Travel Guides

Brisbane is now a sophisticated city yet it still retains its casual lifestyle. It has fondly been called “Brisvegas”, but now most people know it as “The River City”. Across the river, from the CBD, lies Southbank Parklands, (the original site of Expo 88) where you will find the heart of the Brisbane’s culture. Southbank has park lands, a lagoon where there is a large outdoor pool with lifeguards, shops, markets, restaurants, Wheel of Brisbane, Performing Arts Complex, State Library, Queensland Museum, ScienCentre where you can have fun with the interactive exhibitions and the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. Trust me, you will need more than a day! What is great about this area is that they all are within walking distance of each other.

Just nearby to Southbank is West End, a multicultural suburb full of old shops and traditions, and it also has great ethnic restaurants. New Farm, back over on the north side of the river and next to the city, is a well known area for dining, shops, bars and everything you could possible want or desire. New Farm has a wonderful park down on the river called New Farm Park which the locals use as their back yard. It is also the home of The Powerhouse, a great industrial space that is now a theatre and exhibition space. There are 2 great bars here overlooking the river.

Fortitude Valley, or just The Valley to the locals, is where Brisbane’s famous nightlife and music scene takes place. It has a fantastic vibe and energy about it. Brisbane is a sprawling city and the best place to see the city is at the top of Mt Coot-tha, well worth the visit. Also located in this area are the City Botanical Gardens and the Planetarium. In the heart of the city you will also find the City Botanical Gardens, a great way of seeing them is to hire a bike.

Where is it?

Info

 Airports

Brisbane Airport (BNE) has separate Domestic and International terminals and is Brisbane’s primary airport. It is just 17 klm from the city centre and is Australia’s third busiest airport. The airport is located near the Gateway Motorway for access to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and is connected to the city via the Airportlinkm7 toll road.

Public Transport

As an international destination Brisbane has an extensive public transport network. Trains, Buses, and Ferries. As with any large city peak hour congestion can occur. The Translink website provides a Journey Planner to help you get quickly to your destination. (http://jp.translink.com.au/)

Weather in Brisbane

What's the Brisbane Weather like?

Summer (Dec - Feb): Min 20°C Max 29°C
Avg monthly rainfall 130mm Avg rain days per month 12

Autumn (Mar - May): Min 13°C Max 28°C
Avg monthly rainfall 93mm Avg rain days per month 11

Winter (Jun - Aug): Min 9°C Max 22°C
Avg monthly rainfall 46mm Avg rain days per month 7

Spring (Sep - Nov): Min 18°C Max 27°C
Avg monthly rainfall 67mm Avg rain days per month 8

 

What's on in Brisbane

Winternationals - Drag Racing Ipswich

8th to 11th June, 2017

A double celebration for Willowbank raceway, Ipswich, as this is the 30th time the track has hosted the event and it is the 50th anniversary of the Winternationals. The event is the largest drag racing event held outside of the United States and is also the final round of the 400 thunder season.

More information: Winternational
 

 More about Brisbane

Top 10 things to do around Brisbane

There’s an almost unlimited number of exciting activities to do in Brisbane City – from a wonderful day out at Southbank’s manmade lagoons and beach, to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, the many museums in the CBD . ....

Read more »

Activities to do in Brisbane

Events

What's on in Brisbane

Winternationals 50th Anniversary

8th to 11thJune, 2017

A double celebration for Willowbank raceway, Ipswich, as this is the 30th time the track has hosted the event and it is the 50th anniversary of the Winternationals. The event is the largest drag racing event held outside of the United States and is also the final round of the 400 thunder season.

More information: Winternational

V8 Supercars Ipswich - Willowbank Raceway

28th to 30th July, 2017

The change to the Supersprint series in 2016 was successful and returns again in 2017. Featuring a single 120 klm race on the Saturday and a 200 klm race on the Sunday. The track looks simple but set-up can be tricky and there will be strong local support for the Brisbane based triple 8 team.

More information: V8 Supercars

The Royal Queensland Show - the Ekka

11th to 20th August, 2017

2017 will see the 140th Ekka, with the best fashion, farm animals and fireworks on display at Queensland’s largest show. There is a pleasant mix of country and city along with live music, roving entertainment and heaps of entertainment aimed at the children, and that is even without considering the nightly fireworks show.

More information:  The Ekka

 

 

Bridge to Brisbane Fun Run

27th August, 2017

There is a 10klm and 5 klm course with the longer run starting from the Sir Leo Hielscher Bridge – South (formerly the Gateway Bridge), through the inner city by-pass to the Brisbane Showgrounds. Although a relatively flat course the initial bridge climb can prove challenging.

More information: Bridge to Brisbane

 

 

Brisbane festival

9th to 30th September, 2017

During September Brisbane comes alive with an exciting program of music, dance, circus, opera and theatre. There are free public events such as river fire and a wide range of ticket events to suit everyone's taste.

More information: Brisbane Festival

Riverfire

24th September, 2017

Riverfire is the final night of three weeks of the Brisbane Festival. Watch from South Bank as the buildings, bridges and the river is lit up with an amazing fireworks display and be treated to displays and fly overs from the Australian Defense Force. A free night not to miss.

More information: Riverfire

Woodford Folk Festival

27th December, 2016 to 1st January, 2017

Featuring over 2000 performers and 400 events, with local and international performers, this is more than a folk festival. Escape from the day to day and immerse yourself with artists, community spirit and cultures from near and far.

More information: Woodford

 

Brisbane International Tennis

1st to 8th January, 2017

Featuring over 2000 performers and 400 events, with local and international performers, this is more than a folk festival. Escape from the day to day and immerse yourself with artists, community spirit and cultures from near and far.

More information: Brisbane International

 

Brisbane Comedy Festival

February to March, 2018 - To be advised

Although only in it's eighth year the Brisbane Comedy festival has grown into a four week event, this year featuring 66 comedians appearing at two major venues in the city.

More information: Brisbane Comedy Festival

 

 

World Science Festival

March, 2018 - to be confirmed

Along with the main event in Brisbane the festival also reaches out to regional areas. Local events include displays at the Queensland Museum, Griffiths University and pop up shops at events and public spaces.

More information: Science

Airport

Brisbane Airport

Brisbane Airport (BNE) has separate Domestic and International terminals and is Brisbane’s primary airport. It is just 17 klm from the city centre and is Australia’s third busiest airport. (http://www.bne.com.au/). The airport is located near the Gateway Motorway for access to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts (http://www.transurban.com/gatewaymotorway.htm) and is connected to the city via the Airportlinkm7 toll road (https://www.airportlinkm7.com.au/)

Train

The Airtrain runs to Brisbane City and the Gold Coast from both the Domestic and International terminals. It also can be used as a transfer service between the two terminals and operates from 5.00 am Weekdays and 6.00 am Weekends to 10.00 pm. (https://www.airtrain.com.au/). Tickets can be purchased at the Airtrain terminal.

Airport Transfer Bus

There is a complementary bus service running between the Domestic & International terminals and Skygate (shopping precinct) Terminal transfers operate from approximately 5.00 am to 11.00 pm and connections to Skygate from 6.30 am to 6.20 pm

Bus

Con-x-ion Airport Transfers offers services from the airport to the CBD and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Transfers between terminals are also available. (https://www.con-x-ion.com/)

The public bus service only operates from Skygate (shopping precinct) to the Toombul Interchange. (http://jp.translink.com.au/travel-information/journey-planner). To utilise this service use the Airport Transfer Bus to connect to Skygate.

 

Taxi

This is a convenient way to get to and from the airport directly connecting with your destination. Taxi ranks are located at each terminal with kerbside supervisors assisting in busy periods. Pre-booked taxis are advised if you have special needs and there is a special pre-booked taxi area at each terminal, which is shared by the limousine operators. Taxis are not permitted to pick up from outside these areas. (http://blackandwhitecabs.com.au/ or http://www.yellowcab.com.au/).            

Limousine

As an alternate to a taxi a pre-booked limousine service is available and will normal meet passangers in the baggage collection area, although there is also a designated limousine parking area.

Car Rental

Most of the major car rental companies have outlets located at Brisbane Airport, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty and Redspot. (Vroom Vroom Vroom) There are rental car counters in the arrivals area of both terminals.

Touting

Soliciting for fares is not permitted.

Parking

There are parking stations located adjacent to each terminal, with premium parking close to the terminal and the Airpark option for longer term stays. Valet parking options are also available. (http://www.bne.com.au/to-from-brisbane-airport/parking/book-parking)

Bicycle

If you are intending to cycle to or from Brisbane Airport it is important to keep to the specified cycle route. (http://www.bne.com.au/to-from-brisbane-airport/transport-options)

Public Transport / Getting Around

Brisbane Public Transport

As an international destination Brisbane has an extensive public transport network. Trains, Buses, and Ferries. As with any large city peak hour congestion can occur. The Translink website provides a Journey Planner to help you get quickly to your destination. (http://jp.translink.com.au/)

Tickets

Paper tickets are available for purchase through train stations and on board buses and ferries. Limited change is available on buses and ferries and some services operate on a pre-paid basis only during peak times. (http://translink.com.au/tickets-and-fares/other-tickets/paper-tickets)

Go Card is a ticketless, rechargeable prepaid card for use on all public transport in Brisbane. Go cards can be purchased from selected 7-Eleven stores and newsagents, and top up from these locations and on board most services. (http://translink.com.au/sites/default/files/assets/resources/tickets-and-fares/go-card/150101-user-guide.pdf)

The seeQ card is designed for visitors to South East Queensland and can be bought for 3 or 5 consecutive days and includes a return Airtrain service. Like to Go Card they must be touched on and off each segment of your journey and can be purchased from the same retailers. (http://translink.com.au/tickets-and-fares/seeq-card)

Trains

In additional to services throughout Brisbane the train network extends south to the Gold Coast and north past Australia Zoo to the Sunshine Coast. (http://translink.com.au/sites/default/files/assets/resources/travel-information/network-information/maps/140120-train-network-map.pdf)

Bus

Buses run throughout Brisbane with major connection hubs at train stations and near most shopping areas. Some buses operate on a pre-paid service in peak times although there will always be a non pre-paid service available. The blue and maroon CityGlider buses are prepaid and tickets cannot be purchased on board. (http://jp.translink.com.au/travel-information/network-information/timetables)

Taxi

Taxis are a convenient method for point to point travel in Brisbane. Throughout Australia dialling 13CABS (132227) will put you in touch with the nearest Taxi service. Taxis can also be pre-booked.

Ferry

If you want to avoid the traffic and have a different perspective on the River City then utilise the Ferry services that operate from St Lucia to Hamilton (http://translink.com.au/sites/default/files/assets/resources/travel-information/network-information/maps/150701-ferry-network-map.pdf)

Car Rental

Brisbane is serviced by many car rental companies, remember that parking in the CBD can be expensive and that peak hour congestion is common. The toll roads throughout Brisbane make self-drive a popular option. (Vroom Vroom Vroom)

Travellers Autobarn Campervans Australia

Hire a campervan, campers or station wagons or buy one with a guaranteed buyback from 6 Australia wide locations: Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Perth and Melbourne. Travellers Autobarn (est. 1993) is a ‘one stop shop’ for the backpackers and budget travellers planning their self drive trip around Australia or simply up the coast in a campervan. (Travellers Autobarn)

CityCycle

Citycycle is a subscription based bike share service with bike stations throughout the inner city area. In Queensland cycle helmets are manditory and can be pre-purchased and collected from the Citycycle depot in Fortitude Valley. (http://www.citycycle.com.au/)

Apps                    

There is the My Translink App available to make accessing public transport in South East Queensland easy. (http://translink.com.au/plan-your-journey/mytranslink)

Late Night Services

Nightlink services operate between midnight and 5 am on selected bus and train networks. (http://translink.com.au/plan-your-journey/late-night-services)

More about Brisbane

 Our Brisbane Articles

fish eye aerial view of BrisbaneTop 10 Things to do near Brisbane

There’s an almost unlimited number of exciting activities to do in Brisbane City – from a wonderful day out at Southbank’s man-made lagoons and beach, to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, the many museums in the CBD and shopping in areas like Queen Street Mall. You could spend a week in Brissy and still be spoiled for choice, but whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s one thing that you just have to do when in Brisbane – visit the surrounding areas!

Read more »

Beach scene Fraser IslandThree Island Destinations Near Brisbane

We get asked quite regularly about the differences between Fraser Island, Moreton Island and Stradbroke Island and if you had to choose one to go to which one should it be? That would certainly depend on a few variables like how long are you here for? Do you want to camp or just go for the day? What activities do you like to do? There is the option to do all 3 as you make your way up or down Queensland’s south east coast but if you had to choose one here’s a few things that might help you to decide ......

Read more »

 
 

Exploring Around Brisbane

There are great activities to choose from both in Brisbane and the surrounding areas. From Brisbane if you travel north you have Australia Zoo, Sunshine Coast Hinterland , Noosa and Fraser Island , to the south you have all the theme parks and the Gold Coast. If you head out to sea you will find Stradbroke and Moreton Islands. You see, something for everyone.

Why not cruise the Brisbane River and learn a little about this fabulous “River City”, all cities look different from this perspective. If you like to see some of natures treasures, think koalas, then head to Lone Pine and you will be able to cuddle one of these cuties. By the way don’t forget Koalas are not bears so their correct name is Koala, so drop the bear! Head off to South Bank for recreation or learning at the Cultural Centre.

Time to leave the city life behind and head for the islands, the zoo, the beautiful hinterland of the north and south coast or great fun at the fun parks. There are so many choices for your daytrips from Brisbane.

Our Staff Brisbane Tour Picks

Koalas & River Cruise

This is a great tour, cruise down the Brisbane River and see the city and wonderful homes that line the river, while listening to the stories of the river city. Disembark at the Lone Pine koala Sanctuary the home of the koalas and other wonderful animals.

  • Great views from the River
  • Cuddle a Koala
  • Animal Feeding
  • Expert Commentary

Brisbane River - City Cruise

Brisbane is a beautiful river city and this cruise will let you see some of her landmarks from the water. Cruise under Storey Bridge, along Kangaroo Point Cliffs and hop on hop off as you like. You will love Brisbane even more after this cruise.

  • Hop On & Off (10.30 only)
  • Learn Brisbane's History
  • Great short trip
  • Convenient Departures

Brisbane City Sights

This morning tour will give you a great idea on why Brisbane is such a “livable” city. Take a coach tour through the city, and its historic areas, enjoy 360 degree views from the 60m Wheel of Brisbane and add a river cruise for a unique perspective.

  • Coach Tour of City
  • Ride the Wheel of Brisbane
  • Historic Buildings
  • Experience Southbank

Brisbane Full Day Tour

If you want to see what Brisbane has to offer and you have a spare day, this tour will show you all the major attractions, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Suncorp Stadium, XXXX Brewery, Storey Bridge,  Botanic Gardens, Mt Cootha and Wheel of Brisbane.

  • Koala Sanctuary
  • Mt Cootha Lookout
  • River Cruise
  • Wheel of Brisbane

Destination Brisbane Moreton Island

 

 

Moreton Island (Tangalooma Resort)

Moreton Island is another secret. It is the world’s second largest sand island, and the largest is just a little further up the coast, Fraser Is! Moreton Island is everything a 4WD enthusiast would like, beaches and some very adventurous sand roads, no bitumen on the island at all. With a 4WD you will get to swim in Blue lagoon, see Queensland oldest lighthouse and loads more.

Tangalooma Resort is on Moreton Island where there are so many activities just waiting for you to choose. Just off the beach are the wrecks which have amazing fish life and the snorkelling is wonderful. You can hand feed the dolphins at Tangalooma, so make sure you include this on your trip. If you want a little fun and speed, then you need to head to the sand dunes for some sand tobogganing.

Stradbroke Island

Stradbroke Island or using its affectionate name, Straddie, is a well kept secret right on the door step of Brisbane. You step back in time as soon as the barge docks. You will not find resorts, fancy restaurants or flash shops only places to buy your essentials. The natural beauty of the island is still intact for all to enjoy. It is the home to three species of dolphin and you often see them surfing the waves. Manta Rays and Green Sea Turtles also call Straddie home. During the Humpback Whale migration you cansee the whales just off shore.

 

 

Take a Tangalooma Island (Moreton Island) Day Trip

Tangalooma Day Tour

This is a great day tour from Brisbane. You get the whole day at leisure at Tangaloooma Resort, at Moreton Island, to do what you feel like, laze around or have such an active day (over 80 activities to choose from) that you will fall asleep on the way home.

  • Short 1 Hour Cruise
  • 80 Activities, 40 Free
  • Snorkel the Wrecks
  • Lunch Included

Dolphins & Tangalooma

What a day you will have, such variety. Take a Desert Safari Tour which includes sand tobogganing on the massive sand dunes, take a Conservation Tour and hand feed the wild but friendly dolphins. In between activities relax at the Tangalooma Island resort.

  • Hand feed Dolphins at Dusk
  • Desert Safari Tour
  • 80 Activities, 40 free
  • Lunch Included

Moreton Island Adventure

Join this tour and you certainly have a day to remember. You get to experience all the island has to offer, 4WD tour, sand boarding down the dunes, snorkeling tour of the wrecks, the Dolphin Research Centre, beach walks and Tangalooma Resort.

  • 4WD Tour
  • Sand Boarding
  • Guided Snorkel Tour
  • Picnic lunch

2 Day Moreton Is Escape

This 2 day tour circumnavigates the island making sure you don’t miss a thing. 4WD through forests and along beautiful beaches. The guide will take you on bush walks to teach you about the flora & fauna and on a guided snorkel adventure among the wrecks.

  • 4WD Tour
  • See all the island
  • Sand Boarding
  • Snorkel the Wrecks

 

 

Australia Zoo and Theme Parks

Australia Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter needs no introduction, it is famous the world over. It is regarded as the best wildlife conservation facility in the world. The dedicated staff work around the clock. The zoo has mammals, birds and reptiles, over 80 different animal types call the zoo home. There are many shows, lectures, displays etc for you to see and do. It is a great day trip from Brisbane.

Dreamworld and Movie World are within an hours drive south of Brisbane. They will keep you entertained for the day with rides, activities, attractions, entertainment and wildlife. Buy a ticket and have a great day of fun.

 

Visit Australia Zoo and Gold Coast Theme Parks

Australia Zoo Day trip

Everyone has heard about Australia Zoo thanks to the vision and passion of its founder Steve Irwin. Since his death his family and loyal staff have continued to expand the zoo and its animals. This zoo is one of the best in the world so make sure you visit.

  • The Crocoseum
  • Tiger Temple
  • Wildlife Warriors
  • Wildlife Hospital

Dreamworld

Have a fun day out at Dreamworld, located south of Brisbane. Whether you are a kid or a kid at heart you will have a great day. There are thrill seeking rides, kids and family rides and street entertainment, as well as Dreamtime Corroboree and Tiger Island

  • Big 9 Thrill Rides
  • Family & Kids Rides
  • 8 Attractions
  • Something for Everyone

MovieWorld

Movie World, Hollywood on the Gold Coast. There are rides to thrill you, lots for kids to have fun with and good old fashion fun for the family. Hit 4.5G on the Batwing Spaceshot or take it easy in the Looney Tunes Village, there’s something for everyone.

  • Main Street Entertainment
  • Road Runner Rollercoaster
  • Superman Escape
  • Wild West Falls

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo, some say the best conservation zoo in the world. You will have to decide what you want to see as you can’t see it all in a day, choose between Wildlife Shows, feedings at the Crocoseum or wander around the Tiger Temple and more.

  • 20 Animal Encounters
  • Wildlife Shows
  • Wandering Wildlife Team
  • Animal Photo Opportunities

Fraser Island

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. It is also the only place in the world where a rainforest grows on sand. Is it any wonder it is World Heritage Listed. This is truly a unique island. A trip to Fraser is a must for true nature lovers. It has over 100 lakes on it, great beaches, loads of fauna, wetlands they call home and interesting flora. From Brisbane there are 2 day tours which take you to Fraser via the Coloured Sands and you will travel along 75 Mile Beach, an amazing experience in itself.

 

 

Visit Fraser Island for a day or more....

Fraser Island Exclusive

Before you get to Fraser Island you will see so much along the way, view the Glasshouse Mts, stop at Rainbow Beach and then you travel along 75 Mile Beach! Fraser will not disappoint when you arrive, clear waters, forests, flora & fauna, history and more.

  • 75 mile Beach
  • 4WD on Fraser Island
  • Swimming & Walking
  • Island Beauty

2 Day Fraser Island

Got more time? then do an overnight tour to Fraser Island and see a little more. Fraser is full of hidden wonders created by nature with lakes, forests and more. You get to hike and swim, see the wildlife and get lost in the beauty of the island.

  • Resort Accommodation
  • World Heritage Sites
  • 75 Mile Beach
  • 4WD Touring

Fraser Is & Rainbow Beach

This tour shows you Red Canyon, Cooloola National Park, Rainbow Beach and the Coloured Sands. Travel along Teewah Beach and 75 Mile Beach, Maheno Shipwreck and then the great wonders of Fraser Island. This eco tour of Fraser Island will be a memory for life.

  • Rainbow Beach
  • Coloured Sands
  • 75 Mile Beach
  • Maheno Shipwreck

Fraser Is 3 Day

This is a nature lover’s tour. Just getting to Fraser Island is a tour in itself, travel the scenic route along beaches instead of the highway. Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island, covered in lakes, forests and abundant native flora and flora.

  • Scenic Short cut to Fraser Island
  • 4WD on 75 Mile Beach
  • Ample time to swim and hike
  • Resort Accommodation

 Accommodation in Brisbane

As part of this guide, we will continue to expand the information to help you in planning your holiday to Brisbane. As we discover interesting, unique or suitable accommodation options we will place them here so you can also research them and decide if they are suitable for you.

Bed & Breakfast

Beautiful old Queenslander - Murphy's B & BMurphy's B'n'B - Geebung

Searching for a home away from home on your next trip to the Sunshine State? Murphy’s Bed and Breakfast is the Geebung (northern Brisbane) accommodation you’ll remember for all the right reasons.

Cosy, comfortable and affordable. See website