Brisbane and the Gold Coast – two of the most sought-after destinations in South East Queensland.
Brisbane is the sunny capital of the state, while the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, and its popularity is soaring every day. Lucky for you, as a Griffith student, no matter which campus you are based at you can pay a visit and enjoy all that both these cities have to offer easily.
It’s only an hour’s drive between the cities and about an hour to 1.5 hours via public transport. Below, I list some of my favourite places in both cities that you should visit.
Located atop the tallest building in Australia, the SkyPoint Observation Deck provides a panoramic 360-degree view of the city of Gold Coast. The deck is situated 230m above sea level, at the 77th and 78th levels and you will be transported by the one of the world’s fastest elevators, just 42.7 seconds from the ground up. It is Australia’s only beachside observation deck. The building was the tallest residential building in the world from 2005 to 2011. You will get a breathtaking view of the skyline alongside the Surfer’s Paradise beach. My advice would be to go an hour before sunset so that you can enjoy both the day and night time views of the city, while enjoying a delicious meal at the SkyPoint Bistro.
This world-renowned sanctuary is located in the 27-hectare-long Currumbin rainforest, housing some of the most unique and distinctive Australian flora and wildlife. Pay a visit to hug and pet kangaroos, cuddle koalas and feed lorikeets. The sanctuary is home to other animals such as the Tasmanian Devil, wallabies, wombats, reptiles, amphibians, snakes, and many more. You can also enjoy bird shows, Aboriginal performances, and do a Tree Top challenge. The fun awaits you for a whole day.
From June to October, the winter season brings us Queenslanders a special delight. An estimated 35,000 humpback whales migrate from the food-rich waters in Antarctica to the warm waters of Australia, where they mate, calve, and nurture their new born calves. Lucky for us, we can view these lovely mammals on the sea during this whale season. You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting a whale watching tour. There are a number of tour operators, operating whale watching cruises from various different points across the Gold Coast, catering to various kinds of budgets. So, book while the season lasts, it is worth every cent.
To get the best views of Brisbane city and beyond, there is nothing better than the Mount Coot-Tha lookout. You can go there to get the most amazing sunset views or see the shining city lights of the CBD at night. You can complement your tour by visiting the Brisbane Botanic Gardens nearby.
This is one of my most random discoveries and it couldn’t have been more perfect. While I don’t remember precisely, I was probably strolling around Queen Street Mall and stumbled upon this historic and breath taking piece of architecture. The Regent Theatre was a heritage-listed cinema and is now serving as a visitor information centre by Brisbane City Council. Although most of the theatre was lost, the foyer has been preserved. You will be mesmerized by the vintage beauty, the detailed architecture, and the overall Art Deco flavour. Don’t miss out this absolutely underrated gem.