Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)#7 in Best Things To Do in Brisbane
Travelers are consistently impressed with Brisbane's arts scene, and perhaps the best way to experience it is to pay a visit to this comprehensive institution. Made up of two distinct venues – the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art – QAGOMA features a diverse lineup of more than 17,000 paintings, sculptures, decorative art pieces and multimedia installations created by both Australian and international artists. Careful not to ignore the interests of its youngest visitors, QAGOMA also boasts a Children's Art Centre, where interactive exhibitions and activities – often curated by artists exhibiting within the gallery – are available for kids of all ages.
Visitors regularly praise both galleries for their engaging and informative presentations, as well as their top-notch collection of Australian and Aborginal works. However, some caution that ongoing renovations make parts of the facilities feel a bit sparse. Nevertheless, many are quick to recommend QAGOMA for those days when it's too hot or too rainy to do much outside.
Aside from the impressive collection of art, QAGOMA boasts a sit-down restaurant and two cafes, restrooms and a gift shop with various books and art-themed souvenirs. Both spaces sit in South Brisbane alongside the Brisbane River, so travelers can easily reach them by driving or taking the Ferny Grove-Beenleigh, Shorncliffe-Cleveland or Airport-Gold Coast train to South Brisbane station. There is no fee to visit either facility, but charges do apply for some exhibits. Each gallery is open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily, excluding Christmas, Boxing Day and Good Friday. Restricted hours are observed on ANZAC Day. Learn more about the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art on the QAGOMA website.
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#1 Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha
After you've admired the sweeping views at the Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha, walk (or drive) about 1.5 miles northeast to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. At this 138-acre subtropical conservatory, you'll find a host of native and exotic plants, not to mention the largest collection of Australian rainforest trees in the world. Within the garden you'll come across several themed spaces, including the Japanese Garden, the Lagoon and Bamboo Grove, the Fern House and the Fragrant Plants and Herb Garden – all containing different varieties of plantlife. When you're not admiring the spectacular flora, see if you can spot the fauna: Visitors say you'll likely come across iguanas and other reptiles, not to mention plenty of insects and birds.
Past visitors said the gardens provided a beautiful setting for kids to burn off some energy. The Brisbane City Council also offers a "Hide 'n' Seek Children's Trail" with surprises and facts for youngsters to discover as they make their way through the garden. And do be sure to bring your camera since this outdoor attraction boasts plenty of photo-op-worthy spots, including areas with superb views of the city.
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