BRISBANE – THE AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER GUIDE
Brisbane has become increasingly sophisticated, yet manages to retain its laidback charm. Bustling ferries ply the waters of the Brisbane River; the beach is less than an hour away (or five minutes if you go to South Bank) and the weather lends itself to outdoor pursuits. About 1,000 new residents move here each week, attracted by the subtropical climate and relaxed outdoor lifestyle, and many large corporations have followed suit. Brisbane has become an increasingly popular spot in recent years with Australia’s most vibrant and emerging artistic community. and everything from fine art to fine dining is on hand to keep you amused when the sun goes down.
The Queensland capital might have taken a bit of time to emerge from the shadows of its east-coast cousins, but boy, has Brisbane ever gotten its cool on. Enough so to have Lonely Planet proclaim it as Australia’s hippest city in December last year; and it’s only going to get better. Here’s why. 1. it’s a rising hub of gastronomic creativity Do we dare declare Brisbane as Australia’s most hot-right-now culinary corner? Whoops, we just did – sorry Melbourne. With a host of lively and über cool watering holes, chic wine bars, excellent fine dining, and cute and cosy cafés,...
You could say Thea Basiliou knows Fortitude Valley well. The owner of Blonde Venus has clothed Brisbanites in her boutique’s chic labels since 1990 (that was 24 years ago, can you believe it?!). Here, she reveals the Valley’s hip haunts. Sourced Grocer A cool, buzzing café in a converted warehouse that focuses on high quality locally sourced produce making for great breakfast and lunch. They also have a selection of organic and ethically produced groceries to complete the package. sourcedgrocer.com Gerard’s Bistro Gerard’s food is inspired by the Middle East and Northern Africa – making for an unusual menu, full of...
Brisbane has been inundated with a slew of chic new bars in recent months. Here's some of the latest: PONY BAR This rustic new stable serves a lengthy list of boutique wines from Australia and abroad, as well as creative cocktails involving smoke machines and dehydrators. You’ll find it above another noteworthy newcomer, Matt Moran’s Brisbane River Bar. ponydining.com.au ALFRED & CONSTANCE There’s something here for all tastes with a rather eccentric mix of bar areas, each with their own theme and drinks menu. Among them is a beer garden, tiki bar, hidden cellar and a late-night dessert café and bar. The food offerings are also worth a...
Newly opened Bacchus restaurant is a poolside oasis in the heart of Brisbane, and a testament that the city is continually moving up in the culinary stakes, writes Megan Arkinstall. I’m standing on my balcony at Rydges South Bank enjoying the view of the Brisbane River. My room is clean, comfortable and spacious, but I’m not here to inspect the room. I'm here to try out the new Bacchus restaurant and poolside bar downstairs that opened in October to much fanfare – Matt Preston hosted the red carpet launch featuring fire twirlers and roaming acrobats. I have an empty belly...
Does this seafood staple live up to its name? Tiana Templeman pulls up a chair Jellyfish is loved by locals and visitors like. But as with any love affair, a couple of annoying little problems could ruin an otherwise happy relationship. They won’t bother everyone equally, but when you’re paying around $40 for glorified fish and chips, they’re hard for your wallet to forgive and forget. Jellyfish certainly has the looks, with smart, modern decor and a stunning location by the Brisbane River. Floor-to-ceiling doors fold back to make the most of the view, and a separate bar ensures diners...
A good old-fashioned romantic weekend calls for a good old-fashioned hotel. Is the Stamford Plaza up to the task? Tiana Templeman finds out Choosing somewhere for a romantic escape using a hotel’s website can be a bit like internet dating. Sometimes you get a pleasant surprise, but more often than not those attractive online photos are nothing like what you expected once you finally meet. It’s hard not to feel like a jilted lover when a hotel neglects to mention your view will have little in common with that gorgeous shot on the hotel’s site unless you pay for a...
Where is it? 93km north-east of Brisbane, in Caloundra How to see it for yourself? Drive five minutes north along the coastline from Caloundra. Dicky Beach is at the end of Beerburrum St. Why I love it “The wreck of MS Dicky, washed ashore more than 100 years ago, is an iron skeleton on the beach. The best time to have a look is just after sunset when the wreck shines red in the last daylight. An amazing spot!” – Hartmut Toepler, photographer Image by Hartmut Toepler...
There’s a glitzy city in the north where it’s summer all year round, but does Brisbane shine as much as it could? Brendan Shanahan takes a look. Photographs by Trevor Templeman. Brisbane is Australia’s third city. Of course, there are worse things than third place – last, for instance. Nevertheless, no-one really wants third. Sure, your Olympic karate bronze will go straight to the poolroom, but how long can you expect to dine out on tales of standing on the low dais, clutching a bunch of dried flowers while listening to the Japanese national anthem? A sporting analogy is probably unfair when...
Wouldn’t it be nice to stay in a hotel that surpasses all expectations? Could Quentin Long have found one? In a world of hype – where we are so used to being over-sold and over-promised, only to receive a shrug of the shoulders on check-out – it’s nice to find a hotel that goes the other way, delivering above expectations. To be blunt, The Miro’s website is uninspiring at best compared to the pleasant reality that awaits you in these serviced apartments. Part of the problem is that I’ve become cynical after staying in many hotels that looked better online...
Where to go and what to do to have fun in the sun in Brisbane this summer BEST BEER GARDENS Madame Hedges, Cloudland Great for: The über cool will love this futuristic beer garden. Details: 641 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley. (07) 3872 6600; cloudland.tv Victory Hotel Great for: Live entertainment. Details: 127 Edward St. (07) 3221 0444; thevictory.com.au. The Plough Inn Tavern Great for: Thirsty travellers. Right on the main boulevard at South Bank. Details: Stanley St Plaza, South Bank Parklands. (07) 3844 7777; ploughinn.com.au BEST ROOFTOP BARS Lime’s Hotel Rooftop Bar Great for: Movies under the stars. Details: 142...
If you like confronting and hyper-realistic art, the Ron Mueck exhibition in Brisbane is a must-see. By Anna Hager Artist Ron Mueck is famous for his lifelike sculptures of humans, which he creates with his unique, evocative and introspective style. And this Brisbane exhibition, held between May 8 and August 1, 2010, is his largest and most extensive ever showcased in the Southern Hemisphere. Mueck’s sculptures often portray naked figures, which seem suspended in a state of contemplation and expose physical and emotional reality. For some viewers they’ve even been said to evoke feelings of awkwardness and voyeurism because of...
If you’re always up for a culinary adventure, then cast your hungry eyes to the Hilton Brisbane Masterclass Weekend 2010. Over this amusing and mouth-watering weekend (24-25 July 2010), masterchef wannabees can indulge, wine and dine in the six hours of cookery concoctions, for either a day or the entire weekend. With five sessions presented on each day over the weekend in various rooms of the Hilton, by some of the world’s best in their field, such as: Louisa Rose, Helen Masters and Clare Halloran, everyone can enhance their cooking skills and improve their technique to perfect their signature dishes....
As compelling as the pied piper, Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art is drawing record numbers, especially among the young and young at heart. Brendan Shanahan, who professes to be neither, went to find out why. Images by Professor Dirk HR Spennemann Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art, GoMA for short, is probably the best thing to have happened to the arts in this country since the National Gallery bought Blue Poles – and the best thing to have happened to Brisbane since Joh left office. Sure, the building looks like an upmarket mall and some of the art is little more than...
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