Brisbane CBD and Suburbs | Queensland
Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and one of Australia's most popular tourist destinations. Although more of Brisbane's population live outside the city compared to other capital cities, it is still vibrant and economically and culturally alive.
With a lot to see and do, and an atmosphere of lazy sunny days, a good way to tour Brisbane is on the specific buses. The City Sights Tour takes in modern and historical sites around the CBD, while stopping at 19 strategic locations. The ticket is valid all day and gives unlimited access to river ferries and Brisbane Transport's commuter bus fleet.
The City Nights Tour includes floodlit landmarks, the illuminated cliff faces of Kangaroo Point, and breathtaking night views over the city from Mount Coot-tha Lookout. For more details and timetables, contact Transinfo, ph 13 1230.
For those who are more inclined to explore the city on foot, there is a self-guided walk through the CBD that begins at King George Square, along the way viewing City Hall, the Shrine of Remembrance, the 3-storey Palace Backpackers hostel and Parliament House.
Other attractions to take in are Customs House, which is now restored and is home to many cultural events, exhibitions and lectures. Not too far from here are Eagle St Pier and Riverside Markets—both popular for food and crafts and just strolling around.
The paddle-wheelers offer a variety of cruises on the Brisbane River; they depart from Eagle St Pier. The Stamford Plaza Hotel at the south end of the CBD has gardens and terraces worth wandering through, as well as bars and restaurants with views of the river and the City Botanic Gardens.
Wandering to the south end of George St, Parliament House, constructed in 1868, is a beautiful French Renaissance-style building. Admission is free and includes a guided tour.
Queen St Mall, located in the centre of the city, is brimming with retail shops, arcades and street performers. Not too far down the road is the Queensland Sciencentre, a hands-on centre with interactive displays for children and adults alike; it is open daily. To view a neo-Gothic style cathedral visit St John's Anglican Cathedral. Construction began in 1901 and continues to this day. Conrad International Treasury Casino in George St contains over 100 gaming tables and 1000 poker machines with a variety of entertainment and a buzzing nightlife.
The suburbs surrounding the Brisbane CBD can be divided into the Inner Suburbs, Southside, Bayside, Northside and Westside.
Originally a place of farming, shipping, commerce and industry, the inner suburbs are now alive with a diversity of people and nightlife to rival any other city in the country. Fortitude Valley is lined with indoor and outdoor eateries, shops and clubs. Also in the Valley isChinatown Mall, a place of Chinese influence, with an array of clothes, shops, food and festivals. Visitors are attracted to this colourful area to sample authentic yum cha and Chinese culture.
For picnics and BBQs, visit Kangaroo Point, a magnificent outdoor reserve with abseiling and rockclimbing facilities, as well as great views from the clifftops. New Farm, once a prison farm, is now a leafy suburb brimming with grand houses and old cottages. Well-known for its parks, restaurants, bookshops and art galleries, New Farm is worth a visit. Take the Hail and Ride bus service for a tour of the 15 galleries in the area. The Powerhouse Centre for Live Arts is close by.
For lovers of Australia's colonial heritage, visit Newstead House, situated on the eastern side of Fortitude Valley and open Mon-Fri.
As one of the city's oldest suburbs, South Brisbane offers South Bank, 16ha of informal recreational gardens, as well as Brisbane's principal cultural precinct, with theatres, museums and an art gallery to explore.
Cricket lovers venture to Woolloongabba, the Brisbane Cricket Ground commonly known as the Gabba. You can sample the fresh fruit available at the Brisbane Markets in Rocklea or visit the famous rum distillery at Beenleigh. For a panoramic view of Brisbane city, try the Mount Gravatt Lookout, only 10km from the CBD.
Situated on Moreton Bay, the bayside suburbs offer a relaxed
ambience and water-based recreational activities. Cleveland has an historical precinct and is the departure point for ferries to North Stradbroke Island. Manly has a large marina and passenger ferry departures to St Helena Island. There is a mangrove boardwalk at Wynnum and a vehicular and passenger ferry links historic Redcliffe with the natural wonders of Moreton Island.
Pods of playful bottlenose dolphins are often seen riding the waves in Moreton Bay, and humpback whales sometimes venture into the bay during their winter migration (mid-June-Oct). Fort Lytton, at the mouth of the Brisbane River, played an important part in Queensland's defence for over 60 years. The 19th-century fort has a museum and guided tours are available on Sundays.
On the northside, the 'old money' suburbs of Hamilton andAscot are 10km NE of the CBD. Ascot is home to famous Eagle Farm Racecourse. Boondall Wetlands is a magnificent reserve about 15km from the CBD. A nature-based recreation area, the wetlands can be explored from a bikeway, walking trails or by canoe. Brisbane'sAlma Park Zoo and Lake Samsonvale are attractions in the far northern suburbs. The lake has several picnic spots and designated areas for shoreside fishing.
Visit the famous Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary close to the Brisbane River at Fig Tree Pocket and the many attractions around Mount Coot-tha. Brisbane Forest Park stretches through the western suburbs, offering bushwalking, picnicking, camping, scenic drives, horse-riding and cycling; a permit is required. Lakes, mountains, eucalypt forest, lookouts, gullies, rainforest and waterfalls are all part of the park's natural environment. Park headquarters at The Gap has the Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre, where platypus, turtles, lungfish, an aviary and nocturnal wildlife can be seen. Also worth visiting is the Brisbane General Cemetery, established in 1871. A pleasant place to wander around, it also offers an insight into the history of Brisbane.
Garry | 2010-02-07 | I recently stayed with my wife and two young children just across the road from the Botanic Gardens. In some ways, I was there by accident, my wife attended a conference and I tagged along. But Brisbane impressed me as a city. | read more