Have the ultimate urban vacay with our guide to what to do in Brisbane City, Treasury’s neighbourhood in the heart of the Queensland capital.
Enfolded by the Brisbane River, the Brisbane CBD is an ever-evolving hub where grand heritage-listed buildings sit alongside glass and concrete skyscrapers. The first brick of the historic Treasury building was laid here in 1886. The grand old lady remains one of the most significant buildings in Brisbane City and in 2020 celebrated a quarter century at Treasury Brisbane. Here, we share our Treasury Brisbane neighbourhood guide.
Find home base
Today the lively Treasury Brisbane precinct melds elegant accommodation with some of the city’s most vibrant entertainment and dining options. Go all out during your visit while staying in – with sparkling wine and petite macaroons at High Tea @ The Lab maybe, a South East Asian feast courtesy of Luke Nguyen at Fat Noodle, or a flame-grilled steak from Black Hide by Gambaro. And when you’ve had your fill, the rest of Brisbane is waiting right on your doorstep.
Discover the wharves
The lazy curves of the Brisbane River have always been a defining feature of the city, but in recent decades the riverfront has come alive. The latest evolution? The development of two wharf precincts in prime over-water locations. Tucked in under Story Bridge, Howard Smith Wharves was first on the scene, with the combination of a craft brewery, bars and restaurants an instant hit.
Now Brisbane waits impatiently for the completion of Queen’s Wharf Brisbane in 2022, with the first taste of the game-changing waterfront precinct revealed at new riverside bar Will & Flow. Jutting out over the river, this open, breezy space is the city’s latest hotspot for a sundowner spritz and wood-fired pizza as the sun sinks over the water.
Just over the Victoria Bridge from Treasury, South Bank has evolved into one of the most important cultural hubs in Australia. Meander your way up the leafy, bougainvillea-lined promenade and take your pick of the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), the State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, where you can catch theatre, opera, live music and regular performances from cultural institutions including Li Cunxin’s Queensland Ballet.
Our current favourites are Ai Weiwei’s monumental Boomerang chandelier, suspended in the Queensland Art Gallery’s lofty Watermall space, and James Turrell’s Night Life, which illuminates the facade of the Gallery of Modern Art with shifting colours from sunset every night.
Cheer on your team
If you’re a sports fan, Brisbane will welcome you with open arms. This is a city that loves its sports, with the roars of the crowd echoing out from Suncorp Stadium on many a night. Home of the Brisbane Broncos, Brisbane Roar and Queensland Reds, and regular host of the State of Origin, Rugby League and Football Internationals and Rugby Union Tests, Suncorp Stadium is set back from the river in the suburb of Milton just to the north of Brisbane City.
Join the crowds streaming into the stadium to cheer on their team, or kick back and watch it in the comfortable surrounds of LiveWire 24/7 Sports Bar in Treasury and venture out after the final whistle blows to see the victors flood into the streets for a celebratory beer.
Soak up the sunshine
Brisbane might be the big smoke, but its residents still know how to make the most of that balmy Queensland climate. Green, open spaces are dotted all along the Brisbane waterfront – from the serene Brisbane City Botanic Gardens in the CBD to South Bank’s urban lagoon Streets Beach and Kangaroo Point Cliffs just south over the river.
If you’re feeling lazy, the Picnic Co. will set up a deluxe spread on the waterfront patch of your choosing. If you’re not the sit-still type, make your way to Riverlife in Kangaroo Point’s historic waterfront Naval Stores and rent a kayak or join a guided paddle to see Queensland’s laid-back capital from a whole new angle.
All images courtesy of Tourism & Events Queensland, Brisbane Marketing and Treasury Brisbane.