Queensland’s buzzing riverside capital city is wedged between the ocean and rugged national parks. Brisbane is a cosmopolitan hub for arts, culture and dining but still retains a close connection with nature and a classic laid-back Queensland attitude. It’s also the gateway to the wonders of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Whether you want to catch an art exhibition, cool off in a rainforest waterhole or just sample some great Queensland food and wine, you can do it all in and around Brisbane. Walk across the Victoria Bridge to discover Brisbane’s cultural heart, home to world-class museums, theatres and event spaces. It’s worth the one- to two-hour drive south-west of Brisbane to step foot in the vast, World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests. Popular hiking and camping spots include Main Range or Mount Barney national parks. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, a 20-minute drive south-west of the city, is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary, home to more than 130 of Australia’s cuddliest creatures. Eat and drink your way around the city at cool cafes, waterfront restaurants and rooftop bars.