Is Brisbane the next stop on your road trip? Are you feeling a little nervous to visit the sunny capital city of Queensland because you have been splurging on your budget elsewhere along the east coast of Australia? Do not panic, we are here to help! There are plenty of free activities and things to see in and around the city that will not cost you a dime! Lace up your best walking shoes, throw on a hat and some sunnies and get ready to discover the relaxed atmosphere of Brisbane. Here is what you can do for free in Brisbane.
CBD & City Botanic Garden
Start by strolling the streets of the CBD through Queen Street. The pedestrian street in the city center is famous for a plethora of retail and food outlets. For the music lover there is a festive atmosphere with street performers and buskers seducing all those that walk by.
On Wednesday’s make a stop at the City Market on George Street, which is the meeting place of artisans and farmers of the region. Other interests in the CBD that are free include; the Brisbane City Hall, Anzac Square and a walk around the Cathedral of St Stephens. Do not forget to walk through the lobby of Brisbane arcades for a jump into some architectural history and go back a few years in time.
Southbank, Kangaroo Point & Surrounds
When you have finished wandering around the CBD, cross the Goodwill Bridge pedestrian bridge, from the botanic garden or, take the Victoria Bridge in front of Queen street. While crossing either of the bridges you will be able to admire the view of the neighborhood along the river as well as great views of the city.
You are wondering what to do in Brisbane for free? Even if it is raining there is always something to do in these suburbs, like visit the free museums, the Queensland Museum and Science Center, or the library. But as it is almost always sunny in Brisbane, you can make the most of Southbank Parkland! Walk the bougainvillea alley which takes you through the park. Take a break and have a swim in the artificial lagoon that overlooks Brisbane city. Hot tip; try to avoid weekends and school holidays if you do not want to be jumped on by hundreds of children.
Enjoy the collective market on Friday’s in the late afternoon or weekends. You find local artisans who present their handmade products. Take a tour of the Nepalese Peace Pagoda, follow the rainforest forest walk, and climb the stairs of the South Brisbane memorial war. Then continue to Kangaroo Point lookout via the Cliff Boardwalk. If you do have a couple of pennies to spare, then there is the opportunity to partake in some fun rock climbing on the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. If you have your own safety equipment and ropes the cliffs are equipped with pitons for the public to us. By now you need some time off your feet, make your way to the foot of the story bridge and jump on the free ferry that takes you back to the city center, all while enjoying a cruise along the Brisbane River.
New Farm & Fortitude Valley
So, you are wondering where the photo of the park with the buildings in the background with lots of greenery is taken? That would be New Farm Park. If you have a few hours to kill, lose yourself in the streets of the neighbourhood.
With your craving sorted, walk back along the river on the esplanades by taking the Brisbane River Walk before visiting Chinatown and Fortitude Valley. Fortitude Valley has a lively entertaining atmosphere with clubs, pubs and bars of all kinds. The best time to visit Fortitude Valley and Chinatown is on the weekends.
Botanic Garden & Mt Coot-Tha
By bus from the CBD, head to the botanic garden and Mt Coot-Tha for a day in the heart of nature. Allow half a day to stroll through every corner of the park and its 56 hectares of land. Japanese Garden, Planetarium, lakes, rose garden, herbarium, tropical dome and rainforest are waiting for you!
For the more adventurous, hike on the trails of Mt Coot-Tha and enjoy the sensational views from the top, a bird’s eye panorama view of Brisbane City. It’s rather nice to arrive at the lookout for the sunset. For walkers and nature lovers, you can easily spend a day in the Mt Coot-Tha forest where there is numerous hiking trails, including a couple of waterfalls. Yes yes, you are still in Brisbane and yet you find yourself lost in the middle of a huge natural park. This is the meeting point for nature lovers every weekend.
Within 1 hour drive from Brisbane CBD
What to do in Brisbane surroundings for free? To the north, marvel at the Glass House Mountains from Wild Horse Mountain Lookout, which is just off the highway. If you have packed quality hiking shoes then drive deep into the mountains and hike Ngungun, Tibrogargan or Beerwah. You can choose to do any of these hikes, take great care and be prepared as they are recommended for intermediate hikers only.
Are you missing the beach? Visit Bribie Island for a day or for wild swimming in the rainforest head down to Springfield National Park.
If the call of the ocean is too strong, take your board and go surfing on the Gold Coast. Which remains a must in the region, although very touristy and busy. Follow the coastline of Surfers Paradise to Coolangatta where you will finally arrive at the best spot. Snappers Rock which should reconcile you with the Gold Coast if you were dubious until then. If you prefer wilder beaches, quieter places, then head north to the Sunshine Coast. Make stops in all coastal towns, up to Noosa and fall in love with the place.