Today we are exploring Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland which is home to over 2 million people and a holiday hot spot for tourists.

This continues our series looking back at the earliest travel videos I ever recorded called Lukey G’s Travel Adventures. Though they are very amateur, let’s see what handy travel tips we can gleam for your next trip to Brisbane.

A Holiday Destination

Brisbane is a very popular holiday destination for people from Australia’s southern states looking escape the cooler winter weather. Queensland has a much warmer climate, akin to Australia’s Florida. It’s a perfect location for Australia’s traveling senior citizens colloquially known as grey nomads (an Aussie version of a snowbird). They and other holiday makers who are driving will typically visit Brisbane. This might be on their way through the Great Barrier Reef or some of Queensland’s other great tourist locations.

Nestled between the Gold Coast, an hour to the South, and the Sunshine Coast, just over an hour to the North makes Brisbane a great base for surfers and beach goers.


One of my favourite places to visit while in Brisbane is Southbank. As the name suggests, Southbank is the area adjacent to the south side of the Brisbane River. It is just across the river from the CBD. Southbank’s location makes it a perfect place to get a view of the city skyline with the river in the foreground. You can enjoy some of the beautiful parkland here, and just find a place to laze on the lawns and soak in some Sun. If you prefer to sun-bake on the beach, Southbank has a manmade beach for that and swimming too.

The beach at Southbank in Brisbane
The beach at Southbank in Brisbane. Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay 

If you are feeling active, then you can also go for a run along the river. and work up an appetite to dine at one of the cafes or restaurants in the area. You will also find Brisbane arts and culture precinct on this side of the river. This includes The Queensland Art Gallery, Performing Arts Centre, State Library and Gallery of Modern Art.

Brisbane CBD

Across the North side of the Brisbane River is the CBD. Here you’ll find the Queen St Mall with plenty of shopping on offer. I prefer to explore the city and explore some of the colonial style buildings. A couple of buildings date back to when Brisbane was founded. It was a penal colony in the 1820’s when Sir Thomas Brisbane was the Governor of NSW. The penal colony failed and free settlement commenced within two decades. Brisbane began to grow to the thriving city it is today.

To the North West of the CBD you’ll find the Roma Street precinct. I love the large Roma Street Parkland here. It is perfect for a run, or just a great place to read a book on the large, lush lawns. You’ll also find Brisbane’s Moonlight Cinema in the gardens, a great place to catch a movie under the stars.

Brisbane by night

Brisbane is a beautiful city by night as the lights come out. That said, many stores, restaurants and bars are not open as late as you might find in larger cities like Sydney and Melbourne.

Brisbane by night
Brisbane by night

One thing I really enjoyed doing of an evening is going for a night kayak on the Brisbane River. Riverlife offer group kayak tours leaving from Southbank. It was a lot of fun, and a great way to meet other people if you are a solo traveller. It is really a treat to see the city lights reflected on the water as you float along.

Brisbane’s Public Transport

Though Brisbane has fewer train lines than Sydney and Melbourne, they have a very modern and extensive public transport system. Their trains are clean and you can catch one directly from the airport in to the main train station at Roma Street. The city has really leveraged the use of buses with dedicated busways. 

My favourite feature of Brisbane’s public transport system is the river ferries. Not only do they act as transport between several locations along the river, but they also give you a great view of the river. I caught the ferry all the way to the Eastern end of the route just to enjoy the ride. 

Brisbane's River Ferry
Brisbane’s River Ferry. Image by Daniel Park from Pixabay 

To use Brisbane’s public transport you will want to get yourself a Go Card which you can load with funds. The Go Card will work across all major forms of public transport throughout the city. 

Accommodation at Brisbane YHA

I’ve stayed at the YHA a couple of times when I’ve visited Brisbane. The Brisbane YHA is a hostel and is a short walk from Roma Street Station. It is good for budget accommodation as long as you don’t mind sharing a room for around $25 per night. There’s plenty of facilities, including a shared kitchen and a rooftop pool with a stellar view of the city. It’s also across the road from the Barracks Shopping Centre where you can get groceries or see a movie. I found that the YHA was really convenient and a great place to meet other people.

What is your favourite thing to do in Brisbane?