48 Hours in Brisbane Australia

48 Hours in Brisbane Australia

Compared to Melbourne, Brisbane is a pretty quiet city, which can feel like a small town. But it’s worth the visit! Its character, laid-back people, and tropical beauty make it a spectacular place to visit, Brisbane Australia. If you enjoy a life that’s a little more al fresco, this is definitely your place. Two days in Brisbane gives you enough time to get a glimpse of what the city has to offer.

48 Hours in Brisbane Australia

Accommodations

Brisbane is a spread out city, and is pretty expensive for backpackers, so accommodations can be confusing. I used Airbnb when I first came here as the costs can be on par with hostels, and most locals are eager to help out visitors. I paid about $30 a night for my Airbnb when I first arrived, and it was wonderful.

Also, Australia’s famous drinking culture means that a lot of hostels are located on top of dive bars, and as a result are unappealing, especially for solo female travelers. I recommend finding backpacker hostels that don’t have a bar name attached to it. Chill and Cloud 9 are good options, and are very close to transit.

Location-wise, finding lodging in West End, South Bank, Toowong, Milton, or near Roma Street in Central Business District are areas good for visitor lodging.

Transportation

Brisbane is sprawled out, so buses, trains, and ferries are the best ways to get around. Get a GoCard, fill it up at almost any convenience store, and use it when taking public transit. Using the GoCard instead of paper tickets will save you loads.

It’s really important to know that the Brisbane River curls throughout the whole city, making travel time a lot longer when trying to get across town. Even though Point B may be only a few kilometers away, it might take 45 minutes to get there because there’s a body of water in the way and you’ll need to wind around it. Keep in mind that boats are especially slow.

Day One: Feel the City

Morning

No matter what time of day, taking the City Cat river ferry up and down the river is the best way to see the city. It starts at the pretty University of Queensland in St. Lucia and winds up to Hamilton, by the airport. It’s a lovely, peaceful trek through Brisbane, and shows you different areas of the city in a leisurely way. You can hop on and off of the ferry at different stops, if you’re up for it – just remember that every time you get on the boat, you need to paid all over again.

Kangaroo Point provides a great way to admire the city skyline. There are cliffs that you can climb for a spectacular view of the landscape, and nearby cafes where you can casually sip coffee.

Afternoon

Hop back onto the City Cat and make your way to South Bank. This is a neat area with a large manmade beach that is open to the public. There are a lot of restaurants in the area with tasty options, such as Ole for Spanish tapas. You can also walk on the river walk or through a tree-scape to a Nepali temple. Or you can ride the city’s massive ferris wheel.

Evening

After the fun in South Bank, you can walk south to West End. This area hosts a number of cafes and restaurants, as well as cool shops and the popular Boundary Street Market with local artists selling their goods (open Fridays at 4pm). Start your evening getting dinner in West End – there’s a Turkish restaurant called Caravanserai that’s delicious. If you want some healthier (or veggie) options, Vege Rama is one that I enjoy.

Fortitude Valley is where Brisbane concentrates its city nightlife – most of the city dies down after 7pm, but this area is open late with a lot of fun clubs and bars with live music. I had a nice evening dancing to live music at Moon Bar. That being said, you don’t have to go out on the town, as Brisbane is an early-rise-early-to-bed town, and you might need your rest for the next day’s hike!

48 Hours in Brisbane Australia

Day Two: Enjoy Some Nature

Morning

Hiking up Mount Coot-tha is a super way to start the second day – you get an Aussie-style workout! Brisbane culture is all about being active outside and finding peaceful places to enjoy nature and contemplate life. It also  includes an amazing lookout on the city, with a view of the beaches and the Glass House Mountains. There’s a great restaurant with a view up there too, if you’re willing to splurge a bit.

At the bottom of the hill are the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, which are free to visit and a delightful place to quickly figure out which plants you saw on your bush walk. When I visited, I just sat by the Japanese Gardens for a while, breathing in some quiet.

Afternoon

An Aussie visit must include koalas, so take the bus (430 or 445) to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. This intimate sanctuary is a staple in Brisbane, and you can hold a koala for a picture, or enjoy getting close up to sleepy koalas and feeding kangaroos from your hands.

48 Hours in Brisbane Australia

48 Hours in Brisbane Australia
Feeding kangaroos!

Evening

Swing back up to the Central Business District, the main city area, so that you can get to the Botanical Gardens before the sun goes down. It’s a lovely walk around the river, and gives you easy access to the main shops and restaurants in the area, like Jimmy’s in the Mall. Shopping at Queens Street Mall will keep you busy, especially if you enjoy the Pig & Whistle for a pint and some bugs (aka shrimp). You’ll easily be able to scale the main streets before buses stop running around midnight.

48 Hours in Brisbane Australia 

About Kimberly Worsham

Kimberly WorshamA nomadic heart from New York City, Kimberly Worsham has been passionate about travel once she found a closet in her house she could use as a traveling device when she was four. She has lived all over, including India and Rwanda on short-term projects, as well as a year in Europe for studying abroad. Currently residing in Australia, Kimberly is working on a second masters so she can work in WASH throughout the developing world. She loves getting completely immersed in new cultures, and cannot wait for her next adventure! Read more about Kimberly’s travels on her blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top
Loading...