Brisbane in 2-3 days
Start with a hearty breakfast in New Farm, Fortitude Valley, West End or Paddington (depending on where you’re staying) then head into Brisbane’s CBD.
Brisbane is a great city to walk around. The city centre is compact, the streets are wide and it is not too busy. Most of the city’s sights are on the city-side of the Brisbane River or just across on the South Bank side.
Head to the Queen Street Mall, if shopping is high on your to-do list. Otherwise take a quick stroll around the inner city passing some of Brisbane’s historical sights — the City Hall, Parliament House, the Old Windmill & Observatory and the Treasury Building, which is now a casino. Have a sit down in the Roma Street Parklands or the City Botanic Gardens before heading across the river to South Bank.
Stop for lunch at one of the many restaurants at South Bank and then take a walk around the area, or a dip in the fake beach.
Make your way to West End to have dinner in one of the many cheap, but delicious restaurants.
Start your second day in Brisbane in New Farm. Have breakfast at Watt, a restaurant right on the river at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Wander around New Farm Park. Find a ferry stop and take the ferry along the river right up to the Regatta — have lunch and a beer at the riverside pub. Walk to the Castlemaine-Perkins XXXX Brewery and take a tour, before heading up to Paddington or Milton or back into the city for dinner and more beer.
Make today your activity day. Go rock-climbing at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, go on the Story Bridge Adventure Climb, play lawn bowls at the Merthyr Bowls Club, go kayaking on the river or just rent a bike or inline skates and explore South Bank.
In one week
On your first days in Brisbane stay around the city centre. But to occupy your self for the rest of the week, head out on some day trips.
If you want to have some child-like fun head to one of the top theme parks between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Dreamworld, Wet ‘n’ Wild and Movie World are all within a couple of kilometres of each other and are about 45 minute’s drive from the centre of Brisbane.
If you’re into rides head to Dreamworld which has rides like the Tower of Terror, The Giant Drop and The Cyclone to get the adrenaline pumping.
For those who like it a little bit more laid back head to Movie World. It’s probably a bit more family-orientated with plenty of great stunt shows but there are a few rides like the Lethal Weapon and Superman Escape rides.
If the mercury starts to rise, and in Queensland there’s a pretty good chance of that, head to Wet ‘n’ Wild. This is a water park with plenty of cool waterslides and a massive wave pool.
At all these parks it’s worth purchasing your tickets online to save you the hassle of queuing when you get there. It’s probably worth avoiding school holidays and weekends if you can so you don’t spend half your day in queues to get into attractions.
Make your way to the Gold Coast. It’s over-developed, there are a lot of tourists but it is one of the truly great stretches of beach in the world. You can stand in the middle of the beach and no matter which way you look up or down the beach, you’ll see nothing but golden sand and rolling waves. Be warned though, if you are going to swim, always do it between red and yellow the flags which are patrolled by surf life savers. Every year tourists drown on the famous strip when they ignore this rule. In more than 80 years, nobody who has swum between the flags has drowned.
It’s not quite a shrine to Steve Irwin, but there’s plenty of people who head to Australia Zoo to see first-hand the Crocodile Hunter’s legacy. The park was actually started by Iriwin’s dad, Bob, in the 1970s but has grown into a major international attraction. These days at Australia Zoo you can see tigers, elephants, snakes and, of course, crocodiles. Much of the profit from the zoo is put back into conservation work. The park is situated about one hour north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast.