Districts across Brisbane have been redefining themselves over the last few years, with both international and Australian tourists flocking to experience the new sights, entertaining events, and culture-filled atmosphere. Living so close in the Gold Coast, it’s a great time to catch the excitement as well. The close proximity of the Gold Coast to Brisbane makes it an easy day-trip, weekend getaway, or longer vacation.
New, streamlined highways and bypasses have cut the travel time drastically. You don’t have to worry about long journeys sitting behind the wheel. Trains also make thousands of trips a week into Brisbane, stopping at all of the stations closest to where you want to go.
It doesn’t matter if you are going to Brisbane for a day-trip, a weekend getaway, or a week-long holiday, you will never run out of things to do. Each area of the city has its own unique personality and offerings.
Inner City Brisbane is where you can get anything within walking distance. Start your day with some shopping, have a coffee break or treat yourself to a high tea, have a massage at one of the many luxurious spas, trawl the farmers and vintage markets.
Eagle Street Pier is one of the inner city’s popular hang-out places. Start your day with a sojourn through the Riverside Markets, complete with stalls and entertainment. The Pier is also home to more than a dozen restaurants, bars, and cafes, you can enjoy your food and drink while taking in the amazing views of Story Bridge you won’t find anywhere else in the city.
In the mood for shopping? Queen Street Mall is sure to have anything you need or want. There are the major brands as well as smaller speciality shops all within walking distance of each other, with more than 25 million people visiting every single year.
Brisbane city is not just full of buildings, with nature lovers flocking to the Botanic Gardens for a picnic. It really is like a little slice of paradise. And if you want to take in more of the gardens and the city, a great place to stay is Royal on the Park.
If you are craving entertainment, the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre is the place to go. Throughout the year, the venue plays host to a variety of productions and events, including expos, music concerts, pop culture festivals, and seminars, among others.
Eclectic would be the best way to describe Fortitude Valley if given only one word. There is Chinatown for those wanting to sample the orient, and don’t forget to try the great food and restaurants. There are The Tivoli Theatre and the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts for those who admire the creative fields.
And there is Story Bridge, running more than one kilometre, and boasting beautiful views. Spanning the Brisbane River and connecting Fortitude Valley to kangaroo point, it is a heritage-listed steel cantilever bridge and is the longest of its kind in Australia. Its name comes from John Douglas Story, a prominent public servant who emigrated from Scotland and became a noteworthy member of the Queensland community.
Fortitude Valley’s charm comes from its unique atmosphere. It has a vibrant night-life as well as plenty to do during the day. James Street definitely falls under the latter, with more than 130 stores filled with top-quality designer goods.
Feel like a walk? Join Brisbane Greeters as they venture through the Valley, showing you all the great artworks and murals, as well as telling the stories behind the pieces.
South Bank & West End
Brisbane’s South Bank is full of nature and culture. You are free to take your pick of any number of great – and free – activities. Pack a picnic and lounge on the grass at the South Bank Parklands. If you go on Sundays, you can also listen to the free tunes at River Quay Green from 2-5 pm. Parks and walking tours are available for those who want to get out and learn about the city, or you could venture out on your own and see where the day takes you.
Making this a cultural precinct is GOMA. The Gallery of Modern Art hosts a creative collection of displays that will dazzle and inspire. QPAC – the Queensland Performing Arts Centre – can also be found in South Bank. Upon its stage, you can see the acclaimed symphonies, music tours, and travelling productions from all over the world.
Historic areas and museums are also open visiting hours, and you can’t pass up a ride on the Wheel of Brisbane, Australia’s equivalent of the London Eye.
Nearby West End continues Brisbane’s theme of multiculturalism, with exotic restaurants serving delicious cuisines, and friendly locals and tourists lining the streets. Mixing cultures and generations, it’s no surprise the hipster aesthetic has truly taken root. Stay and enjoy the whole exciting feel at the West End Central Apartments.
Plenty of Accomodation
There are plenty of fantastic hotels, motels, and resorts to stay at in Brisbane. Almost every street has another option to consider, some featuring exotic and character-based themes, while others cater to the more classical and business travellers.
Why not treat yourself to a domestic holiday and enjoy the facilities and the area around your hotel. Discover restaurants, graffiti laneways and pop culture.
You don’t need to travel far or spend a lot of money to have a great time in Australia. Brisbane shows this perfectly, with lots of free events and experiences, all right around the corner from the Gold Coast.
Australian Over 50s Living & Lifestyle Guide