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The jewel in the crown of the Sunshine State, Brisbane is Australia's third largest city. Winding along the Brisbane River, the CBD blends historic buildings with modern elegance. Although the city's history dates back to 1824, Brisbane rose to the world stage after hosting the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and World Expo in 1988.
The mild subtropical climate together with a relaxed yet sophisticated culture attracted a large numbers of tourists as well as permanent residents relocating from other Australian states. Today Brisbane is referred to as Australia's 'new world' city. It's clean, green, and friendly with an emphasis on innovation and creativity.
Sophisticated city galleries and rooftop bars, desolate subtropical beaches, cool-climate vineyards: the greater Brisbane region deals in Queensland's most gasp-inducing contrasts. Star of the show is Brisbane itself, a lush, sultry metropolis with flourishing restaurant, bar and cultural scenes that attest to its coming of age. Lapping at the city's eastern fringe is Moreton Bay, home to low-lying sandy isles that beckon with their turquoise waves, sparkling forests and passing parade of whales, turtles and dolphins.
It’s not open very often, and not easy to get into, but Urbane is the city’s true contender to Esquire’s mantle as top diner - though the aesthetic and experience couldn’t be more different. Part of The Urbane Group (The euro, The Laneway) Urbane is the brainchild of Argentinian chef Alejandro Cancino and restaurant manager Andrew Buchanan, who delivers a welcome respite for those that choose to live a meat-free existence. Caramel brown floors, double white clothed tables and a pervading serene, tranquil atmosphere provides the canvas for the beautiful brushstrokes on your choice of either a herbivore or omnivore tasting menu – though even the omnivore menu is not as carnivorous as one may expect.
PH: 3842 9916
It’s easy to assume we only venture to the Gallery of Modern Art to digest the works of many of the modernists of our time, but one of Brisbane’s finest exhibitions of contemporary cooking is housed in the very same building. Floor-to-ceiling windows drench a sophisticated space of polished concrete floors, classic bistro chairs and white clothed tables in gorgeous sunlight. It’s the perfect canvas for chef Josue Lopez to provide the brushstrokes of aesthetically stunning food that relies on Australia’s native ingredients and break-taking technique in equal measure.
There are few chefs as influential on the characteristics of Australian cuisine than Matt Moran. Sure the breathtaking view of the Brisbane River will lure some, but the real hook here is the mesmerising proficiency, balance and harmony on the plate. It’s here reliable wait staff give Brisbane dinners a serious eating experience highlighted by a ripping wine list and food that relies on precision as much as it does the produce. Aria is the real deal diner where elegance and entertainment meet magnificently in the middle.
When Gerard’s Bistro blew into town it created a dust storm. It represented change by embracing the ideology of the new wave of Australian dining that pulled the double white table-clothes off tables but maintained that focus on great food and wine. The combination of Gerard’s smart, casual swagger and a Middle Eastern sentiment that weaves throughout the menu makes for quite the dining experience. Centred on balance, harmony and down right deliciousness.
This bistro-style restaurant, which opened way back in 1995 in a former Tea warehouse, has been banging the local, sustainable drum for longer than most, but this is no marketing ploy, its just the modus operandi that underpins the big deliciousness that arrives on each plate.
Operated by Mr. Hospitality himself, Damian Griffiths, this bares all his signature ingredients of great atmosphere, killer selection of food and drinks, and excellent service. The pina colada comes in an actual pineapple.
This is pretty much a shed where people hang out, often with their dogs, drinking beer fresh from the source. Sometimes things don't need to be any more complicated than that. The brew bar is only open Friday to Sunday, and when it does you can expect a knees-up with food trucks (perhaps Rolling Stone Pizza, Pitstop Wings or Micasa) and live music to see you through the afternoon.
Brisbane prides itself on being green and its sustainability, so it’s no wonder that public transport is one of the best ways to get around the city.
With the TransLink go card you can travel seamlessly on all TransLink bus, ferry and rail services across south-east Queensland. It’s the perfect travel companion. Get your go card from selected retailers and QR stations, online or over the phone, and top up your card balance like a prepaid mobile phone whenever it suits you.
Hail a bus for free in the inner city. The City Loop and Spring Hill Loop bus services circle the city every 10 minutes and stop at destinations in the CBD and Spring Hill precincts between 7am to 6pm weekdays. Glide between Brisbane’s inner-city precincts by hopping on the free CityHopper ferry service, which travels along the river from North Quay to Sydney St, New Farm.
Let the river be your guide. Brisbane’s ferries, affectionately known as CityCats, are one of the most enjoyable ways to explore The City. Glide along the river with CityCat and CityFerry services, perfect for sight-seeing and accessing key city spots. Tickets can be bought on board the services, at most newsagents and selected retail outlets, or make use of a go card.
Explore Brisbane’s neighbourhoods through a comprehensive bus service that runs throughout the city, connecting the outer and inner suburbs to the CBD, major shopping centers, entertainment and dining precincts, railway stations and ferry terminals. Take advantage of special NightLink bus services running after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays for late-night travellers.
Brisbane’s speedy network of electric trains has the Greater Brisbane region covered and provides direct access to the city, quirky neighborhood precincts and outer suburbs. There is also a handy AirTrain service that is completely integrated into the Queensland Rail suburban network, with regular trains running from Brisbane Airport directly to Brisbane City and the Gold Coast. Travel on a single ticket from any station in South East Queensland to Brisbane Airport.
Taxi ranks are available at the Brisbane international and domestic airports, as well as throughout The City and inner-city precincts. Jump in a taxi to be assured of a quick and efficient way of getting around. A standard taxi will cater for four passengers or fewer. For wheel-chair access or to transport five to 10 passengers, it’s best to order a Multi Passenger Taxi. Contact Black & White Cabs on 133 222 and Yellow Taxi 13 19 24.
You are permitted to drive in Queensland if you hold a valid Australian or foreign license. If your license is in a language other than English, you should carry an English translation of it when driving.
Make the most of Brisbane’s wonderful outdoor climate by biking around town. There are extensive bicycle paths running throughout the city and pedal-power offers a healthy and inexpensive way of getting around. Hire a Brisbane City Council CityCycle bike at key inner-city destinations and set off to explore. Courtesy helmets are available with many of the bikes at stations across the network.
Phone: +61 7 3378 1366
Address: 708 Jesmond Road, Fig Tree Pocket
Phone: +61 7 3840 7100
Address: Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101, Australia
Phone: +61 7 3403 8888
Address: Mount Coot Tha Rd, Toowong QLD 4066, Australia
Phone: +61 7 3156 6366
Address: South Brisbane QLD 4101, Australia
Phone: +61 7 3365 8999
Address: 399 Queen Street, Brisbane
Phone: +61 7 3006 6290
Address: Queen Street, Brisbane
Phone: +61 1300 254 627
Address: 170 Main Street, Kangaroo Point
Address: Queensland, Australia
Phone: +61 7 3339 0800
Address: Level 3, Brisbane City Hall, Adelaide Street, Brisbane\