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Holiday Guides for Oceania - Australia

Brisbane Holiday

With a mix of great weather and cultural delights, Brisbane is a progressive and vibrant capital offering lots to see and do.

Set in the south east corner of Queensland, Brisbane – or 'Bris Vegas' as it is known to the locals – is a flourishing capital offering a cultural mix of theatres, cinemas, galleries, great parks, districts and a thriving nightlife.

Also known as the 'City of Sun Days' Brisbane has an amazing hot and sunny climate offering visitors an exciting mix of the cosmopolitan and an easy-going sub-tropical way of life. As you may expect, Brisbane has its share of stunning beaches where crystal clear waters lap beautiful white sands.

Recommended In Brisbane

Situated on the South Bank Parklands, three of Brisbane's finest museums compete for tourists' attention. The Queensland Art Gallery holds a fascinating collection of indigenous Australian art, displayed alongside more modern works, while next door the Gallery of Modern Art has some of the country's finest contemporary works as well as those by international artists such as Anish Kapoor and Edward Ruscha.

Just as interesting is the Queensland museum, which also gives an insight into the local wildlife and has arguably Australia's best science exhibit for children.

The City Botanic Gardens are a pleasant respite from the busy city, dominated by open, grassy walking areas popular with strollers, joggers, picnickers, cyclists and skaters.

Brisbane is also the home of Australian lager Castlemaine-Perkins XXXX brewery, which will happily offer guests free samples of the iconic ale after a quick tour around the site.

Those hoping to catch sight of some authentic wildlife on their trip should visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the largest koala sanctuary in the world. The sanctuary is home to more than 130 marsupials including Kangaroos, dingoes and wombats.

Other highlights in this state capital include the Roma Street Parkland, the world's largest subtropical garden, while the sun can also be enjoyed on a river cruise along the Brisbane River. Slightly more adventurous travellers should check out the guided Storey Bridge Adventure Climb, which offers adrenaline-fuelled views over the city.

Major festivals take place all year round including the outdoor Brisbane River Festival, held over two weeks in mid-September and the Royal Queensland Agricultural Show held at the Exhibition Grounds in mid-August.

There is also a 12-day international film festival in July and August, Tropfest's short film telecast live at South Bank in late February, and a biennial music festival every second June.

On the first day of September each year, Brisbane hosts its Riverfire festival, when the city comes out to enjoy a night of fireworks and music and, given that this coincides with the best weather for the area, travellers would be well-advised to plan their trips around this date.

After all those activities visitors have the chance to indulge in mouth-water cuisine and sample fine local wines. With the warm climate, dining out in Brisbane is delightfully al fresco with menus offering fresh and unfussy food.

Brisbane's cultural mix is reflected in the wide ranging choice of waterfront restaurants offering everything from local delicacies such as Moreton Bay bugs and fresh tropical produce, Asian delights, simple Mediterranean meals to traditional European treats.

The West End is best known for delicatessens, Vietnamese and Turkish restaurants, grocers, coffee and tea merchants, and provides a hub for students and artists.

Weather In Brisbane

Like the rest of Queensland, Brisbane boasts a subtropical climate, with temperatures high and the air humid during the long summer months and the winters dry and mild.

Temperatures can hit 42 degrees Celsius during December or January, a time when most natives head to the beach to cool down, while visitors should also note that the autumn months can bring spectacular thunderstorms and even brief spells of torrential rain.

Destination Checklist For Brisbane

The official currency in Brisbane is the Australian Dollar and English is the official language. Though it isn't as cheap as some of the smaller Australian destinations, affordable hotel rooms are plentiful, and it's possible to have a night out on the cheap.

The city, which has a population of just over 1.8 million, is ten hours ahead of GMT, while the international dialling code is +61.