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Brisbane views

Thursday, October 15, 2009
Giaan Rooney grabbed her trusty camera and hit the streets of Brisbane to get snap happy.

Cloudland Restaurant

There's loads to see and do in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley and Giaan visited Cloudland, the city's newest hot spot. There's nowhere else like the bar/restaurant/nightclub. It took three years to rebuild and fit out and cost $10 million to build. It's a cross between a Middle Eastern harem and a scene from Alice in Wonderland.

Cloudland has four levels and two personalities: a sophisticated restaurant and hip nightclub. It has a retractable roof which is open mainly during the day and turns the venue into a sophisticated indoor beer garden.

The 14m-high "alive wall" has more than 5000 plants sprawling over it. Next to it is a 10m waterfall.

When darkness falls, Cloudland becomes Brisbane's trendiest nightspot. Patrons crowd the two bars and believe it or not a favourite cocktail is the Jellybean which is full of, you guessed it, jellybeans.

One bar is 25m of curved marble and the other was created from 17,000 glass balls. The balls were hand-stitched onto a piece of wire in China at the rate of five balls an hour. That means it took 141 days to create.

Seating is in soft lounges with cushions and the mezzanine level is the most popular place for relaxing and soaking up the vibe.

Cloudland offers a mostly organic à la carte menu for lunch and dinner every day, tapas daily from 11am to 11pm, and an extensive wine and cocktail list.

Stamford Plaza

When you are looking for a great place to stay, Stamford Plaza will fit the bill. Its unusual V shape takes advantage of the surrounding area.

Its 252 rooms, including 20 suites, many of which have views across the river and take in the Story Bridge, Kangaroo Point cliffs and the Botanic Gardens.

Dining and drinking options are in Siggi's Restaurant and Wine/Tapas Bar, Brasserie on the River, Japanese teppanyaki at Kabuki and the Pav Bar and Courtyard.

There is an outdoor heated pool, spa, sauna, sundeck and fitness centre.

Story Bridge

A focal point of Brisbane is the Story Bridge. The cantilever bridge spans the Brisbane River and connects Fortitude Valley to Kangaroo Point. It opened in 1940, five years after construction commenced and 14 years after it was first thought of.

Since 2005 adventurers have been able to climb the bridge day and night any day of the week. The two-and-a-half-hour climb gives 360-degree views of the river, city and beyond. It's spectacular.

The climb is ideal for all levels of fitness and ages, though participants must be at least 10 years of age. Safety is paramount. Climbers must tell the organisers if they have a medical condition or impairment or suffer vertigo. Climb leaders are experienced in supporting and encouraging anyone who may become nervous during the climb. All potential climbers will be breath tested for alcohol, prescription or illicit drugs.


The centre of Brisbane.


Stamford Plaza Brisbane Finally Friday package starts at $235. It includes accommodation in a Superior King Riverview room, buffet breakfast, sparkling wine and valet parking.

Story Bridge Adventure Climb is $89 for adults and $75.65 for children. It includes a 30-minute safety briefing, climb suit and harness. The climb takes just under two hours.

Virgin Blue has flights to Brisbane.

One-way fares from:

  • Sydney $89
  • Melbourne $139
  • Adelaide $149
  • Darwin $199
  • Perth $279

There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the Internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are subject to change.

Prices correct at October 15, 2009.

For further information

Virgin Blue
Ph: 136 789

641 Ann Street
Fortitude Valley 4006
Ph: (07) 3872 6600
Fax: (07) 3872 6699

Stamford Plaza Brisbane
Edward Street
Brisbane 4000
Ph: (07) 3221 1999

Story Bridge Adventure Climb
170 Main Street
Kangaroo Point 4169
Ph: 1300 254 627

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