While Melbourne and Sydney are often the destinations that come to mind when visiting Australia, Queensland’s Capital is also worthy of attention. Here are a couple of insider tips from a local Brisbane guide for stunning views, great eats and even a spot of market shopping.
One place that warms the belly is Mary Mae’s at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Located by the river, it offers all day breakfast food or heartier mains such as beef burgers and crumbed fish and chips, as well as uninterrupted views. Eating with the waters of the river lapping right beside you can be quite a treat. New in 2022 is their selection of specialty mocktails crafted with Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirits. When undecided about where to dine, consider strolling through South Bank or West End, which offer a myriad of options. Places to dine in at West End include Lefkas Taverna for Greek cuisine and Sitar, a fab Indian restaurant. For dessert, Max Brenner at South Bank is highly recommended for its chocolate fudge brownie with ice cream.
Markets are the best way to soak in the atmosphere and to live like the locals do. Crowd favourites include the Saturday Fresh Market in Rocklea for fruits and produce; the Eumundi Market on Memorial Drive for arts and crafts; and the weekend Carrara Markets at the corner of Manchester Road and Gooding Drive for knick-knacks and other gifts. The Sunday Chandler Markets at the corner of Old Cleveland and Tilley roads have a great mix of everything. It’s also perfect for cheap veggies and fruits.
Soak in the sunshine at the famous Surfers Paradise, a gorgeous two kilometre stretch of golden sand and rolling surf. Top that off with a visit to Underwater World to see its marine and freshwater animals, and one’s day is complete. Moreton Island, a protected sand island known for its beaches and steep dunes, is great for the chance to interact with wild dolphins. Also worth a stop is Byron Bay, a beautiful surfing spot; and Wellington Point, where you can picnic and then walk across the sandbar to nearby King Island at low tide.
Want to go off the beaten path? Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island is a gem that does not get enough attention. The feel of the wind at full blast and the sight of magnificent waves crashing against the rocky shores is just wonderful. And in winter, humpback whales often form part of the view as they pass the waters off Straddie on their annual migration. Bring a picnic basket or alternatively, drop by one of the cosy eateries there, such as Fishes at the Point which has great seafood and very good coffee.
For jaw-dropping vistas climb atop Story Bridge for an adrenaline rush and unparalleled views of the city, Moreton Bay and the hills of the Scenic Rim. Or chill at the suburb of Kangaroo Point where you can take in the sight of the bridge, the river and the cityscape. Another spot from which to see Brisbane in its full glory is the Mount Coot-tha Lookout where you can get a scenic 360-degree view of the city.
*Recommendations by Elizabeth Saolotoga.
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A version of this article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings on 19 July 2016.