Brisbane may well boast downtown skyscrapers and a population of over 2 million, but the warm climate, friendly locals and incredible natural bounty give it arguably the most easy-going atmosphere of all the cities in Australia. The way the Brisbane River, from which the city takes its name, snakes lazily through the Queensland capital mirrors the laid-back attitude of the inhabitants of “Brissie”.
The Sunshine State’s largest city has a vibrant cultural life and plenty of top-class bars and restaurants but the biggest draw for most visitors is the huge array of outdoor activities on the city’s doorstep. Whether it’s dolphin-spotting on Moreton Island National Park, climbing the Kangaroo Point cliffs or just escaping the heat and hustle of the city along the cool riverfront, you have a wealth of open-air options. Enjoying a pint of the local brew XXXX along with fish and chips is a popular way to spend a pleasant summer’s evening while the dry, cooler winters are perfect for whale watching and more active excursions. Daredevil visitors can try their hand at climbing the iconic Storey Bridge and the nearby Glass House Mountains make for a great day trip.
Another appealing aspect of the city for tourists is the number of attractions that are available free-of-charge – from nature reserves such as Roma Street Parkland and Mount Coot-tha to the government-funded Queensland Museum and Museum of Brisbane. The city also provides a number of free swimming pools, playgrounds and barbecues, as well as various cultural festivals which are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
The city itself is the artistic heart of Queensland and the majority of the state’s most important cultural institutions, such as the Gallery of Modern Art – the country’s biggest – are located here. You’ll always find top-quality shows at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, which is home to the state’s ballet and theatre companies as well as its symphony orchestra.
The riverside walks in the city’s South Bank area and a scenic river ride on one of the public ferries are among the city’s other tourist highlights but be sure to rent a car or book a tour to explore the exquisite surrounding landscape.
Shopping, Dining and Family-friendly
Brisbane’s premier shopping destination houses bars, restaurants and shops of all descriptions in its 40,000 square metres of retail space.
Escape to this inner-city oasis right in the heart of Brisbane.
Take a cosmic adventure with an enormous star projector, real artifacts from space missions and an observatory housed in Brisbane’s first planetarium.
Swim in the sparkling water of an inner-city beach, stroll through lush gardens and taste gourmet gelato all while staying close to Brisbane’s busy downtown area.
Tropical rainforest, temperate wetlands and rolling savannah are home to some of the world’s most amazing plants and flowers in Brisbane Botanic Gardens.
Cuddle up close with Australia's most iconic wildlife at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
Spend a day at Brisbane's Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary; the world's first and largest koala sanctuary. Meet 130 koalas and 100 species of other Australian native animals, all in beautiful, natural settings.
Explore Brisbane's neighbors, Noosa and the Sunshine Coast, on this full-day tour. See the beautiful coastline of Noosa Heads, spend time at the famous Hastings Street, enjoy a scenic ferry ride on the Noosa River, and marvel at the breathtaking Glass House Mountains.
Spend a day in the paradise of Moreton Island, where you can enjoy one of the most spectacular spots off the Australian coast. Relax on the golden beaches, take to the water for some incredible views on a transparent kayak or paddleboard, or ride a toboggan down the island's dunes.
Uncover the history of Australia's very own XXXX beer with more than 140 years of brewing behind it! Discover the heritage of this locally produced beer and browse the many selections provided. Then sample some of the finest beers in Queensland, and learn how to pour the perfect glass.
Head out into Moreton Bay for a day of whale watching and fun island activities. The warm, sheltered bay is the ideal location for sea life, and you have a chance to spot whales as they go about their daily lives. Then, visit Tangalooma Island Resort for some beach-based relaxation.
Spend an afternoon on the Brisbane River aboard an iconic Kookaburra Queen paddle-wheeler for a relaxing outing with some of the city's best sights. This cruise combines a buffet lunch with live music on the venerable vessel, all as you admire sensational attractions along the waterfront.