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Brisbane arguably has the best lifestyle in Australia due to its location, weather and beaches...
Sun worshippers, sporty types and those in need of a healthy retreat will find plenty to indulge in on a trip to 'Brizzy'. But the city has much more to offer too - culture, parks and great dining.
The Brisbane central business district is an eclectic mixture of old and new architecture as the result of a major overhaul a few years ago. The Brisbane River flows right through the city, confining the business district to a relatively small area, before discharging into Moreton Bay. Moreton Bay and Islands, approximately 15 miles from Brisbane, is famous as one of the best whale-watching locations in the world. Deception Bay, about 18 miles north of the city, enjoys a sheltered location which makes it an ideal place for recreational boating and fishing.
Renowned Brisbane landmarks include St. John's Cathedral, Brisbane City Hall - which re-opens in early 2013 following repair and restoration - and Brisbane's oldest surviving residence, Newstead House, which was completed in 1846. Cultural attractions include the Museum of Brisbane, which celebrates the culture and identity of the city and the Gallery of Modern Art, which features exhibits from local, national and international artists.
If you're interested in natural history, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, situated south of the city on the banks of the Brisbane River, is home to over 100 koalas, kangaroos and other Australian native species. The Parklands at South Bank is a haven of natural beauty, but also home to the Wheel of Brisbane, a 200-foot observation wheel that gives you a 360-degree view of the city. The City Botanic Gardens are a living museum of plant collections from Australia and around the world. If you're feeling even more adventurous, you might like to climb the Story Bridge, the steel cantilever bridge that rises to a height of over 250 feet above the city, the river and the countryside beyond.
Brisbane enjoys a subtropical climate, meaning that the weather is warm or hot most of the year. In fact, the city enjoys some 2,800 hours of sunshine each year. But summers (December to February) can be extremely muggy - you'll be grateful of the air conditioning in your hotel room and hire car. Winters (June to August) are idyllic, with clear blue skies and cool nights and average daytime temperatures of 22C.
Flying to Brisbane is a breeze these days with plenty of flight options and stop-over opportunities too...
Brisbane flights depart regularly from London Heathrow (LHR), London Gatwick (LGW) and other UK airports, with direct flights taking around 21.5 hours.
Serviced round the clock, Brisbane has an excellent transport and transfer system...
Brisbane International Airport (BNE) has a range of transport options. The local bus-service provider, Con-x-ion Airport Transfers, meets all international flights and provides a door-to-door service into the Brisbane Central Business District seven days a week.
Alternatively, passengers can take a taxi from the taxi rank located in Arrivals on Level 2. Anyone looking to avoid traffic altogether can catch the Airtrain from the station directly outside the airport terminal. Trains depart to downtown Brisbane every 15 minutes during peak times and the journey takes 20 minutes.
Brisbane is one of the more compact Australian cities and offers accommodation which caters to all tastes and budgets...
The main place you may wish to consider when you book a flight to Brisbane is the centre (or CBD - central business district) which offers the convenience of being right bang in the middle of the action, close to all the transport links and shops.
Accommodation comprises largely of major mid-budget hotel chains and upmarket international four and five-star options.
Couples and younger travellers may appreciate a stay in the Fortitude Valley area with its buzzing music scene. Hotels here are cheaper too.
The suburbs are increasingly popular for those wishing to make their Aussie dollar last longer. If you are travelling with children and don't mind not being in the city, this is also a good option.
The Southbank area is a very good choice as there are lots of activities for children and apart-rental options are on the rise, if you want a bit more freedom.