Top Ten Things to do in Brisbane
After living in Brisbane for the last almost three months I wouldn’t call myself an expert on the city but I’d say I’m pretty close. We’ve been exploring and found a lot of things to do in Brisbane! Brisbane is one of the less famous cities of Australia. If you punch Australia into google or Pinterest then the results you’re going to get will be all about, Sydney, Melbourne, The Great Barrier Reef, The Whitsundays, Fraser Island, Perth, the list could go on. What you don’t get is heaps of things to do in Brisbane. Brisbane is living in the shadows of the bigger cities and often not on the minds of travellers hitting up the land Down Under.
Hopefully over the next few weeks I’m going to change your mind about this cultural foodie and coffee shop heaven that sits inland just one hour from the Gold Coast. I’m here with guides and travel tips galore filled with reasons you should pen Brisbane into that amazing Itinerary you’ve got mapped out!
Granted the city of Brisbane is somewhat smaller than those of Melbourne and Sydney but its got a lot going for it. I like to describe Brisbane as a cultural haven. If your into brunch, coffee shops, getting up early for walks along the river, food markets and live music then Brisbane is the city for you! There is also heaps of free things to do in this city, I have a whole dedicated post on the free activities in Brisbane here! I’ll be updating this post soon too as I have found so many more free things to do – this is the city that just keeps on giving.
Like any city in the world there are so many sights and attractions that travellers are presented with on the likes of google and it can be tricky to narrow them down to the best! So I’ve put together my Top Ten things to do in Brisbane! Favourites at the top!
Top Ten Things to do in Brisbane
Streets Beach – South Bank
“Everyone’s favourite, South Bank” the words of the sailors as your free city hopper anchors on the end of the jetty. South Bank is the entertainment hub of Brisbane with a buzz about the air no matter what day or night South Bank is one of my favourite places in Brisbane. Lined with cafes, restaurants, shops, and bars it’s the social capital of the city. Its also home to Streets Beach which is one of the coolest things to do in the city if you ask me!
Because Brisbane is inland it does take a little time to get to the coast, especially on public transport! So what did they do? They brought the beach to Brisbane. Now it doesn’t quite have the same feel as the open water does on the actual coast but this little beach completed with 3 pools gives you a great space to throw down your towel, put on your bikini and get your tan on! It’s completely free and the pools are life guarded all year round!
Eat Street Market – Northshore Hamilton
Do you love food? Then Brisbane is your city! My ultimate favourite foodie destination in the city is Eat Street Markets! I actually think I could write a whole blog post on how amazing this place is! Eat Street Markets sits at the end of the ferry route and is easily accessible by the city cat ferry. Imagine all your favourite food cuisines in one place and I mean hundreds of different cuisines, all sat on the edge of the river in huge shipping containers! It’s hard to describe it as it’s so much more than just a food market!
You’ve got everything from starter to dessert and curry to fish and chips, there is something for everyone! & food isn’t the only star of the show. Eat Street Markets plays live music on an open stage all weekend every weekend complete with plenty of bars it’s the perfect place to grab your friends, grab a beer and have a boogie. Entry is $3 but I’m telling you its 100% worth it!
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
What animals do you think of when you think of Australia? Kangaroos? Crocodiles? Koalas? Me too! And you can see all of these at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane! It’s hands down one of the best things to do in! The sanctuary first opened its doors way back in 1927 to sick and injured Koalas. Although Koalas aren’t yet an endangered species in Australia they are hunted for their fur.
You can get up close and personal with these Australian natives and even hold a Koala if you would like to! It’s a once in a lifetime experience and I would definitely recommend a trip here! Koalas and Kangaroos aren’t the only Aussie nationals you’ll see here either! Check out this post for more info!
New Farm River Walk/Cycle
I think this walk crops up in most of my posts about Brisbane probably because it’s one of the nicest walks in the city! This walks runs from the suburb of New Farm back into the city centre and its suspended on a bridge above the water. The New Farm River Walk was re built after the previous walk way was destroyed in the disastrous 2011 Brisbane floods! The itself is just over a mile long and super easy. You’ll walk around the winding river taking in views of Kangaroo Point and the Story Bridge.
If you want to mix up a little then grab a city cycle and cycle instead of walk! Cycling is a massive thing to do in Brisbane and you can literally hire city cycle bikes for free around ever other corner!
Visit the Glass House Mountains
Are you a mountain lover or a beach babe? I like to pride myself on being both! There’s nothing more exhilarating than hiking up to the top of a mountain and being presented with some epic views at the top. It makes all the hard work worth it! An hour outside of Brisbane in the hinterland live The Glass House Mountains National Park.
With four mountains to choose from you can decide between easy hikes and scrambles to the top! We climbed Mount Ngungun which was a pretty easy climb but steep all the way! The views of the top are incredible just take a look at these photographs we snapped above and see for yourself!
Kangaroo Point Cliffs Broadwalk/ River Activities
Kangaroo Point is home to some great cliff edges and along the top you can follow the cliffs Broadwalk which will take you along the top of the cliffs and then down to the water front. This walk is host to some of the best views of the city so make sure you have your camera in tow! These pictures were taken on the Cannon T7 Rebel. To make sure we can capture the best memories whilst travelling we decided to invest in DSLR camera and I can already see the difference in our photographs!
As well as being one of the best places to capture great shots of the city Kangaroo point is home to River Life adventure centre where you can hire kayaks, climb and abseil down the cliffs! You can get it out with prices and more here!
Visit the Gold Coast
The great thing about Brisbane is that you’ve got the whole of the East Coast right on your doorstep! You can head north to the sunshine coast in 1 hour 30 minutes or you can head south to the Gold Coast in just one hour! If you’ve got a day to spare then pack your swimmers and head to surfers paradise! There’s so much to do from learning to surf to enjoying the water and theme parks the Gold Coast has on offer! If you’ve more time to spend on the Gold Coast then take a look at my post ’48 Hours on the Gold Coast Here!‘ for all my tips for a quick visit!
We don’t normally take too many selfies especially for the bog but the GoPro takes the best selfies! Especially when you want to capture a lot in the background too – the wide lens is amazing for this! To get yours click here! I woulndn’t recommend any other adventure camera!
Please note this an affiliate link and I will earn a small commission if you choose to purchase the product!
Cruise the Brisbane River
Seen as Brisbane is built up on the river it would rude not to appreciate the natural wonder and cruise along it! Brisbane has so many options when it comes to exploring the river! The city hopper and city cat are Brisbane’s public transport links that go up and down the river. The city hopper is free and only covers the main stops around the CBD. The city cat however stops for miles along the river and you can hop on off for two hours without having to buy another ticket! Check out the timetables and all the stops here!
Brisbane also offers tonnes of private boats that you can enjoy on the river, The two most popular are the Seadeck, seen as Brisbane’s river party boat and the Kookaburra show boat a more relaxed dine and cruise experience! You can check out both of these options here!
Visit or Hike Mount Coot Tha
A mere twenty five minutes bus journey out of Brisbane and across the city towards the suburb and mountain of Mount Coot Tha. Mount Coot Tha is a great lookout for the whole city! You can see the whole of Brisbane river, the CBD and you can even see Moreton Island and North Stradie Island in the distance! Make sure you head up on a clear day, which aren’t hard to find in Brisbane! There are two restaurants at the summit of Mount Coot Tha so you can enjoy a spot of lunch with a fantastic view! If you would like for information on hiking the Mountain or getting there via public transport just click here!
Ride The Brisbane Wheel
Now this is the only thing that we haven’t actually done! I was sceptical as to whether I even include this or not? But even though I don’t share the same opinion people seem to love big wheels! Other than the London eye I haven’t really embarked on any big wheel experiences and when I did take a ride on the eye I was massively disappointed! The prices of these things are silly! Sure the views are good from the top but I bet you can find a great roof top bar with the same view and you get to enjoy a lovely cocktail or two! What could be better?
That said people who visit love the Big Wheel so if you’re a fan of seeing some great views then apparently this is the place to be! It costs $21 so it’s not going to break the bank! The architecture of the wheel itself is brilliant! Its located on South Bank and you will not miss it!
I hope you enjoyed these Top Ten Things to do in Brisbane! If you have any questions or need anymore advice on Brisbane then leave a comment below! Or if you’d prefer drop us an email at [email protected]
If you are heading to Brisbane this year or maybe even next year then make sure you hit subscribe so you don’t miss out on an adventure. We’ve got a few more travel guides coming out before we’re done with Brisbane yet which will cover so many more things to do in Brisbane!