As the capital city of Queensland, there are so many things to do in Brisbane, the sunny and vibrant city is known for its eclectic hub of culture and thriving food scene and its proximity to surrounding areas like Noosa and the Gold Coast. The city winds along the Brisbane River, blending historic buildings with exciting modern architecture. With a mild, subtropical climate and lush green parklands, it is no wonder so many tourists flock to this part of the Sunshine State each year.
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
Not to be mistaken for the Brisbane Botanic Gardens located 7km away from the CBD, the riverside City Botanic Gardens is Brisbane’s original botanic garden. This major park sprawls across 20 hectares alongside the city’s towering skyscrapers and boasts beautiful displays of garden beds, shrubbery, and trees. Attractions include the Bamboo Grove, Weeping Fig Avenue, Riverstage, ornamental ponds, and more. Escape the hustle and bustle of the CBD and take a breather in this slice of paradise.
Visit Tangalooma Island Resort – Feed a Dolphin, go sand tobogganing or tour the island by dune buggy or take in the shipwrecks from the sky
With multiple things to do in Brisbane, Tangalooma Island Resort is high on the priority list. Just over an hour’s ferry ride from Brisbane, you will disembark on Morten Island the world’s third-largest sand island, home to Tangalooma Island Resort. Every evening at sunset up to 10 wild bottlenose dolphins visit the jetty at Tangalooma Island Resort, join a tour to hand feed these incredible creatures. For the adventurous at heart, join a sand tobogganing adventure or hop aboard a dune buggy and transverse the magnificent sand dunes. For those that love to fly, take in the spectacular island and its famous shipwrecks from above on helicopter or secnic flight.
Cuddle a Koala at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Meeting a koala is a quintessential Aussie experience and one of the more memorable things to do in Brisbane and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the perfect place for it! This compact, riverside sanctuary also features other iconic Australian animals such as kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, dingoes, and even crocodiles. Make sure also to catch the daily animal encounters including; platypus feeding, birds of prey flight demonstrations, sheepdog and shearing shows, and Tasmanian devil keeper talks. Make your visit even more memorable with a souvenir snap of you cuddling a koala or holding a baby crocodile.
Feast at the Brisbane City Markets, Eat Street or W Brisbane
If there is one thing Brisbane excels at, it is city markets! From farm-fresh produce to handmade artisan goods, the Brisbane City Markets is an excellent way to experience the authentic vibe and culture of Brisbane. Sample a myriad of flavours, peruse unique jewellery stalls, and buy the freshest produce brought in by farmers, straight from the country.
If you’re a foodie, Eat Street Northshore is also a must-visit. Often hailed as Brisbane’s hottest eat precinct, this market is located in Hamilton’s iconic riverfront shipping container. Don’t be fooled by the whimsical carnival lights, the stalls here cook up a storm of cuisines from all over the world including Japan, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Greece, Italy, France, Mexico, Brazil, and beyond. With countless savoury and sweet options catering to all types of dietary requirements, this detination is truly a kaleidescope for the senses.
If you’re up for ultra-modern and extremely unique architecture, take a trip to the W Brisbane and take in a pre-dinner drink at the WET Deck Terrace or enjoy dinner at the Three Blue Ducks or one of their many unique bar & dining options – one of the unique things to do in Brisbane.
Hike to peaceful waterfalls and wild water holes
If you’re into waterfalls and invigorating hikes, put this on your list of things to do in Brisbane. Take a trip out to Lamington National Park. Teeming with spectacular waterfalls including Elebana, Morans, Coomera, Yarrabilgong, Box Log and Chalahn Falls only an hour and a half drive from the city.
For those that fancy a lake swim, take a day trip to Mt Barney and do the Lower Portals or Upper Portals trail. These hikes take approximately three-hour return and pass through these amazing waterholes beckoning you to take a dip!
Explore the Cultural Precinct
The heritage-listed Cultural Precinct in Brisbane’s South Bank has many things to do and see and hosts a range of exciting museums, galleries, and performance venues. Home to the State Library, Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, Queensland Art Gallery, and Queensland Performing Arts Centre, there is plenty to do in this cultural hub. Whether you want to watch a world-class performance or let the kids explore interactive exhibits, there is something for everyone at this fantastic, family-friendly destination.
Evening stroll or Story Bridge Climb
Finish your day with a leisurely stroll down this iconic, heritage-listed cantilever bridge. You can choose to climb the bridge just like you would with the Sydney Harbour Bridge or simply walk along the pedestrian path, taking in unparallelled views of the glistening Brisbane River and bright lights of the CBD.
Venture a little further afield
Brisbane is perfectly placed to enjoy multiple getaways within south-east Queensland, with the Gold Coast only an hours drive south, you can grab the kids and head out to the theme parks for the day or try your hand at surfing on one of the many golden beaches. For those wanting a slower pace, make your way to Noosa, a two hour north of Brisbane. An exclusive, coastal town featuring glamourous shopping districts, rainforest filled national parks and iconic beaches.
The Westin Brisbane is a luxury retreat, perfect for business and leisure travellers alike. With its city-centre location, the hotel places guests near corporate offices and popular attractions, including the Botanic Gardens, Suncorp Stadium and the Treasury Casino.
Image credits: Three Blue Ducks, W Hotel, Tourism & Events Queensland, Tourism Australia, @davo_1212, @adrian.reilly, Tangalooma Island Resort and Spicers Guesthouses.