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Beautiful Brisbane
brisbane australiaThe city of Brisbane is a thriving metropolis that offers everything a great capital city should. As the capital of Queensland Brisbane city has a lot to live up to as it is the capital of the 'Sunshine State' and ultimately, Australia's top holiday destination. Brisbane is a great city is the ideal base for a Queensland holiday, but it deserves more than just a quick visit. It is a tourist destination in itself and perfect for campervan hire Brisbane .

Once regarded as a "small country town', Brisbane is now Australia's third largest city and is home to over two million residents. Its convenient location is South East Queensland means that it is close to some of the state's most scenic and adventurous attractions, including the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast It is also close to hideaways such as the Glasshouse Mountains, Mount Tamborine and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

This is essentially what makes Brisbane such a unique city. Not many other places in the world can say that they are within a close proximity to skylines, theme parks, island resorts, stunning mountain ranges, pristine beaches and exotic hinterland. This is undeniably what draws in the tourists and makes them never want to leave.

Brisbane enjoys a subtropical climate brings perfect sunny weather for most of the year, with an average temperature of 30 degrees. This is weather that you simply must bring your hat, sunscreen and light clothing for, as the temperatures can take you by surprise and you never know when you will need them. Winters are mild and still sunny, with an average of 15 degrees.

Another great way to pass the time is to embark on one of the many walking tracks in the area. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes as there are myriads of spectacular walking and bike tracks close to Brisbane and surrounding suburbs, so you could end up walking for miles.

Buzzing with culture and style, the city centre offers first class restaurants and extansive shopping facilities. Queen Street Mall is the centre of the shopping buzz, with shopping centres in the surrounding suburbs of Indooropilly, Carindale, Mt Gravatt and Chermside also popular hot spots.

The South Bank parklands deserve a full day to explore the man-made beach, shops, cafes and restaurants. On weekends there are free concerts, plus unique art and craft markets. The promenade is always beautiful at night with the colourful lights of the city just across the river, and the Kookaburra Queen paddle steamer is a crowd stopper. South Bank is a tourist mecca and a popular highlight of Brisbane.

You canít miss the Brisbane Botanical Gardens at Mount Coot-tha, which offer over 50 hectares of world class gardens and attractions. Entry is free, and guided walks are available. The views from the top of Mount Coot-tha are exhilarating, with sweeping views of the city skyline through to the islands of Moreton Bay. There is also an amazing Summit Restaurant that will tantalize your taste buds with culinary delights.

Also located on the north side of Brisbane is Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary which is Australiaís largest koala research and refuge centre, and home to a huge variety of birds and wildlife species. This is the wildlife highlight of the city and offers a slice of nature amongst the smog.

If you are keen for some adventure, drive on to Kangaroo Point for the ultimate Storey Bridge Adventure Climb. This is the third bridge climb in the world and takes in a magnificent 360 degree panorama of the Brisbane city. The views will simply take your breath away and the climb is a truly exhilirating experience.

Redland Bay is popular with Brisbane locals and tourists alike and easy to reach being only 40 minutes from the city centre. The bay islands offer great fishing, breath-taking beaches and unforgettable scenery. There are so many terrific spots to park and relax for a couple of hours, and if you have some time there are frequent ferry and barge services departing for Russell, Lamb and Macleay islands. This is definitely where the city meets the sea, offering a pleasant change from the skyscrapers of the city.

The barge to Stradbroke Island takes 45 minutes from Cleveland and is a worthwhile and popular day trip. The rugged scenery, inland islands and massive sand dunes are unforgettable. You might prefer to stay a few extra days to appreciate this magnificent island.

Fantastic day trips from Brisbane include the famous Australia Zoo and Underwater World on the Sunshine Coast, with majestic scenery such as the Glasshouse Mountains which can be enjoyed while you are driving. The drive to all these places is amazing in itself and will remain in your memory forever.

Travelling south, the Gold Coast is host to major theme parks including Seaworld, MovieWorld and Dreamworld, not forgetting long brilliant beaches. The hinterland is a world of its own and will invite you to experience the true purity of nature. Just before Oxenford, take some time to visit the Strawberry Farm, pat the old camel and try one of their signature strawberry icecreams. You will be glad you did!

Brisbane has everything for the international traveller and local tourist alike and is the perfect base for a fantastic Queensland holiday. Once you have discovered its treasures,it will be difficult to leave this sunny city.

Christine Barton

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