Escape the winter chill

With the winter chill settling on the southern states, it’s time to look for an affordable and fun weekend destination which promises some sunshine. Brisbane fits the bill and is a terrific city to visit. Small yet perfectly formed, this riverside city offers plenty for those just dropping in for the weekend, or planning to stay a little longer.  And thanks to the abundance of water, you don’t really feel the confines of some other big cities, but there’s plenty happening if you’re looking for some night life and excitement.

With good weather all year round, although it can get a little too hot in the summer months, it’s hardly surprising that Brisbane is a popular tourist spot. If you know where to go, you can enjoy your stay without spending a fortune. And if you’ve got a little more money to splash, then I’m only too happy to give you some suggestions.

If you enjoy being on the water, then head down to the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron on a Wednesday afternoon and you can jump onboard with a crew for free. The same deal applies at the Wynnum Manly Yacht Club on a Sunday, but is subject to there being space on a boat. Or maybe you prefer to move a little quicker? One of the best ways to get around Brisbane is a CityCat Ferry. Take the whole one hour seven minute journey or hop on and off whenever you fancy – all for about $5. And for those landlubbers, book a slot with a Brisbane Greeter, who, for free (although a donation is welcome), will take you to the areas of the city which you are most keen to visit.
Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron
Wynnum Manly Yacht Club
CityCat Ferries
Brisbane Greeters 

Grab a group of your travelling partners and head to Caravanserai for a Turkish banquet which will keep you full for days! Set in a typical Queenslander, town this restaurant has a real Middle Eastern family feel, but is also light and airy. For just $39.95, you can feast on a three-course banquet and you can even take along your own wine. For those with a daredevil edge, see the city from a different angle, by abseiling off Kangaroo Point Cliffs, where a session with an instructor will cost you just $45.
Kangaroo Point Cliffs abseiling 

Brisbane is home to many luxury chain hotels, but give them a miss and book a night at Spicers Balfour Hotel – you won’t be disappointed. Located in a charming Queenslander town, this refurbished hotel offers personalised service and attention to detail not found in many larger hotels. With prices starting from $299 per night, it is pricey but worth it. Or why not be at one with nature? Feed the dolphins at Tangalooma Island Resort and with coach transfers, island cruise and lunch thrown in, the $211 fee doesn’t seem so expensive!
Spicers Balfour Hotel
Tangalooma and Moreton Island Dolphin Feeding Adventure 

Visit Brisbane
Brisbane Visitors Guide