Indian summers are hot. Sweltering. So, when this side of the world is sweating it out, why not make a trip to the place where currently, it is winter? And no, not the shivering in your blanket because it is too cold to go out winter but a cool, balmy weather that is so pleasant, you just wouldn’t want to go home! Brisbane, Australia’s fastest growing tourist destination is calling.Being the capital of the state of Queensland, Brisbane is a bustling city, known for its charming vibe and 280 days of sunshine a year. It is a melting pot that offers a heady mix of a vibrant city life with quirky laneways, riverside dining, great nightlife, incredible food markets, world class hotels, and adventure.Here is what makes Brisbane the next big thing in Australia:1. The sunshine capital of Australia: Story Bridge ClimbIn Brisbane, every day is about vibrant shopping arcades, bustling bars bursting with happy people, beautiful, historical landmarks, and an exciting music and arts scene. If that is not enough, the fact that Brisbane has more sunny days per year than any other Australian city might give you enough ideas about how you can spend your weekends. Chilling at South Bank, enjoying the awe-inspiring view of the rising sun on an early morning climb on Story Bridge, getting the best instagrammable shots of the city from a vantage point at Mt Coo-tha, rock climbing or abseiling at Kangaroo Point depending upon your appetite for adventure or simply enjoying a picnic at the City Botanical Gardens.advertisement2. Brisbane’s swanky new hotels & developments: W HotelIn terms of development, Queensland’s River City is booming. 22 brand new hotels have opened in the past 5 years with hot new accommodation offerings that will make your stay worth its while. From glamping tents and riverside wharf residences to swanky five-star hotels, and a 1920s bank-cum -220-room hotel, you name it, Brisbane has it! The newest addition to the city has been Howard Smith Wharves, an entertainment and lifestyle destination on the riverfront that re-imagines the way you eat and drink. It even has picnic areas and indoor event spaces, apart from a host of restaurants where you can sample multiple cuisines. What would make a trip to the Howard Smith Wharves even more incredible is staying at the $100 million Art Series Hotel – a flagship, a stunning 6-storey structure that is inspired by acclaimed Australian painter Vincent Fantauzzo and is a master class in creativity and contemporary luxury.3. The super chilled out outdoor lifestyle: Brisbane river kayakingLiving in or visiting the river city’ means you get to kayak on Brisbane’s iconic waterways and see the city from a fresh perspective. Paddle under the Story Bridge or past South Bank and experience Brisbane like never before. Hop on a CityCat (the city’s famous ferries) especially during peak hours and take a unique tour. Get down at one of the many restaurants lining the riverfront and enjoy an evening of incredible food and drink, with gorgeous views of the river. (Recommendation: Watt Restaurant & Bar is a favourite among all. Housed inside the iconic Brisbane Powerhouse building, the restaurant is totally gorgeous and a minimalist’s dream.) Check out the many quirky laneways to get your fix of culture. Our favourites are Fish Lane (for a rocking nightlife), Bakery Lane (for some sumptuous desserts), and Burnett Lane (to sample the local wine selection and a slew of expertly crafted cocktails). For those with an appetite for adventure, Kangaroo Point with its rock climbing is THE place. You can thank us later!4. Lip smacking cuisine: Eat Street NorthshoreYou will find street food from around the world in Brisbane if you know just where to look. From an increasing fleet of food trucks to pop-up pavilions, tiny holes-in-the-wall, small markets, and bustling restaurants- all offer a sumptuous array of cuisines. Shanghai dumplings, Mexican tacos, Japanese gyoza, and the all-time fav Indian food- you can take your palate on a tour of the world! Oh, and honorary mention needs to be given to seafood like Moreton Bay bugs, king and tiger prawns, mud crabs, and sea scallops, etc. Check out Eat Street Northshore, the iconic riverfront shipping container eat precincts and markets that are a great place to mingle with the locals, absorb the aromas and sounds of the city as the sun sets on the river. Want to enjoy fresh local farm produce? Head out to Jan Powers Farmers Markets that will offer you an exotic array of bread, meat, fish, fowl, spices, oils and everything that your taste buds desire. Greenglass (George Street), Death Star Canteen (Queen Street), Botero (Creek Street), etc. Offer exceptional coffee and some fantastic breakfast options. And the emerging cafe scene has ensured that the outer suburbs of the city have some of the most incredible and aromatic coffee to de-stress you after a day of playing tourist. Places to not miss – Ill Centro Restaurant, Landmark Restaurant, Govinda’s and Post Office Food Court.advertisement5. Colourful, diverse events and entertainment: Brisbane FestivalBrisbane’s event calendar is over-flowing all year round with everything from home game matches to international sport clashes, community-led art shows to exclusive blockbuster exhibitions, live gigs to sold-out music festivals and everything in between. Brisbane is also a place where music, good food, and good vibes are aplenty. Check out the Brisbane Festival and award-winning productions at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). Brisbane Festival 2019 will explode across the city in September, featuring a thrilling program of theatre, music, dance, circus, opera, the return of Treasury Brisbane Arcadia and Sunsuper Riverfire. A premier international event, Brisbane Festival is the biggest event of its kind in Queensland with over a million people coming together to join the festivities. From the BriAsia Festival to the Spanish Film Festival, the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival, and the India Day Fair (yes!), Brisbane is big on multiculturalism. So much so, that the city has one whole month that celebrates the diverse communities that the city boasts. So, wherever you might be from, you will always feel included and welcome here.6. Unique wildlife encounters in and around Brisbane: Lone Pine Koala SanctuaryHome to koalas and kangaroos, Brisbane is a paradise for the nature junkie. Feed the rainbow lorikeets and kangaroos, cuddle a Koala, check out beautiful Australian fauna like Tasmanian devils and dingoes, hold slithery, beautiful snakes- all at the world’s largest koala sanctuary in Lone Pine, the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary. Take a ferry from Holt Street Wharf to Moreton Island and visit Tangalooma Island Resort for an adventurous rendezvous with vast sand dunes, shipwrecks, beautiful beaches, and the 600 bottlenose dolphins that have made the bay their home. You can also snorkel in the gorgeous waters. Day cruise packages offer the opportunity to wade into the water and feed these playful creatures. And when we are talking about Dolphins, how can we forget the magnificent whales that can be seen in the season starting June to October on the Tangalooma Whale Watching Cruises. If you want some serious wildlife action, we recommend the one and only Australia Zoo, an hour’s drive north of Brisbane. Go on a journey of discovery and adventure with giant snakes, colourful birds and prehistoric crocs in the world famous Crocoseum! The Crocoseum is the fulfillment of late Steve Irwin’s lifelong dreams to provide visitors to the Australia Zoo with the opportunity to see crocodiles in clear water ponds. This Zoo will, undoubtedly, deliver an animal experience, unlike anything you have ever had before.advertisement7. An expansive art and culture scene: Brisbane South BankBrisbane has a number of cultural institutions that you can immerse yourself in. The Gallery of Modern Art, the Queensland Museum, the Brisbane Powerhouse, and the Maritime Museum are all testimony to the rich history and incredible heritage that Australia is known to have. Brisbane’s own London’s Eye, the Wheel of Brisbane in South Bank offers an awe-inspiring 360-degree panoramic view. The Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts offers the regular theatre, cabaret, and musical events for those interested in the underground arts scene.8. Australia’s most sustainable city: Botanical GardensBrisbane boasts 2,000 green parks and over 2,500 species of plant life. No wonder the city is famous for its immense bio-diversity and is a paradise for those who are in love with Nature and want to stay close to it. The lush City Botanic Gardens right beneath the stunning Mt. Coot-tha is a green haven with its rainforest glades, bamboo groves and scenic lily ponds- ideal for those Saturdays when all you want to do is to sit with a book and relax.And if you get some too-good-to-be-true (and yet true!) flight offers from Malaysia Airlines, there is no reason to not start packing your bags immediately. The land of buzzing nightlife, sub-tropical climate, pub-hopping, hidden lanes, and immersive culture beckons you.Happy vacations!