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Brisbane is the gateway to tropical Australia and is the capital of Queensland. Like the rest of the capital cities of Australia, Brisbane is a beautiful city with world-class infrastructure. It has fantastic roads and is well connected to the other coastal jewels of Queensland that run parallel to the Great Barrier Reef. Rent a car in Brisbane to explore the coast northwards for an exotic holiday with scenic coastal drives, heaps of fresh seafood and tropical fruits to savour, and lots to see - from the rainforest to the reef.

It's your choice: Where to go in Brisbane

Brisbane has the problem of plenty. There is so much to see that you will need to choose carefully. Firstly, car rentals are available at Brisbane Airport (BNE) and it is a good idea to rent a car in Brisbane for both convenience and cost-effectiveness. You can choose to stay in the city centre (called the City Business District) for the finest restaurants and accommodation. Alternately, head to the South Bank area or the stretch of the Brisbane river around the Botanical Gardens and Roma Parklands for a wider range of accommodation fitting all budgets. For many travellers, Brisbane is just the beginning - the start of the Capricorn Coast. You can opt for a 10 to 14-day road trip north from Brisbane along the Capricorn Coast and the Great Barrier Reef. You can drive past Noosa, Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Mackay, Airlie Beach, Townsville and many more until you reach Cairns in an epic drive of over 1700km.

What to do in Brisbane?

Brisbane offers a lot to the curious traveller. You can visit its riverside to see the artistic colours of the city, exploring the Botanical Gardens, Roma Parklands and the South Bank Parklands which includes the Wheel of Brisbane, the Peace Pagoda and the Queensland Conservatorium. Don't forget to take a relaxing dip in perhaps the world's first man-made beach inside a city in South Bank. Take a free ferry ride at night to view the sparkling city lights. Other options include renting a car in Brisbane and driving to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (and getting to cuddle as many koalas as you can). If rainforests intrigue you, then drive south to UNESCO world heritage rainforests in the Lamington National Park. Alternately take a day trip to one of many islands close to Brisbane (such as Moreton, Stradbroke, Tangalooma) and indulge in some shipwreck snorkelling or dolphin feeding.

Important info about Brisbane

Brisbane has something for everyone - arts, food, culture, trekking or swimming, you get everything here. A multicultural city, Brisbane is clean and safe, with very low crime rates, an excellent infrastructure for cars and cyclists alike, and thriving with a cheerful beer culture. Microbreweries abound and your holiday here is incomplete without a beer pub crawl till late hours. Then there are the gyms, organic ice cream parlours and artistic cafes that make for a relaxing break. The city hums in particular along the Brisbane river and you should definitely explore its boardwalks and fantastic bridges - the Story Bridge in particular, which comes alive at night with its spectacular lighting. If you desire a bit of solitude, then drive to the nearby hills, such as Mount Coot-Tha for amazing views of the city at sunset.

Weather in Brisbane
Facts
Country Queensland
Language English
Currency Australian Dollar
Time-Zones AEST
Country Code +61

Good to know

Brisbane, as in the rest of Australia and the UK, has left-hand traffic norms, while vehicles have a right-hand drive. Brisbane and the state of Queensland accept international driving licenses, with a minimum driving age of 17 years. Motor vehicle insurance is a necessity. Traffic rules are very strict, with close monitoring by the traffic police, particularly within the city. Blood alcohol limit for international licenses is 0.05%, but don't be alarmed if you are stopped by policemen as Random Breathing Mobile tests are quite rampant. Nonetheless, the infrastructure for roads is excellent, and speed limits for every stretch are well marked - it is a prudent practice to keep a look out for these, particularly for school zones, where traffic monitoring is strict. You may also want to hire a GPS while you rent a car in Brisbane for easy directions and speed monitoring.

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What to taste in Brisbane

The multi-cultural essence of Brisbane is widely reflected in its food scene with tempting options from around the world. From Turkish shisha cafés to Japanese teppanyaki and world-class dégustation meals, Brisbane will spoil you with options. Great spots to enjoy a lovely dinner are the riverside, particularly South Bank or the city hub (CBD). Choose one of many restaurants around the Story Bridge and enjoy the city's fresh seafood cuisine with a glass of Shiraz as you watch the changing illumination of the bridge. Alternately, head over to Fortitude Valley and enjoy the pubs there along with Asian cuisine. Starting Thursdays, weekends can get quite noisy and raucous, but if you love the crowds, Brisbane will offer a pulsating nightlife.

What to bring to your friends from Brisbane

Down under Australia offers an entire world of exotic mementos for your friends and near ones. Gifts such as stuffed toys of kangaroos and koalas are distinctly Australian. For something more cultural, you can buy Aboriginal woodworks such as richly painted wooden boomerangs or didgeridoos (indigenous musical pipes). Other quintessential Australian mementos include rich Tim Tam chocolate biscuits and sheepskin Ugg boots. Another wonderful though expensive option is Australian Opals. These are Australia's national gemstones, and are abundantly mined around Brisbane but are a rare find in any other part of the world. Australian wine, in particular, the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir, is being increasingly recognised by the rest of the world. The Hunter, Yarra and Barossa Valleys are the most famous wineries of Australia, and a gift of wine from these vineyards would be a great idea.