Brisbane, capital of Queensland, is a large city on the Brisbane River. Clustered in its South Bank cultural precinct are the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, with noted interactive exhibitions. Another South Bank cultural institution is Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, among Australia’s major contemporary art museums. Looming over the city is Mt. Coot-tha, site of Brisbane Botanic Gardens.
Ferries cruise the winding river. At one bend, modern skyscrapers crowd around the restored 1920s City Hall. Nearby, the Roma Street Parkland is a subtropical garden that’s home to native and endangered plants. For shopping, the Queen Street Mall is also in the central business district, and James Street in Fortitude Valley has restaurants and cafes. Further upriver, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary offers visitors the chance to hold koalas and hand-feed kangaroos. Out in Moreton Bay, North Stradbroke Island is home to an Aboriginal settlement, a former convict station and shipwrecks.