Tips for Travellers Podcast 145: Brisbane Australia

City Hall Brisbane Australia

City Hall Brisbane Australia

Gary Bembridge of Tips for Travellers shares observations, tips and advice for visitors to Brisbane in Australia.

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This show covers among other topics:


  • 3rd largest city in Australia – over 2 million people – growing fast and projecting may overtake Melbourne – capital of Queensland.
  • Attractive city set around the curves of Brisbane River named after  Sir Thomas Brisbane Governer of NSW in 1820s.
  • Compact and easy to get around with  good transport infrastructure both road and on river – easily walkable.
  • Mix of modern glass buildings and grand old buildings like City Hall – Post Office – Treasury building (now a casino).
  • Lots of greenery and shade about – even the roads in the CBD has trees along both sides creating cover and playgrounds have covered play areas .
  • About hour drive to beaches and theme parks of Gold Coast.
  • Prone to major flooding at various times over history – big one 1974 – most recent in 2011 when CBD and suburbs badly affected.


  • Created to support the penal colony close by.
  • Growing fast for as commercial centre : mineral and agriculture resources , financial services , technology – busy port handling exports of things like grain, coal.
  • In WWII General MacArthur commanded to Pacific war effort from here for a time.
  • Hosted 1982 Commonwealth Games, World Expo 88

Getting there
Good airline connections within Australia and to parts of Asia
Cruise lines – big ships dock quite way from the city (30-45 mins transfer)

Best time to go
Summer : Dec – Feb
Winter: Jun – Aug

Getting around
Bus – tickets by zone
Rail – to suburbs
River – free and pay for services
Bike hire scheme (blue bikes)
Green tricycle taxis


  • Get information booklets from tourist information offices – free Brisbane Insider Guid.
  • Brisbane Greeter Service – 100 volunteers – 20 languages – two options (refer to information leaflet) – greeter’s choice or your choice – free
  • Hop-on Hop-off bus.

Things to do

River trips

  • Free red City Hopper – every 30 minutes – takes about 1.5 hours.
  • CityCat service – big catamarans go much further up and down river
  • Mississippi style paddle streamer – Kookaburra River Queens
  • Jet Ski or kayak
  • River City Cruises- 1,5 trip with commentary by Captain

South Bank Parklands

42-acre development on site of 1988 World Expo – very busy at weekends with locals to hang out- includes
Information centre
The Beach – Aquativity water park
Picnic areas
Weekend market
Wheel of Brisbane – 12 to 15 minute ride in aircon enclosed cabin
Queensland performing arts centre
Queensland museum & science centre
Queensland Art gallery
State library of Queesnsland
Gallery of Modern Art
Convention & Exhibition centre
Rainforest walk
Bougainvillea feature
Nepalese Pagoda

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

1927 – worlds first koala sanctuary – 130 koala and 90 other Aussie species  –  11km away

Mount Coot-tha
Panoramic view from Mount Coot-tha – 8km outside city
Botanical garden  – established 1824 as fruit & vegetable garden for nearby Moreton Bay penal settlement – 20 hectares flowers trees

City Hall
Story Bridge Climb
ANZAC square memorial

Queens street pedestrian mall – over 600 shops on 1 km

Gold Coast day trip
Check out this episode!

Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 3 million video views per month.

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