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