Cruise ships dock at two locations in Brisbane. The smaller ships berth at Brisbane Cruise Terminal, at the Portside Wharf. This is the second biggest cruise port in Australia and it has been in service since 2006. There are car rental and souvenir shops, international cuisine restaurants, a taxi rank, a market, a cinema and a park. This terminal is right at the posh Hamilton suburb with boardwalks, street cafes and colourful markets. There is a bus stop within a 5-minutes’ walk and there are free red ferries (CityHopper) that travel along the river within the city. There is also a free bus service, called the Loop, that travels through the Central Business District of Brisbane and a lot of Brisbane’s attractions. The Brisbane Airport is only 9 km away, 12 minutes by car.
The second location where ships longer than 270m can berth is the Port of Brisbane, at Fisherman Island, about 25 km from CBD. There are two locations within the port – the Multi-user Terminal and the General Purpose Terminal. The Multi-user Terminal has three berths and is only equipped for periodical day visits, so there are only limited facilities – a small café and taxis. There is no ATM and no public transport. The nearest public transport station is 15 min drive away. There is a Visitor’s centre that’s about 5 min drive away and there is a café and tourist information desk there. The Airport of Brisbane is 22km away, 20 minutes by car.
There is a new project for a cruise terminal – Brisbane International Cruise Terminal at Luggage Point, scheduled to operate by mid-2020 and expected to generate nearly 5 billion in economic value for Queensland within 15 years.
The General Purpose Terminal is very seldomly used by cruise ships.
The local currency is the Australian dollar (AUD). Australia has eliminated the penny and cash transactions are rounded up to the nearest nickel. All major credit cards are accepted everywhere. There are plenty of ATMs and exchanging money is easy. You can exchange cash at one of the money exchange shops and bank offices at the city centre. Make sure you check the market rate and ask if there would be any commission charges and fees. In general, smaller, independent shops have better rates than banks and major companies, but the best thing to do would always be to check the rates on the day. If you use your cards to draw cash from an ATM, make sure you have notified your bank you would be spending time abroad and you are aware of any transaction fees. More and more banks and financial companies now tend to offer cards with no additional fees when using abroad, so it might pay off for you to check if you can get such card before travelling.
Opening hours and bank holidays. The opening hours in Brisbane are quite generous, as this is a year-round tourist destination. Most shops and shopping centres are generally opened from 9 am to 5.30 pm, with most of them having a late night shopping on Fridays until 9pm. They are also open full day Saturday and until midday or 4pm on Sunday. Many of them would work even on Christmas Day. There are number of National bank holidays as well and some shops will be closed, so do make yourself familiar with those, especially if your time is limited.
Tipping in Australia is not as common as it is in Europe and the United States. There are jars for tips, but they are hardly used. You can tip if you are happy with the service, but you don’t have to. There are no service charges added to your bill at restaurants either.
It is common knowledge that English is the language of Brisbane, so you would have no problems being understood.
The local time in Brisbane is GMT+10 and the International dialling code is + 617.
Things To Do
Queensland Cultural Centre is the centrepiece of Queensland’s portfolio and it occupies a heritage-listed building at Brisbane’s South Bank. This unique facility is home to the Queensland Museum, the Queensland Art Gallery& theGallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), the State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. The Queensland Museum has been opened since 1862, documenting, discovering, preserving and sharing Queensland’s natural and cultural heritage. More than a million items and artefacts in its permanent State Collection tell the changing story of Queensland. The museum is also a home to the Sciencecentre – where visitors of all ages can take part in exciting and educational interactive displays and experiments. QAGOMA is a single facility, located across two adjacent river-side buildings that holds a collection of over 17,000 works of historical, modern and contemporary art, along with temporary Australian and international exhibitions. The gallery is also a home of the Children’s Art Centre and the Australian Cinematheque.
The Brisbane Story Bridge is a heritage-listed cantilever bridge, the longest in Australia that carries all kinds of traffic between Fortitude Valley and Kangaroo Point in Northern and Southern Brisbane. It’s also the largest steel bridge designed, manufactured and constructed in Australia by Australians. It’s one of only 3 climbable bridges in the world (with the second being the Sydney Harbour Bridge) and it offers the best bird’s eye view of Brisbane and beyond, from the Glass House Mountains through the Moreton Bay and the Scenic Rim Mountains. The Story Bridge is regularly lit up on various dates for different charity events and celebrations.
Cuddling a koala is a quintessential Australian experience and you can’t leave Brisbane if you haven’t got a snap with one of the furry friends! Stop by at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – the worlds first and largest sanctuary for koalas, where staff looks after more than 130 koalas that can not be released back into the wild. There is also a large kangaroo and wallaby free-roaming reserve. You can also see emus, Tasmanian devils, snakes, perentie, wombats, dingoes and platypuses.
If you are looking to find out more about the history and culture of this region and its people, head over to the Museum of Brisbane. It’s located at the City Hall Building and is part of the living history of the city, displaying award-wining exhibitions of contemporary and historic art, organising workshops, tours and talks. You can also take a tour of the 90-year old City Hall building and climb the Clock Tower for another birds’ eye view of Brisbane. The Albert Street Uniting Church is a heritage-listed church, built in 1889 and the first Methodist church in Brisbane. It’ open to the public Monday to Friday from 10 am to 2 pm. Also see the Arts Centre Gold Coast and the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts for modern and contemporary arts and the Janbal Gallery in Mossman and the Bindaberg Regional Art Gallery for Indigenous artwork.
Experience the Australians’ love of the outdoors – and why not with a year-round summer holiday weather. The perfect place to go and get a taste of what Brisbane is all about head over to South Bank – the premier lifestyle and cultural precinct of Brisbane on the banks of the Brisbane River. Here you can not only admire art at QCC, mentioned above, but you can also walk through the picturesque, 1 km-long arch of flowers – the Arbour, grab a bargain from a local craftsman at the Collective Markets, hit the Street Beach or see a 360 - degrees of South Bank from the Wheel of Brisbane. Go to North Stradbroke Island and/ or Moreton Island on day trips for this tropical island vibe. At Queen Street Mall shop your heart out at more than 700 international and local brands shops. Relax and breath at the Botanical Gardens at Mount Coot-tha – with the bonus of a nearby lookout point for another incredible panoramic view of Brisbane from Moreton Bay all the way to CBD.
All Cruises and Flight details are subject to availability and price variation. Final package price is available upon payment of deposit and confirming your ATOL & ABTA protected cruise holiday