I have dreamed of visiting Queensland since we arrived in Australia! Rasmus spent most of his childhood in Brisbane and hasn't stopped talking about it. The borders finally opened up long enough for me to squeeze in a weekend trip during one of Rasmus's games!
Our friends, Brad and Brittany, were kind enough to host me at their beautiful home outside the city. And these guys put on their serious tour guide hats and took me for a whirlwind trip between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
If you've only got 48 hours, they put together the perfect guide! I flew into Brisbane, and we drove between there and the Gold Coast.
Day One: Brisbane Sightseeing
Brisbane is located on the east coast of Australia and is a beautiful, tropical city.
Did you know that Brisbane has some of the best beaches in Australia? It’s ranked number three in the world!
Its famous attractions include the Story Bridge, Kangaroo Point Cliffs, and Mount Coot-tha.
Mt Coot-tha is a popular tourist destination for many reasons. But it's a great first stop because you get the birdseye view of the Brisbane skyline. You'll find the Kuta Cafe, Summit Restaurant, and Gift Shop at the lookout.
It’s located at an elevation of 977 feet (302 meters) above sea level and features the tallest point within the city limits of Brisbane. It lies at the east end of the Taylor Range and marks an approximate distance of 4 miles (6 km) from the CBD (central business district).
Mount Coot-tha was the home of the Yugara Aboriginal Aboriginal people who came to the area to collect 'ku-ta' ( honey ) produced by the native stingless bee.
Kangaroo Point is directly east across the Brisbane river from CBD. The Kangaroo Point Cliffs are a popular hangout spot for picnics, rock climbing, and general touring of Brisbane.
From Kangaroo Point, you can see the city and get a feel for the people and general vibe.
Dinner at Popolos
Nestled in Brisbane's iconic River Quay, Popolo Italian Bar & Kitchen boasts fresh, delicious Italian cuisine! Spend a night on the River, enjoy the sparkling city lights, and maybe visit the nearby night market.
Day Two: A Perfect Morning on The Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is in extreme southeastern Queensland, Australia, about 20 miles (30 km) south-southeast of Brisbane. It extends for some 25 miles (40 km) along the state’s coastline. There are tons of seaside resorts along the beach. The city is also home to tons of surfers and is a hot surf destination.
Breakfast at Paddock Bakery
Paddock Bakery is an influencer's dream. I've seen it positioned as "the Gold Coast's quintessential must-do," but more importantly, it's my girlfriend, Brittany's favorite!
This adorable 70-year old cottage has been transformed into an indoor/outdoor vintage cafe and boho bakery. They've reformed one of the original homes in the area to a great breakfast spot with can't miss coffee, delicious donuts, and full-size artsy egg breakfasts.
Tour The Q1 Building
The Q1 building has SkyPoint, an observation deck at levels 77 and 78. They say it is Australia's only beachside observation deck and has room for 400 people.
It is 750 feet (230 meters) above the Surfers Paradise beach, giving the public a 360-degree view of Brisbane to the north, the Gold Coast backcountry to the west, Byron Bay, New South Wales, to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The express elevator to the observation deck lifts you to the top in less than 43 seconds!
At 1,058 feet (322.5 meters) and with a roof height of 804 ft (245 m), Q1 qualifies as the world's eleventh-tallest all-residential building when measured to the top of its structural point. And if you're uneasy with heights, you'll feel the vast depth!
The views from the spot are stunning and unlike any other city view I've seen. It's pretty uncommon to feel so urban and at the same time be pushed up against the natural coastline.
Below the Q1 is Surfer's Paradise, which is genuinely every surfer's dream. The waves and the colors of the water are unlike any surf beach I've ever seen in California.
The beach feels tropical, and the colors are warm and vibrant. The beach sounds loud because the big waves come crashing towards the sand. You'll see roped-off sections for people to swim and lifeguards everywhere.
You don't want to swim outside the roped area for fear of being eaten by a Great White Shark! There are even helicopters overhead that spend the day paroling for sharks.
See an NBL Game!
If you're a basketball fan, there's only one league to watch in Australia, and that's the NBL! Rasmus plays for the New Zealand Breakers, who took on the Brisbane Bullets in Queensland.
Dinner at the Riverbar and Kitchen
We spent our last supper at the Riverbar and Kitchen, which looks out over the water, and at the stunning Story Bridge. It's a breezy waterfront restaurant with outdoor seating, delicious passion fruit cocktails, and fresh pizzas.
I LOVE QUEENSLAND
All in all, I love Queensland. Full stop. But Brisbane is a place I'd love to explore further, and we intend to! Thanks to Brad and Brittany for hosting me and showing me around their fantastic city. I cannot wait to return!
Ps. I got to drive through Raz's old neighborhoods and see his childhood home, which was such a treat! And here are some other random photos from my trip.