Once a sleepy riverside city, over the past five years Brisbane has woken up. An influx of cool cafes, new hotels and a commitment to cutting edge art are to thank for the new vibe. Expedia’s Kiwi travellers usually spend 1-2 nights in Brisbane. It’s not long but it’s long enough with our top five things to do on a short visit to Queensland’s capital city.

1. Try a new cafe

From fine dining to healthy and wholesome, Brisbane’s food scene has been booming. Over the last few years some of Sydney and Melbourne’s big names have opened secondary restaurants in the city – Aria and Sake are two very popular special occasion hot spots. If you’re after something more relaxed, the brand new Nest Restaurant and Bar opened in January and is serving relaxed Asian fusion fare from inside the recently refurbished Hotel Jen. Hops Scotch and Beans is a café, bar and roastery in Petrie Terrace that serves healthy café fare for breakfast and lunch before turning into whiskey and craft beer venue at night.

2. Have a tiki cocktail

When Alfred and Constance came on the scene a few years ago, it brought life back into a traditional Queenslander in Fortitude Valley. Spread out across the building is everything from Alfred’s Café (known for decadent shakes and soft serve ice cream) to the White Lightening Tiki Bar (for those who want to party the night away with a classic tiki cocktail or two).

3. Head to a gallery

Goma. An oldie but a goodie, the Gallery of Modern Art world renowned for bringing quirky, cutting edge, avant guarde and fun exhibitions to life. From aviary installations to giant slides and rooms filled with thousands of coloured dots, the exhibitions are suitable for all ages.