Brisbane is one of Australia’s oldest and largest cities, brimming with amazing architecture and history while also providing a myriad of modern luxuries and activities. If you’re planning a trip to this buzzing metropolis you are in for a great time. Let’s run through the things to see and do while visiting this Australian treasure.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
You can’t really think of Australia and not immediately think of koalas and kangaroos! The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is considered to be one of the best zoos in the world and it’s the world’s first koala sanctuary. They have more than 130 of the cute little bears you can pet and really get to know up close. There are also kangaroos, wombats and lots of other Australian animal natives. This is a great place to learn about wildlife down under in a beautiful natural setting complete with hands-on experience.
Gallery of Modern Art
Also known by it’s full name, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), this institution houses more than 16,000 artworks of all types. They also feature live staged programs and exhibitions that are scheduled throughout the year. Permanent displays include the Australian Collection, the Indigenous Australian Collection, and the International and Asian Collection. Running through January is the “Lure of the Sun” by Charles Blackman and until April 10 you can see The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Apt8) and Apt8 Kids. Also home here are the Children’s Art Centre and the Australian Cinèmathèque.
Spend a day strolling through performance art, outdoor sculptures, cafés and bars, buskers, and secret gardens. Kick your heels up at Streets Beach, a manmade lagoon-type swimming hole. Hop on the Wheel of Brisbane and take in the view from 60 meters high. It’s air-conditioned and you can see a full 360 degrees around you so it’s the perfect little break in the day from swimming, shopping and indulging your sweet tooth. Also check out Stanley St. Plaza for a lovely look at historic Brisbane and even more shops and eateries.
Queensland Cultural Center
Right next to the Gallery of Modern Art is the hub of Brisbane culture, the Queensland Cultural Center. This complex includes a theatre venue, convention center, and a modern structure housing two museums and the Queensland State Library. Take your time exploring and enjoying the architecture while you learn a bit about the area’s history in the Queensland Museum. (Did you know the Muttaburrasaurus was Queensland very own dinosaur?) Also check out the Sciencentre, an interactive museum with over 100 hands-on activities. The Queensland Art Gallery showcases fine art of primarily European and local artists.
City Botanic Gardens
Whether you take a guided tour or just walk through at your own pace, this beautiful park is a must-see. Complete with the variety of breathtaking flowers you would expect, the gardens also have a lovely bamboo grove of 23 species, ornamental ponds, and an authentic cannon from 1803. The park also still has its original drinking fountain, though no longer operational. The combination of historical artifacts and lush plants make this a nice little diversion from a busy day.
Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
Located at the entrance to the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, this newly renovated planetarium is the largest in Australia. There are a variety of telescopes you can check out in the observatory and a dozen shows in the Cosmic Skydome, four of which are suitable for small children. So after you’ve stopped to smell the flowers, do some stargazing – or wish upon the stars first and smell the flowers later.
Chocolate Walking Tour
Chocolate lovers unite! Converge here to learn all about the history and production of chocolate as you tour the best chocolatiers of Brisbane. Get insider secrets, free samples, and discounted purchases at each stop. You know how some people can sip a fine wine and tell you exactly what all went into it and how long it was aged? You can become a true chocolate connoisseur and impress people with your industry terminology describing the tastes, forms and textures of chocolate.
These are just a few of the great places to check out during your stay in Brisbane so don’t hesitate to explore on your own while you’re there. You’re bound to be tempted many times over by the street vendors and boutique shopping, offering up everything from antiques to local wares. Don’t forget to reserve your Brisbane hotel room now. You’re going to need a place to stash all your purchases and a comfy bed to catch up on your zzz’s.