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Top 10 Things to do in Brisbane

Top 10 Things to do in Brisbane

As the capital of Queensland, the Sunshine State, Brisbane enjoys a subtropical climate throughout the year. There’s always something to do, choosing from a range of award-winning foods and wines, many events, sports activities, parks and neighbourhoods to explore. Are you just passing through and want to see the best attractions? Find our selection of the best things to do in Brisbane!

Stroll through South Bank

South Bank is an absolute must when visiting Brisbane! Opposite the business district, all you have to do is cross the Brisbane River, and you’re in a real leisure complex.

Perfect for a family day, you have the choice between:

  • Swimming in the artificial lagoon, which consists of a pool, a beach bar with sand and a large pool for children. There are showers and lockers as well as several bars and restaurants in the area.
  • Visit museums such as the Queensland Art Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Maritime Museum or the Queensland Museum and Science Centre.
  • Take a bike ride on The Arbour, a 10-kilometre promenade along the Brisbane River.
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Visit an exhibition or concert at the Powerhouse

Fancy alternative amateur art? Take a free shuttle boat (Cityhopper) to the last stop at Brisbane Powerhouse. This is an old factory that has been converted into a theatre, where theatrical performances, concerts and cultural exhibitions take place. In the factory there is a bar and two restaurants, including a beautiful terrace overlooking the river, with an industrial flair.

If you wish to go there by car, you should know that the parking on the spot is paying (9$ from 5pm), otherwise you can park at the New Farm Car park (free but only 200 spots available).

You find the events calendar on the Powerhouse website

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Shop at the collective market

Shopaholics have come to the right place in the centre of Brisbane. If you want something different, we recommend a visit to the Collective Market. This is a small creator market where you can find clothes, jewellery and other accessories, get tattooed with henna or browse the street stalls.

The market is located in South Bank at Stantley Street Plaza and takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

You find timetables on The Collective Market website

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Visit the historical sights of the city

In the city of Brisbane, there are a few attractions that you should not miss:

  • Old Government House is located in Gardens Point and is one of the most important colonial buildings.
  • The Old Windmill on Spring Hill is one of the few monuments from the former penal colony. Inmates built it in 1828.
  • Brisbane City Hall is one of Brisbane’s best-known attractions. In this building, all kinds of events take place, such as royal receptions, symphonic concerts, shows, political meetings, etc.
  • The main attraction of Fort Lytton National Park is the historic military district. The neighbourhood has been reconstructed and tours are offered there today.
  • St. John’s Cathedral is located in the central business district of Brisbane
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Walk through the Parks and Gardens

Brisbane, Queensland’s sub-tropical capital, is a great place to live because of the many green spaces in the city. Walking around and getting lost in a park for a few hours is a must-do activity when visiting the city. You will be able to admire incredible panoramas and a unique wealth of flora and fauna.

South Bank Parklands

South Bank Parklands is a collection of green spaces and urban amenities located on the south bank of the Brisbane River, opposite the CBD buildings. This park is very relaxing to walk through and you will be right on the river. The atmosphere is very family friendly and there are several water parks for the young and old alike. The park is most famous for its lagoon, ideal for cooling off when the sun heats up in Brisbane. While walking around, you will certainly have the opportunity to come across all kinds of animals and admire the nature. The many well-maintained walkways add to the charm of this place, with the city skyline providing a beautiful backdrop to the park. The area is full of cafes and restaurants offering different kinds of food for all tastes.

City Botanic Gardens

Dominated by the impressive skyline of the CBD, this green space also borders the banks of the Brisbane River. The City Botanic Gardens is a quiet place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. You’ll see a wide range of bird species as well as iguanas, reptiles and other animals. There is plenty of vegetation and the walks are very pleasant. It is a very relaxing and calm space, in the middle of the city, on the waterfront. A walk of about an hour allows you to go around it, just long enough to relax and unwind.

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Roma Street Parkland

Roma Street Parkland is a haven of peace. Iguanas and ibises are always present in this beautifully maintained park. Located at the gateway to Roma Street Station, this modern garden is a popular place for a walk in the countryside. The area is quiet, green and flowery, with a rainforest, lake and many colourful flowerbeds.

The teams of volunteers take great care of this place and you will feel a real sense that time and effort are needed to maintain it. Most of the paths are wide and well defined, so it is easy to walk through the different parts of the gardens without getting lost. In conclusion, this park is well worth a visit.

Rocks Riverside Park

Rocks Riverside Park is Brisbane’s largest riverside park. Much wilder than its neighbours, this is probably because of its spectacular size. There are many places to sit, relax, picnic and play. It is a great place to come and relax for all. It is peaceful and very well maintained. You can go for a nice walk and enjoy the coolness of the river. The park is easily accessible by car.

Mount Coot-tha and its Botanic Gardens

For a magnificent cityscape view of Brisbane, Mount Coot-tha is the place to be. It gives you a breath of fresh air away from the city but close to it at the same time. The view of the Brisbane Valley is all the more splendid. You can take a quick walk for an hour or get lost for two to three hours. You can get there by car or with the city bus 471.

Mount Coot-tha also has a botanical garden divided into different well-defined sections: an indoor tropical greenhouse dome, a Japanese garden designed by a famous Japanese designer, arid lands, a huge cactus garden, fruit trees, an orchid house, ferns, a forest walk, a rose and flower section, edible plants and much more. It’s a great place to learn about Australian flora.

Climb the bow of the Story Bridge and go abseiling

From the Story Bridge, you have a perfect view of Brisbane! For the more athletic or the more adventurous, climb the Story Bridge to overlook the city. It is best to go up at dawn in the early morning.

The adventurers among you will then abseil 30 meters!

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Visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, located about 20 minutes from the centre of Brisbane, is the largest koala reserve in the world since 1927. It’s home to nearly 130 koalas, kangaroos and a variety of Australian animals such as dingoes, snakes, lizards, turtles, crocodiles, wombats, birds and many more.

In the park you can watch different shows like the Bird of Prey show, enter the kangaroo enclosure, or take a souvenir photo holding a koala.

More information on the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Website

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Hike Mount Coot-Tha

8 km west of Brisbane is Mount Coot-Tha. With a height of 244 meters, it offers a panoramic view of the entire city. We recommend you go there in the late afternoon to watch the sunset.

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city at the Botanical Garden, a 50-hectare park with 20,000 tropical species. At the entrance is the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, the largest in Australia, where you can look at stars through different telescopes.

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Join the chocolate or beer tour

There are two recognized walking tours in Brisbane, namely the Chocolate Tour and the Craft Beer Tour … Two flavours, two different vibes!

The chocolate tour lasts 3 hours and takes you to the best chocolatiers in the city. You will learn how local experts make chocolate. The tours take place every Saturday at 10 am and it is best to secure your spot in advance.

The Craft Beer Tour provides an opportunity to learn about the history of brewing in Brisbane. When visiting the microbreweries you obviously get the chance to taste the local beers.

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Explore the surrounding islands

The wealth of Brisbane is also due to the many surrounding islands, where you can spend a day or two! This is the perfect place to enjoy water activities such as kayaking, surfing or snorkelling, hiking or just the sand beaches.

You shouldn’t miss these highlights:

  • Moreton Island to hand-feed dolphins
  • North Stradbroke Island and Redcliffe for whale watching
  • St. Helena Island and the tour of the old prison
  • Coochiemudlo Island
  • Macleasy Island
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