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20 Reasons Why Brisbane Really Is the Cool Capital of Australia

By Daniel Colasimone - 13 Jan 2014

Unless you don't have TV or Facebook, you'll already have heard about how Brisbane was just named Australia's capital of cool by attention-seeking travel guide, Lonely Planet.

The announcement drew moans of protest from Sydneysiders, snickers of derision from Melburnians, nervous, high-pitched giggles from Adelaide-ites, confused grunts from Perthians, odd, donkey-like brays from Hobartians, and a loud chorus of apathy from the rest of Australia.

Well, here at Urban List we agree 100% with everything Lonely Planet says (except for that time they said Adelaide was the best city in Australia to visit, we disagreed 100% with that), so we've compiled a list of 20 reasons why Brisbane is probably the coolest city in Australia, and without doubt the coolest city on the planet:

1. Since the city is bathed in sublime sunshine for the almost the entire the year, Brisbane residents are rarely seen without a slick pair of shades. We pull it off pretty well, too. Pretty damn well.

2. What's that? Do we have a Marilyn Monroe impersonator who just hangs out in the city every day? It just so happens that we do, thanks for asking. 

3. There's a bridge named after the brilliant indie rock band, The Go-Betweens. And guess what it does? It goes between two banks of the river. Chew on that for a while.

4. There's also a highway named after Steve Irwin just up the road.

5. Ray Martin, Cory Bernardi, Harold from Neighbours, Lara Bingle, Matthew Newton, Tom Waterhouse, Alan Jones, Tracy Grimshaw, Guy Sebastian, Tony Barber, Warwick Capper, Jason Donovan, Toadfish Rebecchi from Neighbours, Rhonda from the AAMI ads: none of these extremely uncool people come from Brisbane.

6. Hip cafes and sensational restaurants are popping up all over the city like mushrooms.

7. Australia's coolest ever band, Regurgitator, came from Brisbane. 

8. The Saints, Custard, the Bee Gees, Last Dinosaurs, Powderfinger, the Resin Dogs, Emma Louise, Screamfeeder and countless other awesome acts are also from Brisbane.

9. Queenslanders are the most bodacious houses on the planet.

10. There is a thriving arts and entertainment scene, and much of it won't cost you a cent to experience. Just swing by The Powerhouse or GOMA and prepare to be blown away for free. 

11. And let's not forget the stand-up comedy scene that is one of the most dynamic in Australia.

12. Brisbane residents are at one with nature. Scrub turkeys frolic in our yards, snakes snooze in our ceilings, and possums enter our homes and snack on our food. It's like one big, happy menagerie. 

13. Queenslanders in general have a completely cavalier, even jokey, attitude to politics. Despite the harm it did the state, we elected Jo Bjelke-Petersen as Premier for 19 years just because we thought it would be funny to troll the rest of the country.

14. Future Governor-General of Australia and all-round nice gal, Stephanie Rice, hails from Brisneyland.

15. Brisbane Storms (#BNEstorms). They're terrifying and destructive and spectacular and astonishing. They prowl about on the horizon (and on the edge of the radar on our smartphone aps) on the hottest and muggiest of summer days, brooding and grumbling and mustering strength. Just as the humidity reaches unbearable levels in the afternoon or early evening, the wind kicks up, the sky turns black or grey or green (or all of the above), the crisp, fresh smell of ozone tingles the nostrils, the temperature plummets, and then the storm decides it's time to rumble in. Thunder explodes, the sky fills up with monstrous, incandescent spiderwebs and an unfathomable amount of water is dumped onto the city with tremendous force. Branches fall, humans scurry, streets become streams, and then, just like that, it's all over; usually within about an hour. And Brisbanites shake their heads and go about their business. It's all pretty cool. 

16. Adelaide may lay claim to the invention of the Hills Hoist clothes line and the wine cask, but the Goon of Fortune game which, by combining these two things makes them far more valuable to humankind, originated in Brisbane.

17. None of this 'small bars licence' poppycock like they have in Sydney and Melbourne, so the places you actually want to drink at stay open past midnight.

18. Brisbane plays host to more funky little bookshops per capita than any other city.

19. Stefan is from Brisbane and, just as importantly, so is Stefan's pink powerboat

20. World Expo '88. It should always be the final word when discussing coolness. 

Image Credit: Daily Telegraph

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