05 Jan An Insider’s Guide to Brisbane
Fiona Soper gives us an insider’s guide to Brisbane. For the record, I didn’t say I hated it, just that it had nothing on Sydney. Let’s see if she can win me over. Read on…
A certain someone recently told me that he’d visited Brisbane on his way up the east coast of Australia…and that he’d hated it. Say what?! Clearly what he’d needed was someone to tell him where to go and what to do in the awesome tropical city affectionately known as ‘Bris-vegas’….
Brisbane can be far more than just a jumping off point for backpackers headed to the Whitsundays or Fraser Island. Schedule in a few days and see what you think of this:
Go night climbing at the Kangaroo Point cliffs
At night, these stunning volcanic-rock cliffs bordering the Brisbane River are lit by floodlights and you can take in the vista over the city while you get physical. Try the abseiling-only option if you want the view and ambience without too much sweat! Several companies can get you started, including Pinnacle Sports.
Cuddle a koala at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Koalas are grumpy, they smell weird and they have pointy claws. Despite this, every person I have ever taken to cuddle a koala has LOVED it. Foreigners! Personally, my vote for the best experience at this great wildlife sanctuary is having flocks of hundreds of colorful, chattering parakeets descending on you at feeding time, eating from your hands and perching happily on your head!
Take the City Cat down the river at dusk
On a balmy evening (and Brisbane is nothing, if not balmy), jump on a City Cat and cruise down the river past the city lights, parks and bridges and watch the sunset over the Kangaroo Point cliffs. As these bright blue catamarans are part of the city’s public transport system, they run regularly and are dirt cheap. Jump off at the New Farm Park stop and….
Picnic in New Farm Park
You want the authentic Aussie experience? Make the most of a place with 300+ sunny days a year with a BBQ picnic and impromptu cricket game under the giant fig trees by the river. When you’re done, head to the Powerhouse next door for FREE indie bands and comedy shows on a Sunday afternoon.
Take in a summer music festival
The biggest events of the summer festival scene, Splendor in the Grass and Big Day Out, happen outside the city limits but the parks and great weather make for plenty of boutique festivals in the heart of the city. Parklife, Sunset Sounds and the Laneway Festival are all favorites. Bring sunscreen, a camera and your flip flops (you’ll look less like a tourist if you call them ‘thongs’!).
Bond with the locals
Hot tip: The Valley (Fortitude Valley) and surrounds is where the cool kids hang out. Avoid the usual backpacker haunts in the CBD and head somewhere with some local flavor. What better way to make friends with some real live Australians than to bond over $2 Tacos, great cocktails and music at New Farm hotspot The Alibi Room on Tuesday nights?
Or you could also…
– Hit up the markets at West End, Fortitude Valley or Eagle Street Pier.
– Bushwalk at Mt. Coot-tha.
– Get an ice-cream, stroll along the river and check out free museums and galleries at Southbank.
– Have a gourmet breakfast and the best coffee in town in leafy Paddington.
– Head up the coast for an hour or so to the beaches of Mooloolaba.
Fiona Soper is proud to be (sort-of) from Brisbane. She’s left it behind for a little while, while she travels the world in search of adventure, a PhD and a good falafel. But she’ll no doubt be back soon.