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Brisbane Travel Guide

  • Photo: dan1982 / Shutterstock
  • Photo: Petronilo G. Dangoy Jr./ Shutterstock
  • Photo: Maree Stachel-Williamson / Shutterstock

Plan Your Brisbane Vacation

Founded in 1824 on the banks of the wide, meandering Brisbane River, the former penal colony of Brisbane was for many years regarded as just a big country town. Many beautiful timber Queenslander homes, built in the 1800s, still dot the riverbanks and inner suburbs, and in spring the city's numerous parks erupt in a riot of colorful jacaranda, poinciana, and bougainvillea blossoms. Today

the Queensland capital is one of Australia's most up-and-coming cities: glittering high-rises mark its polished business center, slick fashion boutiques and restaurants abound, and numerous outdoor attractions beckon. In summer, temperatures here are broilingly hot and days are often humid, a reminder that this city is part of a subtropical region. Wear SPF 30-plus sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat outdoors, even on overcast days.

Brisbane's inner suburbs, a 5- to 10-minute drive or 15- to 20-minute walk from the city center, have a mix of intriguing eateries and quiet accommodations. Fortitude Valley combines Chinatown with a cosmopolitan mix of clubs, cafés, and boutiques. Spring Hill has several high-quality hotels, and Paddington, New Farm, Petrie Terrace, West End, and Woolloongabba are full of an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars. Brisbane is also a convenient base for trips to the Sunshine and Gold coasts, the mountainous hinterlands, and the Moreton Bay islands.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Enjoying the Outdoors Choose from rain forests and reefs, unspoiled beaches and islands, rushing rivers, dramatic gorges, distinctive wildlife, hiking, and water sports.
  2. Experiencing the Laid-Back Vibe Queensland is renowned for its relaxed and welcoming feel, even at the upmarket hotels and fine-dining restaurants of Brisbane and resort areas.
  3. Releasing Your Inner Child Queensland's Gold Coast is abuzz with world-class theme parks—from thrill rides and water parks to Outback-inspired extravaganzas.
  4. Seeing Wildlife Head out to the southern end of the Reef for millions of fish, rays, turtles, and cetaceans; or, on the mainland, watch for rare birds and mammals, endangered frogs, dingoes, and koalas.

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