It's not so gay, but this is a major local destination, said to be haunted by 'old Bill' who built the place in 1889, and died after falling drunk from a second floor window. Five bars, a tropical garden, gaming hours, famous streaks, and 'beer off the wood' here have attracted celebrities from Mikhail Gorbachov to Russell Crowe. Many patrons combine a trip to Brisbane's best loved pub with one to the nearby Doomben racetrack.
The Brisbane River provides some of the city’s best places to play or just relax and enjoy the incredible natural beauty. A great way to get around while enjoying the river’s sights is the CityCat catamaran service, which taxis up and down the river as part of the city’s integrated transit system. A day pass, which includes all transit services, is actually quite cheap. The Story Bridge that spans the river is an iconic image of the city. If you’re feeling daring, take an Adventure Climb to the top of the bridge for great views of the city, the mountains, and the Moreton Bay Islands. As you’re leaving the bridge, take the innovative Floating Walkway, which connects the Story Bridge with Merthyr Street along the river’s edge, and rises and falls with the tides. The Kangaroo Point cliffs on the other side of the river are a popular spot for rock climbing and other activities, and reward climbers with excellent views of the Brisbane skyline. For a real treat, come at night and see the city lights – the cliffs are well-lit.
An almost 5 hour drive north, or a 45-minute flight from Brisbane, Fraser Island on Hervey Bay, is a rare and beautiful holiday destination where the Great Barrier Reef begins. Dozens of lakes, rainforest and huge sandblows cover much of the island. Animal life includes 230 species of birds, and Australia's purest dingos. Before European settlers came, the Aboriginal Butchalla tribe had lived on what they called K'gari for perhaps 5000 years, fed by an abundance of food from the sea, lakes and forest.
A British ship captain and his wife, stranded on the island in 1836 gave a new name to this island, surrounded by ferocious waters (evident in the shipwrecks lining it's shores). He died here, but she returned to tell the story. Settlers soon discoved the logging potential of the forest, and created a thriving community. Since 1992 the area has been World Heritage Listed to preserve the environment.
Today the rugged wilderness provides 4WD adventure and excitement with hundreds of tracks criss-crossing the world's largest sand island. Alternately, it's a relaxing atmosphere in which to wander ancient rainforests within dune valleys, or along the colored sand cliffs at Seventy-Five Mile Beach; or take a swim in the tranquil waters of sand-ringed lakes.
The eco-friendly Kingfisher Bay Resort is an affordable option for visitors, with special packages that include ferry transfers, meals and adventure bundles.
Noosa Cove Holiday Apartments, gay retreats in Noosa, at the northern end of Queensland’s sub-tropical Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane. Four-star exclusively gay boutique resort welcoming singles, couples and "honeymooners." Four poolside studio, and fully self-contained 1-2 bedroom apartments in Noosa Heads, surrounded by tropical greenery. Near white sandy beaches of Noosa National Park, the main Noosa Cove beachfront, Alexandria Nudist Beach, and restaurants on Hastings Street. Clothing-optional private tropical pool, sun deck, and BBQ area.
Australia’s cutest and cuddliest animals have a lovely habitat in the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – the first and largest such sanctuary in the world. The Sanctuary is also home to a troop of kangaroos that you’re welcome to hand feed, as well as dozens of other local animals including platypuses, dingoes, wombats, Tasmanian devils and more.
Just 25km from the city lie the spectacular Moreton Bay and Islands, a natural paradise with pristine sandy beaches and crystal-clear water. Enjoy sand tobogganing, quad biking, surfing, diving, or snorkeling and spot some of the area’s beautiful wildlife, including turtles, dolphins, dugongs, and whales.
Brisbane is the capital of Queensland’s art scene, which is largely focused on the South Bank at Grey Street. The major sites are the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), State Library of Queensland, Queensland College of Art, and the Queensland Conservatorium. With so much art in this neighborhood, there’s always something to do and interesting people to meet and see.
This Gold Coast beach community just south of Brisbane is best known for high-rise buildings including the Q1 (tallest building in the Southern hemisphere), wild surf and wide sands. Cavill Mall runs through the shopping precinct at Cavill Avenue. This is one of Queensland's busiest area shopping strips with nightlife of over 40 establishments -- from traditional pubs and chic lounge bars to nightclubs with dancing till dawn; also live bands, international-rank DJs & performers, fashion & shows. The small but active gay scene here includes:
Club R (1/3 Alison St), private men's cruise club with video lounges, five screens, play areas, cubicles, and a big retail adult shop.
Escape (2 Cavill Ave), gay party club with girls nights, guys's nights, and weekly Sunday Rehab DJs from 9pm.
The large arc of mountains surrounding Brisbane is collectively called the Scenic Rim and provides some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the region. Apart from a few well-known resorts, much of the Rim is unspoiled wilderness. Although previously the area was used for logging, the forests have largely recovered and most of the logging tracks have disappeared. You can take off on trails from the Binna Burra Mountain Lodge or O’Reilleys Rainforest Retreat; or strike out from points along Cunningham’s Gap, the major route over the Scenic Rim, for day trips or camping.
A little to the north, at Tamborine Mountain, the Tambaridge B&B offers verandahs, or private balconies to enjoy the tranquility of far reaching views, winery tours, nearby craft and gift shops of Gallery Walk, and the International cuisines of local Wongawallan area restaurants and cafes.