A Weekend Guide to Brisbane
Brisbane is Australia’s most up and coming city! Often overlooked by its much bigger sisters Melbourne and Sydney, Brisbane is upping it’s game and earning its place on the map! When cruising down the East Coast, the most popular tourist attraction in Australia, so many travellers just roll past Brisbane without a second thought! And they are are missing out! After spending a lot of time in this gorgeous city I urge you to give it a shot even if just for the weekend!
I’ve got you covered with all the do’s and don’ts if your just visiting for a limited time period. So your ultimate weekend guide to Brisbane starts here!
If you are heading to Brisbane and are hunting for a good bargain then check out my other post, free things to do in Brisbane!
Let’s get straight into it! Here’s you’re day by day weekend guide to Brisbane!
Something to think about: even though Brisbane is quite small it will depend on your accommodation location as to how far away you are from things. I’ll drop a google map underneath each day with all the destinations I mention!
Let’s Do This!
Friday Morning – New Farm River Walk, Story Bridge, Eagle Street Pier and the Botanic Gardens
For this weekend guide to Brisbane, I’m start from early Friday morning! So If you can try to arrive in Brisbane on Thursday night, get a great sleep and be ready to explore the city for three full days! If you’ve been driving for miles to get to Brisbane you’ll no doubt be a little tired, which is perfect because Brisbane is the ultimate slow paced chilled out city.
Now if your anything like me you’ll be searching for a perfect breakfast spot. The Moray Cafe in New Farm is where we’ll start this day of exploring! Sit outside in luxurious New Farm bustling with yoga studios, puppies in strollers and shoppers wearing their best active wear! It’s actually home to some pretty big spiders too! New Farm was where we stayed in our first Air BnB when we first arrived in Brisbane and we fell in the love with the location! The Moray Cafe does one of the BEST brunches in Brisbane, it’ll cost you approximately $40 for two people including x 2 brunch style meals with coffees.
After enjoying your breakfast lets walk or cycle it off on the New Farm River Walk! This scenic walk runs from New Farm across the river to the city. It was recently re built after the previous walk way was destroyed in the 2011 Brisbane Floods.
The walk itself is just over half a mile long and easily walked in 20-30 minutes. The views of the city are incredible and you’ll walk straight under Story Bridge a suspension Bridge connecting two sides of the city. If you’d rather cycle the Brisbane has City Cycles all over which you can hire! The first 30 minutes of any cycle journey is free, for 31 minutes – 1 hour is $2 then $5 for every hour thereafter. Want my advice? Return the bike within 30 minutes and swap for a new one!
As you walk or cycle underneath Story Bridge continue the river walk right around to the Eagle Street Pier. Eagle street pier is the hub of the river filled with cafes and restaurants with brilliant views of both the river and Story Bridge (which you can climb if you want to!). If you find yourself peckish (even after your lush breakfast at The Moray!) or you fancy a coffee head into Riverbar and Kitchen!
After your pit stop continue walking the river until you come to the Botanic Gardens. Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens are beautiful, filled with flowers, gardens, play areas for the little ones and lagoons! Make sure you check out this page for things that are going at the Botanic Gardens! For one Saturday every month they host ‘Gigs and Picnics’ a free event with live music and food trucks.
Friday Afternoon – South Bank
Once you’ve explored the Botanic Gardens its time to get your tan on at South Bank! South Bank Parklands is across the river in South Brisbane. You can either use google maps and walk there from the Botanic Gardens which will take you approximately 30-45 minutes. Or head back to Eagle Street Pier and hop on the City Hopper to South Bank. The City Hopper is a free hop on hop off ferry service. There is heaps to do at South Bank but first make sure you sit back and relax on Streets Beach, a man made beach overlooking the city! You’ll also find a tonne of grassed area to chill out on.
If chilling out just isn’t your style then there is much more to explore at South Bank! South Bank is home to the Brisbane Wheel, Segway tours and other riverside activities so you won’t be stuck for something to do!
South Bank is full of restaurants, cafes and bars that come alive in the evening! You’ll find live music on at almost every venue so grab a beer and relax in one of the many bars for the evening! My top picks for South Bank are: The Plough Inn, The Munich and South Bank Beer Garden. They all do great food too!
South Bank is also host to small market featuring some great small businesses from Friday to Sunday which you can enjoy too!
Saturday Morning – Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary! If you haven’t already seen a Koala during your Australian adventure then wait no longer! Brisbane is home to one of the biggest Koala sanctuaries in the whole of Australia! It also features some other Australian natives including, kangaroos, crocodiles, dingoes and even a very friendly platypus!
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a day out that I would highly recommend! I would recommend getting up and going early doors, especially if you want to have the opportunity to hold a Koala as they only have so many sittings per day and they get booked out fast! The sanctuary itself isn’t that big so you only need 4-5 hours maximum, get up early so you can be back in the city for the afternoon/evening!
For more information about Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary I have written a whole other post on it here!
Saturday Afternoon/Evening – Eat Streets Market
Now this could be one of my favourites places in Brisbane! Once you arrive back in the city be ready for a foodie packed afternoon/evening! Down the river at North Shore Hamilton is the home to the Eat Streets Markets, or what I like to call Brisbane Foodie Heaven! Now I’m not just talking your average food market I’m talking huge shipping containers filled with every food cuisine you could think of! In the centre is a huge stage where you can dance along to live music every weekend!
Eat Streets is something you do not wanna miss! To get there hop on the City Cat ferry, fare costs $4.20 and entry into Eat Streets is just $3! Honestly you won’t be disappointed! I’ve also found that Eat Streets is one of the cheapest places that sells alcohol in the city (winner!)
Sunday Morning – Mount Coot Tha
Ready for an adventure filled Sunday to finish up your time in this vibrant city?
Just outside Brisbane lives the suburb Mount Coot Tha which funnily enough is also a great mountain to explore! Mount Coot Tha offers some epic views of the city which you just can’t miss! Mount Coot Tha is easily accessible from the CBD via bus. (I’ll leave all transport links at the end of the post!) On arrival you can depart the bus at the bottom of the Mountain or at the summit! If you get off at the bottom you can climb to top of the mountain following some fun hiking trails! When you reach the summit the views of the city are pretty awesome! On a clear day you can see Moreton and North Stradbroke Island too! For more detailed information on this little gem then click here!
Sunday Afternoon – Kangaroo Point
Once back in the city head over to the Kangaroo Point cliffs! Depending on where in the city you are when you return from Mount Coot Tha will depend how you get there. If you’re in the city centre then head to Eagle Street Pier and catch the city hopper across to Thornton Street. When you depart the ferry turn left and enjoy the stroll at the bottom of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, the views of the city are amazing!
You’ve got a few options when visiting the Kangaroo cliffs! Kangaroo point is home to River life an adventure centre where you can get up to all sorts of activities the big attractions being, kayaking and climbing up the cliffs themselves! You can hire kayaks for $45 and take part in a climb starting at around $50 as you walk along the river at Kangaroo point you won’t miss the River Life centre!
If you just fancy a quiet afternoon you can continue you stroll along the water front. When you reach the open cliff face you’ll come to some steps. CLIMB THEM! As well as being a great workout the view of the city from the top is brilliant! As you look towards the city keep walking left and you’ll come to another awesome look out point for the river!
So are you ready to head to Brisbane for the weekend? With this weekend guide to Brisbane you cannot possibly go wrong and you get to see the best things that Brisbane has to offer! Brisbane is also an amazing hub to get to all the amazing places on the East Australian Coast so a great base if your planning on sticking around for a while!
Boring Bits! (But essential!)
Brisbane Transport Links
City Hopper: The city hopper is a free ferry service that operates in the city centre of Brisbane stopping at: Sydney Street, Holman Street, Eagle Street Pier, Thornton Street, Maritime Museum, South Bank and North Quay only, you can see the time table here.
CityCat: The city cat is a paid ferry service which is in turn a lot quicker than the city hopper and covers a lot more stops. You can see the time table for the city cat and fares here.
Bus/Train: The bus/train network within Brisbane is pretty good and you venture around the city quite easily using the either mode of transport I however prefer the ferry! You can use the Translink website here to navigate where you need to be and it’ll give you the best transport options.
Go Card: If your in Brisbane for more than a weekend then it could be worth purchasing a GoCard as you get reduced fares and you can use it all mode’s of a transport. Check it out here more for more information.
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I hope that this weekend guide to Brisbane shows you a little snippet of this wonderful city has to offer! If you would like an more information or recommendations on the city then you can contact us at: [email protected]