The inner city is really easy to get around either by walking, the city cat ferries or bus. Public transport is pretty good in the city and some of the more inner city suburbs but depending on how far you want to travel you might want to hire a car.
Southbank is our main cultural precint, we have two state art galleries – one is modern the other is a regular galler, the museum, theatres and opera venues as well as the southbank parklands which are great to wander around and relax in – there are some great cafes in there too. West End is walking distance from Southbank and is a huge cafe center and has quite a few interesting shops – sadly they are dissapearing in favour of restaraunts and new property development. Its worth a look around though.
Fortitude valley is the nightclub center of the city but there are some great little art galleries in there as well as China Town. They have the Valley markets every weekend where a lot of local designers showcase their work and you can pick up some amazing handmade jewellery, clothes etc as well as vintage goods and old records etc. New Farm is close to Fortitude valley as well and has lots of cafes, great parks and the Powerhouse Museum / Theatre.
As far as history goes your best bet is to jump online and have a look at the Our Brisbane website, last time I checked there was a map with most of the important historical sites in the city.
I would suggest taking a city cat ride right up the Brisbane river, its cheap and you get to see a lot of the city from the water. A ticket will last you all day providing you buy it off-peak and you can hop on and off where ever you like. Oh and in may there is the Panyiri (Im not sure the spelling is correct) Greek festival, there is great food, entertainment and its good fun.
Im not sure about where the best wineries are but I’ll ask my partner when he gets home later tonight – he is the wine buff. You will probably need a car to get to them but hiring a car means you can take the short trip up or down the coast to see some rainforest and the hinterland. Montville is on the Sunshine Coast and is a gorgeous little town, from memory there is a winery or two up there and a boutique cheese maker. If you head south there is Tamborine mountain – where I grew up – and I know there are a few very young wineries up there as well as a distillery, another cheese maker, lots of craft galleries and some great raninforest walks – my favourite are the McDonald walk and Palm Grove, steer clear of the Joahla / Curtis Falls walks unless you are quite fit. About halfway down the mountain there is also Thunderbird Park which has the worlds largest deposit of ‘thunder eggs’ so if you are into any of that nature and geological stuff its worth a visit.
I dont really know of anywhere to stay but I can ask around. There are heaps of reasonably priced hotels in the city though so you arent stuck for choice.
Check out these two websites for visitors guides etc
I hope all of that helps 🙂