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If you're a local, here are some of the places we feel visitors must see in Brisbane to gain an insight into Brisbane and its people, whether this is your first time in Brisbane, you've been here before or even. Please be aware these are in no particular order:

things to do in Brisbane

Mt Cooth-tha Summit

Have a drive to the top of Mt Coot-tha (7km west of the CBD) where you'll obtain a spectacular panoramic take a look at the whole of Brisbane city and surrounds. On a clear day you can see up to the distant ranges within the south-west and Moreton Bay for the east. Here it is possible to spend some time at the cafe sipping a latte, cool down with a gelato ice-cream or take pleasure in the famous Summit restaurant in the mountaintop. For a real buzz come right here at night and you'll view the city ablaze with lights (very romantic indeed! )

Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens

While you're at Mt Coot-tha Lookout, visit the Botanic Gardens. These 52 hectare gardens contain subtropical and Australian flora inside a setting of streams, ponds and lakes. Mt Coot-tha also hosts a planetarium, the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, a particular favourite of youngsters.

Story Bridge things to do in Brisbane

For that more adventurous, take a two and thirty minutes climb to the top of Brisbane's iconic Story Bridge. Here you'll experience uninterrupted 360 degree views of Brisbane, its river and surrounding mountains. Dawn climbers will capture the advantage of sunrise on the bay, while dusk climbers will discover the setting sun reflected inside the glass and steel from the city's high-rise apartment and office buildings. One of the things to do on New Years Eve in Brisbane is to head down to Southbank and watch the fireworks explode around the Story Bridge if you happen to be visiting Brisbane on New Year's Eve.

Ale House

Take the 1 hour brewery tour at the Ale House at Milton where you'll get yourself a glimpse in to the history of the Castlemaine Perkins brewery as well as its world-famous beers. Only minutes from Brisbane's CBD, you can experience an entertaining and interactive brewery tour, pick-up some souvenirs and sample some ales at the Ale House bar - a genuine experience. And what could be more Australian than beer!

South Bank

It's tough to imagine Brisbane without South Bank. Just across the river from your CBD, you can enjoy South Bank's sandy beach (Streets Beach), open grassy picnic a, areas and shops plethora of eating spots. Free live festivals, fireworks and entertainment all year round add to the vibrancy you'll experience here. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, visit South Bank Art & Craft Market where you'll find crafts by local artisans including fashion, tarot, jewellery and homewares or even a massage. It's at South Bank where you'll also find Queensland's arts and theatres. Places to go to are the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of recent Art. The Queensland Museum Sciencentre is popular with children.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

If you are wanting to experience Australian wildlife without leaving the city, then Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is for you! Hold a koala, feed a kangaroo, hear a discuss our reptiles. You can the RiverCat from the city to Lone Pine to get a truly Brisbane experience.

Brisbane River

Many claim that Brisbane River defines Brisbane, after all, we're called the RiverCity! A great way to see Brisbane is always to have a ride in the CityCat - a cheap and easy method of getting around. Require a cruise all around the river, stopping where ever you want as you go along - South Bank, University of Queensland, New Farm. Another way to begin to see the sights of Brisbane is with an entertaining cruise on the Brisbane River on among the Kookaburra River Queens.

Brisbane CBD Historic Walking Tour

Brisbane hasn't experienced a great track record of preserving its heritage buildings. The drive to modernize the city for economic purposes saw a lot of historic sites torn down inside the 1970's and 1980's. A day or two's walking will be enough for you to see most of the really old sites, though there are still a number of them around, particularly in the CBD districts.

Queen Street Mall

Inside the heart of Brisbane's CBD, Queen Street Mall is a busy half kilometre pedestrian open air thoroughfare including al-fresco shopping and dining. With wide swooping sails to offer necessary shelter through the sun and rain, Queen Street mall draws over 26 million visitors annually. Queen Street Mall is regarded as the biggest retail precinct between Sydney and Singapore, and hosts an exceptional choice of designer national, international and labels retail chains, independent boutique outlets, jewelrybookstores and designers, shoe shops and a lot more. If you like to people-watch, come here as the mall is a hive of activity. A purpose built performance stage features regular free live entertainment, and buskers never forget to delight passers by using their antics. There are numerous round-the-clock bars and eateries that can be found over the mall's central spine for individuals who want to party on.

City Botanic Gardens

Brisbane's (original) botanic gardens extend towards the river on three sides where you could walk or cycle your way around to take within the exotic plants that flourish inside our sub-tropical climate. A simple and relaxed walk through the CBD, a necessity do is always to take a walk with the mangroves in the boardwalk. If you're here on a Sunday, continue along to Eagle Street pier to browse the many stalls at the Riverside Markets, open every Sunday from 7am.

Fortitude Valley

Fondly called 'The Valley' it offers made a name for itself with locals and visitors alike and remains at the forefront of alternative and emerging fashion, music and entertainment. Enter any main street in the Valley and you're sure to discover a selection of trendy locations for drinks, dance or food. Try James Street, Brunswick Street, or Ann Street. There are a large number of venues on offer, each using their own style and atmosphere. Some compare the Valley to Sydney's Oxford Street for nightlife. Take your pick of designer nightclubs and make sure never to miss Family Nightclub, recently awarded Australia's best nightclub. The Valley is additionally at Brisbane's forefront in live music experiences. A good place to begin a visit to The Valley will be the Brunswick Street Mall which can be lined with eateries, cafes and bars. Right close to Brunswick Street is Ann Street, with a lot of avant garde fashion boutiques which feature cutting-edge and retro designs.