With everything you’d expect from a modern capital city and so much more, Brisbane spoils for choice when it comes to memorable, diverse and authentically Australian experiences.
One of the best things about Brisbane is how readily accessible and walkable its centre is, with a wide range of accommodations all within a short distance to its many highlights and attractions. Delegates will love how easy and convenient it is to get around and explore the city.
Throw in a subtropical climate and friendly locals and you’ve got yourself a city that will welcome you with open arms.
Right in the beating heart of Brisbane City, you’ll find a mecca of world-class shopping, restaurants and bars, and cultural gems.
Spend the morning strolling down Queen Street Mall, an open-air pedestrian mall boasting more than 700 stores. From popular chains and large department stores to charming boutiques and high-end international brands, there’s something for even the fussiest of tastes. You can lose yourself browsing through the heritage-listed arcades for hours on end, so be sure to fuel up at one of the many great cafes and eateries dotted up and down the Mall.
After lunch, get your culture fix at the proudly Indigenous-owned and operated Birrunga Gallery where you’ll find a stunning collection of original First Nations artworks, including those of Birrunga Wiradyuri, the gallery’s founder. Nearby, Museum of Brisbane offers fascinating insights into the city’s evolution, with the guided tour to the top of the iconic Clock Tower highly recommended.
Catch the sunset from one of the many charming cocktail bars and breezy waterfront bars. For sprawling city views, get yourself to Sixteen Antlers where you can soak up the golden hour from the leafy rooftop garden. Later in the evening, stop by The Gresham, an intimate and cosy bar nestled within a historic sandstone building, or the funky Boom Boom Room for a quirky Japanese Izakaya experience.
The dining options just keep getting better in Brisbane’s lively city centre, with a range of culinary institutions catering to every taste. For top quality steak, New York-style Walter’s Steakhouse promises the best steak in the city, while Rothwell’s Bar & Grill serves up grilled meats and fresh seafood in a glamourous setting complete with sprawling marble bar and crystal chandeliers. Lovers of Asian food will be spoilt for choice with an extensive menu of modern Sichuan and Cantonese dishes at Donna Chang.
Where to stay: The Hilton, Hyatt Regency, Sofitel, W Brisbane, ibis Styles, Treasury Hotel.
South Bank Cultural Precinct
Located on the southern banks of the river opposite the CBD, South Bank Cultural Precinct is where you’ll find Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) and most of the city’s cultural institutions, alongside waterfront dining and entertainment, lush parklands, and a man-made swimming beach.
After getting down to business at BCEC, stroll over to Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) which houses one of the largest art gallery collections in Australia. The tenth Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT10) is currently exhibiting through to April 2022, with summer blockbuster ‘Air’ opening from 26 November running through to April 2023, and Australian exclusive ‘Chiharu Shiota: The Soul Trembles’ exhibition showing from 18 June – 3 October.
Grab some lunch and head to one of the many beautiful parks and green spaces dotted around the precinct. River Quay Green often hosts pop-up bars and live music performances, or you can relax under the shady canopy of tropical plants at Riverside Green while soaking up the city and river views.
In the evening, enjoy dinner and drinks at one of Fish Lane’s quirky cocktail and wine bars and renowned restaurants, before catching a live theatre performance at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).
Where to stay: Emporium Hotel South Bank, Rydges South Bank or Novotel Brisbane South Bank. Alternatively, W Brisbane, Hyatt Regency Brisbane, Hilton Brisbane and ibis Styles Brisbane are all centrally located within walking distance to BCEC.
Howard Smith Wharves
What was once a collection of abandoned old shipping docks is now one of Brisbane’s trendiest dining and entertainment precincts. Situated right underneath Story Bridge, Howard Smith Wharves (HSW) has a range of enticing restaurants, bars, a brewery, a hotel and a range of bespoke event spaces overlooking the river and city.
Rise early and get the heart pumping with a brisk morning walk along the Brisbane Riverwalk. Spanning just under one kilometre, this waterfront walkway and bike path is perfect for a scenic walk or run to set the tone for the rest of your day.
After your event or meeting at the Crystalbrook Vincent, head down to the wharves and take in the sunset with a cocktail from Mr Percival’s elegant overwater bar. For dinner, choose from a smorgasbord of restaurants offering cuisines from just about every corner of the world.
Besides the fantastic wining and dining, another perk of this precinct is its direct access out to Moreton Bay with River To Bay cruises. With a pontoon right outside Crystalbrook Vincent, you can be spotting turtles and dolphins or snorkelling the famous Tangalooma Wrecks in less than hour of departing the CBD.
Where to stay: Crystalbrook Vincent or the new Hotel X Fortitude Valley, a 5-star luxury hotel just a short 10-minute stroll from Howard Smith Wharves.
Meaning ‘meeting place’ in the local Aboriginal dialect, the aptly named Woolloongabba is a popular meeting spot for sports fans and food lovers. This funky neighbourhood sits beside the South Bank precinct and is home to the Brisbane Cricket Ground, also known as The Gabba, where you can catch the ALF or cricket.
For an events space that oozes old world charm but has all the mod-cons, the newly refurbished The Princess Theatre offers five designated spaces and a dedicated team that caters to all types of events. The jewel in the crown is the Princess Auditorium, a grand and historic space which hosts live gigs and performances as well as corporate events, large cocktail parties and gala dinners.
After catching a live music gig or attending an event, head to the onsite bar, Fables Bar & Café on the ground floor of the theatre or check out the intriguing rooftop bars and speakeasies alongside a plethora of restaurants at the nearby Logan Road precinct.
Where to stay: The Point Hotel, Kangaroo Point or Courtyard by Marriott
The heart of Brisbane’s entertainment scene and night life, Fortitude Valley boasts an eclectic mix of boutiques, bars, cafes, restaurants and nightclubs. By day, it’s a great place to shop for local designer fashion and wares, and by night, it takes on a new energy with pumping nightclubs and live music spilling out onto the streets.
If you’re planning a large-scale event, The Fortitude Music Hall can accommodate up to 3,000 standing or 500 seated, and while it has hosted some of the world’s greatest live music acts, it also makes for a truly extraordinary space for any type of event.
While there’s certainly no shortage of places to wine and dine, for dinner with a difference, check out City Winery. This inner-city working micro-winery offers a range of immersive wine experiences for groups, including wine blending workshops, wine and food pairings, and cooking classes. There’s also a plethora of new restaurants to choose from located in Ada Lane under The Calile Hotel in James Street, including renowned Southeast Asian-inspired sAme sAme, Italian trattoria Bianca and SK Steak & Oyster for elegant steak and seafood dining.
After dinner, visit one of the many rooftop bars such as the brand-new Mediterranean oasis Iris, or catch a live gig at The Tivoli, which can also be hired for private events with a range of unique event options and experiences.
Where to stay: Ovolo The Valley or The Constance