30 March 2018 – written by Lisa Glassey

Brisbane is the ultimate family holiday destination. Just south of the city you have the Gold Coast and to the North the Sunshine Coast. It really has it all, whether it’s a family holiday or that romantic getaway.

Brisbane itself has so much to offer, my ultimate favourite was the amazing green spaces in the middle of the city, you have Victoria Park, just North and the Botanical Gardens along the river bank. It’s so easy to get around, simply hire a bike from City Cycle who have one of many stands located around the city, Simply pick up from one station and ride around and drop it off at another – it’s so easy! The bike hire comes complete with helmets and can be paid for via credit card. The other reason I loved Brisbane was the Accessibility for wheelchair users. The walkways around the parks, along the river, around South Bank – all are flat and wide perfect for all wheelchairs, prams, bikes etc.

There are so many places to stay in Brisbane city, from Hotels through to apartment style. We stayed at the Stamford Plaza which was chosen purely for the location, close to the River, shopping, Eagle Street Pier, good parking and just central to everything, however upon arrival we felt the hotel was quite dated and needs a good refurbishment. Just around the corner there is a Hilton and Next Hotels and just north of Eagle Street Pier is the Marriott – all of which I would recommend and at a very similar price level.

To eat, the best evening restaurants are located around Eagle Street Pier – some recommendations are Aria and Blackbird. During the day, South Bank is a great place to explore, with a large selection of cafes & restaurants to suit everyone. We dined at Denium Co for brunch which was fantastic, the service and food was outstanding. Kids would love South Bank, while picking up a coffee or a bite to eat, the kids can have a swim in either the swimming pool or the manmade lagoon – both are free and incredible beautifully put together. Once the swim is over, just along the bank slightly is the The Wheel of Brisbane for a birds eye view of the city, the Convention and Exhibition Centre, boat cruises or a Segway Tour. If you are heading to Brisbane to party and enjoy the nightlife, then you need to head to Fortitude Valley which is also home to China Town.

If the trip is all about the children, we highly recommend picking up a rental car and head South to the Gold Coast. It’s down here where you will find the many theme parks Dreamworld, Sea World, Warner Bros Movie World or Wet n Wild – there is so much to do and so many places to stay. For families the Mantra Apartments are always popular due to size, cost and facilities available.

North of Brisbane, you have the Sunshine Coast and Noosa, along with Brisbane Zoo. Sunshine Coast is a lot more relaxed and less busy than the Gold Coast and a lot smaller in size. Hastings Street right the Beachfront is the place to be with some fantastic shopping and some pretty good restaurants however I did notice, Noosa itself lacked some good basic cafes and over compensated with Ice Cream parlours!. Noosa Beach is a great option for surfing lessons as it’s a lot more quiet and some pretty good waves! While there try out the Thai Massage – the shoulder and back massage was great and so cheap!

After spending a week in Brisbane, I felt there was so much more to explore, so if you have the time take a week to 10 days to truly explore the region.