Recently I had an international flight that included a layover in Brisbane, Australia. I took advantage of the opportunity by selecting flights to have the longest layover available and ended up with 7 hours to make a quick tour of the city while I was there!
My flight arrived in Brisbane bright and early in the morning, after 13+ hours in the air. As you know, I’m a big fan of carry-on only luggage but didn’t want to carry that all around the city with me. I had done a little research beforehand and found that the Brisbane Airport had luggage lockers available for rent. For $13, I loaded one up with my luggage, bought a $25 All-Day train ticket and headed into the city for some exploring! (Prices translated to US$ based on the exchange rate that day.)
Cost: $13 (locker) / $25 (All day train ticket)
First stop was a beautiful breakfast along the river, overlooking the popular Story Bridge and Boat Harbor. Then, I walked south along the boardwalk to the City Botanic Gardens. Being it is spring on the south side of the equator, the garden was in full bloom. I enjoyed the flowers, trees, and sunshine in this wonderful garden in the middle of the city. The garden is completely free and open to the public. Although I wasn’t able to take one, they also offer free, volunteer-led tours through the garden every day.
While the City Business District (CBD) is easy enough to walk, you can also take the CityCat and City Hopper Water Taxis to get from one side to the other if you need to save a little time. However, a walk lets you see some of the city’s amazing architecture. Brisbane is the capital of the Australian state of Queensland and is one of the oldest cities in Australia. As such, you see both old and new buildings, often side by side.
One of my favorite buildings was the City Hall, which also houses the Museum of Brisbane. The entrance of City Hall opens up to King George Square, where on the day I was visiting, they had a car show happening, with some very interesting looking vehicles! The inside is absolutely gorgeous, and if I had more time I would have loved to take their free tour to hear more about its history. Definitely on the list for next time! I did, however, visit the Museum, which specializes in works by local artists. It includes a little bit of history and some wonderful pieces of art.
Some of my favorite art in any city are the various street art pieces you find around, and Brisbane had a variety to show off. Many of their utility boxes were brightly decorated, as you can see here. One of my favorite pieces though was this building facade – look closely and you can see 3-D butterflies flying ‘off’ the building!
With only 7 hours between flights, I had to be very particular and efficient in selecting what to visit. Obviously, there is a great deal more to see there and hopefully, I’ll get to spend a full 2 Days (or more!) there another day soon!