Brisbane (Bris Vegas to the locals), on the northeastern coast of Australia, has really come into its own having morphed from a sleepy town to a progressive city renowned for its year-round sunshine, laid-back lifestyle and chock-a-block cultural calendar. This thriving arts capital sports a happening café scene and great nightlife, all within a stone's throw of some heavenly island getaways. Climate, culture and sandy relaxation? You've never had it so good! We've cherry-picked the best of Brisbane for this three-day itinerary.
Day 1: Viva Bris Vegas!
Brisbane is a great city to discover on foot. Start your day with the pick of the latest cafes by venturing to the city fringe and into Fortitude Valley, a bohemian, gentrified neighborhood of restaurants and boutiques. Once fortified, hit the streets, taking in Brisbane's historic buildings, churches, gardens and expansive, incredible Gallery of Modern Art. Give your feet a rest by taking a cruise along the lazy Brisbane River, then head to Mt. Coot-tha Lookout for a magnificent eyeful of the cityscape. Fancy a taste of the local produce? You can tour a scenic vineyard or take an indulgent dinner cruise once the sun goes down.
Day 2: Fun for the Whole Family
Brisbane is tailor-made for family holidays with endless beaches, the great outdoors and the Gold Coast theme parks just down the road. Dreamworld and WhiteWater World are great, splashy fun for kids. Get up close with crocodiles and tigers at Steve Irwin's ongoing legacy - Australia Zoo, or head to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island on a four-wheel drive eco day trip.
Day 3: Brisbane Day Trips
With weather as tropical and bright as Brisbane's, you can't wait to get outside. Luckily it's perfectly positioned for all kinds of day trips. You can get your glitz on at the unashamedly blingy beach area of Surfers Paradise. A day trip to the aptly named Sunshine Coast takes you shopping and dining at stylish Noosa Heads, and exploring Queensland's largest aquarium at Underwater World. Get zen at the old hippie enclave of Byron Bay (fancied up for café tastes) or get behind the wheel for some four-wheel drive touring and camping on Moreton Island.