5 days visiting Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, & the Gold Coast

Greg Hung World explorer, film-maker & entrepreneur
Greg Hung World explorer, film-maker & entrepreneur

Greg is a modern World Explorer, Film-maker, Mobile & Google friendly Website producer, & Entrepreneur at the intersection of travel and technology. He has directed, shot, edited, and produced over 30 high definition travel and lifestyle related videos on Youtube in addition to producing ChicVoyage in Asia – modern travel adventures on the Amazon.com store in 2012. He has been instructed by globally renown SLR Director and film-maker Phillip Bloom. His 4 month 2013 journey took him to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia. He is currently studying Mandarin in Taiwan.

5 days visiting Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, & the Gold Coast

An aerial view of Brisbane

The price for going out on Friday night and my early morning flight meant I got almost no sleep heading to Brisbane. Fortunately I had a good family friend Leanne that picked me up from the airport and took me to where I was staying in South Bank. The space I chose for my stay would be a top floor euro style apartment in South Bank with a huge patio deck. The host of the apartment was cool, and my room opened up to a huge patio with a table and a view of the South bank. South bank is known as the entertainment district of Brisbane. It is quite central to attractions, transportation, and the CBD.

A shot South Bank from the patio of my apartment

Sunshine Coast

sunshine coast

sunshine coast
The warmth of the sunshine coast beach nearing sunset is incredible

Leanne and I began our adventure traveling to the Sunshine Coast, a popular recommendation I received from Australian locals throughout my time in the country. We stopped by the town of Noosa an upscale area with expensive options to eat and shop. There are some reasonable options to eat if you can find the food court or a subway.  The main attraction was the beautiful beach and coastal walk and the of course the sunshine. The sunshine here is invigorating and amazing.

South Bank

Almost every day was a sunny 19 degrees Celsius in Brisbane, which was a major factor in a positive experience in this city especially during the winter. I walked to the South Bank area, which is an entertainment district close to the river. The lifestyle features a large path for walking, jogging and cycling by the river and plenty of places to sit, eat and relax.

south bank lifestyle
The south bank active lifestyle in brisbane
South Bank beach
The South Bank beach

The public transport is good with bike rentals in the city and a smart card system called a go card for trains, buses, and their boats. Their boats are a good form of fast transportation. They look like serious boats, and provide functional transportation along the river.

map of brisbane
a visual map of brisbane

getting around by boat in Brisbane

Tip: you can even return your go card after your visit for some money back

The city is noticeably smaller and less international than Melbourne and Sydney, but as a Chinese Canadian I felt welcome in the city at all times. The roads are narrow, hilly, and generally confusing if you drive outside of the city. We had a chance to venture into a Brisbane small upscale neighborhood called Paddington. At Paddington we went to visit the Java Cafe for a good lunch.

Brisbane breakfast at the Java cafe

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Gold Coast


We went to visit the Gold Coast and stopped at Palm beach which had a wonderful beach with a view of the gold coast skyline. I didn’t spend that much time in the actual city of the Gold coast, but it looked heavily developed with many buildings that can be seen in the landscape.

A pleasant surprise was seeing the Palazo Versace hotel, which I was aware of prior to my trip but I forgot it was right here in the Gold Coast. We manage to get some photos inside without denting our wallets.

Palazzo Versace Australia
Inside Palazzo Versace Australia

My time in Brisbane was short. I think that this city’s weather, growing skyline, and nearby beaches and lifestyle have something compelling to offer. Time will tell where Brisbane is going, but my sense is that it is up and coming and deserves serious consideration to live for the sunny and laidback lifestyle. Thanks to my good friend Leanne for showing me around and helping out! There would be one more stop on the Australia tour. Next stop Cairns to experience the great Barrier Reef.

A sample itinerary in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, and Gold Coast

recommended to hire a car

Day 1

  • Settle in and take a day trip out to the Sunshine Coast
  • Visit the area of Noosa for lunch
  • Walk along coastal walk to take pictures and visit the beach around sunset time
  • Dinner at the sunshine coast

Day 2

  • Visit the area of South Bank to take a walk along the promenade
  • Pick up a lunch near the street pool and have your lunch near there
  • Take a boat to visit the downtown area
  • Walk around the downtown area and take a boat back
  • Dinner at the West End neighborhood

Day 3

  • Visit Mt Cot-tha lookout to aerial pictures of Brisbane
  • Have lunch at Paddington’s Java Cafe
  • Take a drive out to the Gold Coast
  • At the Gold Coast visit Palm beach to walk along the beach
  • Have dinner at the Palm Beach club
  • Drive around the Gold Coast downtown area
  • Visit the Versace Hotel



Journey in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, and Brisbane



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