Australians love wide open spaces, and no city is a better example of sprawl than Brisbane. It's the largest of Australia’s capital cities by geographic area and the third largest municipality in the world, spread over 2,116 square kilometres.
A mix of old and new, Brisbane’s city landmarks blend a mix of Victorian, Edwardian and contemporary architecture and, within the ever-developing city, it’s not uncommon to see several cranes in the air at any given time.
Upriver, the quiet, leafy suburb of Fig Tree Pocket is home to Australia's best-known koala sanctuary – Lone Pine. The vibe in Brisbane is a heady mix of laidback and can-do attitudes, making it an ideal city to explore, especially with consistently sunny weather.
Brisbane’s Central Business district is abuzz weekdays with the influx of city workers, but there’s plenty to see and do on weekends too. All CBD streets are named after royalty – male names run east-west and female names run north-south.
The CBD is dominated by the Queen Street Mall, which is open seven days a week and has late night trading hours on a Friday evening. For dining with a view, head to Eagle Street Pier and pull up a chair at one of the relaxed restaurants. Several sought-after establishments do, however, require bookings. Wander along the pier to either the Botanical Gardens or head down river and stroll the picturesque River Walk to New Farm.
Fortitude Valley | New Farm | Teneriffe | Newstead
Hip to be cool, Fortitude Valley, commonly referred to as just ‘The Valley’, is the alternative, grittier side of Brisbane’s inner city. It's home to Chinatown and the Brunswick Street Mall, which come to life after-dark.
Further yonder you’ll find the cosmopolitan yet village-like suburbs of New Farm, Teneriffe and Newstead, which have all undergone significant urban renewal in recent years and spouted an influx of cafes, restaurants and exciting retail. Popular spots include the leafy, riverside New Farm Park, cultural hub Brisbane Powerhouse, James Street Precinct, and newest kid on the block, Gasworks at Newstead.
Milton | Paddington
The inner-west is a desirable location, with Paddington’s lofty city views, cafes, bars, restaurants and eclectic shopping offerings, not to mention Milton’s mammoth Suncorp Stadium and iconic XXXX Brewery.
The Barracks shopping, dining, cinema complex sits proudly along Petrie Terrace, leading into Caxton Street, which is yet another a dining and entertainment precinct popular for Suncorp Stadium pre-and-post-game drinks. Continue onto Paddington’s winding Latrobe Terrace and be treated to a string of charming boutiques and cafes.
South Bank | West End
There’s no denying tourists love South Bank, and can you blame them? It boasts epic views of the city, the token Wheel of Brisbane, galleries, museums and the sprawling inner-city sanctuary of the Southbank Parklands – complete with its own man-made beach!
A short walk from the CBD over either the Victoria, Goodwill or Kurilpa Bridges, and you’ll soon reach the cultural heart of South Bank.
Explore dining options along Little Stanley Street and Grey Street, or venture further afield along Melbourne Street and you’ll reach the inner-city outpost of West End. An eclectic neighbourhood with a rich history, West End is on the up-and-up with new and exciting cocktails bars, pop up markets, and a mix of Asian, Greek and Australian dining.
Kangaroo Point | Woolloongabba
A popular spot for joggers, rock climbers and BBQs with a view, the Kangaroo Point Cliffs offers an incredible view of the River City. Drop into the famous Story Bridge Hotel for a beer, The Pineapple Hotel on Main Street, or the ever-popular Brisbane German Club, just across the road from The Gabba cricket ground.
March onward to Logan Road Precinct to discover some of Brisbane’s finest restaurants and bars, side by side to a selection of antique and homewares stores. In Woolloongabba, you’re never far from a good coffee: Brisbane’s Cup Coffee Roasters operate out of a warehouse open to the public on Balaclava Street.
The suburb of Bulimba itself is shaped around a bend in the river that forms a lovely cul-de-sac adding to its secluded village feel. Bulimba’s riverfront faces Teneriffe and a ferry connects the two sides of the river within minutes. The CityCat also makes for a nice trip along the river into the City, sans traffic.
A green, leafy suburb, Bulimba is not short on lifestyle, with wide open parks and two cinemas within a stone’s throw of cafes and popular restaurants.