Enjoy some luxury at exciting South Bank
CAN you get away from it all without leaving town? The answer is yes if you choose the right location.
Brisbane's South Bank is a top tourist destination, but who says the tourists have to be out-of-towners? There's so much to enjoy here it is easy to spend a long weekend in your own city and still have a new experience.
Best of all, the travelling time is minimal!
Start by booking a hotel that makes you feel like you are on holidays the moment you walk through the door, then book a show and plan a dinner somewhere special.
One step inside the glamourous Emporium Hotel on Grey St and you are transported into another world. If you wish that American television series Sex and the City never ended, this is your spiritual home. It's full of glitzy red glamour and sexy animal prints, and that's before you even step away from reception.
The ground-floor piano bar is oh so cool and moody, just perfect for a late-night drink, but only after you have watched the sunset from The Terrace rooftop bar. It's a delicious slice of Brisbane you haven't seen before. Don't forget to look down on the kingdom of South Bank because that's your playground for the next two days.
Start your day with breakfast at The Terrace and relax in the sunshine under the retractable roof. Your breakfast alternative is the delectable French-inspired Belle Epoch patisserie on the ground floor.
When you've had your fill, head out to explore South Bank. Food lovers might catch the free CityHopper ferry to Sydney Street in New Farm to visit Jan Powers Farmers Market held on Saturdays in the grounds of Brisbane Powerhouse.
For a morning stroll, you can't go past the boardwalk, which extends right along the bank of the Brisbane River to Kangaroo Point. If a quick coffee is top of mind, cross the river on the Goodwill Bridge and stop at Brendan's Cafe coffee cart in the middle. This is near the Maritime Museum if you like to look at old boats.
Walk through South Bank's Epicurious garden and perhaps take home some of the free produce. It's available from 7am from Tuesday to Thursday but be quick, otherwise you will leave empty-handed.
South Bank is filled with a wide selection of cafes and restaurants, but there's also music on offer and it's free. On Friday evenings the sounds at Green Jam on Melbourne Street Green will soothe your soul while Sunday Social on the Green at River Quay Green offers river views with cool vibes.
There is no music, but at night Flowstate's continually changing colours are just as entertaining. Other night-time options at South Bank include a show, concert or play at the Queensland Performing Art Complex.
South Bank is full of dining options along the length of Grey and Melbourne Sts. If you feel like taking it easy but still enjoying excellent food, head to Signature in Emporium Hotel.
For an art fix outside the collections on show at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, take a stroll down Fish Lane. Here the building walls are the gallery filled with street art.
A South Bank weekend is definitely refreshing and certainly feels like a getaway.
The writer stayed as a guest of Emporium Hotel.