Despite being Australia’s third-largest city, Brisbane was long maligned as a “big countrytown”–aplacelacking any cosmopol i tan vibe, where stifling conservative politics and drowsy suburbs were the order of the day. However, after hosting the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and World Expo in 1988, the city came out of its shell. Soon enough, even proud Sydneysiders and Melburnians were packing their bags and relocating to the Queensland capital. It’s a lifestyle choice: Brisbane (known colloquially as Brissie or BrisVegas) is, quite simply, a sunnier, more laid-back place. More importantly, it now shares much of the big-city sophistication of its southern rivals.


#1 Orientation

Ride the CityCat. Okay, it’s not quite the Star Ferry in Hong Kong, but it’s still the best visual introduction to Brisbane. The fast ferry service takes you on a one-hour trip along the city’s meandering river, for just a few dollars. #2 Climbing Like every bridge climb in the world,

the Story Bridge Adventure Climb comes with compulsory ugly grey jumpsuits, but it’s worth it for the panoramas, especially during the dawn, twilight and night climbs. If climbing is your thing, by the way, you can rock climb and abseil off the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, with one of Brisbane’s best city views as a backdrop. #3 Exploring Bypass the central business district and instead make a beeline for the interesting inner-city suburbs of New Farm, Fortitude Valley, Red Hill, West End and Paddington. Getting around isn’t the easiest: Brisbane is a bumpy, sprawling city with no subway, and while the buses are cheapish and spotless, schedules can be infrequent. Best to slip on some comfy shoes and go by shanks’ pony; there are plenty of Uber drivers around should you get tired.



Made with