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Things to Do in Brisbane - page 2

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Story Bridge Adventure Climb
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Brisbane's Story Bridge Adventure Climb is an exhilarating two and a half hour scaling of the beautiful Story Bridge, offering the viewer an exclusive panoramic view of Brisbane's glorious city landscape, Glasshouse Mountains to the north, the world acclaimed Lamington National Park and of course, the phenomenal view of the eastward Moreton Bay.

On the way up, guests may listen to the audio guide tour, which walks you through a detailed history of the bridge. If are able to take the early morning ride, you will notice how the bay gleams in the sunrise, while in the evening the sun radiates off the city the its high-rises. Either way, you may choose to book the time of ascension to fit your preferences. Leaving every 20 minutes, finding a seat on the Story Bridge Adventure Climb is no difficult task. As the specific times of take-off do change somewhat often, you may choose to book your trip ahead of time while making sure to arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

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Queensland Cultural Centre
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Brisbane's cultural precinct is on South Bank, opposite the city center on the Brisbane River.

The highlight of the Queensland Cultural Centre is the inspiring Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), which hosts a regular program of visiting and local exhibitions. It's the largest contemporary art gallery in Australia, and includes drama and film. Housed in another building is the Queensland Art Gallery and its collection of Australian and international art. Queensland Museum – South Bank documents the changing face of Brisbane and Queensland over the centuries, from culture and history to flora and fauna. You’ll also find the State Library of Queensland, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the Queensland Theatre Company in this lively arts hub.

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Customs House
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With its striking green dome and colonnaded façade looming over the riverside, Brisbane’s grand Customs House stands out as one of the city’s most iconic heritage buildings. Dating back to 1889, the Customs House originally served to collect the custom duties on imports brought in Brisbane port, but today, the historic building is run by The University of Queensland and best known for its glamorous ballroom and function rooms.

The architectural gem is also open to the public, with visitors able to stroll around the building, view the Stuartholme-Behan exhibition of Australian Art and admire the collection of artifacts and memorabilia on display. There’s also an on-site restaurant, with terrace seating overlooking the Brisbane River and the Story Bridge.

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Museum of Brisbane
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Located on the third level of Brisbane City Hall, the Museum of Brisbane offers visitors a look at the city’s pioneering past. Before this city was the capital of Queensland and one Australia’s largest metros, it was a dusty hinterland town by the river with intrepid pioneers trying to make it in a land where very few westerners had ventured. While many of the museum’s exhibits rotate, favorites include those that discuss the inhabitants close relationship with the river, and the stories of soldiers and those they left behind while fighting in World War I. See exhibits of how Brisbane has grown to a modern, fast-paced city, while also staying true to its roots with a bit of Queensland quirk. You’ll also find exhibits that highlight the work of local Brisbane artists, and the Museum of Brisbane, with its free admission, is definitely one of the city’s best stops for inquisitive travelers on a budget.

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Old Windmill
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The oldest surviving building in Queensland, and the oldest existing windmill in Australia, Old Windmill is a heritage-listed building based in Brisbane’s Wickham Park. Built in 1828, the windmill was originally used to grind wheat and maize for the nearby penal colony, but the tower saw many terrible moments in its early life, from the crushing daily life for the convicts who built it, to the hangings of two aboriginal men, convicted for the murders of members of a surveying party near Mount Lindesay in 1840, from a beam in its upper section.

Since then, the Old Windmill has had many lives, being used as both a signal tower and fire lookout. From the 1860s to 1920s, its 1pm gun was even used by locals as a way of making sure they had the right time. The Old Windmill’s wind-powered sails may be long gone, but the tower is still impressive to look at. Used as a weather observatory today, the interior of the Old Windmill is closed to the public.

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Queensland Maritime Museum
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Even though Australia is considered a continent it’s still an enormous island, so it only makes sense there’s a maritime history as storied as Australia itself. Here at the Queensland Maritime Museum on the banks of the Brisbane River, learn about the thousands of different ships that have wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef, and tour inside the Diamantina—a river frigate from World War II that’s the last remaining boat of its kind found anywhere in the world. Hear the tales of its service in the Pacific and experience the exceptionally cramped living quarters, and sit in the place where Japanese sailors signed surrender documents on board. Back on shore inside the museum, tour the exhibits on marine engines, lighthouses, and nautical equipment, or marvel at the exhibit of Happy II, one of the smallest vessels to every successfully sail across the Pacific.

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CityCat Ferry

Explore the sights of the iconic Brisbane River by taking a relaxing ride on the city catamaran service, the CityCat.

Travelling on water is undoubtedly the best way to soak in sunny Brisbane’s skyline and admire the vivid suite of colourfully-lit city landmarks by night. As you cruise along the inner city stretch of the river, look for the ultra-modern Kurilpa Bridge, the glowing Brisbane Wheel, the historic Treasury Casino, the famous Story Bridge, the impressive Kangaroo Point cliffs.

Popular CityCat sightseeing itineraries include embarking from the cultural, entertainment and parkland precinct at South Bank, winding along the river past the City Botanical Gardens and stopping at the Brisbane Powerhouse in New Farm for a glass of wine and an exhibition, or a picnic in the sprawling parkland by the CityCat terminal.

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Queen Street Mall

Queen Street Mall is the bustling retail vein of Brisbane City, connecting the business district to the Queen Plaza, Wintergarden and The Myer Centre, as well as heritage retail arcades, food outlets and live entertainment. Big brand international retailers and boutique local businesses create a balance of style and charm in the Queen Street Mall.

Known as the cleanest city mall in Australia, Queen Street Mall is a community hub that offers performance space for buskers, community acts and local and international artists, as well as public art highlights. A tourist information centre, located towards the Edward Street end of the Queen Street Mall, offers mapping, ticketing, tourism and retail information to visitors.

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Commissariat Store Museum

Dating back to 1829, Brisbane’s heritage-listed Commissariat Store is one of only two surviving buildings that date back to Queensland’s convict period. Built in a back-breaking four months by recidivist criminals sent to Queensland’s Moreton Bay Penal Settlement as extra punishment, the Commissariat Store was originally built as a government storehouse. Surrounded by the gleaming skyscrapers of the Central Business District, today the Commissariat Store is known as the Birthplace of Brisbane, representing the beginning of European settlement in Australia.

On the river by Queens Wharf Road, today the Commissariat Store is a museum run by the Royal Historical Society of Queensland. On a visit, you can learn the story and struggle of the penal colony through the exhibits and convict-era objects on display. You’ll even see a small glass jar with the remains of some of the prisoners’ fingertips.

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