Brisbane Travel Guide
Australia's third largest city has a relaxed, easy-going ambience that is well suited to its moniker 'The City of Sundays'. As the capital of the state of Queensland, however, it has a serious side too and despite it's laid-back aura it is filled with the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of a major urban hub. Brisbane has several interesting districts, a good street cafe vibe, a wonderful riverside park, a very full cultural calendar and a vibrant nightlife. Arts and culture vultures head for the South Bank, where one finds the Queensland Museum with its interactive displays; the Queensland Art Gallery with its magnificent collection of works; and the Performing Arts Centre, where international theatre companies and performing artists take to the stage.
There is plenty to keep shopaholics busy too, with the designer boutiques and department stores of Queens Street Mall ready to welcome visitors and numerous bustling markets dotted around the city. Sport, as everywhere in Australia, is also well catered for at the Gabba sports ground (cricket tests) and Suncorp Stadium, where the Wallabies often take on the world at rugby. The city is easy to explore on foot, and being at the centre of the region's favoured tourist attractions it provides the perfect base from which to make daytrips to surrounding areas.
There are three main types of public transport in Brisbane: buses, trains and ferries (CityCats). Bus routes may be somewhat complicated for visitors, but they do cover most of the city. Buses need to be flagged down and will not automatically stop at bus stops. A free bus service covers the Downtown Loop from 6am to 6pm, serviced by distinctive red buses. Trains are quick and efficient, covering most of the city and suburbs. Most popular with visitors is the 14-stop CityCat ferry system, which serves points along the Brisbane River. Ticketing for all forms of transport is cheap, and works on a zoning system. A variety of passes, including a Go card, day and ten-trip saver passes, are available. Cycling is a popular option, and the city has 311 miles (500km) of dedicated cycle-paths. Trains, buses and ferries are equipped to carry bicycles. Brisbane's taxicabs are either yellow or black & white, found in ranks in the city centre and near most major hotels. Taxis may be pre-booked or flagged and fares are around $1.40 per kilometre. Driving a car in the city centre can be confusing because it consists mainly of a grid of one-way streets. There are parkades available downtown.
The CityCat system sustained significant damage during the floods of January 2011. A rebuilding plan is underway, and is expected to be completed by mid-2012.
Australian Tourist Commission, Sydney: +61 (0)2 9360 1111 or
Embassy of Australia, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 797 3000.
Australian High Commission, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7379 4334.
Australian High Commission, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 236 0841.
Australian High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 423 6000.
Australian Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 664 5300.
Australian High Commission, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 (0)4 473 6411.
Embassy of the United States, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6214 5600.
British High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6270 6666.
Canadian High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6270 4000.
South African High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6272 7300.
Embassy of Ireland, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6273 3022.
New Zealand High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6270 4211.
Emergencies: 000 (112 on cellphones).