Luxury city holiday destination that’s better than Sydney

It might sound like a dream, but there’s a luxury holiday for parents where their children not only bond but create lifelong memories, and it’s right on Australia’s doorstep.

These are luxurious hotels with turndown service and spectacular views, picnics overlooking the water, wild lorikeet feeding, rooftop cocktails and walks just 10 minutes from city accommodation directly on the beach.

The weather is also better than in Sydney and you won’t be stuck in traffic for hours trying to get to your adventure.

The destination might surprise you because it’s not an exclusive island, but it’s actually Brisbane.

Families can discover unique experiences, indulge in delicious foods and participate in fascinating wildlife encounters.

Here are some ideas for planning an adventure-filled holiday in an unsuspecting place like Brisbane.

The first step in creating an unforgettable day is to start at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which offers a morning full of experiences and is actually a highlight for both adults and children.

Start your day at the Sanctuary by feeding a paddock full of friendly kangaroos who leap up to your open hand to delicately devour their kangaroo food and then head to the wild lorikeet feeding, included with your ticket.

There you will see dozens of birds descend on a row of containers with handles fixed into the trunk of a tree, which you can then pull out to hold the wild animals up close and watch them scream with joy.

The birds are cheeky too – they fly to land upside down – with the children watching in wonder and honestly the adults having the most fun I’ve ever seen – giggling with delight at their antics.

Another experience is being able to touch a koala. My family met Urchin, who was seven years old and happily relaxing while munching on some eucalyptus leaves.

There was the bonus of being able to take a series of photos on our phones, which were sent directly to Nanna.

Also in the park we saw Lucy the dog who was rounding up some very dishonest sheep who didn’t want to behave well and we also met an owl, who we were told could hear our heartbeat even from half a meter away.

Then, just a 10 minute drive from the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary was Mount Coot-Tha which offered stunning views over the city and was a good stopping point for food.

The perfect way to end the day was to arrive somewhere just below the Brisbane Powerhouse for a luxury riverside picnic at Vintage Picnics.

The setup was lush with comfortable chairs, a speaker to play music, a bottle of prosecco and a box of food, one designed for adults and one for children.

There you can relax and watch the birds fly above, tuck into sandwiches, meats, cheeses, fruit (and chocolate biscuits and lollipops for the kids) and watch the sunset.

Also a great place to stay is Spicers Balfour in New Farm. The beds were extremely comfortable, they had robes for relaxing and also weights if you wanted to work out, lovely shower gel and soap, plus some reading chairs, a desk and a lovely selection of loose leaf teas.

It was like a home from home with the staff being friendly, welcoming and warm at all times.

The food at Spicers Balfour was divine – a creative take on Vietnamese food presented with a French twist, fresh yet satisfying.

Before dinner you can have a cocktail on the rooftop bar and watch the Story Bridge glimmer in the dark.

Then head to the restaurant for dishes such as beef ribs with curry and anna potatoes, coconut prawns, pork belly with green papaya, cabbage and red onion and calamari with rice noodles, nahm jim, coriander and spring onion along with charred broccolini with dressing for bad.

Breakfast also offered delicious items at Spicers Balfour. Our toddler couldn’t get enough of the coconut waffles with kaya caramel, strawberry and ice cream, while the Eggs Benedict was a surprise with its palm sugar ham and the turmeric and ginger granola with coconut yoghurt is also was exceptional.

Spicers Balfour provided a great destination to catch a ferry into the city, take a short walk down the street to see the Brisbane city views and explore New Farm park.

For lunch, you can grab a bite to eat at Howard Smith Wharves, also near the hotel, overlooking the Story Bridge.

We visited Felon’s Brewing Co for lunch at Howard Smith Wharves enjoying the funky atmosphere and pizzas.

You should also treat the family to an extravagant stay at the Emporium, a five-star hotel right in the center of the CBD and just meters from the South Bank.

A jacuzzi-style tub awaits with bathroom technology that allows you to freeze the window or wipe it clean so you can take in the picturesque views of Brisbane city, automatically opening curtains are a novelty for children and large beds offer a restful sleep. There’s also a turndown service and chocolate treats waiting for you when you arrive.

The Emporium gives you easy access to the playground offered by South Bank.

There you can take a stroll through the Bougainvillea Arbour, take off your shoes to walk along the beach with city views, stop to watch kids scale climbing ropes to take a thrilling slide, and climb the Brisbane Wheel for views that stretch across Brisbane.

Also within walking distance is the Gallery of Modern Art, which has interesting exhibitions and while you’re on the South Bank stop for a bite to eat at one of the riverside venues.

We tried The Jetty which offered a huge sharing platter of 350g butcher cut steak on a huge sharing plate, while the amaretto sour and whiskey sour cocktails were spot on.

Brisbane also offers added appeal for children who are keen Bluey watchers,

Many of the places you can visit in Brisbane are actually real-life locations that inspire the beloved TV show Bluey, such as the Brisbane Powerhouse which gives off a slightly creepy vibe for kids and showcases some fantastic works of art.

For enthusiastic fans, an innovative immersive experience in the world of Bluey’s will open on 7 November, exclusive to Brisbane.

It will showcase life-size sets, interactive games and a soundscape, inspired by episodes of the global phenomenon Bluey. Children and adults can also play under the shady branches of the Poinciana tree in Bluey’s backyard.

It came after hundreds of Bluey fans set a world record for the biggest Keepy Uppy game on Sunday.

On a playing field of almost 2,000 km, 702 Keepy Uppy enthusiasts joined together in the epic game made famous in the much-loved television series which featured the beloved blue cartoon hooker and his family, holding giant red balls in the air .

The Australian Book of Records oversaw three official matches played simultaneously at Brisbane’s South Bank, as seen at Bluey, the Gold Coast’s Main Beach and at Cairns Esplanade, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

The writer visited as a guest of Tourism and Events Queensland.

Read related topics:Sydney

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