There’s no better way to enjoy Brisbane’s beautiful skyline, iconic river and famous landmarks than with a ride on the Wheel of Brisbane (above). The 60m-tall wheel offers breath-taking 360-degree views of the capital, with each ride on its gondolas lasting 10 to 15 minutes – more than enough time to snap several photos.
Constructed in 2008, the wheel was built in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Brisbane’s World Expo in 1988, when the city welcomed more than 15 million visitors in just over six months. History buffs will enjoy listening to the audio guide played in each gondola and gaining insight into the city’s numerous landmarks – Mt Coot-tha and its Botanical Gardens, as well as the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. If you’re after the true VIP treatment, you can opt for a private gondola with dining platters and wine tastings. Sampling fine fare with unbelievable views of the city makes for an unforgettable experience in Brissy.
8. Soak up the best of South Bank
Slow things down with a stroll by South Bank, where an entire precinct of activities and attractions serve up everything from world-class eats to unmissable events. Comprising 17 hectares of lush parklands, its location directly opposite the CBD offers a unique combination of spectacular views and a retreat from the bustling metropolis.
Visiting in the summer? Nothing quite tops a refreshing dip at Streets Beach — the only inner-city, man-made beach in Australia. South Bank is also perfect for simpler pleasures no matter the season, whether it be a wander through the parklands, admiring the art installations or enjoying a barbecue or picnic lunch.
Do drop by the Epicurious Garden to brush up on cooking with organic foods. South Bank’s productive garden offers a host of edible fruits, vegetables and herbs. You can even score free produce when the volunteer gardeners are on duty – just drop by Tuesdays to Thursdays from 7am to 11:30am.
9. Go on a Museum Spree at the Cultural Centre
Need a break from the outdoors? Enrich your mind with a visit to the Cultural Centre, a bustling hub of knowledge and creativity. It is home to the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art; the Queensland Museum and Science Centre; the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and the State Library of Queensland. There’s more than enough to see and do here in a day!
As you move through the precinct, you’ll be exposed to a wide range of exhibitions from the classic and traditional to the abstract and ultramodern. Step into the museum to gain fascinating insights into the natural, cultural and scientific history of Queensland, and keep an eye on the events calendar for performances from local and international productions held at QPAC each year. Before you leave, try and locate the building’s slide for a thrilling ride between the top and bottom floors of the building.
A lesser-known highlight of the Cultural Centre is The Edge, a creative space run by the State Library of Queensland. Here, a range of free equipment, hardware, software and facilities are on hand to help you learn, create and experiment. Try making an everyday carry bag on one of the sewing machines. With a packed calendar of workshops, lab sessions, workshops and events, there’s bound to be one for you to try in your time here.
10. Catch a game of cricket at the Gabba or Suncorp Stadium