When I was researching for my trip to Brisbane, I was overwhelmed with the amount of unique things this city has to offer! With all the different “districts” in the city, each have their own unique activities. Situated on a river, this capital city is incredibly scenic, and dedicated to offering sustainable living and improving the natural world around us! Want to be in nature? How about some wildlife? Oh, and what about shopping, eating, and climbing bridges? I hope you like adventure, because this list is an adventurous guide of the best things to do in Brisbane, Australia!

south brisbane sign

There was an event going on the day I visited this sign in South Bank – it does not have chairs like this year round.

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Unfortunately, I got super sick and wasn’t able to get out and explore for a few days, but I still included the things I was going to do and some other suggestions!

Things to do in Brisbane City

Since it’s a city, I’m going to skip the part about shopping because every site will tell you go to the Queen St. mall (over 700 stores) and buy things (maybe pick up some kangaroo balls [yes, I’m serious] or a didgeridoo [just look it up], or a boomerang!).
No, this list is for the more adventurous city goers who love finding what makes a city unique. I’ll start with what’s IN Brisbane:

Visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Home to over 70 species and focused on eco-friendliness and sustainability, this sanctuary allows visitors to leave with a different perspective on wildlife and our effect on it. Meet koalas and kangaroos while you learn all about their habitats and watch daily demonstrations!

Climb Story Bridge

Yes, you can actually CLIMB TO THE TOP of Story Bridge! There are over 6 different experiences to choose from through Story Bridge Adventure Climb and they offer celebration experiences, too! This is a safe, but totally adventurous way to get an “overall” experience of Brisbane ;)!

Story Bridge

Botanic Gardens

If you’re itching to get a little less concrete and a little more grass, head to the Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. This is a top-notch 57-acre garden, featuring over 200,000 plants and 5,000 species, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! Take a break from the concrete jungle and have a picnic around one of the many picturesque areas.

brisbane botanic gardens

Walk the Eagle Street Pier

The riverwalk in Brisbane is absolutely beautiful! Lining this pier are delicious, unique restaurants and I’ve listed some of them here in my food guide to the city!

River Cruise City Hopper to South Bank

This is my favorite part of Brisbane! You could easily walk here through the CBD (Central Business District – basically downtown) and over a small bridge, but this adds more adventure – you get to be on the water and see the skyline while going under the Story Bridge! The river cruise is on the Eagle Street Pier and it’s free! The City Hopper has multiple stops and the time tables are located at the pier.

The stops are:

  • North Quay, Brisbane City
  • South Bank 3, South Brisbane
  • Maritime Museum, South Brisbane
  • Thornton Street, Kangaroo Point
  • Eagle Street Pier, Brisbane City
  • Holman Street, Kangaroo Point
  • Dockside, Kangaroo Point
  • Sydney Street, New Farm.

If you’re wondering what’s so special about South Bank, below are some things to do:

  • Go on the Rainforest Walk to see the Nepalese Pagoda – 160+ Nepalese families completed this structure over two years.

  • Stroll under the Arbour and marvel at the bougainvillea flowers that surround the steel posts.

  • Check out the Brisbane Wheel and get a sky high view of the city!

brisbane ferris wheel

Check out the link below to see more things to do in Brisbane city!

Things to Do Near Brisbane

Brisbane city isn’t the only attraction in Southern Queensland – there is plenty to do within an hour’s drive either North or South!

Visit Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo

    • If you’re not driving, train and bus tickets can be purchased online with TransLink or at the station in Brisbane. The Zoo’s courtesy coach bus picks you up at Beerwah Station to transport you to the zoo.
    • Tickets through tour companies can be found here if you don’t want to deal with the little details of transportation and timing!

DO NOT miss this opportunity. What I loved most about this zoo is the amount of space the animals had to themselves in the enclosures. Not to mention, it’s one of Steve Irwin’s ultimate legacies he was able to leave behind. The Australia Zoo also has a wildlife hospital that is dedicated to researching and improving the wildlife in Australia.

You can hold a list of different animals for a fee!

To experience an animal encounter, there are quite a few options at different prices. Make sure to book ahead of time! I wanted to see a lemur up close, but it was totally booked out when we walked up to the counter.

Visit the islands off the coast

    • Moreton Island
    • Stradbroke Island

Take another train, or drive, to the Gold Coast!

This infamous region of Queensland is only about an hour away! If there’s one thing I regret most about visiting Australia, it’s not seeing the coast when I was 5 miles from it. I will forever regret buying sunglasses instead of going to see a world famous beach. Needless to say, there will be ZERO trips to outlet malls on my future vacations…

To see what the Gold Coast is all about, take a gander at The Blonde Abroad’s guide to the Gold Coast!

Check out the Warner Bro’s Movie World!

If you’re a fan of movies and TV shows ranging from Tom & Jerry to DC comics, get your rear over to Australia’s #1 theme park! Again, another place I regret not checking out. What was I even doing in Australia?? Roller coasters and Stunt Driver shows will make your day trip at this premier theme park worth it!

As you can see, there is plenty to do in Brisbane whether you are are a solo traveler, couple or family! If you have any suggestions, comment below or email me!

Best Things to Do In Brisbane - Adventurer\'s Guide