Ever wondered what it’s like to bask in the vibrant and dynamic atmosphere of one of Australia’s most picturesque cities? Welcome to Brisbane, a sun-soaked metropolis where every day is an invitation to explore, indulge, and marvel.

From the lush greenery of the South Bank Parklands to the exhilarating heights of the Story Bridge, and the cuddly encounters at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane is a city that promises adventures at every turn.

The 15 Best Things To Do in Brisbane, Australia

Let’s dive into the top activities that make this city a must-visit destination.

1. South Bank Parklands: A Green Oasis in the Heart of the City

Nestled snugly in the heart of Brisbane, the South Bank Parklands are more than just a green space; they are a vibrant hub of culture, leisure, and entertainment.

Accessible and free to all, these parklands are a quintessential part of Brisbane attractions, offering a little something for everyone. Imagine strolling through the lush greenery, discovering a stunning inner-city beach, and indulging in a variety of dining experiences that range from gourmet eateries to casual cafes.

South Bank is not just about relaxation; it’s about experiencing the pulsating heart of Brisbane’s urban culture.

South Bank Parklands - The 15 Best Things To Do in Brisbane, Australia
South Bank Parklands | @carlesrgm

2. Story Bridge Adventure Climb: A Panoramic Delight

Seeking a thrill that also offers a panoramic view of Brisbane? The Story Bridge Adventure Climb is your answer. As one of only three bridge climbs in the world, it offers a unique perspective of the city.

Perched atop the iconic Story Bridge, adventurers are treated to 360-degree views of the Brisbane River, the Glasshouse Mountains, and the Moreton Bay Islands.

The experience, meticulously guided and safety-assured, is worth every penny. It’s a blend of exhilaration and awe, perfect for those looking to add an edge to their Brisbane exploration. As you stand atop this majestic structure, the bustling city below feels both close and a world away.

Story Bridge Adventure Club
Story Bridge Adventure Climb | @jenniferat58_

3. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary: An Encounter with Australia’s Beloved Wildlife

No visit to Brisbane is complete without a trip to the world-renowned Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. As the first and largest koala sanctuary globally, it’s a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and a must-see Brisbane attraction.

Here, you’re not just observing; you’re interacting with Australia’s native wildlife. Embrace the opportunity to cuddle a koala, hand-feed kangaroos, and observe a rich variety of Australian fauna in a natural setting. Located just a short drive from the city center, the sanctuary offers an easy escape to nature.

The entry fees are a small price to pay for the unforgettable experience of meeting these iconic Australian animals up close. Moreover, your visit contributes to the conservation efforts, ensuring these adorable creatures thrive for generations to come.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

4. Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct: A Hub of Artistic Splendor

In the heart of South Bank lies Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct, a testament to the city’s thriving arts scene. This area is a cultural enthusiast’s dream, housing the Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), and the Queensland Museum.

Each institution in this precinct offers a window into the artistic and historical narratives that shape Queensland and the world beyond. The precinct’s location in South Bank makes it easily accessible, and while some exhibitions require a ticket, many of its wonders are available to enjoy for free.

Wander through the halls of QAGOMA to witness contemporary masterpieces, or step into the past at the Queensland Museum. This precinct isn’t just about observing art; it’s about experiencing the stories that art tells.

5. Brisbane River Cruises: A Different Perspective of the City

A visit to Brisbane would be incomplete without experiencing the city from its sparkling waterways. Brisbane River cruises offer a unique vantage point to appreciate the city’s beauty.

Whether you opt for a leisurely sightseeing tour, a speedy jet boat ride, or a romantic sunset cruise, each journey on the Brisbane River is memorable. Departing from various points along the river, these cruises provide a scenic highlight of your Brisbane adventure. As you glide along the water, you’ll witness the city’s skyline from a perspective that’s both serene and spectacular.

The cost of these cruises varies, catering to different budgets and experiences, making it an accessible adventure for everyone.

Brisbane River Cruise - The 15 Best Things To Do in Brisbane, Australia
Brisbane River Cruise | @spurwaya

6. Eat Street Northshore: A Gastronomic Adventure

For the food enthusiasts, Eat Street Northshore is an unmissable Brisbane attraction. This innovative dining experience is set in a lively atmosphere created by a collection of converted shipping containers.

Offering an array of cuisines from around the globe, Eat Street is a culinary celebration where you can savor everything from freshly prepared sushi to rich, decadent desserts. Located at Northshore Hamilton, this bustling food market is not just about the food; it’s an immersive experience complete with live music and vibrant energy.

The price range here varies, ensuring that whether you’re on a tight budget or looking to splurge, there’s something for every palate. The atmosphere of Eat Street encapsulates the essence of Brisbane’s dining scene – diverse, dynamic, and delicious.

7. Hiking Mount Coot-tha: A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Just a short drive from the city center lies Mount Coot-tha, a natural haven offering some of the most stunning views of Brisbane. For those who love the outdoors, hiking up Mount Coot-tha is an experience not to be missed.

The trails vary in difficulty, catering to both casual walkers and seasoned hikers. Reaching the summit rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the entire city and beyond.

Nearby, the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mount Coot-tha provide a tranquil escape with their exquisite plant collections. Best of all, this natural excursion is free, making it a perfect activity for those looking to experience Brisbane’s natural splendor without spending a dime.

Hiking Mount Coot-tha
The View from Hiking Mount Coot-tha | @nics_mindset

8. Nightlife in Fortitude Valley: Brisbane’s Entertainment Heartbeat

As the sun sets, Brisbane’s nightlife comes alive, and there’s no better place to experience it than in Fortitude Valley. This trendy area is the epicenter of Brisbane’s entertainment, boasting a plethora of bars, clubs, and live music venues. From chic cocktail lounges to underground music scenes, ‘The Valley’ offers a night out for every taste.

The area’s vibrant atmosphere is contagious, ensuring a memorable night. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or enjoy a quiet drink with friends, Fortitude Valley’s nightlife is a must-experience aspect of Brisbane’s urban culture.

The cost varies depending on your choice of venue, but the area offers options for every budget, ensuring everyone can enjoy the fun.

9. Brisbane Powerhouse: A Beacon of Arts and Entertainment

The Brisbane Powerhouse, a former power station turned arts and cultural hub, stands as a symbol of Brisbane’s creative spirit. Located in the trendy suburb of New Farm, the Powerhouse hosts a diverse range of events, including theater, music, comedy, and arts.

The building itself, with its industrial charm and riverside setting, is a sight to behold. Many events here are free or reasonably priced, making it accessible for all.

Whether you’re catching a cutting-edge theatre production or laughing out loud at a comedy show, the Brisbane Powerhouse offers an array of cultural experiences that capture the essence of the city’s vibrant arts scene.

10. Brisbane City Botanic Gardens: An Urban Eden

The Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, a verdant oasis in the heart of the city, offer a serene escape from the urban hustle. Stroll through a variety of thematic gardens and marvel at the exotic and native flora.

These historic gardens, located along the Brisbane River, provide a peaceful setting for a leisurely walk, a picnic, or even a guided tour. The beauty of the City Botanic Gardens lies in their accessibility – they’re free to enter and easily reachable from any part of the city.

As you wander through this lush landscape, it’s easy to forget you’re in the midst of a bustling metropolis. The gardens are a testament to Brisbane’s commitment to preserving natural beauty within an urban environment.

Brisbane City Botanic Gardens - The 15 Best Things To Do in Brisbane, Australia
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

11. Queen Street Mall: A Shopper’s Haven

For those who find joy in retail therapy, Queen Street Mall in the heart of Brisbane is a destination not to be missed. This vibrant shopping precinct offers an extensive range of local and international brands, catering to all tastes and budgets.

From high-end boutiques to streetwear stores and everything in between, the Queen Street Mall is a bustling hub of fashion, lifestyle, and entertainment. Besides the shopping, the area is dotted with cafes and eateries, perfect for a quick bite or a leisurely meal.

Whether you’re a serious shopper or just enjoy the buzz of a lively retail area, Queen Street Mall provides a shopping experience that reflects the diverse and dynamic spirit of Brisbane.

12. Howard Smith Wharves: A Riverside Culinary and Entertainment Destination

Nestled under the Story Bridge, the Howard Smith Wharves offer a stunning riverside setting that has been transformed into one of Brisbane’s most exciting entertainment and dining precincts.

Here, you can indulge in an array of culinary experiences, from upscale restaurants to casual eateries, all boasting exceptional views of the Brisbane River. The area’s historic charm, combined with its modern dining and entertainment offerings, creates a unique atmosphere that’s both relaxing and vibrant.

Whether you’re savoring a gourmet meal, enjoying a drink at one of the trendy bars, or attending an event at the on-site exhibition center, Howard Smith Wharves exemplify Brisbane’s ability to blend history with contemporary lifestyle, making it a must-visit for locals and tourists alike.

Howard Smith Wharves
Howard Smith Wharves | @brisbaneatnight

13. Moreton Island Day Trips: An Island Escape

Just off the coast of Brisbane lies the stunning Moreton Island, a slice of paradise offering a perfect day trip for adventure and relaxation. Accessible by ferry, this sand island is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and the famous Tangalooma Wrecks, which are a haven for snorkelers and divers.

Visitors can also indulge in sand tobogganing on the island’s dunes or enjoy a spot of whale watching during migration season. While the cost of activities and transportation to the island varies, the experiences offered are priceless.

Moreton Island provides a unique blend of adventure and natural beauty, making it an essential addition to any Brisbane itinerary.

Moreton Island
Moreton Island | @migoldcoast_

14. Roma Street Parkland: A Green Heart in the City

Roma Street Parkland, one of the world’s largest urban subtropical gardens, is a marvel of horticultural beauty and design ingenuity.

Located just a short walk from Brisbane’s city center, this parkland offers a tranquil retreat with its diverse plant collections, water features, and meandering pathways. Perfect for a leisurely stroll, a family picnic, or even a guided tour, the parkland is a testament to Brisbane’s love for green spaces. The best part? It’s completely free to explore.

The Roma Street Parkland is not just a garden; it’s an expression of nature’s artistry, right in the heart of Brisbane.

Roma Street Parkland
Roma Street Parkland | @ontikova_art

15. Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC): A Cultural Beacon

Last but certainly not least on our Brisbane journey is the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), located in the South Bank precinct.

This premier venue for live theatre, music, and dance is a cultural cornerstone of Brisbane. QPAC’s diverse program ranges from international touring productions and classical ballet to contemporary music and local theatre. The experience of attending a performance here goes beyond the show itself; it’s about being part of Brisbane’s thriving arts scene.

With a range of ticket prices, QPAC makes high-quality performances accessible to all, further enriching the cultural fabric of the city.

Brisbane – A City of Endless Discoveries

From the serene landscapes of Mount Coot-tha and Roma Street Parkland to the lively streets of Fortitude Valley and the cultural richness of QPAC, Brisbane is a city that continually surprises and delights.

Each activity and destination we’ve explored offers a unique insight into the city’s character – a blend of natural beauty, urban vibrancy, and cultural depth.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural enrichment, Brisbane has something to offer every visitor. So pack your bags, set your itinerary, and get ready to immerse yourself in the unforgettable experiences that await in Brisbane, Australia.