The capital of the state of Queensland, Brisbane, is located inland from Moreton Bay between the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. The heart of the hilly city is its river, which snakes from Mount Stanley to the Coral Sea. Queensland is Australia’s Sunshine State and enjoys a subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and warm, sunny winters. In Brisbane, any time of year is a good time for adventurous outdoor activities along the river or coast. Experience the more relaxing side of Brisbane in the parklands, museums and bars. “Brissie” still has the laid-back country feel that is so iconic for the land Down Under. However, it is Australia’s third-largest city, houses over two million people, and is growing fast. Start your tour of the city on Brisbane’s biggest hill. Mount Coot-tha was already visited by the Aboriginal people up to 40,000 years ago and its name means “honey”, which they found here in abundance. While you are there, explore the wonders of the Southern Hemisphere in the Planetarium and Brisbane Botanical Gardens… including the laughing kookaburra. Feed lorikeets and see iconic Australian wildlife at the nearby Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Meet kangaroos, koalas and wombats and don’t miss the animal shows, which demonstrate some real Aussie traditions! Down river, in the central business district, the Queen Street Mall displays all the country’s big retail brands. Visit the nearby Brisbane Museum to learn about the mining boom and other events that shaped this city. Exhibits show how World Expo ’88 led to the transformation of the river’s southern bank, the city’s favorite backyard, which even has its own beach. Spacious South Bank has many free activities and facilities which attract more than 10 million people every year. Cool off in a lagoon or browse the weekend markets. Join the locals for a beer, or visit one of the many prominent museums and theaters. The Wheel of Brisbane overlooks the Cultural Forecourt, a collection of Queensland’s major museums and theaters. Meet some prehistoric creatures, admire indigenous and European modern art or see a show at the Performing Arts Center. From the piers at South Bank, take the public ferry downstream to NewfarmPark, where the restored Powerhouse has become a real institution among art and music lovers. On your way back, hop off at Kangaroo point to climb the Story Bridge: One of the best spots to watch the sun set over the city. Book your guided tour for midafternoon, because nightfall comes early in Queensland. Get an early start and jump on the ferry to Moreton Island for a fun day out on the beach. Join a Segway tour along the shore before surfing down a massive sand dune. On a hot day, snorkel around the Tangalooma wrecks, or if you rather stay high and dry, book a helicopter ride instead. Flying over the bay and the Coral Sea, it is clear that Queensland’s natural beauty merely starts in Brisbane. Only two hours to the north, the Great Barrier Reef is a living national treasure. Brisbane has a wealth of attractions and you can indulge as much as you like, but in the river city of the north your are never far from nature, which is free for all to enjoy !