Brisbane was the first place I visited in Australia where I stayed around 4 or 5 days. The first time I came here was during my East Coast trip 4 short years ago. I loved everything about it, from the hostel I stayed in (Base Uptown) to the paved street in Queen Street Mall to being asked to marshall in the St.Patrick’s Day parade (the single proudest moment of my life).
For me it was exactly the way I pictured Australian city life. Sunny, stylish and laid back. Since that brief 2 week period, during which I spent most of my time sun bathing by Southbank, pouring pints badly in the Irish Club and partying my little head off in Down Under Bar, I’ve been lucky enough to live in both Sydney and Melbourne where I spent 2 years in each city.
Melbourne and Sydney were both amazing, AMAZING experiences and I love both cities dearly for different reasons. However I was always surprised to hear other travellers rate the 2 biggest cities much higher than my beloved Brisbane. Sure I’d only been there for 2 and a half weeks. But it had been love at first sight. Surely that meant something right? So, I gave myself a mission! I moved back here in January and have been working and traveling from here for the past 5 months. My mission was to find the things that I loved about this city, and spread the word.
This place is way more than just a man made beach and a 'stopover.' it has the foodie scene of Melbourne, the glorious mountains and waterfalls found in Sydney and it has the people of (well you can’t really compare - think small town hospitality and friendliness just not in a small town - make sense?)
5 reasons why I love Brisbane (there’s more, but I have a word count to abide by, which I’ve just used explaining that, and now again. Ahhhh. I’m stopping now).
1. Mount Coot-tha
This place is A-mazing. I struggle to think of another city where you can literally walk from the CBD to the top of a mountain, that has THE most incredible view of the city (and you can buy an ice-cream to enjoy the view with). This is not to be missed, it will take 3-4 hours and you may get tired and need to call an Uber and that Uber driver might judge you for not completing the whole thing and you may leave him a 3 star rating because of said judgment. Or you may not. Either way, do it. It’s totally worth it.
2. Westend Friday and Saturday Night Markets
If you’re like me and like food... like really really like food, then this is the place for you. If you’ve ever felt like dumplings, pulled pork sliders, pear tart and vegan cupcakes all at the same time whilst drinking beer AND listening to sick live music, then you are at the right place my friend. You don’t have to eat all of the above. It’s just an example (but I have).
Brisbane’s best Sunday sess venue. I love a good old Sunday sess, and it doesn’t get much better then the Powerhouse - a smorgasbord of craft beer, wine, food and live music. The best part? You get there by ferry! That’s right, feel the wind in your hair as you glide across The Brisbane River and then feel the pain in your head on Monday morning in work whilst you temporarily lock your Westpac bank card for the 3rd weekend in a row until you get back to the Powerhouse and retrieve it from lost and found.
4. The Guilty Rogue
Now I may be a wee bit biassed, but I genuinely love this place, a rock bar with a heart of gold... and... wait for it... A KARAOKE NIGHT. An awesome venue for cheap, delicious eats and entertainment with a great mix of backpackers and Brisbane local yocals. I’ve spent many a glorious night here hogging the Juke box, preaching vegetarianism and secretly eating salami off the pizzas (which are out of this world BTW). Bars like this are few and far between these days, don’t miss out and check it out next time you’re in town.
5. Rock Climbing
Now I am not the world's best athlete but I do like trying new things, things that are relatively easy and that I can quit or call an Uber if my legs hurt. Since moving to Brisbane, my housemates and I have discovered the Rock Climbing wall on Southbank. The wall spans about 300 meters in length and 20 meters high!! We’ve recently signed up for an intro course and even though I’m terrified that I’ll die in a freak accident (rope breaks due to faulty rope or due to me eating 1 too many vegan cupcakes the night before, or I put my hand in a grove and a snake bites it and so fourth). I’m being brave and giving it a go.
So be brave like me and give Brisbane a chance. It’s a city full of hidden treasures, and it’ll take a wee bit longer than a 1 night stop over between The Gold Coast and Noosa to find them.
Want to find out how to explore Brisbane for FREE?! Check this out.