Brisbane is home to constant sunshine and a laid-back local lifestyle that you’ll feel like you’re floating on air once your plane hits the tarmac.
This buzzing capital of Queensland is smack bang in the middle of culture, national parks, beaches and incredible wildlife. It has everything you need, there is no shortage of major attractions to experience in Brisbane.
1. Spend a Day Exploring Fortitude Valley
Fortitude Valley is a hub of cultural bars, shops, restaurants and cafes. Home to the Winn, California and Bakery Laneways you’ll find music venues, burger shops, record stores and boutique hairdressers and jewellers. Just across the way, James Street is where you’ll find an array of local designer, boutique and vintage stores amidst all the eateries and bars.
Chinatown Mall is right in the middle of the valley and holds a large number of restaurants and bars. Pass under the traditional Chinese gates and be welcomed into a strong mix of delicious smells. You can’t pass up a Sunday Yum-Cha session from one of the many restaurants in the vicinity.
2. Check out Mt Coot-Tha
Collect a picnic hamper from our front desk and head to the Brisbane Botanical Gardens at Mt Coot-Tha for a relaxing lunch. Enjoy a stroll around the sub-tropical gardens before heading up to the Mt Coot-Tha lookout. If you’ve got your mountain bike (or your horse apparently) you can ride through 20 kilometres of designated off-road trails.
This area is home to the largest collection of Australian native rainforest trees. The different zones make it an optimal place to spend the day exploring. Check out the Tropical Display Dome, Japanese Gardens and Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.
3. Visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is home to a heap of wildlife and of course, koalas (130 of them to be specific). Opened in 1927 to aid sick and injured koalas, this sanctuary is committed to protecting this incredible Australian animal.
You’ll also find a variety of birdlife, platypuses, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, dingos, wombats and oh so many more. The kangaroos are generally quite docile and have access to the rest areas of the sanctuary, so feel free to pat these cute hoppy creatures.
4. Hop through all the Newstead Breweries
Just a short drive away in Newstead you’ll find a tonne of microbreweries. Start your brewery hopping journey at Tippler’s Tap. Serving classic beers on tap along with a mix of imported brews and a classic American-styled menu. Order up a Chicago Dog with an IPA to wash it down.
Walk further down the road and you’ll reach Green Beacon Brewing Co. Known well for their 3 Bolt Pale Ale and weekly food trucks that stop just outside. Every Monday and Tuesday night is pizza night, but on Wednesday get your guts ready for greasy, finger-licking good chicken wings.
Just around the corner is Newstead Brewing Co. Housed in a 1940s steel warehouse on Doggett Street, this place has 12 beers on tap and an assortment of bottled and canned available. Order up a cheeseburger for that classic pub feel.
5. Wander around the QAGOMA
The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) are home to over 17,000 pieces of historical, modern and contemporary art. Located along the Brisbane River, these two buildings (only 150 metres apart) are the perfect stop in while you’re strolling around the river banks. Grab a small sandwich and espresso at the QAG Café to refuel when passing between each building.
Entry to the museum is free, however, some exhibitions and special events have an entry fee.
6. Crunch down on Sweets at Chouquette
Satisfy your sweet tooth at local French patisserie Chouquette for a flaky, buttery chocolate croissant. This bakery is a gem in local Brisbane circles, truly bringing an authentic taste of France straight to our Australian shores. They open promptly at 6:30 AM from Wednesday to Sunday and almost always sell out of pastries. They only bake once a day so the food is incredibly fresh. But most importantly, their coffee is enough to jolt you for the day.
Address: 1/19 Barker Street, New Farm
7. Abseil down Kangaroo Point Cliffs
These are heritage-listed cliffs with some of the best views in all of Brisbane. This area is the prime spot for running and climbing and luckily, abseiling is now offered by the Riverlife adventure company. These sessions are guided by expert instructors who will guide you over the edge and down the 20 metre high cliffs.
8. Book a Ghost Tour at Boggo Road Gaol
Nobody can pass up a ghost tour, and being in a decommissioned prison makes it that much more enticing. Widely known as Australia’s most notorious prison, the last hanging at Boggo Road Gaol was in 1913. The prison was home to several riots, hunger-strikes, attempted (and some successful) escapes. The ghost tour takes place on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights from 7:30 PM.
If you’d rather take a tour of the gaol during the day, there are other options to choose from. Each will give you a rundown on prison life, true stories and the notorious occupants of cells.
9. Belly Laugh at Livewired Comedy in Brisbane Powerhouse
Every Sunday night down at the Turbine Platform in the Brisbane Powerhouse is Livewired Comedy. An event that is whipping out the best local and interstate comedy every week. The show runs from 5 PM and is guaranteed to have some big names popping out soon. Prepare yourself for some heavy belly laughs.
10. Stroll through Roma Street Parklands
Approximately a 10-minute walk away from Brisbane CBD, Roma Street Parkland spans 16 hectares of designer gardens. The horticultural sights here are astonishing with exotic plant life sprawled across the grounds.
Free guided tours are available at the information booth in The Hub daily. You’ll gain access to behind the scenes information about the history and design of the parklands, while also gaining knowledge regarding the plants and wildlife. Of course, if you want to fly solo, just pick up a self-guided tour map and wander on.