Many backpackers who are eager to get north to Fraser Island/Whitsundays or south to Sydney, skip this great ‘forgotten city’ that is directly en route. It has loads to offer; we stayed for 2 days, and found that to be a reasonable stopover time, but you could easily spend a week or more exploring the city and outskirts. To ensure this is on your list of places to stop along the east coast of Australia…
Here are 7 reasons to visit the “Forgotten City” of Brisbane:
The Lagoon: On a scorching hot day in the city, there’s nothing you want more than a cool dip in the water. Well, Brisbane Council thought ahead, and built a free beach right in the middle of this concrete jungle. The South Bank lagoon boasts awesome views of the city skyline at day or night (open 5am-12am). The lagoon starts off as sandy beach that slowly turns into a deeper pool. It’s separated into three sections that differ in depth and size, making it popular with families. We recommend avoiding school holidays and weekends if possible, or it gets a bit busy.
It’s an Aussie Version of London: Both cities have a very similar look, with skyscrapers either side of the river that runs through the centre (River Thames/Brisbane River).
Rooftop Bars: For Ally’s Birthday/Australia Day, we visited a few rooftop bars, which give you an amazing view of the city. Elixir is Alice in Wonderland themed, and a bit out of town (30 min walk), but looks really cool when lit up at night. Another bar we recommend is Sixteen Antlers, which is on the 16th floor of the Pullman & Mercure Hotel, offers amazing views of the city and has reasonably priced drinks!
Hostel Prices: You can get a bed in a good quality 8 bed dorm for less than $25 a night, which is one of the cheapest we’ve come across up the east coast. We stayed in Base Uptown. Now you really have no excuse not to go!
Botanical Gardens: Be at one with nature in Brisbane’s botanical gardens. There’s heaps of cool wildlife to spot, from eels and lizards, to possums and bats. You can scratch your name into the bamboo forest, or bask in the mist from the water fountains. It’s a great spot to for an afternoon picnic.
Amazing Coffee: Brisbane has some really good places for coffee. We stumbled across Coffee Iconic, which to a passer-by looked just like a normal alleyway. It turned out to be so much more, when the alleyway opened up into a tea garden around the back. We stayed for their lunch deal, coffee and a toastie – both were exceptional, and we’ve already recommended them to other friends on their way to Brissy.
Visit Some Marsupials : One of the top recommended things to do in Brisbane is visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which is the world’s first and largest Koala Sanctuary. It’s about a 20 min drive out of the city, or 45 mins on public transport. You even get to hold a Koala, and hand feed Kangaroos, what more could you want to do with your day?