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It may be Australia’s third-largest city, but for the longest time Brisbane was seen as something of a poor cousin to Sydney and Melbourne: a sleepy country town hiding behind a big city façade. In recent years, however, Brisbane has stirred from its slumber and is casually emerging as one of the most desirable places to live in Australia with an estimated 1000 people packing their bags and moving up here every week.
Of course locals have always known that Brisbane offers the perfect lifestyle and it doesn’t take visitors long to understand why. Despite the transformation into a sleek, cosmopolitan city complete with world-class art galleries, a booming live music scene and a fabulous café culture, Brisbane still retains the laid-back, easy attitude of a small community.
No doubt the lazy subtropical climate, gently curving Brisbane River and rich cultural flavours of its many neighbourhoods also have something to do with its appeal. But mostly people love Brisbane because it’s a ritzy city with a down-to-earth attitude and home to some of the friendliest locals in Oz.
For further information on destinations and attractions in Brisbane…. www.visitbrisbane.com.au
Easy to get to
Brisbane Airport is the primary international airport serving Brisbane and South East Queensland. It is the third busiest Australian airport by aircraft movements. The airport services 26 airlines flying to 42 national and 28 international destinations, in total amounting in more than 21.8 million passengers who travelled through the airport annually.
Brisbane is a subtropical paradise, blessed with wonderful, warm sunshine throughout the year.
Boasting a long-term annual average high temperature of 26.4C and minimum low of 16C, Brisbane has the perfect climate for life in the great outdoors.
It characteristically has a hot and humid period between October and March, with occasional thunderstorms, hail and torrential rain more common. The months between April and September are traditionally dry and moderately warm.
The city’s heart is as warm and welcoming as its weather. With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, Brisbane is the perfect location for visitors to enjoy a range of activities – sport, picnics in parks, bushwalking, water sport and other relaxing forms of recreation.
For the latest conditions, visit the Bureau of Meteorology site bom.gov.au and follow the Queensland links.
Sun protection: When out sight-seeing, always wear a shirt, hat, sunglasses and good sunscreen, even on cloudy days. Reapply sunscreen regularly if spending the whole day outdoors. Try to stay out of the sun in the middle of the day when it is strongest. Always drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
For the AVA annual conference you can expect lovely Autumnal weather with temperatures ranging from 14-27 ºC (57-80 ºF).
Banking and Money
Banks: As a general guide, banks across the city are open for business Monday to Friday 9.30am-4pm. Some banks in local shopping centres are also open Saturday and Sunday (with varying opening hours).
Automatic teller machines (ATMs): ATMs are located throughout the city and will recognise cards issued by most banks.
Credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club are accepted across the city by most outlets with an increasing number accepting China UnionPay.
Currency exchange: Licensed money change services are available at the Brisbane Airport and at numerous Bureaux de Change located throughout the city. Most banks also offer currency exchange services.
Notes: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100
Coins: 5¢, 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, $1 and $2
Pricing: Australian prices occasionally end in a variant of 1¢ or 2¢. Where this occurs, at the cash register the price is rounded to the nearest 5¢.
Brisbane has a sub-tropical climate with warm summers and mild winters, defined by year round sunny days. Rainfall is more likely in the summer months (December – February) while winter (June – August) is usually dry and clear.
Mains supply in Australia is 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz with three-pin plugs used across the country. The Australian three-pin electrical socket differs from those found in most countries, and international travellers may require an adaptor socket. Standard outlets for 100-volt small appliances can be found in most hotel rooms.
Adaptors can be bought from the Brisbane Visitor Information and Booking Centre in the Queen Street Mall and from all good travel stores, chemists and department stores.
In a life-threatening or time-critical emergency, dial Emergency Services on Triple Zero (000). The Triple Zero service is an operator-assisted service that connects callers to the most relevant emergency service organisation (police, fire brigade or ambulance). Calls to Triple Zero are free and can be made from all telephones (landline, mobile devices and payphones). When you dial Triple Zero services, the most important thing to remember is to stay focused, stay relevant and stay on the line. Additionally, mobile users can dial 112 while the 106 emergency number connects to a text-based relay service for people who have a hearing or speech impairment.
Getting To and Around Brisbane
From the airport
With Airtrain's fast and reliable service, delegates can reach Brisbane City in just 20 minutes.
The express service runs every 15 minutes from the international and domestic terminals during peak hours stopping at five inner-city stations. Tickets can be purchased online, at the Brisbane Airport customer service counter (domestic terminal) and at Airtrain, city and suburban train stations. For further information visit the Airtrain website.
Con-X-ion Airport Transfers
Operating seven days a week, Con-X-ion Airport Transfers offers airport travellers a door-to-door bus shuttle service from the airport covering all major city-based accommodation. Con-X-ion services both the international and domestic terminals to meet all flights. Services should be pre-booked. Tickets can be purchased online or through the customer service counters located onsite at the international and domestic terminals. For further information visit the Con-X-ion website.
Brisbane Airport offers a complimentary Airport Transfer Bus that can transfer delegates between the Domestic and International Terminals.
Various vehicle rental companies, chauffeured cars and charter services operate in and around Brisbane. Click here to search for a Brisbane transport operator.
Getting around Brisbane
Want to know the easiest way to get around town? Pick up a TRANSLink Go Card and travel seamlessly on all TRANSLink bus, ferry and rail services across South-East Queensland. The perfect travel companion, go cards are available from Queensland Rail stations, online, over the phone or selected retailers. Top up the card balance like a prepaid mobile phone whenever it suits.
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Explore Brisbane’s neighbourhoods through a comprehensive bus service that runs throughout the city, connecting the outer and inner suburbs to the CBD, major shopping centres, entertainment and dining precincts, railway stations and ferry terminals. Take advantage of special NightLink bus services running after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays for late-night travellers. Or get around the inner city with the free City Loop and Spring Hill Loop. Plan your trip now on TRANSLink’s journey planner.
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Brisbane’s speedy network of electric trains has the Greater Brisbane region covered and provides direct access to the city, quirky neighbourhood precincts and outer suburbs. The Airtrain service is completely integrated into the Queensland Rail suburban network, with regular trains running from Brisbane Airport directly to Brisbane City and the Gold Coast. Travel on a single ticket from any station in South-East Queensland to Brisbane Airport.
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Hail a bus for free in the inner city. The CityLoop and Spring Hill Loop bus services circle the city every 10 minutes and stop at destinations in the CBD and Spring Hill precincts between 7am - 6pm weekdays. Glide between Brisbane’s inner-city precincts by hopping on the free CityHopper ferry service, which travels along the river from North Quay to Sydney St, New Farm.
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Let the river be your guide. Brisbane’s ferries, affectionately known as CityCats, are one of the most enjoyable ways to explore Brisbane. Glide along the river with CityCat and CityFerry services, perfect for sight-seeing and accessing key city spots. Tickets can be bought on board the services, at most newsagents and selected retail outlets, or make use of a Go Card. Hop on board the free CityHopper ferry service to get around inner-city precincts for free.
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Take a taxi and be there in a flash. Taxi ranks are available at the Brisbane international and domestic airports, as well as throughout The City and inner-city precincts. Jump in a taxi to be assured of a quick and efficient way of getting around. A standard taxi will cater for four passengers or less. For wheel-chair access or to transport five to 10 passengers, it’s best to order a Multi Passenger taxi.
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Make the most of Brisbane’s wonderful outdoor climate by biking around town. There are extensive bicycle paths running throughout the city and peddle-power offers a healthy and inexpensive way of getting around. Hire a Brisbane City Council CityCycle bike at key inner city destinations and set off to explore.. Join up with the CityCycle program today!
citycycle.com.au I 1300 229 253
A population of 2.1 million calls Brisbane home, with a median age of 35 and more than a quarter of Brisbane residents born overseas.
Shopping in Brisbane
With directional boutiques, home-grown designers and big-name brands, Brisbane has earned its title as the new home of fashion. The Queen Street Mall is the heart of this shopping mecca, housing luxury retailers, flagship stores of Australian labels and hole-in-the-wall boutiques. International brands Cartier, Burberry and Forever 21, along with
Australia’s Paspaley, are the most recent additions to the city’s sartorial mix, with more fashion heavyweights set to open.
Luxury lovers can peruse high-end stores, including Tiffany & Co., Chanel and Louis Vuitton at QueensPlaza. The heritage-listed Brisbane Arcade is worth a visit to marvel at its stunning timber panelling and local designers. Head to MacArthur Central for flagship stores including Apple and Ralph Lauren, The Myer Centre for Myer, or browse the shops behind Wintergarden’s butterfly-studded, kaleidoscopic façade.
To continue your boutique journey, head to Fortitude Valley and Paddington, where unique shops, galleries and boutiques dot the streets. In Fortitude Valley, James Street is the place to find local designer wear and quality home wares amidst cool bars and fine al fresco dining spots. Or venture into the creative designer hub of Bakery Lane set in an intimate space off Ann Street.
Common country codes
United States of America
0011 + 86
0011 + 33
0011 + 49
0011 + 852
0011 + 353
0011 + 39
0011 + 81
0011 + 60
0011 + 64
0011 + 65
0011 + 27
0011 + 34
0011 + 44
0011 + 1
Directory assistance: 1223 / Emergency calls in Australia: 000
Brisbane operates on Australian Eastern Standard Time – GMT plus 10 hours. Daylight savings times do not apply in Queensland.
Service with a smile is the rule of thumb in Australia and tipping is always optional. If the service is worthy of a tip, it will be appreciated.
Visitor Information Services
Brisbane Visitor Information and Booking Centre
The award-winning Brisbane Visitor Information and Booking Centre is located in the heart of Brisbane’s busiest shopping precinct in the Queen Street Mall (between Edward and Albert Sts). The fully-accredited centre holds a travel agency licence and offers a wide range of information and tourist booking services for travellers. Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 9am-5.30pm; Friday 9am-7pm; Saturday 9am-5pm; and Sunday 10am-5pm. (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day. On Anzac Day (25 April) the centre is open 1-5pm and all other public holidays the centre is open 9.30am-4.30pm.)
The South Bank Visitor Centre is located in the heart of South Bank on the Stanley Street Plaza. The centre offers detailed information on South Bank attractions and travel services. Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9am-5pm (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day); open from 1-5pm on Anzac Day; and open from 10am on public holidays.
Brisbane Airport Ambassadors & Visitor Information
Visitor Information centres are also located at the Brisbane Airport in the arrivals hall of the international terminal and on the ground floor of the domestic terminal. Both centres offer a range of information and booking services for travellers. Opening hours (international): Monday to Sunday 6am-2am. Opening hours (domestic): Monday to Friday 7am-2.45pmand 8.30am-12.15pm weekends.
For more information on where to eat, drink, shop, play and stay in Brisbane, go to www.visitbrisbane.com.au
Explore, discover, indulge
Below are a list of things to see and do in Brisbane and its surrounds. For further information on each of these attractions please click on the link to be taken directly to their website.
Gallery of Modern Art – All angular glass, concrete and black metal, must-see GOMA focuses on Australian art from the 1970s to today. Continually changing and often confronting, exhibits range from painting, sculpture and photography to video, installation and film. There’s also an arty bookshop here, kids’ activity rooms, a cafe and free guided tours at 11am and 1pm.
City Botanic Gardens – These expansive gardens are a mass of green lawns, towering Moreton Bay figs, bunya pines, macadamia trees and other tropical flora, descending gently from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) campus. A network of paths throughout enables strollers, joggers, picnickers, cyclists and in-line skaters to make their way to quiet spots for respite, or to nowhere in particular. The pretty Mangrove Boardwalk , a wooden walkway skirting the riverbank on the eastern rim, is lit until midnight. The glow provides good opportunities to spot tame possums in the trees.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – About 12km southwest of Brisbane’s CBD, this wildlife sanctuary is an easy half-day trip. It’s the world’s largest koala sanctuary and with more than 130 of the cute and cuddly bears you won’t be lacking photo opportunities. A cuddle costs an extra, but irresistible, $16 (including photos), and you can hand feed the tame kangaroos for around $1 per bag of pellets. Keeping the koalas and roos company are wombats, possums, dingoes, Tasmanian Devils, raptors, a platypus and sheep and sheepdogs. Frequent presentations (birds of prey, sheep sheering, koala talks) give added insight. The sanctuary is set in gorgeous parklands beside the river.
Mnt Coot-tha Reserve – About 7km west of the city centre, Mt Coot-tha Reserve is a 220-hectare bush reserve that’s teeming with wildlife (mostly of the possum and bush-turkey variety). Aside from the chunk of wilderness, the big attractions here are a massive planetarium and the spectacular lookout. The latter affords panoramic daytime views of Brisbane and a few bits beyond, and at night, a sea of twinkling lights blanketing the terrain for miles.
Australia Zoo – Australia Zoo is world famous and much more than a wildlife park - it's an adventure of a lifetime!
Every corner turned reveals another amazing animal discovery with world-class enclosures and interactive opportunities galore. Kids will love feeding the kangaroos, camels and farm animals, and the unique wandering wildlife team will personally introduce you to snakes, talking cockatoos, baby alligators, lizards and all kinds of mammals as you navigate your way through 28 hectares and visit more than 1000 animals.
The Art Gallery of Western Australia – located in the heart of the Perth Cultural Centre, the gallery showcases extensive local, international works including a large collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.
King George Square – King George Square is a versatile hub in the heart of the Brisbane CBD, with roles as diverse as hosting concerts and providing a quiet space to relax.
Reopened in 2009 after 16 months of redevelopment, the square, adjacent to the iconic Brisbane City Hall, features casual dining venues and is a regular home to musical and theatre events.
Free Guided Walks – Explore the city with a free guided walk that takes you to some of the outstanding sights such as Brisbane Arcade, City Hall, Treasury Casino, Queens Gardens, Old State Library, the Botanic Gardens, Old Government House, Brisbane Club and the only statue of Queen Victoria.
Karboora Track – On North Stradbroke Island, Blue Lake National Park protects coastal wallum and a freshwater lake of special significance to the local Aboriginal people, the Quandamooka.
Walk through wallum woodlands with stunted eucalypt trees, wallum banksias and a flowering heath understorey to Blue Lake. Take your camera and binoculars. Look for birds, sand goannas and swamp wallabies early morning and late afternoon. Enjoy the wildflowers in spring.
Blue Lake or Karboora is a window lake formed with a hollow in the islands water table. Blue Lakes’ crystal clear, blue waters are home to the soft-spined sunfish.
Air Combat Centre – Take the controls for a memorable "flying'' experience. For the first time, Australia's leading airline pilot training centre is opening its Boeing 737 simulator to the public. For most people, flying an expensive, high-tech airline simulator is only a dream; now this experience can be yours. Come in and fly a real Boeing 737 simulator like the airline pilots do.
Fortitude Valley - Fortitude Valley is a contradiction in itself – raw, yet sophisticated. It is where elegance and style meet grungy and offbeat, and heritage-listed properties proudly stand among contemporary buildings. The Valley, as it is affectionately known, was Australia’s first dedicated entertainment district and continues to be a hive of activity. Live music thrives and international DJs are drawn to the clubs and chic bars. The impressive Chinatown Mall is a hub of exotic Chinese supermarkets and restaurants. The Emporium complex channels a European village feel, James St showcases Australian fashion labels and Brunswick St is home to multicultural dining options.
Brisbane’s Bayside – The foreshores of Wynnum, Manly and Shorncliffe, accessible from Brisbane’s CBD, are popular destinations for barbecues, picnics and water activities such as fishing, windsurfing and jetskiing. While Wynnum features the popular esplanade, a delightful wading pool and water park for children, its neighbour Manly boasts the Manly Harbour Village with its fine eateries, and a marina full of magnificent yachts. Sandgate is renowned for its architectural history and the flat esplanade running the length of the beach. Like Shorncliffe, it is filled with picnic facilities and small, charming beaches.
Kangaroo Point and Wooloongabba – Few other suburbs can match Kangaroo Point for its views and natural beauty. Standing atop the ancient cliffs, the unmasked views of the river, city attractions and mountains show Brisbane at its best. Woolloongabba is said to mean meeting place in Aboriginal dialect and it has been a gathering point for sports lovers. The Gabba is part of cricketing folklore as the scene of some magnificent performances and the famous tied Test in 1960. Woolloongabba is also known for its reputation as Brisbane’s antique precinct and has bargain hunters and furniture enthusiasts flocking to its stores on weekends.
Moreton Island – Just 25km off Brisbane’s shore is the third largest sand island in the world. Crystal-clear lakes and lagoons exist among tall sand dunes, abundant wildflowers and pristine beaches. Hand feed wild dolphins, and dive or snorkel among mysterious wrecks and pristine waters, or watch silhouettes of fishermen casting their lines in lingering twilight. The adventurous can try quad biking, four-wheel-driving or sand tobogganing. Chances are you'll want to extend your stay at the resort or pitch a tent for the night.
Lockyer Valley – the beautiful coast line starts at Cervanties, where you will see the unique rock forms of the Pinnacles and stretches as far north as Exmouth. This amazing coastline is home to pristine beaches, exotic marine life and the World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Reef.
For further information on destinations and attractions in Brisbane and Queensland, please visit the Tourism Queensland website at www.destinationqueensland.com