Brisbane, Australia

The BrisVegas tag may sum up this city’s love of glitzy good times, but it’s also got great galleries, hot bars, restaurants and clubs, and a happening music scene. The hilly waterside location’s no slouch: flanking the winding Brisbane River, it is within easy reach of beaches, islands and national parks. If it’s major sights you’re after, make for the CBD and South Bank arts complex across the river, but base yourself in edgier inner north district Fortitude Valley for maximum buzz. Residents of rival cities may mock, but folk are moving here in droves, drawn by a winning combination of no-nonsense attitude with fast-paced fun.

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Areas in Brisbane

When to go

Brisbane basks in year-round sun, with temperatures rarely dipping below 20°C. The peak of summer can be super-hot and wetter, with many locals escaping the sweltering city, which can make it quiet; winter is sunny and mild with little rain.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Regular flights wing their way to Brisbane Airport (, 16 kilometres north-east of town, from all major Australian cities with Qantas (, Virgin Blue ( and Jetstar ( Numerous international carriers also service the airport.
  • Boats

    CityCat catamarans and CityFerries are a great way to get around, with stop-offs all along the river at major destinations. Translink tickets can be used across the transport network (
  • Trains

    The best way to reach Brisbane’s CBD from the airport’s international and domestic terminals, two kilometres apart, is by Airtrain (, which departs every 15 minutes during peak times for the 20-minute journey (single, AU$15; return, AU$28). Regional trains come into the main Roma Street Transit Centre (see; CountryLink ( operates daily express trains between Sydney and Brisbane.
  • Automobiles

    Walking is an option in the city centre, but Brisbane is hilly and gets hot in summer, so you may prefer to drive. All major car hire companies can be found at Brisbane Airport or at downtown locations, including Avis (
  • Taxis

    Plentiful in Brisbane’s city centre, with ranks in the CBD and at the train station. To call one, try Yellow Cab Co (131924) or Black & White Cabs (131 008).

Brisbane, Queensland: three days

Brisbane, Queensland: three days

Fly into Queensland’s tropical capital Brisbane from the UK with Emirates. Elegant Spicers Balfour Hotel serves tasty breakfasts on its terrace, just a stroll from arts centre Brisbane Powerhouse and Fortitude Valley’s stylish shops and bars. Take a day trip to Moreton Island, which teams beaches with lagoons and National Park land. Sandboard on the dunes or snorkel or dive among the spooky boat wrecks at Tangalooma. At nearby North Stradbroke Island, savour a freshwater dip in the tea tree-stained Brown Lake, or walk to pretty Blue Lake. Look out for dolphins, dugongs, turtles, seabirds and whales in season, and try a Moreton Bay bug (a flathead lobster). In town, check out man-made Streets Beach on the South Bank, get an art kick at the GOMA, then sip prosecco at Stokehouse overlooking Brisbane River.

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