A fine day of wine tasting in the Barossa Valley, South Australia

A fine day of wine tasting in the Barossa Valley, South Australia

Adoration 4 Adventure’s recommendations for a fine day of wine tasting in the Barossa Valley, South Australia.

The Barossa Valley is one the most well-known wine regions in Australia. Located in the state of South Australia and just an hours’ drive north of Adelaide, the word “Barossa” is synonymous with good wine.

When my Mum and I planned a girls’ weekend in Adelaide, I just knew that we had to visit the Barossa. As we intended on tasting loads of delicious wine, hiring a car was out of the question. The best option for us would be to join a tour group.

After searching around on the web, I came across Taste the Barossa tours. What I really liked about Taste the Barossa was that they operated smaller groups (maximum 20 people) and were very reasonably priced in comparison to many other tours. They also operated 7 days a week, unlike other tour companies which may only run Barossa tours every 2-3 days.

Our Taste the Barossa Premium Tour had a packed itinerary, starting with a 9:25am pick up from North Adelaide (right in front of our hotel doorstop) and finishing with a drop off just after 5pm.

This is how our fine day of wine tasting in the Barossa Valley went down.

Planning a trip to Australia? Read our local guide for visitors to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Whispering Wall

The first stop of the day was a historical and fun site, although not wine related (don’t worry there’s plenty of wine tastings coming up soon!). The Whispering Wall is the curved concrete wall of a dam, called the Barossa Reservoir. The angle of the curve has created the ability of sound to travel from one side to the other.

Russell, our Taste the Barossa driver, encouraged us all to walk along the bridge of the dam to the other side, so we could test this for ourselves. Sure enough, when Russell spoke at a normal speaking level, we could hear him clearly from across the opposite side.

The Whispering Wall has some pretty interesting history and funny anecdotes, however I will let Russell tell you himself when you go on your own Taste the Barossa tour.

Château Yaldara

As the tour bus drives up to Château Yaldara, one of the first things you notice is the gorgeous archictecture. In fact, Château Yaldara is one of the most photographed buildings in South Australia. The winery was founded in 1947 and named “Yaldara” after the aboriginal word for sparkling.

After being directed into the tasting room, your first wine tasting experience of the day will begin. The tasting is a “structured” tasting which means the wines have been picked out and ordered specifically (usually from the lightest to most bold wines). At the end of each tasting, you will have an opportunity to purchase the wines you tasted, or any other wines on offer.

Chateau Yaldara, South Australia

Tanunda

The short stop in Tanunda was a really nice addition to the day. Tanunda is a small town in the valley of Barossa, with a real country feel. Russell dropped us off, armed with recommendations and directions to the lolly shop, then told us he would meet us at the other end of the road.

With so many choices of goodies, but also the knowledge that we would be eating lunch in less than an hour, my Mum and I settled with espresso coffees and candies. Although we were the last ones back on the bus (sorry Russell!) we were giggling and gleeful with our sweets in hand.

Peter Lehmann

Most drinkers of Australian wine will probably have heard of Peter Lehmann at some point. Don’t worry if you haven’t, both Russell and the expert staff will fill you in on all the rich history of Peter Lehmann wines. It’s a pretty inspirational tale.

Upon arrival, you are provided with a detailed handout of the tasting menu and Cellar Door sales list. This is handy so that you can remember which wine was your favorite, order a glass (or bottle) to have with lunch and even take home with you.

We tasted eight wines in total, with quite a few medium to full-bodied reds (my favorite!). This was also the first time that I ever tried a sparkling red, which is a unique Australian style of wine.

Peter Lehmann Wine Tasting

Following the tasting, we headed into a separate room to have our Weighbridge Platter Lunch. The whole lunch affair was a delight, with wine being passed around, platters and stories being shared. The food was absolutely sumptuous, with an arrangement of meats, cheeses, breads and olives (vegetarian platters are available upon request). I could not have imagined a better lunch to go with our day of wine tastings.

Peter Lehmann - Lunch

Langmeil

Fresh country air and a stretch of the legs are a good idea right about now. Following lunch, Russell will direct you on how to walk from Peter Lehmann’s to Langmeil Winery. Just a short and easy ten minute stroll away. Don’t worry if you don’t feel up to it – Russell is also happy to take you by bus.

Langmeil’s tasting room was very inviting with a warm roaring fire and helpful staff waiting to pour. This is the only tasting of the tour which is unstructured. It means that you can choose from their wine list, rather than the wines being picked out in advance. Compare your favorite or try something new. If you are completely stuck for ideas, then the staff at Langmeil will be happy to offer suggestions.

Mengler’s Hill

A day of wine in the Barossa, wouldn’t be complete without seeing the view of the valley. The whole area is stunningly beautiful and this is made even more so evident from this elevated viewpoint.

View of the Barossa Valley, South Australia

Murray Street Vineyards

Just when we thought we would never be able to eat again after our huge lunch at Peter Lehmann, our wine expert at Murray Street Vineyards had us dreaming of dinner with her detailed description of food and wine pairings. As we tried each delectable wine in our structured tasting, our wine guide would describe in detail the perfect foods to match with it.

The other aspect that I really enjoyed about our visit to Murray Street, was that the tasting room was lined with wine barrels. The whole place had a real charm. It was lovely to sit out in the garden afterwards, soaking up the sun and looking out across the vineyards.

Murray Street Vineyards - Tasting Room


Taste the Barossa

Taste the Barossa is a family-owned company, run by Dallas and his wife Nikki. They provide both daily group tours and private charters (upon request).

We took the Taste the Barossa Premium Tour, which includes wine tasting at four different wineries and a platter lunch. Our driver, Russell, was very knowledgeable about wines and the history of Barossa Valley.

Taste the Barossa makes pickups from Adelaide and Glenelg.

Website: http://www.tastethebarossa.com.au/

Taste the Barossa Tour Bus

My Mum and I were complimentary guests of Taste the Barossa, however my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to our readers.


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Adoration 4 Adventure's recommendations for a fine day of wine tasting in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. Including stops at four different wineries.

Have you visited the Barossa Valley or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

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Local Guide: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Local Guide: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Sydney, NSW, Australia by A4A guest writer Paula Morgan.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Overview of Sydney

Sydney has so much to offer. From world-class attractions, like the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, to gorgeous beaches and national parks close to the city centre. There is a great food and drink scene no matter what your budget. While it often makes the world’s most expensive cities lists, there is plenty of affordable fun on offer if you know where to look.

Planning a trip to Australia? Read our local guide for visitors to Brisbane and Melbourne.

Top 5 places to visit

5. Newtown – Street Art and craft beer

If art and food are close to your heart then you will enjoy spending a few hours in one of my favourite suburbs, Newtown. Just a couple of kilometres from the centre of the city and only 10 minutes by train, Newtown is a great contrast to the city and beaches. Take a stroll along King Street, the main thoroughfare. It’s lined with interesting and mostly independent shops. Down the alleys and laneways lies a multitude of great street art.

Explore some of Sydney Craft best beers either at Young Henry’s brewery or on tap in the local pubs. Make sure you try Black Star Pastry’s Watermelon Cake, a lamington from FlowerDrum, a meat pie from Pie Tin, and anything at all at the Continental Deli and Bar.

Street Art in Newtown Fintan Magee's Alice St. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Paula Morgan

4. Manly Beach

Get a taste of a Sydney beach and a ferry ride all in the one day. Walk along the Corso (mall) to the ocean and follow the beach walk around to Shelley Beach. If you fancy something more active, rent a kayak from Manly Wharf and paddle over to Collins Beach just around the harbour from the wharf.

Manly Beach. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Paula Morgan

3. The Rocks and Barangaroo

Walk the streets of Sydney’s oldest quarter and imagine what life was like for the early settlers. Start at the Rocks Discovery Museum for a crash course in the history of Sydney and then take a stroll through some of the main streets. If you are a true history buff like me, you will love the Susannah Place Museum too.

When you are done exploring, grab a beer in one of the historic pubs like the Lord Nelson or the Hero of Waterloo, the two oldest pubs in the area. Otherwise, admire the view from the rooftop bar at the Glenmore Hotel.

Warehouses in the rocks. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Paula Morgan

2. Bondi to Coogee Walk

It’s listed in all the guidebooks for good reason and you really should try to do at least a section of this walk while you are here. The track hugs the cliffs and takes you past 6 beaches, a cemetery, a cliff top bowls club and plenty of gorgeous homes. You can begin at either end of the walk – there are bars and restaurants at the start and finish, and transport to get you back to the city. If time is short just do the Bondi to Bronte section.

Bondi Walk. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Paula Morgan

1. Sydney Harbour Pylon Lookout

The Pylon Lookout is in the south eastern granite pylon that supports the bridge. Just 200 stairs will get you to the top and a bird’s eye view of the harbour. Along the way are several displays that honor the workers and show how the bridge was built.

Pylon lookout. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Paula Morgan

Food

For travellers on a budget, it is hard to go past Newtown on the western edge of the CBD. Bordering Sydney University, Newtown boasts cheap food in almost every variety you can imagine with over 50 restaurants in the main street. In Chinatown, there are some great food halls and you can easily eat well for $10. Also keep an eye out for pubs, particularly in the inner suburbs with lots offering $10 dinners mid-week.

Also, don’t rule out a drink and something to eat at Opera Bar. It’s a splurge for sure, and you would think it would be super expensive, but it’s pretty much the same as other city venues who don’t have the view. It’s a brilliant spot for a sunset drink.

Transport

Sydney’s integrated ticketing system, Opal, covers buses, trains, ferries and light rail in Sydney and regional areas. The card itself is free and you load the credit you need (from $10) onto the card. You can buy your card at convenience stores and transport kiosks around the city. You can reload credit at these stores and most train stations have top up machines (but not card machines frustratingly). Currently after 8 trips in a week you travel free for the rest of the week. There is talk of this changing later in the year but for now it still works.

On Sundays you can travel anywhere in the network for $2.50 – even the Blue Mountains! You can still buy individual single tickets but these cost about 30% more than the discounted Opal rate, so if you are here for a couple of days it is usually worth getting one.

Accommodation

Most budget hostels are located around Central Station. The pick of the bunch is the YHA in the Rocks, it has a gorgeous roof top area with views of the harbour. If you are on a longer holiday consider staying outside the city. In summer try Bondi, Coogee or Manly for a beach holiday experience or Glebe, Newtown or Potts Point for an inner city feel.

Airbnb is also an option with lots of properties in the inner suburbs and all along the coast. The legal situation with these is still a bit up in the air but there are plenty to choose from.

If your budget will stretch or you are travelling in a group there are some great apartment options from Meriton, Adina and others. I really like the Adina in Surry Hills and the Quest or Meriton at Bondi Junction because they are well located for exploring Sydney.


A4A guest writer - Paula MorganA4A guest writer – Paula Morgan

I am a lifelong Sydneysider, travel writer and volunteer guide with Sydney Greeters. I love showing people around this fabulous city pointing out the things the guide books leave out of their top 10 lists. The aim of my blog is to showcase the best of Sydney and give people enough information to plan interesting and affordable itineraries.

For more information on Sydney, including a self-guided tour of the Rocks and street art tour, check out Paula’s blog – SydneyExpert. Follow Paula at www.sydneyexpert.com, on Facebook and Twitter.

If you would like to work with Adoration 4 Adventure, contact A4A.

All photos in this article (except the feature image and vertical pin) are the property of A4A guest writer Paula Morgan.


Pin it for the next adventure!

Adoration 4 Adventure's local guide for visitor's to Sydney, Australia. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

Have you visited Sydney or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.

Local Guide: Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Local Guide: Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Melbourne, VIC, Australia by A4A guest writer Toni Frazer.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Overview of Melbourne

Continually voted the most liveable city; it isn’t hard to see why Melbourne is rated as the best city in the world. Whether it is because of its iconic street art, its world famous coffee scene, endless array of rooftop bars and renowned cuisine; history or just the multitude of national and international sport and cultural events: Melbourne truly has it all!

Planning a trip to Australia? Read our local guide for visitors to Brisbane and Sydney.

Top 5 places to visit

5. The Carlton Gardens

Located just off Parliament station on the cusp of the CBD, the Carlton Gardens are an understated part of Melbourne. Housing the Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building which was built in 1880; visiting this area – right near the famed Lygon St makes you forget you’re even in the city. Featuring flower beds, fountains, ornamental lakes and just beautiful walkways – if you’re looking for a relaxed lunch stop or just a wander…do not miss visiting here.

An honorable mention must also go to the Queen Victoria Botanical Gardens just past the National Gallery of Victoria.

Location: 1-111 Carlton Street, Carlton.

4. Street Art Laneways

Street Art is renowned in Melbourne. Graffiti is illegal and there has been a big effort to clean up non-sanctioned ‘art’ across the city. However, street art has helped produce the popularity of officially sanctioned laneways like Hosier and Union Lanes, which are full of amazing Street Art displays.

Hosier Lane, near Federation Square is by far the most famous; whilst Union Lane, near Bourke Street’s famed shopping strip is also worth a look. If you see something from either of these on Instagram? Get there ASAP. Because Street Art is not designed to last, and every visit (even a few weeks apart), offers a completely different experience to what one sees each time they are there.

Location: Hosier Lane & Union Lane, Melbourne.

Hosier Lane. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Toni Frazer

3. St Kilda Beach

St Kilda is an exciting neighbourhood to visit. Whether you want to try the rides at Luna Park, check out famed Acland Street or drink a cider by the beach at one of the many restaurants and bars (check out Republica!)…this is the place to be on a beautiful day. St Kilda Beach is one of Melbourne’s most popular beaches; and the boardwalk along it invites young and old to spend their day here no matter what you feel like doing.

Location: Jacka Blvd, St Kilda.

2. The Yarra River

The Yarra is the river which flows through the CBD area of Melbourne. However, there are 2 main areas along the Yarra (which are separated by the Princes Bridge), that visitors should see when visiting Melbourne: Birrarung Maur & The Sports Precinct and Southbank.

Birrarung Maur is a really nice area, where many events take place throughout the year – including pop-up bars and restaurants. The walk from Federation Square to Birrarung Maur, and further on through to Rod Laver Arena, Olympic Park and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is a really lovely trek to make on a nice day.

Southbank on the opposite side of the bridge, is one of the city’s most popular areas; with restaurants and bars located along the Yarra. The Crown Casino complex and the Eureka Tower; which is the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere – and offers amazing views of the city, are both located here too. In the evenings, on the hour you can enjoy the Casino’s ‘fireball’ Gas Brigade shows from 6pm (start times vary depending on the month).

Location: Southbank, Melbourne CBD.

Gas Brigade. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Toni Frazer

1. Degraves St & The Block Arcade

Melbourne is renowned for its casual dining laneways. Degraves St and The Block Arcade are two of the most famous. Degraves is very much a café/restaurant area, with outdoor seating and just a great café vibe to it.

The Block Arcade is Melbourne’s most famous laneway arcade. Steeped in history and charm, this Arcade features food options like the iconic Hopetoun Tea Rooms; and houses many reputable and well known stores like Haigh’s Chocolates and Gewurzhaus Spices. Walking through the Block Arcade truly takes you back to another time. The Royal Arcade, a little further up from here is well worth exploring too.

Location: Degraves Street, Melbourne & 282 Collins Street, Melbourne.

The Block Arcade, Melbourne. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Toni Frazer

Eating and drinking

Melbourne is well-known for its amazing dining options, whether you find them at the Crown Casino Complex, Chinatown, at one of the many rooftop bars in the city or along the Yarra – Melbourne has so much choice, it really is hard to decide! Here are 6 of my favourites (even though I have 100 other places I could mention!):

Hopetoun Tea Rooms

The Hopetoun Tea Rooms are located in the historic Block Arcade, and truly take you back to the early 1890s dining it was known for – with its classic floral wallpaper patterns, old world charm and delicious high teas. If you just want a light snack – or just some tea and scones…this is the place to get them! There is always a wait, but the line does move quite fast.

Location: Block Arcade, 282 Collins Street, Melbourne.

The Arbory

Open since 2015, this is one of Melbourne’s most popular bars – and rightfully so. The Arbory is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening in Melbourne as you sit along the Yarra. But if it is a nice day, expect it to be busy. Food prices are reasonable and the bar is quite long in length as it runs along the Yarra; offering both sitting and standing options.

Location: Between Flinders Street Station & The Yarra River, Melbourne.

The Arbory, Melbourne. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Toni Frazer

Rooftop Bar

Rooftop Bar offers one of the best views of the city, and is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening in Melbourne. Over Summer to Fall, Rooftop Bar’s night scene offers the Rooftop Cinema with the rooftop closing to the public around 8pm. Classic films and new ones too are shown here, making for a good night out as patrons sit in deck chairs, sipping a beer or even the aussie favourite lemon lime and bitters (non-alcoholic). There is an elevator to get up top, but if you walk up the stairs it is quite a workout. Cookie, another popular bar is located a few floors below it too.

Location: 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

Supernormal

Deciding between Supernormal or Rice Paper Scissors (which is also a favourite) was tough. But after a number of meals at Supernormal, it is one of my favourite restaurants in Melbourne. The Asian inspired menu is best eaten banquet style amongst friends. The entire restaurant has a relaxed vibe, with communal seating and tables. You really can’t go wrong here. Top choice dishes include: the Dumplings (Pot sticker or Vegetable), the Pan Fried Spicy Beef Bun, the White Cut Chicken Salad and the Lobster Roll – all at very reasonable prices! No matter what you eat here, it is sure to be amazing!

Location: 180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

Pot Sticker Dumplings Supernormal. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Toni Frazer

Mrs Parmas

Australian cuisine is represented in Melbourne via many restaurants, but one of the best in the city is Mrs Parmas.

A Parma (or Parmigiana) here is a chicken breast, (veal or eggplant is also available) that is crumbed in a special mix, and topped with a traditional Napoli sauce with mozzarella cheese. Diners can then choose to go traditional with a slice of double smoked ham under their cheese (which is how parmas are usually eaten); or branch out into everything from meatball, to Mexican, to Cajun to Greek. The choice is yours. Sides are included (chips and salad) but are served separately to the parmas…because well, the parmas are quite large in size. Prices here are well worth what you get for your money.

Location: 25 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne.

Melbourne’s Coffee Scene

Ok, so since Melbourne is famous for its coffee, I had to mention my favourite coffee haunts; as NO visit is complete without a visit to any of these! Be sure to stop by for at least a cappuccino or latte at one of these establishments- which continue to top the list every year. You won’t regret it!

  • Brother Bada Budan (359 Little Bourke St, Melbourne)
  • Seven Seeds, (106-114 Berkeley St, Carlton)
  • Patricia (Little Bourke St & Little William St, Melbourne).

Coffee At Brother Bada Budan. Photo credit: A4A guest wrtier - Toni Frazer

Transport

Melbourne public transport consists of buses, trams and trains. In order to use public transport in Melbourne and surrounding areas, a plastic MYKI card needs to be used, following the ‘tap on’ ‘tap off’ system.

Visitors can buy an Adult MYKI for $6 or a Concession for $3 and this can be loaded with any numerical value at all train stations in the Melbourne CBD, or retailers like 7 Eleven.

A 2 hour adult fare within Zone 1 costs $3.90 and is capped at $7.80 per day. Concessions are $1.95 and capped at $3.90 per day. Weekend and Public Holiday caps are set at $6.00. Seniors are capped at $3.90 per day (Prices current as of March 2016).

City Circle Tram

The City Circle is a brown coloured tram that circles around the CBD & Docklands region. It is a fun way to see the city, taking in the sights from one of Melbourne’s heritage trams. Best of all? It is free of charge. You can catch it at any stop that has the brown city circle stop listed on it.

City Circle Tram, Melbourne. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Toni Frazer

Trams

Melbourne is famous for its trams, being the preferred way to get around.

Since Jan, 1st 2016, all trams within the CBD area are free to use within the FREE FARE ZONE. The zone is a rectangular area from Flinders Street to the Queen Victoria Market. However, you will be notified when you are exiting this free zone, and then passengers must tapon with their metro card to ensure they have a valid ticket.

Trains

Trains run in the Melbourne CBD in what is known as ‘The City Loop’. The main stations in Melbourne are Flinders Street and Southern Cross; however; city loop stations are all underground. These stations are Melbourne Central, Parliament and Flagstaff. Melbourne’s train system does extend into the outer Melbourne suburbs from Flinders Street, which makes getting out into these areas quite easy. However, trains do not always run on time, services are cancelled regularly and ticket inspectors are often on board fining people – so always ensure you have a valid ticket.

V-Line

There are a number of destinations available through V-Line services. Whether it is country Victoria like Bendigo and Ballarat; or inter-state to Sydney or Adelaide; there are many ways to travel from Melbourne which do not include flying.

Walking

Melbourne is a walkable city. Whether you start at Flinders Street or Parliament Station…you can really get anywhere on foot. Melbourne has some beautiful streets and exploring the city like this is a wonderful option to get a real feel of the city.

Other Buses 

Sightseeing buses operate for daily fares. But as Melbourne has so many public transport options, these buses are not really necessary.

Accommodation

Airbnb

Airbnb is very popular in Melbourne. If you’re after cheaper rates staying in the outer suburbs will benefit you more than being in the CBD: such as Carlton, St.Kilda, and anywhere between Malvern through to South Yarra.

Hostels

Hostels are a very popular choice, with Flinders Street alone full of options. United Backpackers are one of the more popular ones. No matter where you are within the CBD, the location can’t be beat. But always make sure you read the reviews as some are better than others.

Hotels

There are many quality hotels that meet any budget in Melbourne.

Whether it is a Travelodge or Ibis, or the higher end of Hilton or Crown: there are so many accommodations centrally located all over the city; and the inner city suburbs. Booking sites Wotif and Lastminute do offer awesome deals throughout the year, with hotels like the Doubletree Hilton on Flinders costing as little as $115 per night.

Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne. Photo credit: A4A travel writer - Toni Frazer


A4A guest writer - Toni Frazer. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Toni FrazerA4A guest writer – Toni Frazer

Toni is a Melbourne born teacher, travel writer, and social media manager. You can usually find her at filming locations across the USA, exploring history in Europe, at a rooftop bar in Melbourne or living it up in London with the friends she made as an expat. She is headed to Canada in 2016.

Follow Toni at at www.enchantedserendipity.com, on Facebook and Instagram.

If you would like to work with Adoration 4 Adventure, contact A4A.

All photos in this article are the property of A4A guest writer Toni Frazer.


Pin it for the next adventure!

Adoration 4 Adventure's local guide for visitor's to Melbourne, Australia. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

Have you visited Melbourne or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.

Local guide: Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Local guide: Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

I lived in Brisbane for most of my life. Growing up, I took for granted what I had  – glorious weather, an easy lifestyle and great public services. However the more I travel, the more I love my home city and realize how great it is.

These are my personal recommendations based on local knowledge as well as information shared from my visiting friends.

Overview of Brisbane

Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia and capital of the state of Queensland.

Brisbane has a lot to offer its visitors in terms of attractions, festivals and public events. The Visit Brisbane website provides a guide to what is happening, including a section on free activities which should please any budget backpacker.

Planning a trip to Australia? Read our local guide for visitors to Melbourne and Sydney.

Top 5 places to visit

5. West End

An inner city suburb, West End is walking distance from the city center and South Bank Parklands. For a fusion of hole in the wall cafes, cheap and exotic cuisines, grimy pubs and funky bars with live music – head straight to West End.

The Davies Park Market is held every Saturday and is a great place to go for locally farmed produce or to just soak up the vibe. There is also the Boundary Street Markets which has night markets over the weekend, street food and pop up vendors. Around the intersection of Boundary and Vulture Street, there are many interesting and local stores that are worth checking out even if you are just window shopping.

4. City Botanic Gardens and River Walk

The City Botanic Gardens is located on Alice Street and has free guided tours. A great walk is to start in South Bank crossing the Goodwill bridge, then continue through the City Botanic Gardens following the paths until meeting the River Walk.

The River Walk starts in the Brisbane CBD and leads all the way to the suburb of New Farm, along the river. There are various CityCat ferry terminals along the way, if you choose to switch from foot to sea.

brisbane-river-ferry-pixabay

3. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, located within a twenty-minute drive from the Brisbane CBD, is the oldest and largest koala sanctuary in the world.

There is a lot to take in at the sanctuary, including a number of daily talks with a focus on education and conservation. Make sure to check the schedule online or grab one upon arrival to plan the day around the various wildlife shows. I have been multiple times and have loved each visit.

koala-baby-pixabay

2. Mount Coot-tha

The Mount Coot-tha lookout holds the ultimate view of Brisbane city and is magnificent at day or night. There is also the larger and grander Botanical Gardens as well as a planetarium lower down the mountain.

1. South Bank

Bustling with food vendors, market stalls, children’s playgrounds and a man-made beach, South Bank is a great place to meet people or just unwind on the luscious green grass.

Home to the Wheel of Brisbane and “Brisbane” sign, it provides spectacular views of the Brisbane CBD and casino. There are also free walking tours available in South Bank.

brisbane-south-bank-walkway

Close by is the Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery and Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), all free for general admission (entry fees may apply to certain exhibits at GoMA). The Science Centre is a fun place to take kids and Queensland Performing Arts Centre features world-class musicals, plays and ballet.

Eating and drinking

In addition to West End, there are various places within the city to grab a bite to eat. Queen Street Mall, known as “The Heart of Brisbane” is a paved road transformed into a shopping haven for those so inclined. There are many restaurants within the mall and intersecting streets including George, Albert and Edward St. Be sure to check out some of the bars and cafes hidden away in Burnett Lane.

brisbane-city-eating

If nightclubbing is your style, then Fortitude Valley is the place to go. Brunswick Street Mall, like Queen Street Mall, has been closed to road traffic and is filled with bars, nightclubs and fast food restaurants. The bars and nightclubs spill into the intersecting street of Ann and in both directions of Brunswick.

Transport

Metropolitan Brisbane is serviced by a network of trains, buses and ferries (referred to as CityCats). To reduce your transport costs, consider purchasing a Go Card from a train ticket booth or newsagent. There is a deposit required, however it is refundable upon return of the card and will reduce your public transport costs significantly.

Accommodation

Hostels in Australia can be expensive. When traveling, I have often found it cheaper to use hotel alternatives (such as Air BnB), especially when traveling with a partner. Read more on 6 tips for finding travel accommodation on a budget.

There are a number of hostels within Brisbane City, Fortitude Valley and West End, so you can choose your accommodation based on the area you prefer as they all have a distinct feel and atmosphere.

For visits of a month or longer, you may also wish to consider subletting a room through the Gumtree website (Australia’s version of Craigslist).

Day trips

3. Sunshine Coast

With too many beautiful beaches to name, the Sunshine Coast is approximately two hours north of Brisbane. Also close to the lush green towns of Maleny and Montville. Well worth spending a day to explore.

sunshine-coast-queensland-australia

2. Gold Coast

It is almost a straight shot from the city south on the Pacific Motorway (M1), take the Smith Street exit and follow it until reaching the world-famous Surfers Paradise. With golden sand and clear water beaches stretching down to the state border of New South Wales, it will be hard to decide which Gold Coast beaches to spend your days lying on.

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1. Springbrook Mountain

Breathtaking waterfalls, crisp mountain air and hikes full of wildlife spotting, Springbrook Mountain is one of my favorite day trips and place to take out-of-town visitors. There is also the nearby Natural Bridge which will complete this perfect day trip from Brisbane.


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Adoration 4 Adventure's local guide for visitor's to Brisbane, Qld, Australia. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

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