Worlds away, yet right around the corner...how good is a sneaky getaway? Just a short trip from Brisbane, Stradbroke Island looks like heaven, and well...it is. Get up close and personal with Aussie wildlife - you can spot koalas, kangaroos and dolphins at nearly every corner. As Queensland’s most easterly point, Stradbroke is also a prime spot for whale watching from June to November. Embrace your inner history buff and learn about the Island's traditional owners - the Quandamooka people. Don't worry, Stradbroke will feed your inner water baby too. You can snorkel, swim, surf, kayak, fish - pretty much anything you can do in water, you can do on Stradbroke Island. Once you've made the most out of everything this stunning paradise has to offer, you're definitely going to be too wrecked to head back to Brisbane, so crash with us at Stradbroke Island YHA and make memories with your new best friends. Ferries from Brisbane to Stradbroke can be a little pricey, but given that everything you just read is only the tip of the iceberg...well, it's probably worth the investment.
Credit: Brisbane Marketing
Lone Pine is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary! It opened in 1927 as a refuge for orphaned koalas at a time when the species was being culled for the fur trade. Today, Lone Pine is an iconic attraction enjoyed by visitors and locals alike, housing over 100 species of native Aussie wildlife, which you can see for only $34.20 for an adult ticket, or $21.60 for concession. If you’re willing to spend a lil’ more, you can enjoy a premium wildlife experience, where you can hold a koala, feed a platypus and walk with a dingo! Free outdoor movie screenings also take place on the first and third Fridays of the month, screening a range of family-friendly old favourites and relatively new movies. With a whole lotta activities that are a joy at any age, don't leave Brissie without visiting Lone Pine.
Travel buffs agree - there is nothing like Eat Street anywhere in the world! Priceless river and city views frame a giant complex filled with dozens of shipping containers that are actually street food stalls. Eat Street is a truly special place that reflects Queensland’s tropical, breezy way of life - call it Brisbane’s Disneyland. For a measly $3 entry, you have access to over 70 international street food vendors, serving up everything from paella to Japanese pizzas. The meals themselves are backpacker budget friendly too – you won’t find many mains for over $20. Enjoy the beautiful artwork, live music and friendly vibe as you wander through the stalls in search of the perfect tasty treat to scratch whatever itch you might have. A crowning jewel of not just Brisbane, but Queensland – Eat Street is an absolute must-do.
Brisbane has embraced the craft beer bandwagon with both arms! If good food, great vibes and crisp cold beer is your game, look no further than Newstead Brewing Co. This lil' gem was born in a 1940s steel warehouse, with much of its initial design still in place. This much-loved brewpub has 12 taps on offer, with eight brews direct from the tanks. Whether you’re into pale ale, lager or you’re more of a cider person, there’ll be something for your tastebuds – as well as classic yet inventive pub food to soak it all up. A hop, skip and a jump away, you’ll find Green Beacon Brewing Co, set in another rustic warehouse. The Green Beacon team lives and breathes beer – they treat beer like produce, not a product, and each brew is made with love. At the brewery, the team serves up their famous range of six preservative-free beers, as well as tasty seasonal rotaters. Wash it all down with some fresh Queensland seafood, and you’ve got a fabulous day out, only costing you for whatever you enjoy.
If you love markets and your money going somewhere useful, look no futher than Davies Park Market, West End. Open every Saturday, this a popular hangout for locals and visitors alike. Weave between stalls upon stalls of fresh produce, healthy fast food, fashion and gifts, under a canopy of stunning giant fig trees. Fuel up for the day with freshly ground coffee and mini Dutch pancakes (or a tasty Hungarian langos as shown in the pic), and spend hours bargain hunting and picking up some ethical, handmade goodies. Everything you spend here helps support local growers, designers and artists so that they can continue living their dream and producing top-notch goodies for the entire country to enjoy. You’ll love the laid-back community vibe, the friendly vendors and just taking it all in. You don’t have to spend much or anything at all, but if you do…know that you’re helping the people who make our fair country gret.
Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
In spite of being the capital of the sunshine state, there aren’t really any beaches in Brisbane. So what do you do when you don’t have a beach? You build one! An icon of the popular suburb of South Bank, Streets Beach is a must-visit. Overlooking the Brisbane River and CBD, it is Australia’s only inner city man-made beach - a sparkling lagoon surrounded by white sand and sub-tropical plants. It’s a popular family spot, with free barbecues, sheltered tables and green lawns nearby, as well as funky cafes and restaurants if you get peckish. However, you can enjoy everything the beach has to offer for $0 - get there early to secure a prime spot, bring a picnic and settle in for the day, with your wallet stashed firmly away,
Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Still in super-cool South Bank, you’ll find the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art – the largest gallery of modern and contemporary art in Australia! QAGOMA has featured a huge array of intriguing exhibitions in a short space of time, from Andy Warhol to Picasso to Marvel (as in the comics)! The program is constantly evolving with Australian and international exhibitions, with a focus on contemporary Australian and Asian art. The best part? Entry will cost you absolutely nothing! QAGOMA is also part of the Queensland Cultural Centre that includes the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Queensland Museum and the State Library of Queensland – when you’re done with QAGOMA, mosey on over and check those out!
Brisbane lookout, or Mt Coot-tha, is a must-see for everyone who sets foot in Brisbane. Rich in history, Mt Coot-tha was once a place where indigenous Australians collected honey. Today, it is a favourite spot of locals and visitors alike, and is not to be missed. Mt Coot-tha boasts panoramic views over the CBD all the way to Moreton Bay. Stunning during the day and ultra-romantic at night, be sure to visit at both times to get the full experience. No surprises that it’s the perfect spot for a picnic with your bae or some friends. You can enjoy a day out walking the bushwalking trails, wandering the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, checking out Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium and spend absolutely nothing. If you feel like spending a little or a lot, enjoy a meal at Kuta Café or Summit Restaurant and Bar. Whatever you decide, just make sure you get there!
A heritage-listed reservoir, Enoggera Dam is one of Brisbane’s most popular swimming spots. It was the first major dam built in Queensland and the second major dam built in Australia. It is one of the few remaining functioning reservoirs in Queensland, and as such, it is much loved by locals. Located in the leafy suburb of The Gap, you’ll find that swimmers of all ages, families, kayakers and canoeists flock here on weekends to enjoy this quaint spot. You can even fish here if you so fancy! Be sure to walk around the edge of the dam along the Araucaria Track, for prime views and lots of benches where you can sit and take it all in. Keep your eyes peeled for a platypus, goanna, snake kingfisher and plenty of water birds.