Attention all Forum Users.
We’re working on a brand new shiny tool to make your experience as simple as possible.
Which means the community forums is now read only whilst we work on a new & improved ‘My Contiki’ space.


Advice for Trip to Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast

5 Feb 2008 Explorer1088130 said

I'm visiting Australia for the first time Feb. thru Mar. this year and would love some advice on what to experience. Let me start by saying I leave the US in 10 days and can barely contain myself. I've been dreaming about this trip for years.<BR><BR>I know my question is way too vague so let me say that I've researched all the travel guides so I'm familiar will all the typical guidance for tourists. I can't wait to do all those activities, but I am looking for advice from locals, or other travelers my age. My friend and I are in our late twenties, and our interest lie in great pubs, great conversations, and local flavor. I'm hoping to get some opinions on great hostels, and the best of the nightlife in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and also Auckland, NZ. Best places for live music would be fantastic(rock/indie type stuff.) Also one specific thing I was hoping to find is a really nice hotel/resort to stay in somewhere on the Gold Coast where we can end the trip in style, preferably under $300/night. Thanks for taking the time to help me out, and wish us luck.<BR><BR>Cheers,<BR>Ryan
  • Read the responses 13 responses so far
  • 9 Feb 2008 aquathest said


    Hi, I live in Melbourne. Best places for nightlife would be Fitzroy St. in St. Kilda, Chapel St. in South Yarra and Windsor, and of course some places in the CBD (but I’m not really familiar with the CBD). You can find a good mix of places on both these streets, from bars, to pubs, to clubs. Every place has something different on offer in the way of music so you’re bound to find something that appeals to you. For a good pub with live music on the rock/indie side of the spectrum, try the Esplanade Hotel (known as the Espy) on the Esplanade in St. Kilda, it’s kind of where Fitzroy Street joins aruond and meets the Esplanade. St. Kilda is a suburb of Melbourne, only about 5 or so mins by car from the CBD.

  • 11 Feb 2008 Explorer1088130 said


    Thanks so much for the tips Trichelle and Aquathest. I’ve decided to stay at Base Backpackers in St. Kilda so the “Espy” is the first place I’m hitting. Thanks so much.

    On a plane in 72 hours, can’t wait.

  • 10 Jun 2008 woody said


    ryan if u havent already been to brisbane… the best clubs are in the valley… there’s plenty there just on the 1 street… just catch a train from brisbane central to brunswick street station n its just around that area.

  • 12 Jun 2008 bren.18 said


    Brisbane born-and-bred here.

    best night-life DEFINITELY Fortitude Valley. Catch the train to Brunswick Street.
    Some places have cover charges, so take money.
    and drinks aren’t cheap.

    there are also a few good clubs/pubs in the city.
    just depends on the sort of place ur looking for.

  • 6 Aug 2008 Explorer1102532 said



    Flying would be the quickest way to see those specific cities…If you want to see places in between you could take a bus…Personally I did a trip between Melbourne and Sydney…there isn’t a whole lot going on…My suggestion when in Melbourne take a day trip to the wineries, and places around melbourne…

    Brisbane – I only passed through personally, did not stay there at all…have heard mixed reactions…My suggestion would to maybe go a little farther north to places along the beach (brisbane does not have a beach in case you were wondering)...There are really nice beach towns along the gold coast…

    OZ experience – I took the OZ Experience (ok guys my first major bus trip solo) from Byron Bay to Cairns…People do that in many months (up to 6), I had a tight schedule and did it in 3 weeks…It was a fun experience…loads of young travelers, i’d say between 18-21…A lot come from England and are on gap year, as you should know being from england…You will get sprinkles from other parts of the world, but on my particular trip it was loaded with people from the UK and England…Now if its between May and August you may get some american’s as that is our typical summer break…

  • 11 Oct 2008 San Diego Kid said

    San Diego Kid

    Sydney night life is either on George st. in the CBD, Oxford St. in Padddington (a lot of gay clubs and smaller pubs) and main stuff is in Kings Cross (sort of a red light district). The cross is full of people until the sun comes up and there is plenty of interesting people and strippers cruising the place. Most clubs in the cross are house/electro. Paddington and George st. play more of a variety with some funky house, hip hop and disco type stuff. IVY on george st. in the city is the biggest best place there, and the cross has tons of places depending on what you are looking for. Dragonfly and Lady Lux are the late late night dirty electro music places open til 6am.

  • 22 Jan 2013 Siemensweber said


    You should visit Brisbane as Brisbane is a beautiful place to spend holidays & many things can be done there

  • 8 Mar 2013 elizabethirwin said


    There are great places to go in Brisbane you just have to look harder than your usual Fortitude Valley nightlife to get the real local hubs. In the VALLEY the best places are -

    KERBSIDE: it’s a really relaxed bar with couches, graffiti and funky furniture.

    BOWERY: For great cocktails and a ambient atmosphere.

    THE BEAT: it’s Brisbane’s biggest gay and lesbian nightclub with a hell of a lot of levels to explore and fun DJs.

    THE BRUNSWICK HOTEL: if you get adventurous and head further down Brunswick St the Brunswick Hotel otherwise known by locals as the ‘Brunno’ is excellent. They have karaoke most nights and cheap drinks, the crowds of people who go there are very mixed and it’s a bit of a spectacle for someone who wants to see the grittier side of Brisbane nightlife.

    THE SPRING HILL HOTEL: Another hotel that’s a little bit ‘bogan’ and gritty. It’s really fun though and has a lovely beer garden for punters out the back, nice for an afternoon drink. However, on weekends they open up ‘The Primitive Room’ on the side of it and most Saturday nights a bunch of underground local and Australian bands play there for super cheap, it’s got a really diverse crowd of people and is worth your dimes if you want to see local music come to life.

    YARD BIRD ALE HOUSE: further along on Brunswick the Yardbird bar is very synonymous with ‘greaser’ and ‘rockabilly’ tattoo culture, they have art exhibitions and cheap drinks a lot of the nights and serve delicious American style bar food.

    RICS BAR: by day Rics serves a delcious $4 breakfast and by night it transforms into a hub for local alternate music and some of the friendliest staff and DJs you will see in this locale. It’s central to everything in the Brunswick mall and next to 80s dance club Kalibar for the brave hearted.

    ALFRED AND CONSTANCE: A really beautiful trendy bar in the Valley featuring White Lightning Tiki Bar, The Vanguard Beer Garden and Restaurant, Alfred Cafe, Late Night Dessert. It’s a lot of fun and quite fancy! Plus the deserts and wine list are amazing!

    CLOUDLAND: If you want something a bit more high scale and classier Cloudland serves great cocktails and has many levels designed with different themes, it’s a bit ritzier so dress well and expect to splash cash. It’s not my favourite place but it’s worth a look.


    THE PINEAPPLE BAR: In Kangaroo Point there’s the pineapple bar it’s your quintessential Australian hotel with tropical themes throughout. It’s also great because it’s the ‘home’ bar for Brisbane’s local AFL football team and has memorabilia throughout. Also has a famous steak house.

    THE GERMAN CLUB: Near the AFL ‘Gabba’ in Wooloongabba there’s a German Club that always has friendly staff and punters, fun traditional bands and great food and drinks for super cheap.

    ARCHIVE: In west End there’s Archive – its a boutique beer bar that sells cheap food and a range of locally imported beers, try a wide range of beers and their famous pies. On Tuesday nights they have trivia which is great for tourists wanting to meet a large group of people.


    THE REGATTA: It’s one of Brisbane’s oldest pubs right on the river which means whenever it floods it cops damage, off the cusp of the most recent flood it’s been revamped and looks great. It’s architecture is the single most typical Brisbane pub layout and the toilets are fun because they look outside from the inside and you feel as though everyone’s looking at you. FUN.

    THE ROYAL EXCHANGE: Wednesday nights at the Royal Exchange mean live bands and $3 drinks. They do great drink and meal deals and have a wide variety of students, travellers, tradies and the like.

    There’s a few places I like going. From a local perspective.

  • 8 Mar 2013 elizabethirwin said


    Also if you’re going to Sydney there’s a great bar in Darling Harbour called ‘Cargo’ with really cool props and a bunch of levels it serves $5 margharitas some nights which is cheap for Australia and King St in Newtown Sydney has some great resturants that are reasonably priced as well as my favourite bar in Sydney, The Courthouse!

  • 8 Mar 2013 Jessica said


    Ryan, Best place for Indie/ Rock Music is ’The Oxford Arts Factory" In Surry Hills, Sydney.

  • 18 Mar 2013 Richard said


    A must for tourists coming to Sydney is to have a beer at Opera Bar! Its right under the Opera House and gives you the best views Sydney has the offer!

    Also more recently there has been a bunch of underground cool bars popping up on York St, Sydney. Like Uncle Ming’s, Stitch Bar, Le Pub.

  • 4 May 2013 deanuk said


    Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane is top cities in Australia country. I like also Brisbane because it is fulfilled with natural beauty. For Brisbane flights from UK visit to

We are no longer accepting new responses to this discussion thread.

More Discussions



Visas? Money? Where to go? Chat to us about travel.