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Newbies guide to the greatest city in Australia, Brisbane

So, you’ve bought a new house in Brisbane? Let me assure you, living in Brisbane will leave you anything but housebound. This city has had a serious makeover in recent years and you’ll not regret the move. 

There is plenty to do, see, eat and enjoy but my “hot” tip for now is to take very cold water with you between January and mid March, it’s a humid place for a few months of the year if you’re from the south. 

  1. The Brisbane River is the beating heart of our city: cultural, exercise, socialising, food. Walking with my wife and kids, cycling or going for a run by the river is a daily reminder of all that is good in our capital. You will never tire of the views of boats, parks, gardens and big beautiful homes along our riverbanks as you get your steps in on the many kilometres of walking paths. Riverside walks are almost a mandatory part of residing in this city. 
  2. For your first few dinners out, I recommend you work your way through the exceptional restaurants at the James Street precinct – some of my personal favourites are Hellenika, Biànca, SK Steak & Oyster, Gemelli and The Green. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, book at E’cco Bistro in Newstead, it’s a one hatted institution, or try Mosconi in Fortitude Valley just off James Street. 
  3. For a brew or two make your way to the base of the Storey Bridge where you’ll find Howard Smith Wharves. This is another on-trend precinct with restaurants spanning the culinary spectrum. The site is steeped in history, originally built in the 1930s and largely abandoned since the 1960s when the port moved further downstream. Felons Brewing Company is a particularly popular spot for an afternoon drink.
  4. Time to upgrade your car? Over the past couple of years, I have been fortunate enough to have grown a pretty special partnership with Mercedes-Benz Toowong & Mercedes-Benz Macgregor. Not only do they offer the finest cars, but they also back it up with exceptional service. It’s been such a pleasure to work alongside the team and I couldn’t ask for a better brand to align my business with. I can’t recommend them more highly.
  5. Take in the best views of your new city from Kangaroo Point where the city skyline, river and mountainous natural beauty of Brisbane are visible atop the ancient cliffs.
  6. Though last week brought a fairly standard tropical-style downpour, we get eight to nine hours of sunshine a day, for almost 300 days of the year so it is little wonder we have escalated outdoor living to the next level. You can sit riverside for a picturesque picnic or opt to dine out at one of the many cafes, bars and hatted restaurants along the heritage wharves, floating by the boardwalk and at the ever popular southside. 
  7. Yes, Melbourne and Sydney boast that they are the home of “culture”, but I argue that we have some of the nation’s greatest galleries and theatres namely the Powerhouse, QAGOMA (Gallery of Modern Art), QPAC (Performing Arts Centre) – home of the Queensland ballet – as well as the street artists along the bustling Fish Lane.
  8. Brisbane has the benefit of a lot of inner-city greenery and nearby national parks. There’s 56 hectares of surrounding nature of Brisbane’s Botanical Gardens. If you’re wanting a hike, head to Mt Coot-tha; as well as giving you magnificent views of the CBD you can enjoy the popular falls, eucalypt woodland and vine forest. For a particularly memorable hiking destination, I reckon you should head to the aptly named Mt Glorious where the air is cool – even in the heat of our summer. 

And then, there’s the rest of Queensland to explore – five of Australia’s eleven World Natural Heritage areas for a start. 

Enjoy the great state, and welcome to your new home.

I hope you enjoy the read.

Matt Lancashire