Brisbane is the 3rd largest city in Australia and the capital of Queensland (AKA the Sunshine State).
Sunny, beautiful and full of things to do, Brisbane is definitely worth a visit if you ever come around Australia. Although it doesn’t hit the list as the biggest city ‘Down Under’ or the most cosmopolitan/European either, Brisbane is an unpretentious city with the convenience of having the best of both worlds. Modern and laid-back come together to make ‘Brisvegas’ or ‘Brissy’ as the locals like to call it, one amazing place to live.
Just 1 hour away from stunning beaches on the Gold Coast and 1.5 from Sunshine Coast, Brisbane is in the middle of great surfing options and many more activities a big city can offer.
With a great weather all year around, it’s easy to make the most of what Queensland’s capital can offer anytime. Plus, Brisbane got its own festival which happens every year around Spring time and showcases the best of its culture and musical scene.
Have a look at our favourite things to do around Brisbane.
Visit South Bank
South Bank is one of the best parts of the city. Only 2 minutes away from the CBD, South Bank gives the centre a relaxed and luscious place to relax and enjoy good food and the Brisbane river views.
Indulge in plenty of restaurants, cafés and bars or bring your own food and sit on the grass by the river to enjoy a picnic. Stay later and get to see the city burst with life at night. If the day is hot, perhaps you’d like to chill by the artificial beach or go for a ride up at the Wheel of Brisbane and see the whole city.
Stroll in the CBD
While being the work hub of Brisbane, the CBD has some pretty interesting attractions that are most definitely worth the visit. Start on King George Square and visit the Brisbane City Hall and take the the tour up the Clock Tower. Then head South to Queen Street Mall to spend the afternoon shopping at Wintergarden or QueensPlaza or enjoying the great food precincts around. Stop for a beer at Pig ‘N’ Whistle while you relax and end up the trip around the City at the Treasury Casino.
Dine at Riverside
Having dinner at the Riverside precinct may be one of the highlights of your time in Brisbane. Apart from the great quality food around, the views are simply breathtaking. Nothing like eating by the river and enjoying the colourful scenery the Story Bridge provides. To finish the night, walk by the waterfront and enjoy the breeze and iconic views of the Brisbane River.
Immerse Yourself in Culture
Brisbane is home to one very exciting cultural scene. With a great precinct just across the river from the CBD you can dive right in onto the 3 museums and the QPAC (Queensland Performing Arts Centre) right next to it, you can indulge your most cultural savvy side. With impressive exhibitions and award-winning performances all year round, you won’t be disappointed to pay a visit to the famous Cultural Centre precinct (next to South Bank).
One of Brisbane’s best shops are the local markets. You have a plenty of options around the whole city, both during the week or on the weekends. The freshest produce, local artists, brands, artisans and always plenty of delightful food options. The best markets happen in the City CBD in front of the casino on Wednesdays, on Saturdays mornings in West End Davie’s Park and on Sundays at the Milton Markets at Cribb St. If you want to find out more Markets in your area, head to the City Council Website and find all the options around you.
Into the Wild:
Ride to Mt Coot-tha
Or if you can’t ride, just take the bus up to the top of Mt Coot-tha by the end of the afternoon to enjoy the sunset and watch the city light up in front of your eyes. If you go at any other time of the day, sit back and relax while you sip some fresh coffee and enjoy the city views and the outskirts of Brisbane city.
Feed the Dolphins at Tangalooma Resort
Make some space in your calendar for the most beautiful island you’ve ever seen. We even have a whole post about it (Read it here)! Moreton Island is less than 1 hour drive away from Brisbane and a short 40 minutes trip on the ferry. Spend the day (or the night) and enjoy the facilities available, the 2 restaurants and lots of activities in the island. Tangalooma Resort offers great deals if you want to stay and you can even feed the dolphins that come around the pontoon every night. If you only spend the day there, make sure to bring or hire some snorkelling gear to swim with the fish around the wreck. It’s definitely one of the top experiences in Moreton Island. If you are feeling adventurous, try hiring a kayak or a catamaran to sail away and enjoy the views from the sea. Or maybe do some sand boarding or get a quad bike and test your sand driving skills. All in all, it’s a great place to know and enjoy the paradisiac dunes and beaches just a few hours away from Brisbane.
See the Wildlife in North Stradbroke Island
Straddie as its known by the locals is another fantastic getaway from the chaos of the big city. Only 30km from Brisbane and a ride on the ferry until you get to beautiful beaches, amazing wildlife, great surfing and fishing spots and an unique vibe. The island bursts culture and good vibes. Straddie is also home to some of the best music festivals around Queensland. Take a weekend off to go camping and enjoying the views and tranquility this island can offer you. Plus, keep an eye for koalas, kangaroos, whales and dolphins! They are pretty much everywhere in island.
Find a Swimming Hole
Brisbane has plenty of hidden swimming spots if the beach is not your thing. Cool and relaxing, some of these swimming holes can entertain you for the hole day. Around Brisbane, our 2 favourites are Cedar Creek & Killarney Glen Falls (the Heart hole). Get there early so you get to walk all the way up (or down) in no rush and enjoy the views. Climb the rocks and jump on the pools. Just make sure you get in the water and have fun!
Have you done all of it? Found any hidden treasures? Let us know! We would love to hear about your adventures.
Larissa & Jean