In Brisbane’s pedestrian-friendly urban centre, the cackle of a kookaburra is more common than a car horn. But don’t let the subtropical city’s laid-back impression fool you. The G20 selected the jacaranda-scented metropolis as host of the November 2014 summit, and it was also recently named Australia’s hippest city.
Explore the newly renovated 32-kilometre Riverwalk along the serpentine Brisbane River on foot or bike-share wheels. Path highlights include the Queensland Art Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art, and the restaurant precinct at Eagle Street Pier, where you can take in the view of Story Bridge with Aussie-inspired tapas on the open-air deck of Chef Matt Moran’s Riverbar.
Kick back like a local at South Bank Parklands. The lush, 42-acre site of the 1988 World Expo, is a mix of rainforest and grassy terrain. It now hosts outdoor movies and concerts, with public grills and a swimming lagoon.
Roma Street Parklands offer parrot and possum sightings, but for the full Aussie experience, don’t miss the historic Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary for some marsupial face time.
Appeared in the January 2015 issue as “Making A Splash Down Under”.