Top 15 Things to Do In Brisbane

The Best Things to Do In Brisbane

Insider’s Guide: 15 Ways to Unlock Brisbane’s Vibrant Spirit

From lush riverside parks to adrenaline-pumping stadiums, Brisbane overflows with natural beauty, cultural riches and boundless energy waiting to sweep you up in adventure.

Brisbane, the bustling and beautiful capital of Queensland, is bursting with opportunities for memorable experiences.

The best things to do in Brisbane include visiting the South Bank Parklands for its lush gardens and cultural events. Exploring the City Botanic Gardens and taking a cruise on the Brisbane River are also highly enjoyable experiences.

In this vibrant city, you can engage with Australia’s unique wildlife at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, quench your cultural thirst at the Queensland Art Gallery, or soak in the city’s scenery on a leisurely river cruise.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 15 things that you simply can’t miss while in Brisbane, so buckle up and prepare for an adventure that’ll leave you yearning for more.

  • Wander 17 lively hectares of parklands and venues at South Bank
  • Cruise the river glimpsing landmarks like the Story Bridge and Customs House
  • Cuddle koalas and feed roos at the Lone Pine Sanctuary
  • Hike rainforest trails to Mount Coot-tha Lookout’s panoramic views
  • Dive into concert madness and sports matches at The Gabba
  • Picnic in the City Botanic Gardens’ rainforest grove oasis

1. Exploring the South Bank

When you first set foot in the South Bank Parklands, you’ll be welcomed by 17 hectares of lush parklands, assorted eateries, splendid river views, and a myriad of events to keep you entertained.

Known for its spirited South Bank nightlife, this vibrant area never sleeps, ensuring there’s always something to keep your adventurous spirit satisfied.

South Bank cultural events are a treasure, offering a kaleidoscope of experiences. From art festivals to live performances, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world bursting with creativity and energy.

So, whether you’re a food lover keen on exploring diverse cuisines, an art enthusiast looking for inspiration, or simply a nature lover seeking tranquillity amidst the city hustle, South Bank is the place for you.

Cruising the Brisbane River
Cruising the Brisbane River

2. Cruising the Brisbane River

Imagine yourself cruising the Brisbane River, a truly scenic experience that allows you to witness the city’s landmarks, iconic bridges, and learn about the river’s history and geography all from a unique vantage point.

Cruise tours offer a leisurely ride that’s not just about the destination, but the journey too. As you glide along, you’ll see river landmarks, each with its own story to tell. Feel the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and the freedom that comes with being on the water.

Capture memorable moments and stunning panoramas that’ll make your friends green with envy. So, sit back, relax, and let the beauty of Brisbane unfold before your eyes.

Cruising the Brisbane River is an unforgettable way to explore the city.

3. Day-Trip to Moreton Island

After soaking in the sights along Brisbane River, your next adventure awaits on a day-trip to Moreton Island. Here, you’ll experience sandy beaches, snorkeling at the famous Tangalooma Wrecks, and thrilling sandboarding adventures.

As the third largest sand island in the world, Moreton Island is a paradise waiting to be explored. You can get up close and personal with the island’s marine life, including unforgettable dolphin feeding experiences. There’s also the chance to witness the majestic humpback whales in their natural environment.

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, don’t miss out on the 4WD adventures and kayaking. And for those seeking tranquility, the island’s serene landscapes offer the perfect escape.

Freedom is just a boat ride away, so what’re you waiting for?

4. Visiting the Queensland Art Gallery

Leaving the sandy shores of Moreton Island behind, your next cultural adventure lies in the heart of Brisbane at the Queensland Art Gallery.

This beacon of culture boasts an extensive collection of both Australian and international art. As you wander, you’ll encounter diverse art forms, from captivating paintings and intricate sculptures to evocative photography and immersive installations.

The gallery also provides a unique opportunity to explore Indigenous Australian art, offering a rich insight into the country’s heritage. For a deeper understanding, join the guided tours. They’ll unravel the stories behind the artworks, making your visit not just a visual feast but also an enlightening journey.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

5. Adventure at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Stepping away from the artistic ambiance of the Queensland Art Gallery, you’ll find an entirely different, yet equally thrilling, experience waiting at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

Adventure beckons as you meet and interact with over 130 koalas. It’s the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary, offering unique koala encounters that you won’t forget.

But it’s not just about koalas. Embrace the chance to hand-feed kangaroos and participate in various wildlife activities throughout the day. The sanctuary’s large enclosures and friendly staff make for an immersive and educational experience.

If you’re seeking freedom, exploration, and a dash of adventure, Lone Pine offers a memorable day amidst Australia’s distinctive wildlife. So, get ready to dive into this wildlife haven, as it’s an absolute must-visit when in Brisbane.

City Botanic Gardens
City Botanic Gardens Gates

6. Strolling in the City Botanic Gardens

If you’re looking for a tranquil escape right in the heart of the city, let the City Botanic Gardens be your next stop.

Immerse yourself in its historical significance; the gardens are a living museum of indigenous plant species.

Take a leisurely stroll through the well-maintained paths, relishing the serene surroundings teeming with diverse flora.

Stop to admire the rainforest groves, lily ponds, and the myriad of other plant life.

Midway, treat yourself to a refreshing pause at the inviting café nestled within.

These gardens aren’t just an oasis of tranquility, but also a vibrant testament to Brisbane’s commitment to preserve its natural heritage.

The Best Mount Coot-tha View

7. Climbing Mount Coot-tha

Ready for an adventure? Brisbane’s very own Mount Coot-tha beckons you with its picturesque hiking trails, offering a perfect blend of nature’s tranquillity and the city’s vibrant skyline.

Here’s a hiking tip: no matter your fitness level, these trails are for you. The cool, crisp air of the rainforest will invigorate you as you ascend to the summit. And the reward? One of the best viewpoints in the city. The lookout offers a panorama of Brisbane and its landmarks, a perfect spot to catch your breath.

Don’t forget to stop by the café, where you can refuel with fresh local fare. And remember, the adventure doesn’t stop here. Explore the nearby botanical gardens to round off a day packed with natural beauty.

8. Experiencing Streets Beach

After conquering Mount Coot-tha, you’ll find a refreshing change of pace at the man-made Streets Beach, an urban oasis nestled in the heart of South Bank Parklands. Imagine relaxing at Streets Beach, soaking up the sun and taking a dip in the lagoon, all while surrounded by bustling city life. It’s a unique blend of nature and urban convenience that’s simply irresistible.

As you lounge on the sand, you’ll be enveloped by the vibrant atmosphere of South Bank. Don’t forget to try the local cuisine at South Bank Parklands. Whether you fancy a quick snack or a gourmet meal, the lively cafes and restaurants around will satisfy your cravings.

Streets Beach is more than just a beach; it’s an experience that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Brisbane.

9. Taking in the View From Story Bridge

Next up on your Brisbane adventure is the unmissable experience of taking in the city’s breathtaking views from the top of the iconic Story Bridge. This isn’t just a sightseeing opportunity; it’s an adventure. Go for the Story Bridge Adventure Climb for an exhilarating journey that’ll leave you breathless, not just from the climb, but from the stunning cityscape that unfolds beneath you.

Don’t forget your camera, especially if you’re a night owl. The nighttime photography opportunities here are second to none. From the twinkling city lights to the sparkling river below, every shot is a masterpiece.

Before you embark, do some research for tips and recommendations to make your climb as enjoyable as possible. Embrace the freedom, soak up the history, and let Brisbane’s beauty leave you in awe.

10. Discovering the Customs House

Dive into Brisbane’s rich heritage and architecture as you discover the iconic Customs House, a historical gem that captures the city’s fascinating stories and customs. This stately building, teeming with history, underwent a significant Customs House restoration, bringing its original grandeur back to life. You’ll find yourself enchanted by the intricately restored features, a testament to Brisbane’s past.

But it’s not just about the past; the Customs House also hosts a variety of engaging Customs House events. These cultural functions range from art exhibitions to educational lectures, offering you a diverse cultural experience. Plus, there’s an on-site restaurant where you can indulge in fine dining while taking in the stunning riverside views.

11. Unwinding in Roma Street Parkland

In the heart of Brisbane, you’ll discover Roma Street Parkland, a tranquil oasis where you can unwind amidst lush greenery and stunning landscapes. This is more than just a park, it’s a place where you can escape the city’s hustle and bustle, immersing yourself in nature’s beauty.

Breathe in the fresh air as you take a leisurely stroll through the colorful gardens, your senses awakened by the vibrant hues and fragrances. There are several picnic spots scattered throughout the parkland, each offering scenic views that make for a peaceful, relaxing setting.

Whether you’re seeking solitude or a place to connect with friends, Roma Street Parkland provides the perfect setting for freedom seekers like you to unwind and rejuvenate.

12. Attending a Game at Suncorp Stadium

If you’re a sports enthusiast, you’ll revel in the electric atmosphere of Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane’s premier venue for rugby league and soccer.

Immerse yourself in the local sports culture, where the game highlights aren’t just on the field but in the infectious energy of the crowd.

Feel the excitement of cheering on your favourite team, soaking up the lively ambiance.

The stadium facilities are first-rate, enhancing your experience with every visit.

Engage in the unique camaraderie that only a live game can offer.

Witness the passion of the sporting community and be part of an unforgettable atmosphere.

Don’t just visit Brisbane, live it.

Attending a game at Suncorp Stadium isn’t just an activity; it’s a quintessential Brisbane experience.

13. Experiencing the Gabba

As a sports fan or music lover, you’ll find the Gabba stadium to be an electrifying place to experience a cricket match or live concert. This iconic venue pulsates with energy, making your heart race with every run scored or guitar riff played.

Don’t just be a spectator – immerse yourself in the Gabba’s historical significance with guided tours. You’ll learn about its rich history, gaining a deeper appreciation for each game or gig.

Explore the surroundings, soak in the local culture, and experience the excitement that only the Gabba can offer. It’s not just a stadium; it’s a piece of Brisbane’s heart and soul.

The Wheel of Brisbane

14. Visiting the Wheel of Brisbane

Ready for an unparalleled panoramic experience? You’ve got to visit the Wheel of Brisbane. It offers you a unique perspective of the city, unparalleled by any other.

As you take a leisurely ride on this iconic structure, the cityscape unfolds before your eyes. You’ll be amazed by the breathtaking views of Brisbane’s landmarks and the river.

The Wheel of Brisbane isn’t just about the ride; it’s also a haven for cityscape photography. It’s an opportunity to capture stunning photos of Brisbane’s skyline, creating lasting memories. Every click of the camera, every glance out the capsule window, provides a different outlook of the city.

Embrace the freedom to explore Brisbane from a new angle. This unforgettable experience is truly a must-do.

15. Exploring Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

Set against the backdrop of the Brisbane River and city skyline, Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park offers a scenic playground for adventure and nature lovers alike. Here, you’ll find some of the best rock climbing opportunities in Brisbane; whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, there are routes for everyone. Remember, safety first! Harness up, keep your grip tight and always double-check your equipment.

When you’ve had your fill of climbing, find one of the park’s best picnic spots. Nestled in the greens, they offer stunning views of the city. Pack a basket, bring a blanket and enjoy a leisurely meal while soaking in the breathtaking scenery. Don’t forget your camera either; the sunset over the skyline is a sight you won’t want to miss.

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