Singles, couple or families - Brisbane has plenty to keep you entertained, writes Jane Jurgens.



Brisbane is home to a lively bar scene with plenty of interesting options, so there's no excuse to sit around the hotel at night. The South Bank area has a number of painfully hip options to choose from - try the French Martini Bar for some Gallic charm, or Hop and Pickle for craft beer on tap. The city also boasts lots of great rooftop bars - lounge around at the Soleil Pool Bar, or try inventive cocktails at Dandy's Rooftop. Popping candy marshmallow martini anyone?

Art gallery


The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (Goma) is one of the best places to spend a solo afternoon in Brisbane. With a beautifully designed building and impressive collections, you're sure to get a healthy dose of culture. Current exhibitions include a Gerhard Richter retrospective and Yayoi Kusama's Obliteration Room. While you're at it, pop in for lunch or dinner at the excellent Goma Restaurant.


Brisbane's shopping scene has really taken off, with a big revival of the iconic Queen St Mall in the CBD. Explore the big brands on the main street, but be sure to pop into the interesting boutiques nestled in the laneways. Or head out of the CBD to Oxford St in Bulimba on Brisbane's east side - here you'll find an eclectic mix of shops and cafes, as well as a beautiful park that's perfect for a picnic.


Wine tour

You may not think vineyards would thrive in such a warm climate, but the Tamborine Mountain area (halfway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast) is home to many excellent wineries and one very eccentric distillery, with a range of Aussie bush-inspired liqueurs and vodkas. The Vino Bus offers tours of the best spots and can pick you up from your accommodation and drop you back after a full day of tastings and treats.

Glamping on Moreton Island

Moreton Island is perfect for a day trip, or better yet, a romantic overnight stay. Do it in style by glamping at Castaways Resort. Your self-contained tent is just 100m from the beach, with a veranda that's perfect for enjoying a drink while watching the sunset. When you're not relaxing, the island offers plenty of fun activities, including quad-bike safaris, kayaking and the famous wild dolphin feeding experience.

River dining cruise

Getting out on the Brisbane River is a must when you're in the city and you can even combine your cruise with a special meal. Kookaburra River Cruises offer lunch and dinner trips, with a range of meal options and entertainers performing your dancefloor favourites. There's even a VIP romance package that includes "assistance with proposal", if you're ready to take things to the next level. With plenty of fresh seafood and a bottle of Moet, as well as stunning views of the botanical gardens, Story Bridge and the South Bank precinct, this is bound to impress.



The Queensland Museum is sure to entertain both young and old, with interactive displays and special exhibitions - the World Science Festival was held here this year, with much acclaim. Check out its current exhibition on the gladiators of Ancient Rome, take a behind the scenes tour, or experiment in the Sciencentre. If you're visiting during the school holidays, the museum offers a range of interesting programmes and activities.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

It's an essential Brisbane experience and one of few places in Australia where you can hold a koala - truly an experience the little ones will remember. More than 100 koalas reside here, but you'll meet all manner of furry, feathered and scaled friends as well - with plenty of photos ops along the way. The Flight of the Raptor show is a much-watch - impressive hawks and other birds of prey will fly so close you'll feel their wings on your face. Round the day off by travelling there and back by water with Mirimar Cruises' Koala and River Cruise.

South Bank Beach

It may not have the coastline like its Queensland contemporaries, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, but you can still hit the beach in Brisbane. Head to the South Bank and you'll find the Streets Beach - an artificial lagoon surrounded by sparkling white sand that's patrolled by lifeguards all year round. It's the perfect place to cool off in the tropical heat, and of course, there's an icecream stand to complete that "seaside" experience. Parents can chill out and enjoy the views while the kids splash around.

Getting there

Qantas flies Auckland to Brisbane with return Economy Class fares from $562.
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