Things to do
If you fancy a dip in the middle of the city, take your swimming gear down to Streets Beach, a busy urban oasis in South Bank Parklands. Or, for complete tranquillity, the picturesque lagoons and uncrowded sandy coves of Brisbane’s atolls are only a 75-minute ferry trip away. Moreton Island is the largest – complete with 15 sunken shipwrecks, colourful fish and, between June and November, majestic migrating whales drifting by.
Platypus, pythons, turtles, kangaroos, Australian water dragons, flocks of king parrots… Spend a day or two with the resident species in Brisbane’s UNESCO-listed national parks. D'Aguilar is closest at only 10km away. Slightly further afield is O'Reilly's Lamington Rainforest Retreat where you can go on a treetop canopy walk past plunging waterfalls and witness the brilliant blue-green light emanating from the glow worm cave at Cedar Creek.
If a two-hour climb to the top of the 80m Story Bridge doesn’t faze you, be there at dawn to catch the sunrise and panoramic views. Down at street-level, the city’s creative history is everywhere you look. In the Queensland Cultural Centre, with its angular glass and black metal exterior, the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) displays mainly contemporary Australian art. Another nearby statement building is the City Hall. Starring an impressive 4,300-pipe organ, it’s where the Rolling Stones held their first Australian concert in 1965.