The ultimate Brisbane weekend itinerary

The ultimate Brisbane weekend itinerary

-Updated September 2017-

I’m a Brisbane local through and through. I was born here, grew up here, and though I’ve traveled the world, I think I’ll always call Brisbane “home”. Brisbane has just about everything that you could want; the convenience and variety of a big city, friendly locals and easy access to great beaches, rainforest and country scenery. There are so many things to do in Brisbane, but if you’ve only got limited time (i.e. a weekend stopover), here are some of the best things I’d recommend. Rather than a set itinerary, I’ve listed lots of things that you can pick and choose from to create your own adventure to suit your taste, budget and weather!


What Makes Vivid Sydney So Addictive That You’ll Never Want To Miss It?

What Makes Vivid Sydney So Addictive That You’ll Never Want To Miss It?

vivid sydney bridge opera house

Sydney is an amazing city with world renowned monuments such as the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and The Rocks. You can check out the great markets in the area, sip on a cappuccino and enjoy the beautiful views of the harbour.

Every year from late May to mid June, Sydney takes it to the next level and lights up the whole city with beautiful light displays called Vivid Sydney. The Opera House comes to life with dynamic light shows that display anything from lizards to the great Outback regions of Australia.

There’s so much to take in and if you’re new to the city it can be pretty overwhelming. With countless events happening, many locations and displays to see, it’s easy to waste time walking around.

Last year I had the pleasure of exploring the lights, and this is my guide to enjoying Vivid Sydney in a timely manner.

Starting Off At Martin Place

Martin Place Station

Credit: Kate Ausburn on Flickr

Martin Place is just a quick bus or train away from most stations around Sydney. Martin Place has a great open plaza where lights stretch for multiple blocks.

Walking down the stretch of events I saw interactive lights and companies looking to show off their cool toys. I found myself sucked in. From trying Microsoft’s Virtual Reality (VR), dancing on light patterns, to playing video games on a 10 meter high screen, it was well worth stopping by to see the lights up close.

Vivid Sydney 2014

Credit: Lynda on Flickr

Next Stop Circular Quay

After enjoying the lights of Martin Place, I hoped back on the train and headed a quick 5 minute train ride to Circular Quay.

Vivid Sydney 2016 Sydney Harbour Harbour Lights CREDIT Destination NSW JH 001

By Allison Lee (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Getting off the train, I was immediately greeted by the lights. They were turning the water in a beautiful dancing display. From the Harbour Bridge, ferries, and the Opera House, the lights were bolstering great displays that made me stop and appreciate the beautiful night.

The Rocks

Not far from the station, The Rocks offered many of the most popular displays that are easy to visit in a short span of time.

Vivid Sydney 2016 The Matter of Painting TheRocks CREDIT Destination NSW AW1961

By Allison Lee (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This year, just about 200 meters from the Circular Quay Station, the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), is putting on a major display called Organic Vibrations. Projecting vibrant colours onto the MCA, these transcendental lights warp and give the building life.

Next to the MCA Canon is offering a free printing booth where you can hand off your SD card and get Vivid Sydney pictures printed off on A3 paper. Canon is also offering a ticketed event, where they loan you a camera and take you for a walking tour designed to give you a great view of the lights.

Past the MCA, I ventured to the historic region of The Rocks, exploring the alleys and cobblestone paths where lights and displays hung from above, running into giant skeletons that looked like they belonged in the Dia de Muertos parade in Mexico.

This year The Rocks is hosting 25 displays to check out, so it’s a must stop on your Vivid Sydney venture.

Royal Botanic Garden & Opera House

After The Rocks, I headed back towards the Opera House to get an up close view.  I then visited the Royal Botanic Garden.

Vivid Sydney 2016 Sydney Opera House Songlines CREDIT Destination NSW JH 002

By Allison Lee (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The paths full of lights in the Botanical Garden offered a unique tropical atmosphere. This area was a little less crowded than the Opera House itself, so it was nice to have a little quiet time.

This year there will be 12 displays, so be sure to walk around the Opera House and find the Vivid Sydney displays in the Gardens.

Darling Harbour

Vivid Sydney

Credit: Roderick Eime on Flickr

As the night started to come to a close, I hopped on a ferry from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour. Lounging in the front area of the ferry, I got to see all the magnificent lights of the harbour, all the lit up ferries and Luna Park bolstering its normal bright light display.

As the ferry got closer to Darling Harbour, fireworks started to erupt, illuminating the sky. This is a fairly common occurrence on the weekends at Darling Harbour, although so much better with the added Vivid Sydney experience.

Once I arrived I found a fire and laser show displayed out on the water. Accompanied by music, the show and fireworks were a great way to end the night.

If you’re in Sydney for longer than a quick trip, there are many one day events that are definitely worth checking out. You can find all the events listed on the Vivid Sydney page.

Accommodation Deals:

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Best things to do under the Melbourne Skyline and its Outskirts

Best things to do under the Melbourne Skyline and its Outskirts

Melbourne’s vigor and verve are addictive. The city’s throbbing charm resonates a rapture that is difficult to resist. Referred to as the ‘Cultural Capital of Australia’, Melbourne provides one with an array of activities during vacation. From just sightseeing to being part of the culture, this great city offers a little something to all its enthusiasts. With the bustling markets, fantastic architecture, the sprawling green gardens and sophisticated sport facilities, one wouldn’t know what to choose. If you are planning to visit this city for a holiday or a business trip, here are some of the best things to do under the Melbourne skyline and its outskirts.


Things to do in North Queensland

Things to do in North Queensland

North Queensland is a colossal portion of northern Australia that’s off the beaten track. Uninfluenced by modern history, untouched by the fast pace of urban life, and undeveloped, North Queensland is a haven for tourists and busy professionals alike, who long to unwind. This is the place to put your feet up and let your hair down!

A single visit to North Queensland is sure to leave you so spellbound, that you’ll want to return to this retreat again and again. North Queensland is a treasure trove of all things natural. From the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef to rainforests and pristine beaches, North Queensland has a plethora of things to offer tourists. (more…)