of the moment” or the “almond French toast” enough.
Take in the Views at Mount Coot-tha
Paddington is not far from Mount Coot-tha, a perfect place with breathtaking views to spend a romantic sunset with my better half. The panoramic bird’s eye view of the whole city was like no other.
The Botanical Gardens at Mount Coot-tha was my sweet spot for picnic apart from South Bank Gardens. Although I prefer staying outdoor enjoying the stunning sights of Brisbane in the beautiful Queensland weather, my friends enjoy visiting the planetarium once in a while.
Abseil from Kangaroo Point Cliffs
Kangaroo Point Cliffs is the place to fight your fears, and it had been on my Queensland itinerary list for quite some time.
The cliff is popular among rock climbers looking not only for a new spot for Queensland activities but also for a fantastic view of the Brisbane River. I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so my heart is definitely stilled here.
Even if you’re not into climbing, you could still get to see the heart of Brisbane from here. After pulling myself up to conquer the rock, I always hit the cafe on top of the cliffs to get a cold juice to quench my thirst.
Sunset at River Bar & Kitchen
When I first came to River Bar & Kitchen, I thought there’s nothing new about sunset — I had seen so many amazing sunsets before! But River Bar & Kitchen topped it all off: fabulous food and drinks in a cosy lounge with a fantastic sunset view. I have lost count how many times I have been here! Make sure you don’t miss this spot off your Queensland itinerary.
Photo Credit: Scott Warman)
My recommendation would be the fish and chips and the golden calamari, with some beer to kickstart the night. If you are a sunrise person, you can still come here for breakfast. I heard good reviews about their Riverbar breakfast or hot smoked salmon, but I just couldn’t wake up that early!
Experience Luxury at the Treasury Casino
One of the award-winning hotels in Brisbane, The Treasury is all about luxury and entertainment. The Treasury is highly popular for its casino floors, but nope, I’m not a big fan of casinos. I found myself coming back here for drinks every now and then. The lavish exterior may be a little intimidating at first, but the interior is cosy. With 5 bars inside this historic property, the Treasury is my top pick for a post-work night out with my buddies. Whether you want to go all causal or all formal, there is always a place for you.
Cuddle a Koala at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
You cannot visit Australia without cuddling the animal the country is so well known for. Koalas are such sweethearts that I, despite having stayed in Australia for so long, still cannot resist them. I have visited several koala sanctuaries across the country, and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary ranks high on my list. I was quite surprised when I first carried the koala — it’s heavier than what I expected.
Getting Our Booze at Fortitude Valley
Brisbane is sometimes dubbed Bris-Vegas because of its vibrant nightlife, especially at the Fortitude Valley. It is the epicentre to discover a grungy side and the best graffiti in the city.
Every time I was looking for a cool party and delicious food, the Eleven Rooftop Bar came to my mind. My friends and I should have applied for a VVIP card, considering how often we frequented this bar for drinks and fantastic views over the Fortitude Valley.
It makes sense to stay close by so you don’t have to tour in a taxi through the whole city. I recommend The Valley Brisbane — the luxurious rooms, city views and a rooftop pool will surely impress.
Browse The Powerhouse Markets
Another leisure activity I loved doing on Saturdays was walking along the river to the Powerhouse Markets. Immersing with the locals selling all kinds of stuff: fruits, vegetables, local delights, and arts, was indeed therapeutic for me. The food here is always kept affordable, perfect for me at the end of the month after all the shopping.
BONUS: Go On A Day Adventure
Brisbane has so many possibilities for great day trips outside of the city. Completing them all on your Queensland itinerary would keep you busy for weeks, if not months!
Roughly an hour south of the city, you can find Sea World on the Gold Coast, right around the corner where I live now! Participate in a deep-water dolphin adventure, feed the cute little penguins and fill your camera with memorable photos. I am guilty of all the touristy checklist myself!
Brisbane is my former home, a place that has lots of sights and stories to share, there are really no excuses to not visit this city on your own. I love this city, and even though I now live on the Gold Coast, Brisbane is still home to me!