Ever run into an old friend and been dazzled by how truly fabulous they are now? If you haven’t been to Brisbane for a while, you could be in for a surprise (and no, it’s not Botox).

1. You want to get into the good books

You’re both desperate for a holiday but you want a cosy country getaway and your partner wants an urban escape. Why not have both?

Start your holiday in Fortitude Valley where you can catch a live gig, hunt down Brisbane’s best espresso martini, and dance until 3am, then head for the hills at Mt Tamborine.

Galleries and restaurants line the picturesque main street and stumbling across yet another winery or providore is part of the fun at this scenic mountaintop community, less than an hour from Brisbane by car.

2. The most adventurous you’ve been lately is riding the bus, standing up

City breaks don’t have to be all about museum-hopping and shopping.

Feel the thrill of abseiling down Kangaroo Point’s 200-million-year-old cliffs, inhale fresh air as you jog through the Botanic Gardens, paddle the river in a kayak (riverlife.com.au), or cycle along the city’s many bike paths on a CityCycle from $2 a day.

3. You’re craving Narnia-like locales but hate the cold

Don’t have the money to travel to New Zealand? No problem. Less than 90 minutes by car from Brisbane airport, you’ll find Spicers Peak Lodge (spicersretreats.com/spicers-peak-lodge), Australia’s highest non-alpine retreat, surrounded by untouched mountains, forests and ancient volcanic plateaus.

Being a guest at this lodge is akin to bunking down at a rich chum’s luxury country estate.

Snuggle up in front of the fire with a complimentary evening cocktail (and, ideally, someone special) and revel in the bucolic views and fine food and wine, which flows as freely as the convivial conversation.

4. You keep dreaming of white-sanded islands but your bank balance says ‘no’

Brisbane is home to two of the world’s largest sand islands and they’re both only an hour away by ferry.

Head to Stradbroke Island, or ‘Straddie’ as it is affectionately known, for unspoilt beaches, sunrise yoga and an irresistible laidback holiday vibe.

Moreton Island has the world’s highest coastal dune – Mount Tempest – but most people come here to see the famous pod of wild dolphins, which have been visiting the Tangalooma Island Resort (tangalooma.com.au) jetty since the ’70s.

5. You’re in desperate need of Vitamin D

If you can’t face dressing in five layers of clothing every day and want to sit in a beer garden in mid-July without getting frostbite, you need to get to Brisbane, pronto.

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