Welcome to Brisbane!
Two weeks ago I was sunning myself in the Southern Hemisphere having the time of my life. We visited 5 different places in the 2.5 weeks we were there and out first stop was Brisbane, the third biggest city in Aus and the biggest in Queensland. Here’s what I saw and liked. It’s just a few places to start if you’re planning your own trip!
Brisbane’s Southbank strip is a cultural hub, encompassing the theatres, another university, museums, a big wheel and even a Vietnamese peace temple juxtaposed next to buzzing man-made beaches and the towering CBD opposite. It’s a pretty strange sight seeing kids splashing around in pools and bright yellow sand with a sky scraper in the background! Be sure to meander under the blooming arching pergola of bougainvillea which stretches for ages.
University of Queensland
Whilst a cities’ university wouldn’t normally be on my list to see, unless you’re visiting OxBridge, UQ is definitely worth an amble around. Catch the City Cat cruiser ferry down the Brisbane river to the south and hop off at the namesake port. Take a stroll around the lakes and into the Great Court to get a sense of the scale of the history (over 100 years) and legacy. Spot turtles and lizards next to the fountain and marvel and some of the modern architecture. Wish my uni had looked like that!
If you’ve done your research, you’ll see Winn Lane come up as the indie hideaway to head for. Fortitude Valley, a thriving night time hub for clubbers hides a supporting emerging talent bed and artistic community. Growing from the ashes of last night are small and slightly secret shops, hip places to eat, florists and cute bars. Head to Winn Lane for Ben’s Burgers, which I didn’t try but looking at them, they couldn’t not be good, Kunstler magazine hut, The Outpost and Sunday Social and support the local talent.
Opposite the entrance that leads around to Winn Lane is Bakery Lane holding the incredible I <3 Brownies shop, which sells nothing but heart shaped brownies of every flavour, The Botanist cute home wear and flower shop, a modernist cafe and other boutiques. Above the units sit artists studios, incubating the talent of Brisbane. It’s only been around since January this year and feels fresh and cool. By the time you visit you’ll hopefully spot an even newer laneway (due to open very soon with even more indie goodness!
Want to get deep into the Brisbane hipster coffee life? Brew‘s your first port of call. Head fown the dodgy looking end of Burnett lane and head towards the a carpark (edgy.) Continue down and under ground for a flat white a friande cake. Watch the cool kids working away on their Macs whilst you chill on a wine keg. Up the other end of Burnett lies a few swanky post-work bars and a great looking restaurant called The Survey Co which is apparently a fantastic restaurant so head there after you’ve done a lap of the neighbouring shopping streets.
Doughnuts are big business in Australia I quickly learned. BIG. As are the actually dimensions of the pastries themselves. Bacon topped one anyone? We opted for the good old salted caramel and boy was it good! There are two Doughnut Times in Brisbane but the original one on Alfred Street is the one. Queue up, yet the goods and go. Look out for a great interiors shop on the same street or walk to the corner to the Alfred & Constance bar. Open ‘until they run out.’