If you’ve just gotten to Brisbane and would like to get your bearings at a relaxed pace, milling around the Queensland Cultural Centre is a great option. Not only is it a short walk away from the Central Business District via the Victoria Bridge or the Kurilpa Footbridge, but it’s also a multi-venue compound that gives you access to the following institutions contributing to the Queensland capital’s cultural pulse:
1. Queensland Performing Arts Centre
Those who love musicals, plays, and opera or ballet performances will definitely want to linger here. QPAC is home to a total of four theatres and a handful of outdoor spaces, all of which are devoted to the week’s various performances.
Given that Queensland’s leading performance art companies – the Queensland Theatre Company, Opera Queensland, Queensland Ballet, Queensland Youth Orchestras and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra – are all headquartered here, you can very much bet on high-quality entertainment any time you decide to visit.
2. Queensland Museum and Sciencentre
Kids and kids at heart will certainly enjoy themselves in this innovative and educational museum of natural history. While there are the usual fossils, skeletons, and sundry artifacts telling of how Queensland has been shaped throughout the years, the in-house Sciencentre also offers interactive activities enticing visitors to discover the role that science plays in everyday life.
3. State Library of Queensland
Provided by the state government of Queensland, this reference and research facility gives visitors access to countless books, journals, magazines, newspapers, family histories as well as audiovisual materials and Internet and electronic resources.
Those who are interested in the UNESCO Memory of the World collection will also be delighted to know that two of its components, namely the Labour Party Manifesto and the Margaret Lawrie collection of Torres Strait Islands material, can be found here.
4. Queensland Art Gallery
Paintings, sculptures, and other artistic output reveal a great deal about a location’s culture, and in Brisbane’s case, these reside in a rather austere chunk of concrete designated as the Queensland Art Gallery. Spanning a total of 4,700 square meters, this massive display space has strategically-placed walls and barriers that guide the flow and change the course of the viewer’s journey.
The first floor is dedicated to celebrated Australian artists like Arthur Boyd, Sir Sydney Nolan, George Lambert, and William Dobell, as well as art that dates back all the way to the 1840’s. The works of European artists, on the other hand, can be seen in the permanent collections that are hung throughout the other floors.
5. Queensland Gallery of Modern Art
Unlike the previous attraction, which focuses on traditional art, the Queensland GOMA features the more experimental genres on its premises. As we’ve mentioned in a previous feature here, this is where you will find paintings made from gunpowder, fiberglass and polymer dolls crafted to look like mutated humans, and even a photo commentary on society’s obsession with celebrity.
Another great thing about the Queensland Cultural Centre’s location is that other attractions like the South Bank Parklands and the Queensland Conservatorium are nearby as well, giving you even more options in case you want to see other things (or if someone in your tour group isn’t that big on art and culture).