Brisbane is the capital of the state of Queensland with a population of 2 million people, making it the third-largest city in Australia. Flying there from Singapore takes around 8 hours. Scoot is one the airlines that offer direct flights to Brisbane at a good value.

The iconic Brisbane City Hall Clock Tower

The iconic Brisbane City Hall Clock Tower

Brisbane has a year-round warm climate and is the fastest-growing city in Australia. It gained international exposure during the 1982 Commonwealth Games, the 1988 World Expo, the 2001 Goodwill Games and hosting the G-20 summit in November 2014.

In 2014, Lonely Planet tagged Brisbane as “arguably Australia’s hippest city”, while Rough Guides ranked Brisbane as the 8th most beautiful city in world in 2015.

If you intend to make a quick tour of Queensland and has only one day in Brisbane, here is a list of things which you can do within a day. I managed to complete the recommended one-day itinerary during the #escapers15 social media campaign last year, organised by Accor, Scoot and Tourism Events Queensland.

For a start, book a free walking tour with the Brisbane Greeterspart of the worldwide Global Greeter Network, which started in New York City in 1992. In Brisbane, 140 volunteers operate on a rotating roster, as well as on demand, to accompany visitors on walking tours of the city and surrounding areas, focussing on passion points from history to art to war and food.

Our guide, Mr Blair Allsop, brought us on a quick tour of the city centre, sharing interesting facts and information about each of the sites as we walked along.

We started off our tour at Queen Street Mall (The Myer Centre, 149F Queen St, Brisbane QLD 4000, Australia), a vibrant pedestrian mall home to high street brands and stores such as Sportsgirl and Portmans.

The mall plays host to more than 26 million visitors a year and is Australia’s most popular pedestrian mall with more than 700 retailers housed in one area.

Must-visits include the sparkling high-end QueensPlaza, Wintergarden with its diverse range of retailers, the magnificent and historically significant Brisbane Arcade and Tattersall’s Arcade, the convenient MacArthur Central and the ever-popular The Myer Centre.

Inside Brisbane Arcade, a mall built in 1923 for Dr James Mayne, and his sister Mary Emelia Mayne.

Inside Brisbane Arcade, a mall built in 1923 for Dr James Mayne, and his sister Mary Emelia Mayne.

This is the oldest mall in the area and the architecture itself is an interesting sight.

This is the oldest mall in the area and the architecture itself is an interesting sight.

A stationary shop selling luxury pens

A stationary shop selling luxury pens

Fancy one of these pens?

Fancy one of these pens?

Award-winning bridal gown shop

Award-winning bridal gown shop

Rocking Horse Records - Queensland's oldest and largest independently owned and operated record store.

Rocking Horse Records – Queensland’s oldest and largest independently owned and operated record store.

This is the place to go for hard-to-find CDs, DVDs and even vinyl records!

This is the place to go for hard-to-find CDs, DVDs and even vinyl records!

A flying fox street sculpture hidden in a lamp post along the street. There are many other similar sculptures of possums, birds and other creatures native to the area. Have fun spotting all of them! These bronze artworks are sculpted by Fred Whitehouse in 1996, a grand-nephew of the renowned British sculptor Henry Moore.

A flying fox street sculpture hidden in a lamp post along the street. There are many other similar sculptures of possums, birds and other creatures, native to the area. Have fun spotting all of them! These bronze artworks are sculpted by Fred Whitehouse in 1996, a grand-nephew of the renowned British sculptor Henry Moore.

Bicycles for rental

Bicycles for rental

Street sculptures

Street sculptures

Cafe

Cafe

Another sculpture

Another sculpture

Promotion for the Wicked Musical

Promotion for the Wicked Musical

City centre

City centre

City centre

City centre

White sculptures

White sculptures

Street musician

Street musician

For lunch, we checked in at Jimmy’s on the Mall (Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD, 4000, Australia,+61 7 3077 7126), Brisbane’s longest established outdoor restaurant.

 The popular restaurant opened in 1982 and is situated in the middle of one of Australia’s busiest pedestrian mall. Go for the tables on the upstairs for a nice view of the shopping area.

Other than the lovely ambient, the food is pretty amazing too, made with the freshest ingredients and cooked to perfection.

Open kitchen

Open kitchen

View from the second floor

View from the second floor

Edamame beans with yuzu citrus sea salt

Edamame beans with yuzu citrus sea salt

Mushroom & Truffles Arancini Balls - porcini puree, parmesan, basil oil

Mushroom & Truffles Arancini Balls – porcini puree, parmesan, basil oil

Caramalised Crispy Pork Spare Ribs - twice cooked pork ribs, sticky black pepper sauce

Caramalised Crispy Pork Spare Ribs – twice cooked pork ribs, sticky black pepper sauce

Salt & Pepper Calamari - spiced salt, shallot and coriander, lime, soy sauce

Salt & Pepper Calamari – spiced salt, shallot and coriander, lime, soy sauce

Me fooling around with my two new friends from China

Me fooling around with my two new friends from China

Thai Chicken Salad - pickled leaves, chili, ruby grapefruit, peanuts, mustard fruits, tomatoes, sesame and ginger dressing

Thai Chicken Salad – pickled leaves, chili, ruby grapefruit, peanuts, mustard fruits, tomatoes, sesame and ginger dressing

Local Buffalo Mozzarella - hand torn basil, garlic croutons, assorted tomatoes, vincotto

Local Buffalo Mozzarella – hand torn basil, garlic croutons, assorted tomatoes, vincotto

Char-grilled Bugs, Prawns, Scallops, Calamari - garlic, parsley, butter, lemon, green kale salad, served with chunky chips

Char-grilled Bugs, Prawns, Scallops, Calamari – garlic, parsley, butter, lemon, green kale salad, chunky chips

Fruit platters with fresh local produce

Fruit platters with fresh local produce

The plating make the fruits look so beautiful!

The plating make the fruits look so beautiful!

After lunch, we headed to the Story Bridge Adventure Climb (170 Main St, Kangaroo Point QLD 4169, Australia) to burn off the calories. We got to scale to the top of Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge for a bird’s eye view of the city.

The Story Bridge Adventure Climb is one of only three such experiences in the world with the journey leading to an 80m summit, where we get to enjoy a spectacular 360 degree view of the city and it’s surroundings. I done the higher BridgeClimb at the Sydney Harbour Bridge twice, so the Story Bridge was very manageable in terms of altitude.

Sightings during the climb include the Glasshouse Mountains in the north, to the World Heritage-listed Gold Coast Hinterland regions to the south. Dawn, day , twilight and night climbs are limited to groups of 12 and led by an experienced climb leader who provides commentary about the history and heritage of both the bridge and the city surrounding them.

Ready for a climb?

Ready for a climb?

On the way up

On the way up

People's houses

People’s houses

The structure supporting the bridge

The structure supporting the bridge

Up up we go

Up up we go

View of the waterfront

View of the waterfront

Australia flag

Australia flag

Higher and higher

Higher and higher

Reflection of the bridge

Reflection of the bridge

Looking down the bridge

Looking down the bridge

View of the water from both side

View of the water from both sides

Up and up

Up and up

And then we go down

And then we go down

Sun was setting

Sun was setting

Passing boats

Passing boats

Down and down

Down and down

Small park below

Small park below

Cars and pedestrians on the bridge

Cars and pedestrians on the bridge

After the bridge climb, we toured the city with the Brisbane Explorer, which offers a 24 or 28 hour Hop on Hop off ticket, allowing ticket holders to plan your own itinerary and visit the landmarks and attractions at our own pace. Free commentary is also offered on all the open top double-decker sightseeing bus.

Let's get on the bus

Let’s get on the bus

Ready to go

Ready to go

Dennis from Superadrianme.com, listening to the commentary

Dennis from Superadrianme.com, listening to the commentary

Enjoying the night view of the city

Enjoying the night view of the city

Beautiful Brisbane

Beautiful Brisbane

Glowing ferris wheel

Glowing ferris wheel

Museum

Museum

Performing Arts Centre

Performing Arts Centre

Glowing building

Glowing building

Stop

Stop

One of the stops we made was at the The Cliffs Boardwalk where you can get an awesome panoramic view of the cityscape by the waterfront and of Kangeroo Point Cliffs.

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Dinner followed at Pony Dining Eagle Street Pier (Upper Level, Eagle Street Pier 18/45 Eagle Street Brisbane QLD 4000 Australia, 07 3181 3400, [email protected]), a classy restaurant with an open kitchen and grill, offering a view across the Brisbane River and Story Bridge.

Pony is owned by the successful Kyprianou family in partnership with Chef Damien Heads. There are three Pony restaurants located across Australia.

Pony Dining Eagle Street Pier

Pony Dining Eagle Street Pier

Beautiful view

Beautiful view

View of the Story Bridge by night

View of the Story Bridge by night

Dinner is ready

Dinner is ready

Charred Flat Bread - smoked eggplant, white bean dip

Charred Flat Bread – smoked eggplant, white bean dip

Burrata - peaches, rocket, balsamic

Burrata – peaches, rocket, balsamic

Pork and Truffle Sausage - onion jam, cognac mustard, fried shallot

Pork and Truffle Sausage – onion jam, cognac mustard, fried shallot

Salt and Pepper Squid - volcanic black salt, Chinese pepper, lime

Salt and Pepper Squid – volcanic black salt, Chinese pepper, lime

350g O'Connor's 100% Pure Angus Sirloin, grass fed, Pakenham Vic, Paris mash, roasted carrots, red wine jus

350g O’Connor’s 100% Pure Angus Sirloin, grass fed, Pakenham Vic, Paris mash, roasted carrots, red wine jus

One Cheese Plate - pear and mustard compote, sherry Turkish fig, oat biscuit

One Cheese Plate – pear and mustard compote, sherry Turkish fig, oat biscuit

White Chocolate Parfait - smoked chocolate, caramel, peanut butter

White Chocolate Parfait – smoked chocolate, caramel, peanut butter

Mille Feuilles Tatin - apples, vanilla cream, almond ice cream

Mille Feuilles Tatin – apples, vanilla cream, almond ice cream

To add, if you prefer to tour the city in class, you can hire a limousine service from Brunel Limo Cruiser. We were ferried around by them in some parts of the day tour in Brisbane.

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For accommodation, we stayed at ibis Brisbane and Mercure Brisbane, two adjoining hotels located in the city centre, managed by AccorHotels.

We headed off to Sunshine Coast the next day. Stay tuned for my next post! 🙂