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No longer satisfied in the shadow of Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane is subverting stereotypes and surprising the critics. Welcome to Australia's new subtropical 'It kid'.

Alfresco Living, Year-round

Brisbane has a climate its more famous southern rivals would kill for (despite what they may tell you). When Sydney and Melbourne shiver through the winter months, Brisbane continues basking in the sun. After all, this is the capital city of the Sunshine State, a meteorological Promised Land where winters are mild and short enough for a daytime alfresco toast. It's a fact not lost on Brisbanites, who indulge in outdoor thrills all year round, from inner-city rock-climbing and kayaking, to riverside cycling and sunning on the nation's only man-made city beach.

Culinary Enlightenment

The Brisbane food scene is booming. Innovation and ingenuity are the key words these days, driving everything from Gauge's cult-status black garlic bread to Nodo's Valrhona chocolate and beetroot dougnuts. Menus across the city are flaunting the seasonal and the regional, transforming top-notch produce into beautiful, confident dishes spanning all budgets and countless cuisines. Imbibing in Brisbane is no less impressive, with a sharp, competent booty of specialty coffee microroasteries, microbreweries and cocktail bars pouring faultless single-origin brews, seasonal beers and out-of-the-box cocktails crafted with everything from lemon myrtle to local Brisbane honey.

Cultural Awakenings

Forget the 'cultural backwater' tag. Brisbane 2.0 is a kicking hub of creativity, with an expanding arsenal of enlightening, thought-provoking drawcards. It's here that you'll find the Australia's largest public gallery of modern art (GOMA) and its most important festival of new Australian music (Bigsound Festival). Whether you're up for catching a cult-status band in a state-of-the-art hangar, a subversive cabaret in a one-time power station, or an opera in a subterranean reservoir, this town has you covered.

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