Top 10 locals' guide to Brisbane
It's also one of those places where local knowledge goes a long way to ensuring a fantastic experience.
From street food markets and Oxford Street shopping to free comedy shows and live blues music, there's a lot going on in this city. Our tips will lead you to some of the best things to do in Brisbane from a local's point of view.
When you're ready to book, remember that Air New Zealand flies non-stop to Brisbane from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
1. Take your appetite to Eat Street
Eat Street Northshore is a clever conglomeration of shipping containers that have been turned into tasty eating, drinking and entertaining places. It's a fun and funky way to discover Brisbane's tastiest street food. Eat Street's open Friday to Sunday all year round.
2. Snorkel the wrecks at Tangalooma Island Resort
Deliberately sunk and carefully positioned to create a fascinating reef for snorkelling and sightseeing, the 15 wrecks of Tangalooma are a touch of maritime Mad Max off the western shore of Morton Island, which is an easy 75-minute cruise from Brisbane. Coral formations, tropical fish and all kinds of marine life have made the wrecks their home.
3. Get yourself to GOMA
The riverside Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) shows off some of the most exciting modern art you'll ever see. The building itself is an art form, sheltering 16,000 works that will amaze, challenge and amuse you. You'll find GOMA in South Bank's cultural precinct.
4. Catch a fresh air movie
Brisbane's best open-air cinema experience happens in Fortitude Valley at Limes Hotel Rooftop Bar & Restaurant. 'The Valley', as this area is called, is an entertainment district with a difference. It's totally of the moment, but it also appreciates the past. Aside from art and music, there are retro boutiques and designer dress shops to explore.
5. Shop at a market
Make the most of Brisbane's beautiful weather and spend a morning wandering around a farmers market. Local food personality Jan Powers operates four markets (Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane City, Manly and Michelton) and there are several others scattered throughout the city. If your accommodation has a kitchen, you'll be able to cook up a storm with the freshest local ingredients.
6. Stroll along the riverside
Brisbane holidays are all about sunshine, the winding river and the outdoors. Put on your walking shoes and take a day to conquer all or part of the 15-kilometre circuit along the Brisbane River, including the popular precincts of South Bank and New Farm. While there's no shortage of refuelling points along the way, Riverbar and Kitchen on Eagle Street is a locals' favourite.
7. Meet the greeters
Many Brisbane activities are absolutely free. For example, it costs nothing to join a Brisbane Greeters Tour and discover the city's hidden stories and art trails. You can choose where your tour goes or you can pick 'greeter's choice' and let a knowledgeable local show you what's good. Book online and be introduced to some of the interesting places and hidden corners that bring the city to life.
8. Laugh until it hurts
Every Friday you can laugh for free at Knockoff, held at the Brisbane Powerhouse. The show is open to anyone over the age of 15 and acts include local and national performers. Expect the unexpected, because this event is a great chance for comedians to try out new material.
9. Discover Brisbane at night
Nestled between Queen St and Eagle St is Eagle Lane, where you'll find an uber-cool live music venue and bar called Brooklyn Standard. Blues, funk and soul are the main music flavours; the bar snacks are just as enticing.
10. Shop in Oxford Street
You don't need to visit London to find Oxford Street shopping. Just head for the Brisbane inner city suburb of Bulimba. It's a colourful and intriguing place to buy fashion and homewares. Plenty of cafés too. From Bulimba you can also catch a ferry to explore the river.