Brisbane’s Top Attractions: Brisbane, the third-largest city in Australia, or “Brissie” as Aussies jokingly refer, offers upscale big-city activities in a sunny riverbank environment. Brisbane’s history extends back to 1824, but it didn’t become a major global player until it hosted the World Expo in 1988 and the Commonwealth Games in 1982. At its numerous tourist attractions and exciting events, Queensland’s multicultural capital still exudes a dynamic energy today.
Looking for culture? Brisbane will take care of you. In the Cultural Centre, you may admire works by European masters alongside Indigenous art and cutting-edge modern compositions. Brisbane is also secure, healthy, and clean. The city is dotted with lush parklands, there are several biking and walking lanes, and there is a strong emphasis on invention and creativity.
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: The greatest way to explore the city is on a river cruise. Brisbane spans its own waterway and is connected by bridges. Amid the gleaming skyscrapers, exquisite historic structures may be seen. Take a cruise for a general overview before concentrating on your favourite locations on foot later.
Moreton Bay’s azure waters are even more alluring to the east of the city. Brisbane is a great starting point for enjoyable day journeys to subtropical islands. Families particularly value the city’s numerous free activities and family-friendly excursions.
With this list of Brisbane’s top attractions and things to do, you can learn about the greatest locations to visit in this laid-back riverfront city.
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: Visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to cuddle a koala
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: Have you ever longed to pet a koala? This long-held fantasy can be fulfilled at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
There are also more than 70 species of other cute Australian animals accessible for close interactions. Hand-feed kangaroos, joke with kookaburras, and watch flocks of rainbow lorikeets come down to feed. You can also observe wallabies, wombats, dingoes, snakes, and even crocodiles in this tiny refuge that is tucked away on the Brisbane River.
Animal lovers are entertained by keeper talks and hands-on exhibits. Bird of prey flying demonstrations, platypus feeding, sheep dog and shearing exhibitions, Tasmanian devil keeper presentations, and barn animal interactions are just a few of the daily events and activities. Unsurprisingly, going to this well-known Brisbane landmark is one of the best things to do in Brisbane with the family.
Along with the ideal koala shot, you can also purchase a keepsake photo of you holding a dingo or a snake.
Insider’s tip: Combining a Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Admission with a Brisbane River Cruise is a well-liked method of transportation here. The Brisbane Cultural Center Pontoon is where the boat leaves from.
Address: Fig Tree Pocket, Queensland, 708 Jesmond Road
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: Visit the Cultural Center’s Museums and Galleries.
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: The heritage-listed Cultural Centre at South Bank, which is located on the banks of the Brisbane River, is a fantastic, enjoyable family vacation spot. An outstanding selection of museums, galleries, and performing spaces can be found here. The precinct’s lovely location on the river close to stunning parklands is enhanced by award-winning architecture.
There are numerous activities available here for the entire family. Browse the State Library of Queensland’s great holdings, keep the youngsters occupied with the interactive exhibitions at the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, or enjoy thought-provoking, contemporary art at the well-known Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA).
Here, world-class productions of everything from opera and ballet to comedies and concerts of contemporary music are put on by the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).
The South Bank Parklands are close by, where you can ride the Wheel of Brisbane or unwind on the riverbank amidst the lovely meadows and flowers.
Address: South Brisbane, Queensland’s Grey Street
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: Views Seen While River Cruising
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: A river cruise is among the greatest ways to view Brisbane’s attractions. The Brisbane River flows through the centre of the city, and many of the prominent attractions there border its banks in an effort to catch your eye. The Story Bridge, the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, and even some of the local fauna, such as the fruit bats that congregate near the mangroves on the riverbank, may all be seen from a new viewpoint by doing this.
You can gain your bearings and decide where to spend more time during your visit once you get a beautiful perspective of the city from the ocean.
Some of the busiest tours are offered by River City Cruises. There are longer trips as well as shorter, 90-minute morning or afternoon cruises. The 3.5-hour Cruise to Lunch Package is a fantastic option. While you enjoy Devonshire tea with spectacular river views, your guide will tell you intriguing tales about Brisbane’s history and point out important Brisbane attractions as you travel.
Aboard their multi-tiered timber paddle wheelers, Kookaburra River Queens offers lunch, high tea, and supper cruises. A Miramar Cruise is another option when visiting Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
Do you prefer to steer your own boat? For up to eight people, GoBoat Brisbane leases environmentally friendly electric picnic boats. Picnic tables are included, and a boat license is not required.
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: You could also board a CityCat. The fleet of CityCats and City Ferries offers 24 hop-on, hop-off terminals with a variety of itineraries while gliding the Brisbane River’s curves seven days a week. Many of them have enlightening narration on the city’s history and attractions. The path passes through rebuilt industrial sites, riverside houses, bridges, and parklands as it travels from the majestic University of Queensland to the North Shore.
Secret tip: The CityHopper boat service in Brisbane’s central business district provides free rides that make stops at sites including South Bank 3 and the Maritime Museum.
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: Take a stroll through Mount Coot-tha in Brisbane Botanic Gardens.
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: In Brisbane, there is no shortage of gardens to choose from. Every part of the city is dotted with lush parks and gardens, and Brisbane’s botanic gardens are famous for their outstanding collections of subtropical species.
The magnificent Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha (Mt. Coot-tha Road, Toowong), located about seven kilometres outside the city, should be the first stop. This popular tourist destination, which offers sweeping city vistas, is a favourite among both locals and visitors.
You are taken on a tour of 128 acres of horticulture through various themed gardens. The stunning Japanese gardens, the world’s largest collection of Australian rainforest trees, as well as areas devoted to aromatic plants, bamboo, cacti, indigenous plants, and more are among the highlights.
The Hide ‘n’ Seek Children’s Trail through the jungle is great for budding botanists, and you may benefit from the free guided hikes and minibus trips. That the gardens are free to visit is the best part. Visit the Brisbane Lookout Mount Coot-tha while you’re nearby; it’s only a four-minute drive from the gardens.
Additionally, garden enthusiasts should set aside some time to visit the 17-hectare, UNESCO-listed City Botanic Gardens (147 Alice Street, Brisbane). This tranquil haven and top picnic location are just in the middle of the city. The ideal retreat from the bustle of the city is provided by lily-topped ponds, fountains, bamboo groves, river views, and enormous fig trees.
Have you got any wiggly kids with you? Arrive at Roma Street Parkland (1 Parkland Blvd, Brisbane). This 39-acre municipal park is jam-packed with attractions and offers free, guided garden tours in addition to inventive playgrounds for kids and colourful themed gardens.
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: Views from Brisbane Lookout Mountain Coot-tha
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: Drive up to the Brisbane Lookout Mount Coot-tha for one of Brisbane’s greatest vistas. Here, with the city towers growing in the distance, you can take in an incredible view of the entire region. The national park is filled with walking paths, and a café offers wonderful meals and breathtaking views.
Many locals and visitors come here in the evening for views of the city at sunset if you’re seeking for things to do in Brisbane at night.
The Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha is only around a four-minute drive from the overlook, which is the ideal addition to a garden tour.
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: Visit the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art for Inspiration (QAGOMA)
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: In the South Bank Cultural Precinct, along the waterfront, the superb – and free – Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) is housed in two neighbouring but dissimilar structures. Together, they exhibit more than 1,700 pieces of art from different parts of the world, with an emphasis on Asia, the Pacific, and Australia.
This striking collection is sure to elicit lively debates among admirers of all kinds of art. Even the award-winning, glass-encased edifice housing the Gallery of Modern Art makes a statement.
The Indigenous Australian Collection, the International and Asian Collection, comprising classic and contemporary pieces, and the spectacular sculptures adorning the grounds are all permanent shows at the Queensland Art Gallery. The interior design is lovely. The light that pours in through floor-to-ceiling windows is reflected by water elements and enormous chandeliers.
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: All media are represented in the exhibitions at the Gallery of Modern Art, including sculpture, painting, video, film, and photography. There is always something new to see here thanks to the special exhibits. Don’t miss the intriguing installations of contemporary art.
The Australian Cinémathèque, another building in the complex, shows thought-provoking films from around the globe, and the Children’s Art Centre’s interactive exhibits keep small hands occupied. Visit the gallery’s River Lounge before you leave for stunning city views.
Address: South Brisbane, Queensland’s Stanley Place
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: Discover South Bank & the Brisbane Wheel
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: South Bank, the initial location of the 1988 World Expo, is dotted with parks, plazas, and promenades. A wide variety of dining establishments can be found there, and the area frequently holds fascinating film screenings and activities related to Brisbane.
Streets Beach is located in the middle of this riverbank paradise, which is right across from the CBD. On a nice Brisbane day, many people choose to go swimming in the artificial lagoon. The Epicurious Garden, working out at the free fitness classes, and biking or strolling along the paths are some of the other well-liked activities on South Bank. Additionally, you can register for a variety of free kid-friendly activities and trips.
The Wheel of Brisbane opened here in 2008 to commemorate the state of Queensland’s 150th anniversary. One of the most popular tourist attractions in South Bank is the enormous Ferris wheel, which provides an exhilarating 10- to 12-minute trip with a birds-eye perspective of the river and city day or night.
Brisbane’s Top Attractions: At the Queen Street Mall, the shop
Need to go shopping? The bustling Queen Street mall will put a strain on your cash. More than 700 shops, located in Brisbane’s CBD (central business district), are home to local, national, and international designs and labels.
From well-known Australian brands like R.W. Williams, Lorna Jane, and Zimmermann to upscale brands like Chanel, Dior, Tiffany & Co., and Louis Vuitton, you’ll find it all here. The mall’s focal point is the six-level Myer Centre department store. All day long, customers bustle in the cafés, and exploring the complex is fun thanks to its maze of heritage-listed arcades. There are some hidden treasures down there.
A tight budget? Don’t worry, H&M and other budget merchants also call this place home.
On Wednesdays, the Brisbane City Markets, which sell fresh vegetables, flowers, and handcrafted goods, take over the space near the mall’s bridge.
Don’t miss the high-end designer and home decor stores in Fortitude Valley if you’re out to discover more of Brisbane’s top shopping. Visit Paddington for antiques, thrift stores, and vintage finds. It’s also a well-liked place for breakfast.
Address: Brisbane, Queensland, Queen Street
Get Your Heart Pumping on the Adventure Climb of the Story Bridge.
The charming steel Story Bridge, which was built in Brisbane during Australia’s Great Depression in the 1930s, is a well-known local icon. The option to abseil the descent makes this bridge climb one of only three in the globe (the other two are in Sydney and Auckland).
The two-hour excursion, which is appropriate for persons of all fitness levels and those 10 years of age or older, lifts you 80 meters over the Brisbane River for uninterrupted city views.
There are even brand-new options available, such as Walk the Plank, where you may channel your inner pirate and tiptoe out on a plank 80 meters above the ground as traffic rumbles by below. The Cantilever Lean Out is yet another novel experience. Guides hold your harness as you lean out as far as you can from the precarious heights if you sign up for this trip.
A professional guide, a safety talk, and a free group photo are all included in the Brisbane Story Bridge Adventure Climb.
Location: Kangaroo Point, Queensland, 170 Main Street
Eat Street Northshore for a feast
It’s like a festival for your taste sensations at Eat Street Northshore. This nightlife hotspot offers an international menu, a carnival-like ambience, and rockin’ live music all at the same time. Eat Street is a pedestrian-only area, so the whole family is welcome to explore it, even your dog.