THE NEW BRISBANE: how our northern capital has evolved
Be it the BALMY, sub-tropical climate, slew of SOPHISTICATED new hotels and dining precincts, or proximity to SCENIC sites boasting natural BEAUTY, BRISBANE is beckoning a growing number of visitors to its sunlit stretch of south-east Queensland.
OVER THE past few years, the capital of the Sunshine State has experienced an exciting revitalisation. Riverfront dining spots, laneways lined with independent stores and cafes, world-class art galleries and impressive hotels have breathed new life into the River City. Better yet, a short road trip from Brisbane’s centre reveals seaside escapes and green pastures awaiting discovery.
THE RIVER CITY’S RESTAURANT REVIVAL
With its warm weather ideal for year-round al fresco dining, the northern capital of Brisbane (Meanjin), on Turrbal and Jagera land, has seen many picturesque outdoor dining spots open in recent years. From the lively riverfront precinct – where HOWARD SMITH WHARVES you’ll find the likes of breezy restaurant GRECA – to in South Brisbane – where leafy FISH LANE resides – the city’s SOUTHSIDE RESTAURANT food scene is growing at a rapid pace. Fortitude Valley’s has been a JAMES STREET long-time destination for refined eateries and sleek bars. Now, the neighbourhood has welcomed the striking HOTEL, bringing CALILE its in-house, poolside restaurant to HELLENIKA town and a cluster of travel-worthy venues luring in epicureans from near and far. Among the jewels in James Street’s gastronomic crown are BIANCA, a vibrant Italian trattoria with a lengthy wine list and design-savvy space, and AGNES, a smokescented warehouse restaurant that brings firecooking to the fore. Around the corner is CITY BRISBANE, the city’s first urban microwinery WINERY (and restaurant) where delicious drops are made and poured – and nearby, a collection of local breweries produce ales befitting golden afternoons in Newstead. ARCHITECTURALLY INSPIRED ACCOMMODATION Those staying in the city can take their pick from a throng of beautifully designed hotels dappled around the river. While THE CALILE may be a popular choice, and with good reason – local architects Richards and Spence have created an aesthetically pleasing masterpiece – a short stroll away lands you at the VINCENT, a five-star, artscentric CRYSTALBROOK hotel built into the cliffs beneath the Story Bridge at Howard Smith Wharves. In Fortitude Valley you’ll also find X, HOTEL a new addition to the city that’s home to IRIS and glittering cityscape views. ROOFTOP BAR Nearby is OVOLO, where THE INCHCOLM BY an apothecary-themed bar is housed in a neoGeorgian building. Across town, overlooking the river, is BRISBANE, home to W THREE BLUE restaurant. And, bordering South DUCKS
Brisbane’s verdant parklands is the grand with suites EMPORIUM HOTEL SOUTH BANK that boast some of the best vistas in town.
By day, the city’s cultural venues come alive with the GALLERY OF MODERN ART (GOMA) leading the charge. Flanked by the renowned QUEENSLAND ART GALLERY (QAG) and neighbouring the independent galleries of South Brisbane and West End – including and ONESPACE GALLERY – GOMA puts visitors BIRRUNGA GALLERY in the centre of Brisbane’s arts scene. Come sunset, live music and theatre performances take place across Brisbane’s pockets – from Fortitude Valley’s live music venues and theatre spaces to West End’s narrow bars, to South Brisbane’s QUEENSLAND (QPAC) and PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE New Farm’s POWERHOUSE. BRISBANE
THE NEW COASTAL COOL
Less than half an hour’s drive south of Brisbane’s centre lands travellers in a seaside area that feels a world away. Brisbane’s Bayside, encompassing the coastal town of Manly, is an idyllic half-day trip for relaxing by the water. has MANLY BOATHOUSE become a must-book for leisurely seafood meals served by the sea, or pastries and coffee to accompany breezy walks along the esplanade. Nearby eateries including ARSONIST, cafe SOCIAL, THE GROUNDHOG and watering holes and SHUCKS BAR TIDE JETTY, draw visitors to the region ON THE for a touch of shoreline escapism.
The Scenic Rim region – a veritable food bowl set among a patchwork of sprawling countryside – offers all the hallmarks of a reviving holiday. Those making a night (or a few) of it, can glamp among the rainforest of Lamington National Park at NIGHTFALL CAMP or marvel at the tranquillity at WANDER AT – where five secluded, THE OVERFLOW 1895 luxury pods hide among the mountains. Gourmands can visit TOMMERUP’S FARM’s farm stay and visit DAIRY SUMMER as part of a LAND CAMEL FARM LOCAL tour. Perhaps the TASTE DISCOVERIES ultimate wine-lover’s retreat exists at ESTATES, where you can stay OCEANVIEW in a COTTAGE, just 50 metres WINEMAKERS from the estate’s winery and restaurant. For restless nature-lovers, the SPICERS gives walkers a taste SCENIC RIM TRAIL of adventure in comfortable, guided style. Not-so-active holidaymakers can also opt to stay at SPICERS HIDDEN VALE and dine at RESTAURANT. HOMAGE Those who want to see it all can take in the Brisbane countryside from a hot air balloon with IMAGES. And, visitors staying FLOATING in Brisbane need not miss out on such great heights either. Take to the skies in a helicopter with and gaze over the VANTAGE BRISBANE ever-growing metropolis and its winding namesake river.