Nestled around the curving banks of the Brisbane River, Queensland’s capital Brisbane is pretty much always hot, even in winter. Fortunately the laidback city, the third largest in Australia, knows how to cool down.
As seems to be the case with most settlements in Australia, Brisbane’s origins were convict related. The Governor of NSW Thomas Brisbane felt the need to start a new penal community, so he sent out a party to explore the Moreton Bay area. Eventually the group decided to settle in a location on the Brisbane River. The new town was named Brisbane and by 1838 the first non-convict settlers were enjoying the sunny climate.
Being in the sunshine state, Brisbane is the perfect starting point to explore the many aquatic coastal activities Queensland has on offer. Brisbane itself though is a city with a river running through it which you probably wouldn’t want to swim in. It occasionally goes by the unflattering nickname Bris Vegas. While not built on a desert it does have the Treasury Casino housed in the ornate and heritage listed Treasury Building.
Moving on from the casino Brisbane does boast an entertaining nightlife. Spread over the CBD and the Valley you can find pubs, clubs and bars which showcase the best in live music and DJs. If the music is too loud then head to South Bank and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. The square Lego-looking building presents theatre, opera, ballet and more. Nearby you’ll also find the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art where you can appreciate creativity on your terms.
As it’s an Australian city, watching sport is not just a past-time but a civic duty. Suncorp Stadium, better known as Lang Park, is home to the successful rugby league team, the Brisbane Broncos. If you’re after something a little more graceful head to the Gabba where the Brisbane Lions represent the city in Aussie Rules and cricketers do battle each summer.
Just enjoying the sites of the city is probably enough in Brisbane. Cruising the river on a City Cat is the best way to make your way through the city and get close to the splendid Story Bridge. There’s also a peaceful sanctuary to be found in the City Botanic Gardens, complete with their own mangroves. In South Bank you’ll find Parklands and a man made pool. Perfect for when that sunshine becomes too much.