Think you’ve already experienced everything Brisbane has to offer?
As a city that can genuinely claim to have plenty to offer visitors, there are a few things that are absolute must-do’s if you want to get the complete Brisbane experience—here are our top 7 all-time must see and do activities that need to be on everyone’s Brisbane bucket-list:
1. Check out the city from Story Bridge
You haven’t really visited a city until you’ve become acquainted with its famous iconic attractions, and in Brisbane, few are more iconic than the heritage listed Story Bridge. Connecting Fortitude Valley to Kangaroo Point across the Brisbane River, the bridge offers one of the best vantage points to soak in views of the Brisbane city skyline and river.
You can choose to either walk or drive across the bridge, or if you want to fully embrace the experience, you can do a bridge climb with Story Bridge Adventure Climb who offer dawn, daytime, twilight and night climbs, as well as abseiling and dining experiences. Visit the Story Bridge Adventure Climb website for more information and bookings.
2. Take a stroll along South Bank
No visit to Brisbane is complete until you’ve taken in some of South Bank. On the southern banks of the Brisbane river, you’ll find some of the best sightseeing, dining, recreational and cultural experiences around—and the best way to get your bearings is by taking a stroll.
Whether you choose the bougainvillea-lined Arbour walking track, the Rainforest walk set among a selection of lush, local trees and plants, the Clem Jones Promenade with its scenic riverside views or all the above, there’s no better way to soak in the atmosphere while enjoying the warm climate from a shady spot. Make sure you remember to take your bathers too so you can cool off at Streets Beach, Boat Pool or Aquativity.
Find more about the South Bank walking tracks from the Visit Brisbane website.
3. Get up close and personal with the Humpback Whales
If you happen to be in Brisbane between late May and early November, you absolutely must book a date to introduce yourself to some of the thousands of Humpback Whales that pass through the area as they migrate north from Antarctica to the much warmer waters of north Queensland.
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to witness these majestic yet playful gentle giants of the ocean, you’ll know it’s an experience that is hard to top.
If you want to get up close and personal with these curious creatures, book a whale watching tour with Whales in Paradise who operate a fleet of purpose-built catamarans with water-level viewing decks, offering the best whale viewing opportunities around. They’ll even refund you if you don’t spot a whale during your cruise so you can’t lose.
Visit the Whales in Paradise website for whale watching cruise information and bookings.
4. Ride the Wheel of Brisbane
Whether it’s called a wheel, an eye or a star, sight-seeing observation wheels are popping up all over the globe everywhere from London and Vienna, to Singapore and Taipei—but Brisbane is home to one of the best.
During your 10-15 minute ride, you’ll be elevated 60 meters above ground level to take in 360-degree views of the Brisbane cityscape, river and landmarks including the Botanical Gardens, Mount Coot-tha and the Goodwill Bridge, all while sitting pretty in air-conditioned comfort.
Visit the Wheel of Brisbane website for more information and bookings.
5. Take in the view from above
Once you’ve familiarised yourself with Brisbane from ground-level, it’s time to take in the view from above with a hot air balloon ride.
It’s not hard to work out why floating gently over the spectacular mountain ranges and lush rainforests of the Scenic Rim at dawn would be so appealing, but finish it off with views of the Brisbane city skyline and it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget.
Hot Air offer a range of ballooning experiences departing from the Scenic Rim (around one hour south of Brisbane), including transfers from Brisbane city if required. Visit the Hot Air website for more information and bookings.
6. Head up Mount Coot-tha
If you’re a fan of a good panoramic view, the Mount Coot-tha Lookout offers one of the best aspects you’ll find of the full Brisbane cityscape. With spectacular views stretching from the city, all the way to Moreton Bay, it’s hard to believe you can find a lookout of this calibre only a few kilometres from the CBD.
While you’re there, you can also explore some of the National Parks many walking tracks, enjoy a coffee at the Kuta Café or a bite to eat at the Summit Restaurant, or visit some of the near-by attractions like the Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens.
Visit the Brisbane Lookout website for more information.
7. Get acquainted with ‘Straddie’
Finally, you’ll need to tick North Stradbroke Island (or ‘Straddie’ as the locals call it) off your list before you can claim you’ve experienced everything Brisbane has to offer.
About 30 kilometres south-east of Brisbane you’ll find this beautiful sub-tropical island featuring everything you could want from an island experience. With a relaxed, slow-paced and welcoming vibe, it provides an ideal escape from the busyness of Brissie.
From its beautiful beaches and lakes, long list of family-friendly activities, unique shopping opportunities and rich Indigenous history and culture, its sure to leave an impression on everyone that sets foot on its shores.
It’s relatively easy to get to as well with water taxis and ferries departing regularly from Cleveland (around 30kms from the Brisbane CBD). Visit the North Stradbroke Island website for more information.