For a quintessential Brisbane experience, follow the expert’s guide. Hannah Morecroft of the W Brisbane gives us her guide to exploring the city’s best hotspots.
Where to eat: South Bank
This district caters to everyone from young families to those in search of fine dining. I think one of the most special experiences you can have along the riverbank is a picnic catered by the stellar team at Popolo Italian Kitchen & Bar, who will set you up with divine cuisine and a rug on the River Quay Green – a perfect vantage point to watch the sunset. The set menus are for two, four or more and come with antipasto, salad, fries and your choice of pizza; you can also buy chilled alcoholic beverages to enjoy with your feast. Bookings are essential.
Where to eat: Newstead
Bring your appetite north of the Story Bridge. While many visitors stay within the confines of Fortitude Valley, you’d be remiss to skip on the food delights that await you in Newstead. Begin your day with breakfast at Six Feet Under, an intimate industrial-style restaurant that feels hidden away from the world. Stop by Industry Beans for a mid-morning coffee break. Then, after spending some time familiarising yourself with the suburb, head back to Fortitude Valley and visit City Winery for a glass of locally produced wine that you can watch being made onsite.
Where to hike: Mount Coot-tha
Only 15 minutes west of the city, a taxi or Uber can take you to the summit or to the head of one of the many trails. The walks at Mount Coot-tha vary in length from 300 metres to several kilometres and cater to a range of abilities. Aim for a morning start time to beat the heat.
Where to shop: beyond Fortitude Valley
While James Street in Fortitude Valley is the obvious option, there are plenty of other shopping spots in Brisbane. Wintergarden in Queen Street Mall is an institution – it’s home to one of my favourite stores, Pigeonhole, a quirky one-stop shop for those who are tricky to buy for. You can pick up anything from novelty socks to sleek designer accessories. At the other end of the spectrum is Edward Street’s elegant Paspaley store, where pieces are simply stunning and you can enjoy a “pearl discovery” experience.