Founded on the banks of its eponymous river, the old city of Brisbane is located between the famous Sunshine and Gold Coast, each a magnet for surfers and beach lovers.

Affectionately known as ‘Brissie’, Brisbane has a fantastic mixture of busy activities and picturesque settings. Weekend markets abound beneath the summer sun while you may even want to cool off on the river’s beach or lagoon. There is a number of museums, galleries and theatres that gives the city a cultural identity, especially so in the area overlooked by the Wheel of Brisbane. The ferries from South Bank precinct can get you to Kangaroo Point, where the views from the Story Bridge are stunning, or to the joys of Morton Island.

Hop in your car for an hour’s drive to the Gold Coast, a surfer’s haven with its long stretch of crystalline coast and incredible waves. One of its most popular suburbs, Burleigh Heads, is renowned the world over as a legendary surf spot and has the typically laid back atmosphere you come to expect from those native to the land down under. Indeed, the further south down the coast of Queensland you go, the more relaxed the vibe.

For rest and relaxation, look no further than the Sunshine Coast. A great spot for a family vacation, there is an easy going and casual mood which is made all the more beautiful by the vast stretches of golden beaches, 60 miles (98km) of them to be exact. Set behind the coast, this region also plays host the Glass House Mountains, great hills that reach up sharply into the sky from the great expanses of bush and wilderness.

I spent 12 years living in South East Queensland and it is one of my favourite regions of Australia! From the city’s of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, where you have a relaxed Australian way of life combined with long stretches of beach, fantastic dining and lively bars. To the hinterland where you can truly get in touch with nature and explore lush rainforests, go on great walks and have the chance to see some Kangaroos and Koalas.

Alesha Walton
Head of Middle East & Silk Route Travel Design

What to do

  • Visit the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art
  • Take a stroll along South Bank
  • Enjoy a cruise down the Brisbane River
  • Hike up through the Glass House Mountains
  • Surf the waves off the Gold Coast

When to go

Brisbane has a humid subtropical climate, with year-round warm temperatures, and is Australia’s second-hottest capital city after Darwin. The destination does not experience pronounced seasons, but the period from May to August is seen as the best time to visit, with pleasant temperatures, sunny weather and low amounts of rainfall, ideal for embracing the outdoor activities on offer.