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Panorama of Brisbane harbour

Compare the best Brisbane holidays

Enjoy city life under the Australian sun during holidays in Brisbane. This vibrant state capital offers all you could want from an Australian city: great restaurants, good hotels, excellent shopping, culture, an outdoor lifestyle and easy access to some of the country's best beaches.

Why go?

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Brisbane holidays are spent under a sun that shines year round; perhaps that's why the city benefits from an easy laid-back vibe where days are spent sipping iced coffees in sidewalk cafés, and evenings are spent in fabulous eateries along the waterfront.

Fly direct into Brisbane International Airport (BNE) and land in a city some 14 miles inland from the east coast of Australia, where the Brisbane River runs into Moreton Bay and meets the ocean. The capital of the sunshine state of Queensland, Brisbane offers visitors the chance to travel north and lap up the rays and waves of the Sunshine Coast, or journey south to lounge on the Gold Coast and holiday in Surfers Paradise.

The city is located on a bend in the Brisbane River and much of the life in this exciting destination is centred on the flowing water. Brisbane features a charming mix of old Victorian buildings and modern skyscrapers and the city's outlook is firmly fixed on its future.

The Parklands are part of the excellent South Bank area, which is where you'll find most of Brisbane's dining, entertainment and cultural offerings, plus sprawling and open green spaces in which to soak up the sun's rays. The cafés and boutiques of Little Stanley in South Bank will keep you cool, while evenings can be spent trying out all of the dining options on River Quay. The cultural activities in South Bank's Grey Street are varied. The Science Centre at Queensland Museum is a particularly good shout if you have to pick just one attraction.

Other attractions include the ornate St John's Cathedral; Newstead House, the oldest home in Brisbane (built in 1846); and the City Botanic Gardens, where you'll find plenty of shade under an impressive collection of trees.

Brisbane is totally different to cosmopolitan Melbourne and glamorous Sydney but offers everything you could want from an Australian city break.

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When to go?

There's never a bad time to book Brisbane package holidays as this city enjoys a year-round outdoors lifestyle...

Subtropical Brisbane bakes in hot summers and enjoys warm winters. The summer of the southern hemisphere runs from December until February and sees daily average temperatures in the high twenties and early thirties. Rainfall is plentiful during storms that often pass quite quickly allowing the sun to make another appearance. Spring and autumn are drier and warm, while winter, from June until August, sees temperatures around 20C.

What's on?

Join the locals, who seem to be in a perpetually celebratory mood, and create memories to last a lifetime at Brisbane's annual events...

Australia Day; January: Be in Brisbane on January 26 to celebrate the national day. South Bank's Parklands hosts the annual festival.

Paniyiri Festival; May: This Greek event is a popular party in Musgrave Park that shares the cultural traditions of Greek Australians with modern Brisbane. Expect plenty of tasty food and a good old sing and dance.

Ekka; August: Otherwise known as the Royal Queensland Show, this huge 10-day event explores all that is great about life in Queensland. It's an agricultural show at heart that also offers plenty to entertain all visitors.

Brisbane Festival; September: From the ashes of the Riverfestival and Warana has grown the Brisbane Festival, which celebrates the city's arts and culture. There are performances and shows around the city to suit a wide range of tastes.

Queensland Multicultural Festival; October: There are performances and tastes from across the globe in this celebration of multicultural Brisbane held on Roma Street Parkland.

What to do?

Brisbane is a fantastic destination for couples and families of all ages as well as groups. You'll never be bored in this Australian city...

Kids and teens: Take a closer look at Australian wildlife at the city's Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where there are more than 100 cuddly koalas to hold, plus kangaroos to feed and other wildlife to spot.

Grown-up families: The excellent Queensland Gallery of Modern Art characterises Brisbane's sunny and modern outlook, while the Museum of Brisbane and Brisbane City Hall offer glimpses into the city's past.

Active types: Straddling the Brisbane River and impossible to miss is the mighty Story Bridge. The brave can join guided climbs to reach the heights of the bridge by foot and enjoy stunning views of the city. If you're feeling less brave, you could tackle the rather more sedate Wheel of Brisbane, which offers great views from the South Bank Parklands.