Brisbane is definitely one of the many hidden gems in Australia
It may not be as well known as its neighbours like Sydney and Gold Coast, but Brisbane has a lot to offer as well. The city is known for its vibrant arts scene, ranging from visual arts to theatre, and even music. It's also listed as the "hippest city" in the country by Lonely Planet Australia.
1. You can catch a free live music performance almost every weekend
If you love attending live band performances, you'll love Brisbane. The city is home to City Sounds, which is the largest free live music programme in the Australia. They organise live gigs by local and international artists all around the city quite frequently, so you can actually catch at least one or two performances during your vacation there. And best of all, admission to these mini concerts are totally free!
Venue and opening hours: Check out their website for the latest info.
2. They have the most colourful and amazing street food bazaar
Weekends are the best in Brisbane, because that's when Eat Street Northshore opens its doors! Eat Street is a street food bazaar that's held in a set of colourful shipping containers. There are more than 180 food and entertainment outlets in this place - including halal stalls like the popular Tokyo Tucker, Miss Claude's Crepes, Pizza & Pasta, and Ela Greeko - all overlooking the Brisbane River and city skyline.
The best things to try there are the seafood and pretty desserts. And don't forget to stay to watch some live band performances!
Venue: 221D MacArthur Avenue, Hamilton.
Opening hours: 4-10pm for Friday and Saturday; 12-8pm for Sunday
3. You're allowed to get up close and personal with some friendly dolphins
Wild dolphins have been frequent visitors to Tangalooma Island Resorts' jetty since the 80s. It all started with one dolphin whom the owners of the resort named Beauty. The owners would feed Beauty and its baby dolphins fresh fish, and the dolphins soon grew friendlier towards them.
Visitors can now participate in the wild dolphin feeding programme at the resort, thanks to the Dolphin Care Protocols developed by the owners. Just remember to switch off your flash function so you don't harm their eyes!
Venue: Moreton Island
Opening hours: Day trips start from 7 or 10am, depending on your tour package.
4. Even cuddle with some koalas and kangaroos too
Always wanted to cuddle with some koala bears and feed the kangaroos? Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane is the best place for it. Lone Pine is the first and largest koala sanctuary in the world, where you can interact and learn from the animals within its compound.
There are wildlife interaction sessions held every day, where a Wildlife Officer would guide you on how to feed and pat the koalas, kangaroos, and lorikeets.
Venue: 708 Jesmond Road, Fig Tree Pocket.
Opening hours: 9am-5pm daily
5. For thrill-seekers, scaling a bridge is possible in Brisbane
There are only a few bridges in the world that allow bridge-climbing - and Brisbane's Story Bridge is one of them. It's also the best place to get a unique view of the city.
Every climb is about two hours-long, and it's only for the bravest of them all. There are different climbing slots to choose from: Day Climb for an awesome view of the city; Dawn Climb for the beautiful sunrise; Twilight Climb for the golden sunset; and Night Climb for the glamorous skyline.
Venue: 170 Main Street, Kangaroo Point.
Opening hours: Depending on your climbing slot, click here for more info.
6. Vitamin 'sea' is available within the city itself
Streets Beach is a man-made beach located within Brisbane city, where there's a crystal clear lagoon surrounded by white, powdery sand. You can find it in the popular South Bank Parklands area, where all the trendiest restaurants and hottest performances are.
A great thing about Streets Beach is that access is free for all. You can even have a picnic or barbecue session there.
Venue: Stanley Street Plaza, South Brisbane.
Opening hours: 6-12am daily
7. And some museums even offer free admissions
You can visit some of the major museums and learning centres in the city for free. The Gallery of Modern Art has some really colourful and Instagram-worthy exhibitions; while the Queensland Museum, Museum of Brisbane, and Bribie Island Seaside Museum are more focused on history and wildlife.
Kids will also love QUT The Cube, where the research projects from the Queensland University of Technology are displayed.
Gallery of Modern Art, Stanley Place, South Brisbane. 10am-5pm daily.
Museum of Brisbane, Brisbane City Hall, 64 Adelaide Street. 10am-5pm daily.
Queensland Museum, Grey Street & Melbourne Street, South Brisbane. 9:30am-5pm daily.
Bribie Island Seaside Museum, 1 S Esplanade, Bongaree. 10am-4pm, Tuesdays till Sundays.
QUT The Cube, 2 George Street. 10am-4pm daily.
Visit Brisbane between March and November to enjoy its pleasant weather
Aside from the wet season which happens between December and February, Brisbane is a great place to visit for most of the year. Winter in Brisbane is actually perfect sweater weather, making it the best place for Malaysians to escape the hot weather back home.
For those who like something fancy, Brisbane has a number of boutique hotels for you to choose from. The price usually ranges between RM400-500 per night, if you're willing to spend. One of the most popular ones is Ovolo Inchcolm, which was just opened recently.
You can also find affordable luxury between RM180-280 per night in the city, like the Meriton Suites on Herschel Street.
Malaysia Airlines is adding Brisbane to their list of Australian destinations this 6 June
Malaysia Airlines will fly directly to Brisbane four times a week starting 6 June 2018. They're also having a sale for this route currently, so you can fly there from RM1,769 during this period:
Sale period: 15 May till 8 June 2018
Travel period: 6 till 15 June 2018
Book your flight on malaysiaairlines.com/MYBrisbane now