Brisbane is a nice to check out if you are in the Gold Coast area. It is a short 1-2 hour drive from Surfer’s paradise via the Pacific Motorway. A good place to begin will be from the South banks near the convention center (which also provides cheaper parking than the exorbitant prices at the downtown Brisbane city hall). Here, you can get nice views from the water side park with a walk across the Victoria bridge over the Brisbane river into the heart of Brisbane city itself. Parking is also cheaper at the South bank convention center area at least.
Brisbane River from the Brisbane convention and exhibition centre is a nice quiet place to be on a weekday afternoon. The South Bank Parklands is lined with landmarks from the Brisbane’s World Expo of 1988, which officially opened to the public on 20 June 1992. This includes landmarks such as the Grand Arbour, the Courier Mail Piazza, Nepal Peace Pagoda, the Wheel of Brisbane, restaurants, shops and fountains. This route runs along the full length of the Brisbane river providing for nice jogging routes. Here you can find the wheel of Brisbane near the convention center overlooking the Brisbane skyline.
Crossing the Victoria bridge from the south bank will treat you to nice panoramic views of the Brisbane river, which looks really specular at sunset with the sun rays reflecting both off the river and the skyscrapers. Greeting you across the Bridge is the Farmer’s market at Reddacliff Place, serving fresh fruit and produce. Fancy the greens or a quick snack on the go? This place has it all. Though things here are not exactly cheap, it can get rather busy here at the market during the day too.
Moving from the Market down Queens’s lane towards Queens street will lead you into Brisbane’s main shopping and dining areas around Kings George Square. Besides ample shopping places around the area, there are plenty of chill-out places and night spots. There are a couple of nice bars as well as outdoor dining restaurants. Brisbane is also pretty wells served by public transport can bring you to most areas in the city. Driving in the city is of course not recommended, also if the cost of parking (up to $10 per hour) is not enough to turn you off from driving there. Overall, the people here in Brisbane are also friendlier and unlike Sydney, is also more foreigner friendly.
View more sights of Brisbane here in the photo gallery.