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tour!) and at least one meal – we had a great

Turkish dinner the other night, but also you

have to check out the gift shop in the Gallery

of Modern Art. Whether it be a souvenir of our

city – I picked up Brisbane graffiti postcards

the other day – or a gift for the person who has

everything, you will find it in the GOMA shop.

The best time of the year to be in Brisbane?

You can’t go past September to visit Brisbane.

Weather-wise, the coolest nights are over and

summer’s oppressive heat and humidity are still

a couple of months away, and the city comes

alive with Brisbane Festival. The premier annual

fireworks event in Brisbane is Riverfire, during

the festival, and there are events (many of them

free) every day and night for three weeks.

Photography by Marc Grimwade at Simon’s Gallery

Gourmet Café, Moggill Road, Indooroopilly

BNE March/April 2015 |


Spencer Howson hosts the breakfast program on

Brisbane’s 612ABC radio, weekdays from 5am to 8am

Other festivals occur around the same time,

including the Brisbane Fringe Festival, Brisbane

Writers Festival and Brisbane Poetry Festival.

For a sporting buzz, you have to experience

Brisbane during Rugby League’s State of Origin

(this year’s third game is in Brisbane on 8 July)

or coincide a visit with an Ashes series First

Cricket Test.

If you were Lord Mayor of Brisbane what

would you do?

I think we’re pretty lucky in this city. We really

don’t have much to complain about. The one

thing people are disillusioned about is the cost

of public transport. As Lord Mayor, I’d see if

council could do anything to get fares down.

Oh, and maybe I’d build a zip-line from the Mt

Coot-tha lookout down to the Botanic Gardens!

Your favourite short break outside Brisbane?

Nikki and I head to wine country, around

Stanthorpe and Ballandean. Traditionally they

get lots of visitors once the temperatures start to

drop and Brisbanites get romantic notions of red

wine, bush cabins and a log fire, but Nikki and I

went for a couple of nights just before Christmas

and had a marvellous time.

You can join a wine-tasting bus tour or self-

drive (which encourages you to drink less, chat

more, and really get to know the area).

The last time we stayed at a small husband-

and-wife operation; they cooked dinner and

there was singing in the restaurant after dinner.

Who needs to visit France or Italy?