Photo credit: Bella Falk
Describe your book in a few words
A carefully curated selection of the very best sightseeing, eating, drinking and shopping in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
What were your favourite places you visited in Brisbane and the Gold Coast?
There were so many fantastic places! Standouts included GOMA for contemporary art, the vibrant streets of West End and the Valley, the lush, atmospheric side streets of New Farm and Paddington. I think one of the great joys of Brisbane is simply walking around, taking in the architecture and vegetation… and cruising along the river. I also have a soft spot for the street-art murals at the Pillars Project in South Brisbane, especially Fintan Magee’s ‘Flood’. Then there are those skyline views from rooftop bar Eleven. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
What was the coolest spot in Brisbane?
Newstead. I absolutely loved the contrast of old-school industrial architecture and polished, new-school cafés, bars, and microbreweries. It’s a physical representation of Brisbane’s own transformation from a ‘big town’ to a sophisticated, confident city of the Asia Pacific region. The neighbourhood has so many cool hangouts. Take the Triffid: where else can you catch a live band in a pitch-perfect, inner-city aircraft hangar?
Did you eat or drink anything awesome while researching this book?
So many times! Food-wise, there was the fermented black-garlic and treacle bread at Gauge, the cabbage pancakes at Sourced Grocer, the pork-and-fennel gnocchi dish at 1889 Enoteca, not to mention the spiced kusheri at Naïm (formerly Shouk Café). And I’m still salivating over the Valrhona Beets doughnut at Nodo. On the liquid side, I especially loved the coffee at Strauss and Coffee Anthology, not to mention the cocktails at John Mills Himself. The bar champions some fantastic smaller local distilleries.
What have been the biggest rewards from travelling around Brisbane and the Gold Coast?
Discovering a region on the ascent. Brisbane and the Gold Coast are much more vibrant than a lot of people might imagine. The food scene is smashing it and there’s an easy, seductive vibe that sets the place apart from the southern capitals. Brisbane, in particular, is finding its groove. Being able to showcase the city’s ever-expanding cast of innovative chefs, mixologists, and other creatives is incredibly rewarding.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Being listed as one of the ‘Reasons to Love New York City’ in New York magazine’s annual list.
What have been the biggest hurdles in being a travel writer?
It’s a highly competitive industry with a lot of very talented, well-traveled writers. I’ve had to work extremely hard and have a lot of discipline to stay in the game and build a sound reputation.
Do you have any packing recommendations?
Pack clothes that you can mix and match easily. That way you can create the illusion of having lots of outfits even though you’re basically using a limited number of pieces. Also, once you’ve packed, take out a third of what’s in your suitcase. As for shoes, just one pair of dress shoes and one pair of runners is all you need! Ok, and thongs in Queensland!
What’s on your travel bucket list in Australia?
I’d love to visit Broome and The Kimberley. Given my schedule, however, it’ll probably be a few days in Sydney. I always try to head up there for a few days in the summer. I love the subtropical mugginess, the backstreets of Surry Hills. The first thing I do when I arrive is catch the ferry to Manly and walk across to Shelly Beach for breakfast at The Boathouse. It’s my happy place. After that, I hike over to North Head. There’s an enigmatic energy there, and the views of the city and harbour are beautiful.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently in Rome working on a coffee-table book about the city. I will be heading home for Christmas before flying back to Italy in late February to start researching Naples and the Amalfi Coast for Lonely Planet.
About Lonely Planet Pocket Brisbane & the Gold Coast
Lonely Planet Pocket Brisbane & the Gold Coast is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you.
Thrill on the rides, waterslides and movie sets of the Gold Coast’s mega-theme parks; admire the works of art at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art, Australia’s biggest gallery of modern and contemporary art; and soak up rays on Australia’s only artificial, inner-city beach, Streets Beach, the star attraction at South Bank Parklands, all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of the best of Brisbane & the Gold Coast and begin your journey now!
Head to the website to purchase your copy of Lonely Planet Pocket Brisbane & the Gold Coast.
About Lonely Planet
Travel media company Lonely Planet is the world’s leading guidebook publisher, providing inspiring and trustworthy information for every kind of traveller since 1973. Over the past four decades, Lonely Planet has cultivated a dedicated traveller community and printed more than 148 million books across 13 different languages to most destinations on the planet. The Lonely Planet ecosystem also includes digital and mobile apps, a comprehensive ebook portfolio, nine international magazines and an award-winning website. Visit us at www.lonelyplanet.com, and join us on Facebook (facebook.com/lonelyplanet), Twitter (@lonelyplanet), Instagram (instagram.com/lonelyplanet) and Snapchat (@lonely.planet).