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The inaugural eighth annual WINOE’s (Women In Need Of Entertainment) retreat took place this year with a weekend in the River City of Brisbane. Less than an hour up the road for we Gold Coasters, is the place we call ‘Brisvegas’, that most of us only visit to either go to a show or concert or catch an international flight overseas.
However Brisbane has undertaken a massive transformation over the past twenty years or so and is now up there with many of the other trendy Australian cities. The river that snakes its way through the city and the shorelines have been revamped to create green spaces, a cultural precinct, quirky markets, alfresco cafes and restaurants and walking and cycling paths that stretch for kilometres.
All of this is within comfortable walking distance to the heartthrob of the city, its business and shopping centre, world class hotels, botanical gardens, university and the Treasury Casino. You can literally walk to anything on either side of the river by accessing purpose built pedestrian bridges and wide walking pathways.
Our accommodation of choice was the newly constructed 74 storey high, Meriton Apartments in the city centre. Our luxurious apartment on the 68th floor had the most majestic panoramic views of the river, the city, the northern suburbs and out to Moreton Bay. It was only a short walk to Queen Street Mall, Treasury Casino and across the river to South Bank.
The main purpose of the weekend was to attend the Brisbane Food & Wine Show at the Brisbane Exhibition & Convention Centre at Southbank. Here we tantalised our taste buds and pampered our palates by sampling a wide array of wine, cheese, smallgoods and other delicacies. There were also cooking demonstrations by some of our finest celebrity chefs, wine and cheese tasting classes plus cooking classes for the up and coming chefs.
After a day of gorging ourselves we set off on foot, to burn up some of those calories, along the river through the historical precinct to the beautiful Botanical Gardens and on to the Eagle Street Pier. This area is where you can hop on a Paddlewheeler and soak up the sights of Brisbane from the river and enjoy a delicious meal at the same time.
Eagle Street Pier also offers some of the finest restaurants in Brisbane with views to die for of the river and the Story Bridge. It also hosts chic arts and crafts markets and a colourful mix of street entertainers every Sunday.
A short walk across the Go Between Bridge over the river bought us to Brisbane Maritime Museum with some interesting exhibits of the Diamantina Frigate, a lighthouse from the mouth of the Brisbane River, a Torres Strait pearling lugger, cannons from the time of the Battle of Trafalgar and a steam tugboat.
Nearby is the entry to the 17 hectares of South Bank Parklands which encompasses the Performing Arts Centre, Museum, Exhibition & Convention Centre, Queensland Art Gallery and the Wheel of Brisbane. Visitors can ride The Wheel of Brisbane, visit the Nepalese Pagoda, which was originally brought to Brisbane for Expo 88, take a dip in Streets Beach and marvel at The Arbour, a bougainvillea clad steel awning that spans 1 km or just stroll through the weekend arts and crafts market stalls.
South Bank is one of Brisbane’s best dining hotspots with an array of cafes, pubs, bars, take-away restaurants and gourmet eateries to suit any taste. Just some of the precinct’s many cuisine styles include Turkish, Indian, Malaysian, Japanese, Mediterranean, Modern Australian, Russian and Italian.
Another great thing to do on the Brisbane River is to catch the City Cat and cruise down the river. The Cat cruises the city main arterial calling in at some of the city’s more interesting and dynamic suburbs. You can disembark at your leisure with most services running every 13 minutes.
Learn more about Brisbane life at Grace and Co Brisbane
For shopping there is no better place than Queen Street Mall which offers an unrivalled mix of local, national and international labels and flagship stores. More than 700 retailers have made their homes here – many enjoy mall and street frontage, others are tucked away inside world-class centres and heritage-listed arcades.
The River City really turned it on for our girl’s weekend. We marvelled at the beautiful city sights, the Botanical Gardens, South Bank Parklands and Cultural Precinct, Eagle Street Pier restaurants, the City Cat cruising down the river, the kilometres of navigable pathways following the river and King George Square and Treasury Casino. It was a city break that we all enjoyed immensely.
For more ideas of what to see and do in Brisbane see the Brisbane Travel Guide
Linking up with Travel Photo Thursday.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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