Brisbane was the first stop on my three city tour of Australia, and though a lot of people said it was going to be the most boring, I kept myself entertained and fell in love with the city. There is so much to do, eat and so many places both on the mainland and surrounding islands to explore, my ten days in Brisbane flew by!
Where to Eat:
Grill’d – This is a fast casual chain that you can find all over the Eastern Coast of Australia. They specialize in Healthy Burgers with great dietary alternatives. If I had the choice I would choose this chain over Chipotle any day
Bean & Leaf – If you are a fan of the TV show Friends, this coffee shop is Cleveland’s (a suburb of Brisbane) version of Central Perk. They serve up great coffee, including a cold brew on tap, and my personal favorite breakfast, the Light Start. A delicious avocado toast with the most amazing herbed feta and cherry tomatoes. Side note, don’t order your coffee with cream, they will literally give you coffee with ice cream in it.
The Jetty – This is the most pricey on the list, but if you are looking to indulge with some amazing food, coffee and fresh juices, this is the place to go. It is located right next to the Balumba ferry, making it a great option to park, eat and then jump the ferry and head into the city.
SW1 Kitchen – Another fast casual option that is located in the city on the South Bank. Everything on the menu looked great, but I would suggest trying one of their balls. I know it sounds strange, but they are basically big old meatballs. So delicious!
Pure Simplicity – This little cafe serves the best acai bowl in the world. I am not kidding, I would be surprised if I came across one better.
The Source – Saving the best for last, this is arguably my favorite store in all of Australia. I believe there are stores in numerous cities around the country, and they my absolute must. They specialize in bulk health food with various other natural home goods such as laundry detergent, soap and cleaner. If I lived here, a large part of my pay check would go to this store on a monthly basis. I am in love!
What to Do:
Run the stairs at Kangaroo Point – If you are afraid of heights this might be daunting, it definitely was for me at first. More than likely, the steepest stairs I have ever climbed, a few accents up these babies will have you winded and sore the next day. I was told night is the best time to run them because they are packed during peak hours, and because you get a phenomenal view of the city lit up at night.
Snorkel the Morten Island Ruins – I am not going to lie, I am terrified of fish and couldn’t get myself to follow through and snorkel, but the people I was with were all about it. First and foremost, Morten Island might be the most beautiful beach I have ever visited. Make sure to sign up for a free day pass to the resort a day before you plan to go. That way you will have access to all the activities they provide. As for snorkeling, you will swim out about 75 yards to the ruins and supposedly there are heaps (as the Aussies would say) of fish beneath the surface. Someone mentioned they once saw a sand shark and I was having nothing of it, but if you are braver than me the ruins are a must.
North Gorge Walk at Point Lookout on Stradbroke (Straddie) Island – Take the ferry to Straddie Island and take advantage of the stunning beaches and the breathtaking Gorge Walk along the bluffs. The walk takes 30 minutes and includes a whole lot of stairs, but is so worth it! If you go at the right time of year you can even see whales!