If you’re heading along the East Coast of Australia, then a stop in Brisbane is a great way to break up the journey from Northern NSW to Queensland – there are so many awesome things to do in Brisbane.
And it isn’t quite as famous as its counterparts of Sydney and Melbourne, there is still plenty to keep you busy – so we’ve put together the best things to do in Brisbane for every budget.
The Best Things To Do in Brisbane | 10 Activities & Attractions For Every Budget
Go Sightseeing on a River Cruise
Price: From AUD 33
There are many great ways to discover the east coast of Australia. If you’re in Brisbane, don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the city on a river cruise.
The Brisbane River runs right through the heart of the city, and a cruise down the river is the perfect way to see the city from a different angle. Along the way, you’ll pass many of the city’s landmarks that make up the Brisbane skyline, such as the Story Bridge.
There are numerous cruises to choose from, like the 1.5-hour sightseeing cruise where you can learn more about Brisbane’s history and hop on and off to explore some of the city’s attractions.
If you’re looking to enjoy a longer ride, some cruises serve a lavish high tea, lunch, or dinner.
Hang Out in the South Bank Area
Wheel of Brisbane: From AUD 19.95
The South Bank Area is the original site of the World Expo that was held in Brisbane in 1988. It is one of the most diverse areas in the city. Here you’ll find plazas and promenades lined with restaurants and excellent shops.
South Bank is also one of the best areas to cool off on a hot Brisbane day. It’s home to Streets Beach, a man-made lagoon and beach area directly opposite the CBD. You can also take a leisurely stroll under the shade of many trees in the Epicurious Gardens.
While you’re in South Bank, don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy a thrilling ride on the Wheel of Brisbane. This enormous ferris wheel soars above the city, and you’ll get a bird’s eye view over Brisbane.
Climb the Story Bridge
Price: From AUD 99
Built during the Great Depression in the 1930s, the Story Bridge is one of Brisbane’s most iconic landmarks. After the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, the Story Bridge Climb is one of the most popular adrenaline activities in Australia.
The Story Bridge Climb caters to people of all fitness levels who are 10 years of age and older. The thrilling two-hour climb takes you 80 metres above the Brisbane River. The reward for this nerve-wracking adventure is uninterrupted views of the city.
Enjoy a Feast of Food at the Eat Street Northshore
Price: The entry fee is $5
If you’re looking to go on a culinary adventure around the world, then Eat Street is the perfect place to start. Just 15 minutes away from the Brisbane CBD, Eat Street has over 70 stalls, including five themed bars, shops, and small restaurants.
Here you can try cuisine from around the world while enjoying live entertainment. You’ll also find unique food variations like Japanese pizza and a mac ‘n cheeseburger. Eat Street has something for everyone, even the fussiest of eaters.
Stroll Around the Brisbane Botanic Gardens (Mount Coot-Tha)
Price: Free entry
The Brisbane Botanic Gardens on Mount Coot-Tha is one of the top subtropical gardens in Queensland. It’s best known for its stunning Tropical Display Dome.
You can enjoy a guided tour of the gardens and learn about its history and the different tropical plants. Alternatively, you can also take a self-guided tour and discover the beautiful Japanese garden and one of the largest collections of Australian rainforest trees in the world.
If you’re looking to cool off, you can enjoy a picnic under a shady tree or grab a bit at the Botanic Gardens Cafe.
Visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Price: From AUD 49
Have you ever wanted to cuddle with Australia’s cutest animal? Well, then be sure to visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
Here you’ll be able to enjoy interactive programmes with these adorable furry creatures and also learn more about them and their environment. While koalas are the star of the show, you’ll also see other Australian animals like dingos, wallabies, and wombats.
Learn About Local Aboriginal Culture at the Spirits of the Red Sands
Price: From AUD 99
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about Australia’s indigenous Aboriginal people, you can do so through the exciting Spirit of the Red Sands storytelling experience.
The Spirits of the Red Sands was launched in 2017 and is the first-of-its-kind experience that gives visitors insight into the history and resilience of the Aboriginal people and the Queensland region.
You’ll be able to meet the elders of one of the Aboriginal tribes, enjoy a welcoming ceremony, and participate in local customs. If you book an evening experience, you’ll get to enjoy a meal and theatre performance.
Visit the Museums & Galleries in the Cultural Centre
Price: Free admission
Situated on the banks of the Brisbane River, the Cultural Centre in South Bank is an excellent place for a fun-filled day out. Here you’ll find an extensive collection of museums, galleries and performance venues.
You can check out the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, where you’ll find world-class exhibitions and displays and even free film screenings. You’ll also find the State Library of Queensland and Queensland Museum & Science Centre.
If you have time, you can enjoy a comedy show, ballet or opera show at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
Enjoy a Day Trip to Moreton Island
Price: From AUD 129
Moreton Island is a short 75-minute ferry ride away from Brisbane and is the perfect place to escape the busy city vibe.
Here you can lay around on the pristine white sand beaches or snorkel and dive around the island’s crystal clear waters. You can even feed dolphins at the Tangalooma Island Resort.
Other activities that you can enjoy on the island include sea kayaking, quad biking and whale watching during the short whale season.
Discover Brisbane on a Bicycle
Price: From $69
If you’re looking for a scenic way to explore Brisbane, you might enjoy a guided bicycle tour through the city. Discover some of the city’s local gems with a guided, leisurely paced bike tour.
You’ll get to discover the city from a local’s perspective, learn about Brisbane’s history, and discover some of its cultural attractions. For a truly memorable experience, book the Twilight Tour.
You’ll get to see the city come to life as the sun sets over the Brisbane River and watch as the city’s skyline starts to take shape.