With golden sunshine, quirky suburbs, buzzing nightlife, and an awesome location, Brisbane is easily one of the coolest cities in Australia. A visit to Brisbane should begin with a ride down the Brisbane River on the free ferry for a budget-friendly sightseeing tour and some of the best photo opportunities in the city. Hop off the boat in Southbank, home to a sandy man-made lagoon where locals splash around and soak up the sun.

Brisbane life is largely lived outdoors, so catch a ferry to Stradbroke Island. It’s a nature lover’s paradise with tons of beaches, rainforest, waterfalls, and walking trails. For a really unique Aussie experience, make your way to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to mingle with 130 Koalas and kangaroos. They’re accustomed to human interaction, so you’ll be able to feed these cute critters by hand and even take pictures with them.

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