2017-18 Magellan Ashes Series in Australia
Inspection Report - Brisbane
The first Ashes Series test match between Australia and England will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane. Brisbane’s all year-round summer climate certainly added to my enjoyment while out there, it was into the mid-twenties in the middle of their winter and there was a winter festival going on, including ice-skating and a range of ‘winter foods’!
The capital of Queensland is one of the sunniest cities in Australia and attracts professionals, families and visitors alike, all helping to shape Brisbane into the flourishing and vibrant city it is today. With lots of options of where to eat and drink, you’ll never be short of some evening entertainment and anyone that enjoys an early morning run will love the views along the Southbank.
Howzat Travel tours taking in Brisbane...
The Brisbane Cricket Ground is also known as The Gabba - named after the Brisbane suburb of Woolloongabba, in which it is located. It has a capacity of 42,000 and as well as international cricket, it is also the home of the Queensland Bulls cricket team and Brisbane Lion Australian Rules Football Club.
A modern, oval style stadium resembling a smaller version of the MCG, the Gabba will no doubt again provide a fitting venue to kick off the Ashes series, with a noisy expectant crowd and an electric atmosphere.
Howzat Travel seating arrangements will be as follows*:
- Hospitality - Cricket Club Dining (Platinum tours upgrade) –Please see our general inspection page for details.
- Platinum (Platinum tours) –Sourthern or Northern Stand Upper
- Gold (Blue tours) –Southern Stand Upper
- Silver (Red tours) –Western Stand Upper
- Bronze (White tours) –Western Stand Lower
* Seating allocation subject to change. Stadium map to be provided when released by Cricket Australia.
Howzat Travel will be using six properties for our customers' stay in Brisbane, all of which are located in the city centre.
Stamford Plaza - Platinum tours - Hotel website
Looking over the Brisbane river, the Stamford Plaza hotel is ideally located to enjoy the city. It is just a 15-minute transfer to the stadium by coach and 25 minutes from the airport.
This grand 252-room property boasts a big outdoor swimming pool, a well-appointed gym and sauna. It also offers free Wi-Fi and a lively outdoor area that stretches along the riverfront.
Along with all the facilities you would expect from a hotel of this calibre, all the rooms are equipped with both baths and showers, with TVs in the all of the bathrooms!
The pavilion bar is a fantastic place for groups to meet and enjoy a drink by the riverfront, while the in-house restaurants are top of the range. Japanese tastes are catered for in Kabuki, Moo Moo's Steakhouse is inside the hotel, while breakfast at the Brasserie along the waterfront is a pleasure. While heading out of the hotel, Edward Street is full of great places to eat.
Next Hotel - Blue tours - Hotel website
The Next Hotel is located right in the heart of the CBD, surrounded by fantastic restaurants, plenty of shopping and of course, the Southbank. It is a 25-minute transfer from the airport and just 15 minutes by coach to the Gabba.
This high-tech hotel has a large lobby area with Lennon’s Bar which is a fantastic restaurant and bar. The Next lounge offers free tea/coffee, sleep pods and snacks. There is also a gym and pool, with a lovely terraced seating area.
The rooms contain showers and have all the other facilities you would expect. You are given a Samsung handset to operate everything in the room from wherever you are in the city, including your check-in info and the Wi-Fi hotspot! You are also allowed to help yourself to four free minibar items a day!
The pool bar is very luxurious and despite siting just above the busiest shopping street in the city, it is still quiet and relaxing. There are many local eateries close by on Queen Street, with a shopping centre just next door.
Being an eco-friendly hotel, the transfer car is a Tesla, so if you fancy heading a little further out of the city, ask behind reception if it is available for an interesting ride!
Capri by Fraser - Blue tours - Hotel website
In the heart of the CBD, this 'green' hotel is also surrounded by shopping and eateries that will give you plenty of options throughout your stay.
This highly rated, 239-room property includes free, fast Wi-Fi, an indoor pool and gym as well as a sauna and stream room. The hotel also offers a guest laundry service. The rooms are very well-appointed and new with all the facilities you would expect from a high-quality hotel.
The in-house Asana Restaurant, which celebrity chef Pete Evans has put his name to, has an emphasis on paleo food and I can say from personal experience it’s brilliant. Just outside of the hotel is a range of bars and restaurants along Eagle Street Pier, as well as Edward Street and Queen Street Mall.
Royal on the Park - Red tours - Hotel website
The Royal on the Park Hotel is ideally located in the CBD just off the bank of the river. This of course means you won't be short of things to do and places to eat, all just a short walk away.
The hotel features a bath and shower in every spacious room, high-speed, free internet and a lovely restaurant and bar area. There is also a pool, gym, spa and laundry service. After visiting I can second Jenni’s comments about a wonderfully homely feel to the hotel.
The Gabba is a 20-minute walk away across the river, and from the airport it should only take around half an hour on the coach.
Nearby you have lots of restaurant options on Eagle Street Pier, with Edward Street not too far away either. The hotel staff and your Tour Managers will be able to help you pick and choose the best around!
Hotel Jen - Red tours - Hotel website
The Hotel Jen by Shangri-La is located in the northern area of the CBD, a little further away from the ground. It is however, a short transfer from the airport and just a five-minute walk away from the free bus service to get you to the ground.
The hotel features free, fast Wi-Fi, a rooftop studio fitness centre, a range of dining options and a bar on the second floor with lovely decor and plenty of space to enjoy a drink after the cricket.
The rooms are all very modern and a brilliant size, with very high-tech facilities. The laundry bag in your room can be filled up to $10 or $20 for a 'collect and return' service.
Based at this hotel, you will not be far from the Southbank which has a range of places to eat and drink, while bustling George Street is even closer.
Ibis Styles Elizabeth Street - White tours - Hotel website
The Ibis is based in the heart of the CBD meaning getting to the Gabba couldn’t be easier, it’s either a 25-minute walk or hop on one of the free buses which will stop just behind the hotel. This hotel puts you in perfect position to enjoy the bars and restaurants of Brisbane.
The rooms are a good size and comfortable, with high-tech amenities and Wi-Fi throughout. Feel free to stream films and shows on your laptop that can be connected to the smart TV. The hotel boasts a gym and free guest laundry.
Nearby to Elizabeth Street, Mary Street and Albert Street, you won't be short of places to eat and drink with the fellow travelling England contingent! The buffet breakfast would cost just $20 and can be added to your room bill.
Travel from the Airport
In Brisbane, a taxi from the airport could cost anywhere up to $80 dependant on traffic. However, the Brisbane Airtrain will take you from the International terminal to Central Station, which is a 10-minute walk or very short taxi journey from the Ibis, for less than $20.
The Airtrain can be booked online and may save some hassle at the airport after the long flight, to book online.
Brisbane City Map
*Click to enlarge
Things to do in and around Brisbane
Take a ride on the Wheel of Brisbane, which is located on the Southbank. It provides excellent 360° panoramic views of the city by day and night, and - via an audio commentary - insight into Brisbane's many landmarks that can be seen on the thirteen-minute 'trip'.
Take a trip on the CityCat on the Brisbane River, or if you're feeling a bit more energetic, you can kayak down it!
There is lots of great shopping in Brisbane, including the Queens Plaza, the Myer Centre, the Brisbane Arcade and the Wintergarden.
You can take a Castlemaine XXXX Brewery Tour, learn the history of XXXX, see the inner workings of the brewery, learn to pour a perfect beer, taste it like a brewer and enjoy a brewery-fresh beer at the end!
It has been said that you cannot visit Brisbane without visiting the Lola Pines Koala Sanctuary, which house not only koalas, but kangaroos, emus and Tasmanian Devils.
One of Brisbane's best-kept secrets is Moreton Island, where you can see doplhins and turtles, enjoy excellent actvities like sand-boarding in the desert, snorkelling, picnic lunch, swimming at Blue Lagoon and much more.
Visit the Sunshine Coast, two hour's drive north up the coast. Here you can enjoy fishing, surfing, canoeing, spa treatments and eating out against a stunning backdrop. The Sunshine Coast is also the location of the highly recommended Australia Zoo and Underwater World.
Please click on the banner below to open the full range of day excursions on offer - or
Brisbane is famous for its favourable weather and enjoys a climate of brilliant hot summers and clear mild winters. The summer months have some extremely hot days with maximum average temperatures around 30°C. Sun cream, hats and light protective clothing are essential. Average summer temperature is 24.8°C (Av. max. 29.2°C, Av. min. 20.4°C).
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NB: Howzat Travel reserves the right to make alterations to any aspect of the itinerary, including accommodation stated. Equivalent alternatives will be provided if this is the case.
And... while you are deciding which tour to book, why not read the tour diaries from our previous cricket tours to the Ashes:
Howzat Travel, a Cricket Australia
Travel Office Licensed Travel Operator
for the Ashes Series 2017-18. CATO Licence Number - CATO1718/050.
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is a trade mark of, and used under licence from, the owner Cricket Australia by whom all copyright and other rights of reproduction are reserved.