Australia has been near the top of my travel bucket list for a long time. I thought I’d be able to make it over there when I lived in New Zealand for a year, but it just never happened.
When it comes to making the trek to far-flung areas of the world, I can’t help but feel nervous and anxious about the long plane ride I’ll have to endure. I didn’t have a great experience with the airline I chose for my long flight to Auckland, New Zealand. When I do go to Australia, I’ll definitely choose an airline I’ve had good experiences with!
I recently learnt about Air Canada’s new daily non-stop flights to Brisbane, Australia. Flights will operate aboard state-‐of-‐the-‐art Boeing 787-‐8 Dreamliner aircraft that offer 20 International Business Class lie-‐flat seat suites, 21 Premium Economy and 210 Economy Class seats. All seats, including Economy Class, feature upgraded in-‐flight entertainment, including personal seatback touchscreens.
Here are seven reasons why culture hounds and sun seekers alike will love Brisbane:
1. The South Bank cultural district
The perfect spot to gallery hop, shop and refuel, South Bank offers a mix of art, boutiques, bars and restaurants. The district’s anchor is the joint Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (known as QAGOMA). The Gallery of Modern Art is Australia’s largest modern and contemporary art gallery. Buzzy South Bank hosts over 150 events a year, including festivals and independent bazaars like the Young Designers Market, a monthly fashion incubator.
2. Australia’s only downtown beach
In a state world‐famous for its beaches, Brisbane boasts Australia’s only inner-‐city beach. Streets Beach is a manmade lagoon complete with 4,000-‐square meters of white sand, palm trees, lifeguards and enough filtered water to fill five Olympic-‐sized pools.
3. A vibrant laneway scene
Why take the sidewalk when you can sneak through the alley? Similar to Melbourne’s famous laneways, a handful of Brisbane’s backstreets have been transformed into pedestrian thoroughfares, each with a distinct character and mix of food, retail and public art. Brisbane’s oldest laneway, Burnett Lane, a former prison exercise yard, dates back to Australia’s penal colony days. Today, it’s a high-‐traffic destination for its street art, plus trendy bars, restaurants and cafes. The wine and tapas bars of Gresham Lane and Spencer Lane cater to fashionable office crowds, while Winn Lane services a younger, hipper demographic with its night market and pocket-‐sized pop-‐up shops.
4. A history-‐steeped club district
Fortitude Valley has been the heart of Brisbane’s music and nightclub scene since its 1950s beatnik days. The suburb owes its rough-‐around-‐the-‐edges charm to an eclectic mix of architectural styles, and multicultural influences including the Chinatown Mall and the European-‐inflected Emporium retail-‐ dining complex. The neighbourhood’s bars and clubs attract DJs from around the world, while local fashion designers hustle to promote their nascent labels.
5. The alfresco markets
It should come as no surprise that a city with a mild climate and creative atmosphere would have a booming outdoor market scene. Standouts include Fortitude Valley’s Valley Markets for handmade jewelry and locally designed frocks, and the bustling South Bank Lifestyle Market, an after-‐dark foodie hotspot.
Eat Street Markets is a must‐see. Set in a reclaimed container wharf in the Northshore community, the Friday and Saturday night market features international cuisine and a drive-‐in restaurant/outdoor cinema.
6. A short drive to the world’s greatest surf breaks
For those whose bucket list includes surfing or sunning along Queensland’s iconic beaches, Brisbane is roughly an hour’s drive from the Gold Coast’s renowned breaks. The Gold Coast was recently designated a World Surfing Reserve, joining just seven other international surfing destinations recognized for their outstanding waves and environmental significance.
7. A close, picturesque drive to the Sunshine Coast, an ideal holiday destination
Just north of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast offers a relaxed yet sophisticated lifestyle, encompassing both a wide stretch of coastline and the lush countryside of the hinterland. The holiday destination offers a variety of vacation options for travellers including gourmet cuisine, surfing beaches, idyllic coastal towns, local markets, the beautiful Glass House Mountains, Australian wildlife and the natural hinterland where the world famous Australia Zoo is located.
Savvy travellers are trading established sun destinations in favour of Brisbane, Queensland, a scrappy newcomer that’s making waves internationally for its dynamic arts scene, vibrant nightlife, trendy boutique hotels and indie food culture. Call it Australia’s answer to Austin.
Have you ever travelled to Australia?