5 tips for Brisbane

Brisbane Skyline
© Martin Valigursky | Dreamstime.com

Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia after Sydney and Melbourne and at the same time the capital of the state of Queensland. The city is located on the Brisbane River of the same name and with its 4 universities is considered the University City in the land of kangaroos. The city was founded in 1824 as a penal colony of the British.

Today Brisbane impresses with its mix of modern skyscrapers, historic buildings, old villas, beautiful parks and is characterized by a pleasant subtropical climate – not for nothing it is considered the sunniest city in Australia. Brisbane is especially popular for city trips because of its incomparable “flair” and “coolness” of the people living there.

Culture and sightseeing can be found not only in the city – Brisbane is the gateway to the “Gold Coast” and “Sunshine Coast”. But also for culture and art interested people “Brissie” has a lot to offer – first of all the most different museums, conference halls and the public city library. For everyone who is looking for a city without a lot of hustle and bustle, Brisbane is perfect for a visit.

Tip 1: Story Bridge

The Brisbane Story Bridge characterizes the cityscape of the capital of the Australian state of Queensland. Along with the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the bridge is one of the most famous bridges in Australia and was opened in 1940. Over one kilometer, the bridge with tanner girders connects the districts of Fortitude Valley and Kangoroo Point. The bridge has six lanes of traffic and sidewalks and bike lanes.

Story Bridge Brisbane
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It is beautifully lit at night and is used as a site for fireworks on ceremonial occasions. The modern skyline of the business district with skyscrapers, the Story Bridge and the Brisbane River, is a popular subject for photographers. Since 2005, tourists can climb the bridge via guided tours. The offer is called Bridge Climbs. Story Bridge is named after an influential member of the city’s government, John Douglas Story. A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, he moved a lot in the city’s development and died here in 1966.

Plans for a new bridge over the Brisbane River were broached as early as the 1920s. At that time, there was only the Victoria Bridge to connect across the river. In 1926, Kangaroo Point was set as the starting point for the bridge construction and John Bradfield was commissioned to build it. At that time he was jointly responsible for the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and came to Brisbane after its completion. The model was not the Sydney bridge, but the Jacques Cartier Bridge in Montreal. A tanner girder construction was chosen for the structure. In 1940, the bridge was ceremoniously opened by the governor of the state of Queensland.

Tip 2: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s largest and oldest koala sanctuary. It was founded in 1927.

The wild animals in the sanctuary include koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, wombats and a number of different reptiles. Birds are also found here, of course. Twice a day there is a bird show. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is one of the few sanctuaries where visitors are actually allowed to hold koalas in their arms.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary at Brisbane
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Strict regulations ensure that no koala is held for more than 30 minutes per day. Can visitors, the kangaroos freely moving in the kangaroo reserve feed and stroke. These are just a few of the opportunities visitors to the sanctuary have to get in skin – or fur – close contact with the animals.

You can pet and hand feed kangaroos in the park. Or you can see cute wombats, Australian dingoes, Tasmanian devils, birds like the country’s typical emus and hedgehogs. The Koala Park, located about 8 km south of the city, is the first and largest of its kind in the world.

With over 130 different animal species, it does not lack diversity. In addition to koalas, kangaroos, wombats, emus and Tasmanian devils can be seen. The founders made it their business to take in and care for sick and wounded animals in the park.

The park first became known for allowing visitors to feed the kangaroos and pet the tame koalas. Another highlight are the wombats, these must be observed.

Tip 3: King George Square

This square, dotted with monuments, serves as a venue for events, a place for free speeches in Speakers Corner, and a central meeting place. Bordering the west of King George Square is the imposing Brisbane City Hall, home to the city government.

Brisbane City Hall
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The City Hall was opened in 1930 and can be visited free of charge. The viewing platform below the bell tower is especially worthwhile. To the east of King George Square is the Museum of Brisbane with changing art exhibitions and free permanent exhibitions dealing with the city’s history.

Tip 4: Mount Coot-Tha Summit

Mount Coot-tha is the local mountain of Brisbane, furthermore it also counts as an outskirt of this Australian metropolis and is located about 6 km west of the center of Brisbane. The mountain is 287 meters above sea level and thus can be seen from the whole city. Furthermore, it is the northernmost part of Australia where it officially snows. The people of Brisbane once called their mountain “One Tree Hill” – the name referred to a huge eucalyptus tree for which a forested part on the top of the mountain was cut down. The name, Mt. Coot-tha means the place of honey. Native people gave this mountain the name because the honey production of bees here was once enormous.

Mount Coot-Tha Summit at Brisbane
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The Lookout is Brisbane’s most popular tourist attraction. From the mountain, you can see all of Brisbane as well as the surrounding countryside all the way to Moreton Bay wonderfully and get an impression of how vast Brisbane is. However, the view of the city’s evening lights is particularly romantic. Besides the breathtaking view, this place also offers a café, restaurant and souvenir store. From time to time, nightly events led by well-known astronomers take place here, where visitors can admire the starry splendor of the southern hemisphere.

At the foot of Mt. Coot-tha are the beautiful Botanical Gardens. The gardens, which occupy about 52 hectares, were officially opened in 1976. There are two Botanical Gardens in Brisbane, the other is in the city center, this botanical garden is the original one. You can see a Japanese garden, a bonsai house, a cactus house, bamboo forests, herb gardens, exotic rainforest sections and much more.

Tip 5: South Bank Parklands

The South Bank Parklands is a 160,000 m² theme park located on the south bank of the Brisbane River. This site was formerly the site of Expo ’88. The Southbank Parklands were opened on June 20, 1992. The Parklands are connected to the city center by the Victoria Bridge and the Goodwill Bridge. The Parklands are open to visitors 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

South Bank Parklands and Brisbane Skyline
© Martin Valigursky | Dreamstime.com

In the parks there are sandy beaches and a swimming lagoon, rainforest trails, picnic areas, boardwalks that run along the river. Very worth seeing is the Butterfly House with the largest population of butterflies in Australia. Furthermore, the visitor is offered bars, cafes, restaurants and snack bars.

On weekends, lifestyle markets take place from Friday to Sunday. In the evenings there is, among other things, the possibility to visit the program of the amphitheater or the cinema.