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Things to do in Brisbane

Things to do in  Brisbane

Welcome to Brisbane

Hemmed in by the beaches of the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane is the perfect cultural antidote to a sun-and-surf overdose. Effortlessly laid-back yet surprisingly fashion-forward, Queensland’s capital city is always changing, with museums hosting some of Australia’s most cutting-edge exhibitions, and new restaurants, pop-up stores, and seasonal events springing up constantly. Highlights of a trip to Brisbane include climbing the famous Story Bridge, strolling the lush City Botanic Gardens, and spotting koalas at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Lone Pine is a 20-minute drive from downtown Brisbane, but it’s more fun to float there on a river cruise that departs from Southbank, with views of Brisbane’s landmarks along the way. As the gateway to Queensland, Brisbane also makes a good base camp for exploring the region’s highlights. The beaches of North Stradbroke Island or Moreton Island are a short ferry ride away, while the world-class theme parks and beaches of the Gold Coast are just an hour’s drive south of the city. To experience Queensland’s diverse flora and fauna, tours are your best bet. A guide can lead you to waterfalls and glowworm caves on a rain forest tour of Springbrook National Park, 62 miles (100 kilometers) south of Brisbane, and Mt. Tamborine National Park. Or join a multi-day excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Fraser Island (one night at a beach resort included) or the Great Barrier Reef, where you can swim, look for turtles and humpback whales, and snorkel ’til your heart’s content.

Top 10 attractions in Brisbane

#1
Story Bridge

Story Bridge

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Story Bridge is Brisbane’s answer to Sydney’s Harbour Bridge. Iconic in its own right, Story Bridge is a heritage-listed, steel cantilever bridge that allows access between the northern and southern suburbs of Brisbane.Story Bridge was built between 1935 and 1939, and was known as Jubilee Bridge until mid 1940. The main attraction of Story Bridge, as splendid as it is to view from afar, are the bridge climbs which began in 2005. A guided tour takes visitors up the bridge to stunning panoramic views of the city, out to Moreton Bay, and west across the aptly named Scenic Rim as they stand 80 metres above sea level. It’s also possible to abseil down one of the bridge’s pylons and into Captain Burke Park.More
#2
Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park

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Part of Australia’s Gondwana Rainforests, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lamington National Park is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Covering 77 square miles (200 square kilometers), it’s known for its rich biodiversity, ancient trees, over 500 waterfalls, and more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) of hiking trails.More
#3
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

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One of the best places to spot native Australian animals is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which has been devoted to wildlife conservation since 1927. As well as being the oldest and largest koala sanctuary in the country with more than 130 resident koalas, the sanctuary is home to kangaroos, wombats, emus, dingoes, Tasmanian devils, and platypus.More
#4
Moreton Island

Moreton Island

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With its miles of sun-bleached sandy beaches, towering sand dunes, shimmering lagoons, and pockets of wild bushland, Moreton Island feels a world away from nearby Brisbane. As the third largest sand island in the world and a national park, Moreton Island makes for a perfect day trip when you want to get in touch with nature.More
#5
Brisbane River

Brisbane River

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The Brisbane River winds its way through the heart of the city, from the neighborhoods of South Brisbane all the way to Moreton Bay. The river is also a center of local life, and residents and visitors alike enjoy the many waterfront parks and landmarks, riverside walks, and sightseeing cruises.More
#6
Mooloolaba

Mooloolaba

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Surrounded by golden beaches, scenic waterways, and mountainous hinterlands, Mooloolaba enjoys a stunning setting along Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Perched at the mouth of Mooloolaba River, the town has a reputation as one of the coolest on the Sunny Coast, known for its great surf, lively markets, and buzzing nightlife.More
#7
Mt. Coot-tha

Mt. Coot-tha

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Hovering above Brisbane to its west, Mt Coot-tha offers a natural lookout point with views across the city and the winding Brisbane River all the way to Moreton Bay and the Glass House Mountains on the horizon. At the foot of the mountain, the lush Brisbane Botanic Gardens provide a leafy escape.More
#8
Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

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Formerly home to Steve Irwin, also known as “the Crocodile Hunter,” the Australia Zoo is one of Australia’s largest and most popular wildlife conservation facilities. Managed by the Irwin family, whose personalities are a major part of its continued success, the zoo has a huge collection of native Aussie animals as well as creatures from around the world.More
#9
Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

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Just across the river from Brisbane’s central business district, Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park offers sweeping views of Brisbane’s skyline, as well as excellent rock climbing and rappelling—suitable for all skill levels—on its cliffs. The cliffs were formed by convicts mining the volcanic rock in the middle of the 19th century.More
#10
Streets Beach

Streets Beach

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Water, sand and sun make for a good combination pretty much anywhere in the world. Put them all together to create a man-made beach right in the middle of Brisbane, and you’ve got the must-visit Streets Beach.Australia’s only inner-city, manmade beach, this site has a chlorinated lagoon surrounded by sandy beaches and sub-tropical plants that makes for a great spot to head to whether you have kids in tow or not. An extra bonus—this beach-like spot enjoys a view of the city skyscrapers and Brisbane River, which will keep you from forgetting you’re not out on a tropical island somewhere.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Brisbane

How to Spend 1 Day in Brisbane

Sunshine Coast Tours from Brisbane

Sunshine Coast Tours from Brisbane

How to Spend 3 Days in Brisbane

How to Spend 3 Days in Brisbane

Recent reviews from experiences in Brisbane

star-5
Will definitely join again !
Samson_L, May 2021
Brisbane Segway Sightseeing Tour
The tour coves most of the South Bank area , across the bridge to Botanic Gardens, while Em gives insight about the tourists attractions at that area.
star-5
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Monique_K, Mar 2020
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Admission with Brisbane River Cruise
Got to see more of Brisbane.
star-4
Friendly staff
Nic, Mar 2020
90min Brisbane River Cruise/Tour
Morning river cruise was relaxing and great way to see Brisbane, staff very friendly and helpful , seating a bit uncomfortable.
star-5
Best Segway tour
khaytonrn, Jan 2020
Brisbane Segway Sightseeing Tour
Great way to see Brisbane!
star-5
Brilliant Day
HelenD2805, Jan 2020
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Admission with Brisbane River Cruise
From start to finish a lovely day, so scenic and a brilliant way to see the Brisbane from the river.
star-4
great day out
Connector279319, Nov 2019
Cruise To Lunch Package
very enjoyable cruise and lunch venue stop , great way to see the waterways of Brisbane city, and good food stop at best pub , recommended value for money rob & cath
star-5
Stunning countryside in a day trip from Birsbane
249kenl, Jul 2018
Springbrook andTamborine Rainforest Tour Incl Natural Bridge and Glow Worm Cave
This day tour featured stunning mountains, water falls and rain forests and a completely unique glow worm cave.
star-5
This was the best tour we have ever...
Eileen B, Jan 2018
North Stradbroke Island Day Trip from Brisbane
To see Koalas, Kangaroos, Sharks, Mantirays, Dolphins, Turtles, stingrays all in the wild is so special.
star-5
What a night. We enjoyed every bit...
Chrissie G, Jan 2018
Brisbane Kayak Tour
We were lucky to see the South Bank fire works, listen to a few sounds at the Brisbane Jazz club and enjoy a beautiful warm night kayak.
star-5
This trip was a good day tasting...
gillian s, Jan 2017
Deluxe Winery Tour to Tamborine Mountain, includes gourmet two course lunch
Mt Tambourine is a beautiful area to visit.
star-5
Great day trip from Brisbane. We...
MR ANTHONY T L, Apr 2017
North Stradbroke Island Day Trip from Brisbane
Great way to see North Stradbroke Island without the hassle of having to arrange it yourself.
star-5
Kangaroo Segway Evening Tour
Graham D, Nov 2019
Brisbane Segway Sightseeing Tour
I cannot recommend this enough, a brilliant way to see Brisbane and Anna the tour guide was excellent
star-5
Really enjoyed this laid-back, casual...
David F, Apr 2009
Springbrook National Park Discovery Full-Day Bushwalking Tour
Great to see glow worms on a daytime tour and bats!
star-4
An easy way to see Brisbane from a...
Lex C, Nov 2007
Brisbane Story Bridge Adventure Climb
An easy way to see Brisbane from a bird's eye view.
star-5
Great idea, but found the online...
Grahame B, Dec 2008
Brisbane Arrival Transfer Shuttle from Brisbane Airport to Hotel
Staff fixed it quickly and the bus drivers were wonderful and spoke English.
star-5
10/10 experience! Everyone MUST experience this once
Gabriel_L, Jan 2021
Moreton Island Day Trip (Kayak, Snorkel & Sandboard) frm Brisbane or Gold Coast
We got briefed by one of the tour guides while we were on the ferry & he couldn’t be nicer by assuring us that the activities would be amazing & that we would be in good hands so that we don’t worry about anything.
star-4
A great, fun trip
Jacob_W, Mar 2020
Croc Express to Australia Zoo from Brisbane
I've always wanted to visit the Australia zoo, so I was thrilled when I finally got the chance.
star-5
A Must Do Adventure
T5701PJalexb, Dec 2019
2-Day Moreton Island Tour from Brisbane or Gold Coast with Optional Nighttime Kayaking
The night kayaking is a MUST if you want to see the corals at night - with a totally different biodiversity as compared to daytime.
star-5
Lovely day out in Brisbane
sgholidayqueen, Dec 2019
Cruise To Lunch Package
With no idea what to do when we got there we found this tour on the web consisting of a 45 minute ferry ride each way from South Brisbane to Breakfast Creek hotel which is famous for their steaks.
star-5
Day Trip to Australia Zoo
David G, Oct 2019
Croc Express to Australia Zoo from Brisbane
I would highly recommend the Australia Zoo by Croc Express Coach to anyone desiring to visit the Zoo from Brisbane or the Gold Coast.

All about Brisbane

When to visit

The sun shines year-round in Brisbane, but mild winter temperatures mean locals still spend the majority of their time outdoors, enjoying night markets, open-air cinemas, and festivals such as the Royal Queensland Show and Queensland Music. For those using Brisbane as a base to explore the surrounding beaches and islands, visit in autumn (March through May) for warm weather and fewer crowds.

Frequently Asked Questions
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