Queensland is a big place. To put that in perspective, it’s four times the size of Japan, nearly six times the size of the UK and more than twice the size of Texas. It actually takes up 25% of the land mass of Australia.
Every year, millions of local and international visitors flock here to soak up its stunning attractions. Adjectives don’t do it justice. Few places offer as much…from a brilliant climate and magical scenery, to tropical islands and rain forest greenery. Queensland has everything, including the grandest attraction of all -The Great Barrier Reef. But what about Brisbane? It’s well worth a closer look.
Let’s hear it for Brisbane.
“Beautiful one day. Perfect the next.” Ask any Aussie and they’ll know this justifiably famous tourism slogan. It put Queensland on the map as Australia’s most popular holiday destination. Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland. Once considered a sleepy backwater for retirees, over the past few years it has undergone a sort of extreme makeover. From fuddy duddy to fabulous. A vibrant metropolis, filled with culture and charm, where 300 sunny days a year and a year-round temperate climate are a way of life. It’s no wonder that Queenslanders are so laid back. They’re on a permanent vacation!
Brisbane lies on The Brisbane River in Moreton Bay. For trivia buffs, it was named after Sir Thomas MacDougall Brisbane, a soldier, astronomer, and colonial administrator from the 18th Century. While not on a sea coast as such, the river is a drawcard for boating and good times. To get a good look at the city, jump on a high speed catamaran and take in the views of the downtown, Story Bridge, Botanic Gardens and surrounding suburbs.
Where to stay.
If you’re organizing accommodation, Brisbane can offer you every type to match your budget, from superb 5 star names to smaller boutique hotels, with plenty in the mid-price range. Check out online web sites. You can make great savings by booking online – giving you more to spend on sight seeing.
A fresh approach to good times.
Brisbane offers visitors a truly relaxed vacation experience. (Must be the weather.) There’s no end to outdoor activities as you would expect, such as sailing, swimming, surfing, hot air ballooning and 4WD excursions.
If you prefer less strenuous activities, head for some retail therapy in the air conditioned malls and shopping centres dotted around the city. Whether you’re looking for a street market bargain or having a splurge on designer labels, you can find it here. You’ll also discover a hotbed of creative free thinking with local artists and designers showcasing their individual style and fashion.
Island pleasure grounds, an hour from the city.
Can’t make it to the Whitsunday Islands or The Barrier Reef? Never mind. Get a taste of the tropics less than an hour from town. Lucky Brisbane has not one but two secret escapes, Moreton Island and North Stradbroke Island, popularly know as Straddie to the locals. Naturally beautiful, with miles of white sandy beaches and crystal water. Explore and enjoy. Kick back and chill out. Top up your tan, snorkel, scuba dive or rev up some thrills on a quad bike. At Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort, you can even hand feed bottle noise dolphins.
A whale of a time.
You don’t have to sail the high sees to see the ocean’s greatest creatures. On the eastern side of Moreton Island, you can now experience whale watching from the comfort of a high speed catamaran. Through floor-to-ceiling windows you get uninterrupted views, so you won’t miss any of the action. Whale watching season is June to November and you are guaranteed to spot humpback whales as they migrate. What a memory to take home.
Crikey. The good things keep coming.
With so much going on in and around Brisbane, you definitely won’t run out of things to see or do, you may simply just run out of time! Here are some more top spots and theme parks, recommended for your travel plans, all within 30 minutes to an hour of town.
Australia Zoo at Beerwah: the zoo that celebrates Steve Irwin’s legacy. You don’t have to be a wildlife warrior to enjoy this fabulous experience, with over1,000 native and exotic animals.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary: the world’s first and largest Koala sanctuary on outskirts of Brisbane’s city centre, with 130 koalas.
Underwater World: Queensland’s largest oceanarium and aquarium, filled with sharks, stingrays, seals, star fish – over 25,000 sea creatures. If you’re game, you can dive with sharks and swim with seals.
Dreamworld Theme Park: so many worlds in one. Native and exotic animals, thrilling rides, TV show attractions and more.
Whitewater World: a brand new theme park. If you love getting wet, this is the placed to be for every last drop of fun. Jaw-dropping water slides and thrilling rides, the pipeline plunge and a playground for under 5’s.
Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World: If you’re looking to get wet, then you can’t go past this exciting water park, located only 45 minutes from Brisbane.
Last but never least, The Gold Coast: 50 miles south east of Brisbane. It’s bright and brash, colourful and lively, a full on beach holiday experience. Think Florida with that unique Aussie touch. Famed for its consistent weather and days filled with sunshine, you’ll find plenty of beach and natural attractions, with a glittering night life.
Brisbane. The big city with something for everyone under the sun.