A trip to Australia is always a fun and informative one. Nowhere in the world will you get such an incredible mixture of untamed natural beauty, unique animal species and modern, first world lifestyle with plenty of art and culture. Brisbane is a great place to start your exploration of magnificent world down under as you can experience everything from history and culture, through beautiful greenery and urban panoramas, all the way to adrenaline pumping adventure. These are the eight things you definitely have to see if you plan on visiting Brisbane.
1. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and the Alma Park Zoo
As any child will tell you, there is no point in going to Australia if you are not going to pet some koalas. These cute little fuzz balls are pretty docile, but they have strong claws that they use to latch onto trees, so be careful not to get scratched if you get the chance to hold one. The Lone Pine Koala sanctuary also houses a variety of Australian wildlife and you can get the opportunity to feed and pet kangaroos and interact with other unique creatures. Observing them in their natural habitat is quite an experience. The Alma Park Zoo houses over 100 different species of animals, some of which you can have a chance to interact with (the red panda being a personal favorite) for an extra VIP fee. Hand feeding these cute little furry creatures will bring out the ecstatic child in anyone.
2. Southbank Parklands
At the South Bank of the Brisbane River you will find the Parklands – a glorious combination of rainforest vegetation, grass covered areas, a sandy beach and bougainvillea covered columns. The Parklands are home to the Wheel of Brisbane, the Nepal Peace Pagoda, and the Suncorp Piazza. It is well worth the visit.
3. Enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the city from Mount Coot-tha
Mount Coot-tha is a mere 287 meters above sea level, but this is more than enough to provide its visitors with a breathtaking view of the city. It has some great mountain bike trails and is home to the Mount Coo-tha Reserve, the Botanic Gardens and the Planetarium. Sir Samuel Griffith Drive is a scenic route leading to the lookout, where one can gaze at the city. The view is particularly beautiful at nights, when Brisbane simply lights up.
4. Brisbane Botanic Gardens
The gardens are located at the very foot of Mount Coot-tha and cover an amazing 52 hectares. There is a Japanese garden and a Bonsai House, a Cactus House, a Fern House, Exotic and Australian Rainforests, the Fragrant Plant and Herb Garden and the Lagoon and Bamboo grove. You can enter and walk the gardens free of charge.
5. Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
The planetarium has a 12.5 m Cosmic Skydome, an observatory with powerful telescopes and the Foyer and Gallery have on display a number of photographs and models for the curious science enthusiast to feast their eyes on.
6. The Story Bridge adventure climb
The Story Bridge is a cantilever bridge over the Brisbane River, a beautiful feat of architecture in itself, but the main attraction is climbing to the top of the 80m high bridge over the span of two and a half hours. You get a great view from the top.
7. Queensland Museum
The museum offers ethnographic, culturally sensitive and historical collections that include artifacts from the earliest settlers to items from colonial times. A particularly interesting exhibition is the Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul, an exhibition of fine jewelry and intricate gold work from Central Asia.
Here is where you come to quench that thirst for science. The Science Fiction, Science Future exhibition is a particularly interesting one and the Body Zone is very fun, especially for kids. Available in September 21from 11 am is the Behind the Scenes Tour of the museum, which allows you to see the numerous items that never get displayed and have a rare glimpse at the museum’s full inventory.
No vacation is long enough to explore a city in any serious depth, but these are some great attractions that you definitely don’t want to miss on your trip to Brisbane.