19 Fun Things to Do in Brisbane—You Should Not Miss

With the forever friendly weather of this city, there is a truckload of things to do in Brisbane for you. The capital city of Queensland never fails to deliver the greatest possible joy to its tourists. Brisbane city is one of the most happening places across the world. And the level of elegance in this city will leave you dazzled.

This city has everything you need on a vacation and more. Beautiful green gardens, fun riverside walkways, alfresco bars, and restaurants, islands with sand dunes, refreshing beaches, shopping streets, and much more.

Australia’s third-largest city is the hub of attractions mainly due to its cleanliness. Also, there are numerous family attractions and adventures for kids. Let’s have a look at the best things to do in Brisbane. 

Fun things To Do In Brisbane

The capital of Sunshine State, Brisbane city offers some crazy yet fun things to the tourists. Let us list some of the most awesome things to do in Brisbane.

1- Explore entertainment activities at The Brisbane River

things to do in Brisbane
By Andrew S/ Flickr. Copyright 2022.

Brisbane River is in South Eastern Queensland, one of the poshest areas of Australia. Visitors can enjoy the luxury of a Dinner Cruise at this river on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. While having dinner on board, you can view the colorful Story Bridge, Brisbane’s South Bank precinct, and Kangaroo point cliffs.

You can also simply stroll along the river walk and enjoy the flabbergasting view. Another interesting activity is kayaking on the river at night. This kayak tour takes you under the Victoria Bridge, nearby the Treasury Casino building. While having fun kayaking, you will also be able to view the Brisbane Wheel.

Lastly, tourists will be fascinated to take a paddlewheel ride with Kookaburra Showboat Cruises up the Brisbane River. All the activities carried out at the Brisbane River are worth it and amongst the best things to do in Brisbane.

2- Check out the Brisbane Botanic Gardens—Mount Coot Tha

things to do in Brisbane
By Brisbane City Council/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

These gardens are recognized as Queensland’s premier subtropical botanic gardens. When we talk about Brisbane attractions, these gardens occupy the top place. The doors are opened daily from 8 AM to 6 PM in summers and 8 AM to 5 PM in winters. There is no entry fee to the gardens. 

The Brisbane Botanic Gardens are the best green spaces in Brisbane city. Tourists can take a stroll along any of Mt Coot-tha’s walking spaces for scenic views of Moreton Bay, Brisbane and its surrounding areas. 

These botanic gardens are located seven kilometers from the city center. They offer a bunch of environments like the biggest collection of Australian native rainforest trees in the world and wonderful natural wildlife.

There’s also a little cafe by the garden known as The Gardens Cafe. Although the capacity is limited to 150, it is worthwhile if you get to dine inside. New-day Australian cuisine is served in the cafe along with light snacks, Devonshire teas, and delicious ice creams.

Explore the tranquil surroundings in these immensely beautiful gardens and admire the flora and fauna within. Enjoying the beauty of nature is one of the best things to do in Brisbane for tourists.

3- Spend time at the Queensland Art Gallery

The Gallery of Modern Art is 127 years old and is as scintillating as it can get. Shortly known as QAGOMA (Queensland Art Gallery—Gallery of Modern Art), this attraction in Brisbane will leave you stunned! Here’s why.

The two galleries here have unique personalities and they both showcase an impressive collection of art. The residents of these galleries are at South Bank, since 1982.

Talking about the art exhibitions, the collection has magnificent contemporary art from Australia, Asia, and The Pacific. The staggering architecture of riverside galleries will be an amazing start to your visit to the place.

The galleries also home a Children’s Art Centre which consists of engaging artworks for families and kids, a cinema that broadcasts films from across the world, and a gallery shop with art, books, and cultural work.

I have no doubts that something or the other will definitely win your heart. Also, paying a visit to these art galleries is among the greatest things to do in Brisbane.

4- Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium

This Planetarium opened in the year 1978. It has a Cosmic Skydome (hemispherical planetarium theatre) which is a 12.5-meter diameter projection dome. You can visit the Planetarium for a tour of Brisbane’s night sky, Display Zone, and multiple informatory shows.

This Planetarium is named after Sir Thomas Brisbane, the governor of New South Wales (1821-1825). Sir Thomas was also a popular astronomer of southern skies. Brisbane City Council administers the place.

This place also consists of wide photographic and model displays in the Foyer and Gallery, including the 1969 Moon landing, the Space Shuttle, and Mars expeditions. The mini theatre features a Space Telescope Science Institute web feed and a free Foyer Theatrette.

The focus is always on education in a simple manner for kids and adults as well. The entry inside is free. However, there is a charge for Cosmic Skydome shows.

Apart from the ones mentioned above, the other attractions are the Galaxy Gift Shop and Sundial Courtyard. For family and kids, this planetarium has to be amongst the best learning things to do in Brisbane.

5- Party with your friends at Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley is the place where one can have the time of his/her life. The Valley was Australia’s first entertainment district and is the best place for nightclubbing in Brisbane and one of the best in the country.

The Valley has multiple bars and clubs, enough for a party person to choose from. The nightlife of The Valley is the reason why it is very happening and lively. Furthermore, swimmers may have the chance to practice their swimming skills at the Valley Pool.

Another fun activity is to shop along James St. There are more than 130 stores in the area and you are likely to find all kinds of stuff including flagships, local boutiques, and Brisbane designer items.

Partying at Fortitude Valley is one of the coolest things to do in Brisbane! There are tons of exciting activities at Fortitude Valley. If you want to have a look at all of them, click here.

6- Visit the Museum of Brisbane

things to do in Brisbane
By Paul Balfe/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

Opened in the year 2003, the Brisbane Museum is located in the City Hall and is home to the most historic and modern cultures in the city.

The Museum of Brisbane houses the city’s vibrant art and culture to showcase them through exhibitions, workshops, tours, events, and children’s activities.

Entry inside the museum is free and it is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. On Fridays, the Museum’s time extends till 7 PM for visitors to explore in peace.

The guides at this museum are the finest storytellers in the city. Visitors opt for a guide even during the visit to City Hall and the top of the incredible Clock Tower.

Undoubtedly, visiting the Brisbane Museum is one of the most productive things to do in and around Brisbane city.

7- Get a beautiful view of the Brisbane vibe at Howard Smith Wharves

Howard Smith Wharves sits between the classical Story Bridge and the New Farm Park. This is considered Brisbane’s modern-day dining and lifestyle precinct.

This famous landmark is only 10 minutes of walk away from Brisbane CBD and is home to multiple bars, restaurants, hotels, and ample spaces for events.

You can connect with locals, sit by the water, drink, and enjoy dinner with the beautiful river view at any of the world-class restaurants here. Make sure to visit at night to live the legendary experience.

With such elite dine-in places and lovely waterfront locations, visitors must consider this amongst things to do in Brisbane city.

8- Take a look of the city from top of the Clock Tower

things to do in Brisbane
By Mark Pazolli/ Flickr. Copyright 2022.

This Clock Tower in the city hall is around 87 meters tall and is an integral part of Brisbane city. The Tower is open on all days from 10:15 AM to 4:45 PM, there is a minimal fee to get inside. As for Fridays, visitors can stay inside till 6:45 PM and enjoy the night view of the city from the top.

Located with the Museum of Brisbane, it is one of the tallest buildings in the city, and the views from the top are absolutely magnificent.

Fun facts about the tower are: It has the oldest manual elevator in Australia and the face of each clock is almost 5 meters wide with the minute hands being 3 meters long. Along with the museum, visiting this huge Clock Tower is one of the greatest things to do in Brisbane for tourists.

To book your tickets for the Clock Tower and Museum, visit the website.

9- Explore the Brisbane Twilight Markets

The Brisbane Twilight Markets show up only twice a year. Most events conducted at King George Square are free of cost.

This kind of market presents homemade goods, prepared and delivered by local artists and designers. From summer clothes, cushions, and wall hangings to resin jewelry and typewriter keys, you will find every little and big thing here.

If you are in the city during the placing of such markets, shopping along with your family, kids or friends is one of the nicest things to do in Brisbane.

10- Go out for dessert

Dessert anyone? Well, Brisbane has got some mouth-watering dessert spots for you.

Gelato Messina South Brisbane is one of the best ice cream parlors in the city. They have got tasty flavors like coconut and lychee, Tiramisu and pear, and rhubarb. These are the top-rated ones. Apart from these, you can check your favorite ones on the display.

No matter the crowd at this place, the wait will be worth it once you have got your hands on ice cream. Apart from food, trying different desserts is one of the most scrumptious things to do in Brisbane

Flour & Chocolate Patisserie is another dessert spot for you. The chocolate-drizzled croissants, eclairs, cakes, and sweet pastries at this place will blow you away. Choose according to your taste.

11- Go for a walk at Kangaroo Point Cliffs

things to do in Brisbane
By John/ Flickr. Copyright 2022.

Very few places in Brisbane can match the scenic views of Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Locals and tourists prefer this place over others for a night stroll due to the amazing lighting system in the area.

The views of the river, mountains, and city from the cliffs are exquisite, be it during the day or night! When you arrive at the place, you will be welcomed by bikeways, parklands, playgrounds, riverside picnic, and barbecue points.

All in all, an evening walk at the cliffs is one of the best things to do in Brisbane for you. Take some time out and walk through the natural beauty of this place.

12- Admire the beauty of Roma Street Parkland

things to do in Brisbane
By Lenny K Photography/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

These exquisite gardens are located in Brisbane city. It is an oasis of designer gardens and stretched lawns that wind around the 16 hectares of this splendid parkland.

This one is for garden lovers who seek fresh air and vibes out in the open. There’s no better place than this one. It is a famous tourist destination with barbecues, two playgrounds, various events to catch your attention, and picnic spots.

The garden is open seven days a week and it is the perfect relaxing spot for your family and kids.

Also, The Moonlight Cinema at Roma Street Parkland is a great place if you want to live the experience of watching a movie under the stars.

If you are looking for green spaces, visiting this garden is probably one of the best things to do in Brisbane for you.

13- Visit the Queen Street Mall

Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall has more stuff than any other mall in Queensland. This best-known pedestrian mall includes more than 700 retailers like home-grown talent, designer stores, and international labels.

The mall is not only restricted to shopping but also has entertainment activities for families and kids. You can have delicious food in the food section.

The mall has two historic and remarkable arcades, Brisbane Arcade and Tattersall’s Arcade. You must visit both these arcades.

Apart from fashion, you can discover so many things in every corner of the mall. From film festivals and park picnics to rooftop cocktails and galleries, every year so many events occur at this mall. Mall explorers, roaming at the Queen Street Mall is one of the best things to do in Brisbane for you.

14- Have fun at Moreton Island

things to do in Brisbane
By Brewbooks/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

Moreton Island is located 40 kilometers northeast of Brisbane and is the third-largest sand island in the world! Clear and beautiful lakes exist among the sand dunes, plenty of wildflowers, and hot beaches on the Island.

You can feed dolphins with your hands, dive among the Tangalooma wrecks, and watch silhouettes of fishermen casting lines in twilight!

The other best activities you can try are biking, four-wheeling, sand tobogganing, climbing Mt Tempest, swimming in Blue Lagoon, whale watching, kayaking, viewing the island, catching a fish, viewing historic gravesites, rock climbing, and checking other wrecks.

If you wish to know more about the activities at Moreton Island, check this page. This Island is one of the coolest spots in Australia and it should be on your list of things to do in Brisbane.

15- Explore the BrisStyle Destash Market

This is a unique market that provides opportunities for makers to tradecraft supplies with other creative people. Get to this market, look out for things you might need, and bargain well before finalizing the deal.

This market will have a large number of items ranging from vintage tea towels to fabrics from Japan, beading supplies, mannequins, vintage teacups and saucers, yarn, buttons, knitting and crochet supplies, heavy glass bottles, vintage doilies, patterns, sewing supplies, paper and everything else that you can imagine.

Entry to this market is free and you can spend as many hours here as you want. Apart from that, you can try going to Wynnum cafes nearby to have some latte.

You’d be unlucky to not attend this market whilst being in the city. The Destash market delivers a chance to bring new materials that may require space to your homes or workplaces.

Strolling through and purchasing stuff in this unique style market is undoubtedly one of the greatest things to do in Brisbane for all tourists.

16- Try to stand up paddleboarding

things to do in Brisbane
By William Murphy/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

Brisbane is considered a river city wherein you are expected to go for maximum water sports activities. Trust me, it is more fun than you would have imagined!

Stand-up Paddle Boarding is a famous water sport all around the world and one of the most entertaining things to do in Brisbane.

Pumice Stone Passage, Donnybrook is one of the top places recommended for this activity. While you are heading towards Moreton Bay, take a detour at Pumice Stone Passage. It isn’t close to the city center and thus it is a calm place.

The beach is simply rejuvenating and you will get to see multiple jet skis by and on the water. You can also try hands-on one of those.

Some other places to try water sports activities are Enoggera reservoir, The Caboolture river, Shorncliffe/Sandgate/Brighton, The Brisbane River, Currimundi lake, Victoria point’s Thompson’s beach, and Raby Bay. 

17- Take your family and kids to Aquavity Park

Located on Brisbane’s South Bank, Aquavity is a friendly and entertaining water park.

It was made to encourage families to come by and have real fun in the great outdoors. The place is open on weekends and school holidays from 10 AM to 5 PM.

In addition to the wonderful water park, Aquativity has educational play elements referencing the river which helps create an easy understanding of the water cycle and its preservation. The kids can swim, splash water and play all year round.

The other facilities are Barbeque, Café, Carpark, Picnic Area, Public Toilet, Disabled access available and Free WiFi.

If you are looking to make the most out of your time on weekends, taking your family along to this park is among the most advantageous things to do in the Brisbane region.

18- Dine in at Fish Lane

Fish Lane is located in South Brisbane and is full of lively bars, restaurants, and street art. Enjoy fine dining anywhere with your favorite cuisine, get into a cocktail bar, wine bar, or beer garden post-dinner.

This place has also opened up chances for artists to show creativity in terms of art. Explore the ever-changing artwork and sculptures that are present on every surface along the laneway.

The nearest train station is only a few hundred meters away and you can get to the Lane easily. It is said to be the apt spot to spend an evening of culture. You can always talk to a greeter or two for your convenience and wander around in the correct directions.

Spending an afternoon or evening here is one of the most satisfying things to do in Brisbane.

19- Climb Story Bridge at night

things to do in Brisbane
By Steven Penton/ Flickr. Copyright 2022.

Story Bridge is the spot from where you can view the entire city and witness the busy lifestyle. In the North, you can see the Glass House Mountains and towards the South, you can see the mighty Scenic Rim Mountains.

The views will not be limited to these as you can also bless your eyes with the captivating views of the capital of Queensland.

In order to climb the Story Bridge, you need to be in good physical condition. I would highly suggest you not go for the adventure if you are height phobic. Otherwise, the climb is safe, and trained guides are appointed to assist you in the process.

While talking about all the adventurous things to do in Brisbane, climbing Story Bridge is amongst the top three.

Final Note

That’s it from my side on “things to do in Brisbane”. I have listed the best possible activities for you with the hope that you have a fabulous time in the capital of the Sunshine State.

Get on the train, plane, bus, or any transport feasible and explore this enormous city in the country. Eat healthy food, spend time elating yourself, befriend local people, listen to music at events, and do not miss out on the fun, especially on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Additionally, explore the Brisbane Quarter, weekend markets, go for a date night, listen to popular stories from local ones, learn about Sydney (The most populous city in the country), and visit the world-class restaurants.

Having learned about things to do in Brisbane, Now have a look at 10 Amazing Things To Do In Perth

Trust me, the list of “things to do in Brisbane” is never-ending. Now you need to decide what’s suits you. Hope you have enough clarity with this piece of work. 

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