Brisbane on the Cheap -- You can save up to 50 percent on entry to five of Brisbane's top attractions by buying a "Five in One" discount card. You can choose from a list of attractions that includes Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Mirimar Cruises, the City Sights tour, Kookaburra River Queen Cruises, Riverlife Adventure Centre, Brisbane Ghost Tours, walking tours, wine tasting, kayaking, and more. The card costs A$145 for adults and A$109 for children aged 4 to 15, and can be used for three months. Buy it online at www.brisbanefiveinone.com (and you can pick it up at the Brisbane airport visitor information center, if you wish).
Taking a City Stroll -- Brisbane is leafy, warm, and full of colonial-era Queenslander architecture, making it a great city for strolling. A self-guided walking tour, the Brisbane City Walk, takes you to 30 attractions, from shopping precincts to historic buildings, and links through three inner-city parks -- Southbank Parklands, Roma Street Parkland, and the City Botanic Gardens. The route is marked on a map distributed by the Brisbane Visitor Information Centre in the Queen Street Mall Information Centre, or you can download it from Our Brisbane (tel. 1300/134 199) at www.ourbrisbane.com/see-and- do/brisbanecitywalk.
Before the devastating January 2011 floods, there was a "floating" River Walk that connected more than 20km (13 miles) of pathways, roads, bridges, and parks along the Brisbane River. You could stroll along River Walk on the north bank of the river between the University of Queensland at St. Lucia and Teneriffe, and on the south bank from the West End ferry terminal at Orleigh Park to Dockside at Kangaroo Point. At press time, the walkway had been completely destroyed, and no decision has been reached about reconstructing it. Some potential plans have included "grounding" it on dry land if they rebuild; if you are interested, check on its status with the Brisbane Visitor Information Centre (tel. 07/3006 6290; www.visitbrisbane.com.au) in the Queen Street Mall, between Edward and Albert streets.
Queensland Cultural Centre
This modern complex stretching along the south bank of the Brisbane River houses many of the city's performing arts venues as well as the state art galleries, museum, and library. With plenty of open plazas and fountains, it is a pleasing place to wander or just sit and watch the river and the city skyline. It's a 7-minute walk from town, across the Victoria Bridge from the Queen Street Mall.
The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (tel. 07/3840 7444 administration Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, or 13 62 46 for bookings Mon-Sat 9am-8:30pm; www.qpac.com.au) houses the 2,000-seat Lyric Theatre for musicals, ballet, and opera; the 1,800-seat Concert Hall for orchestral performances; the 850-seat Playhouse theater for plays; and the 315-seat Cremorne Theatre for theater-in-the-round, cabaret, and experimental works. The complex has a restaurant and a cafe.
The Queensland Art Gallery (tel. 07/3840 7303; www.qag.qld.gov.au) is one of Australia's most attractive galleries, with vast light- filled spaces and interesting water features inside and out. It is a major player in the Australian art world, attracting blockbuster exhibitions of works by the likes of Renoir, Picasso, and van Gogh, and showcasing diverse modern Australian painters, sculptors, and other artists. It also has an impressive collection of Aboriginal art. The adjacent Queensland Gallery of Modern Art houses collections of modern and contemporary Australian, indigenous Australian, Asian, and Pacific art, and also gives a stunning sense of light and space. The Australian Cinémathèque, located at the Gallery of Modern Art, has two cinemas in which it presents retrospective and thematic film programs, as well as a gallery dedicated to screen-related exhibitions. Admission is free to both galleries. They are open Monday through Friday 10am to 5pm and weekends and public holidays 9am to 5pm; closed Good Friday, Christmas Day, and until noon on April 25 (Anzac Day).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.