With brilliant weather aplenty, Brisbane is the launch pad for holidays to the sand, surf, and theme park thrills and spills of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. But this booming state capital has plenty more to offer its guests. The meandering Brisbane River waves its way through precincts that are an invigorating blend of urban trend and laid-back cool. Culture vultures should head for South Bank. Whether you’re looking for an internationally acclaimed performance or an avant-garde exhibition, you’ll find it in this thriving precinct of world-class theatre and arts. Downriver, Fortitude Valley is a hive of grungy, offbeat activity and home to the city’s Chinatown. The sports mad can time their travel to catch a cricket match at the Gabba or see the Brisbane Broncos or the Queensland Reds play at Suncorp Stadium. Whatever you fancy, Brisbane will surprise you.