Brisbane was a surprise, and even the smaller suburbs were just gorgeous, especially Paddington. Dining out in Brisbane was also a pleasure. It seems that Brissy is all about the café culture and ritzy eateries. The Valley is a great place to go out, with pubs, ethnic cuisine, and elegant restaurants that are cheap and cheerful. Wine and tapas bars are also big business here, as is pan-Asian cuisine. There are also Saturday markets held in the Brunswick Street Mall, and the nightlife at the Valley is legendary.
South Bank is another area to visit, though admittedly not like Melbourne's own South Bank. Here it is built on the Expo '88 site and is home to a dozen cafés and pubs. It's also has a number of barbeque and picnic venues where you can bring your own food and eat under shady trees. Though when I came here, the South Bank was not exactly the hub of all life, the manmade lagoon (Breka Beach) was a real nice touch on what otherwise could be quite an insignificant area.
For a truly amazing day, experience the views of the Mt Cooth Lookout. Or the exotic plants and grounds of the Botanic Gardens. Queensland's leading heritage park, the Botanic Gardens, is just 5 minutes from the CBD. Some trees date back to 1828.
The Gabba is another thing to see if you're into your cricket. This is Australia's famous cricket ground and is only a short bus ride from the city. Check local guides to catch the Queensland Bulls cricket team or the Brisbane Lions football team.
Remember that Brisbane is not far at all from the Sunshine Coast (the Australia Zoo), which is home to crocodile hunter Steve Irwin. He's Australia's national icon who wrestles crocs to the ground and deals with creatures you would rather not touch.