Do you want to have lots of fun without even leaving Brisbane? Hit most of its tourist hotspots within one or two days using this guide.
Brisbane has amazing weather, scenery, and cuisine. Not to mention vacationing there is cheaper than in the big-name Australian cities.
But don’t think that the city doesn’t have fantastic attractions. On the contrary, it has plenty of them. Tours, landmarks, and unique experiences can change your view of this big city with a small-town vibe.
Here are 10 sights and attractions you should tick off on your list when visiting the city.
1. Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art
QAGOMA for short, this gallery is one of the top attractions in Brisbane. And you can find it along the southern waterfront. QAGOMA can impress even the harshest critics and has plenty to offer both indoors and outdoors.
The two buildings that make up the art gallery house over 1,700 works of art. And the majority of the pieces on display are Australian, Pacific, and Asian in origin. But throughout the year, you can find permanent and rotating exhibits.
Even the glass building itself is a powerful statement. Moreover, the outdoor sculptures are as imposing as they are unique.
2. Story Bridge Adventure Climb
It’s one of the most exciting Gold Coast attractions. Fit for any daredevil, the steel Story Bridge is a Brisbane City landmark.
Climbing the bridge takes you on a trip 80m above the Brisbane River. It offers a great view of the city and it’s surprisingly not that hard to climb, either. That’s why the city even recommends the attraction for people of all ages and fitness levels. Don’t worry as there’s always a guide to take you through the technical aspects of the journey.
What’s even better is that you get to experience an abseiling descent. Australia only has two other bridge climbs apart from Brisbane.
3. Brisbane Botanic Gardens
Why not enjoy a picnic in one of the most tranquil spots in the city? The Botanic Gardens offer serenity, shade, and gorgeous scenery.
Interestingly, the garden started out as a market garden in 1828. At that time, its purpose was to grow food for the sustenance of the penal colony. And it was only in 1855 that it opened as the Botanic Garden.
Over the years, the local plant life grew beyond expectations. It now graces local and foreign visitors with its variety and splendor.
4. Stargazing at the Planetarium
The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium is among the top attractions in Brisbane, which is also Queensland’s biggest planetarium. Here you can attend a variety of star shows and check out exhibits of asteroid fragments.
It’s more than a museum despite lacking interactive features. Perfectly situated on Mount Coot-tha, it offers amazing views of the night sky. That’s certainly one experience you don’t want to miss on any vacation in Australia.
Fortunately, you can visit it every day of the week except Monday.
5. The Koala Sanctuary
It’s hard to say which native Australian creature is most popular with tourists. Everyone wants to see a kangaroo, but you can’t get as close and personal with one as you can with a koala.
The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary can give you your fill of koala cuteness. Sitting on the Brisbane River, the sanctuary is a massive hit with kids and animal lovers. Aside from seeing various animals like wombats, dingoes, and massive crocodiles, you can also catch a variety of animal shows like the birds of prey demonstrations.
At the end of the day, don’t forget to grab that photo of you cuddling a koala. Talk about making some memories and interacting with the local wildlife!
6. Wheel of Brisbane
A Ferris Wheel may not qualify as one of the best Gold Coast attractions, at least not under normal circumstances. But the Wheel of Brisbane is one of the city’s can’t-misses.
Standing at over 60m tall, the wheel gives you some of the best views of the city. It sits right on the riverbank, next to the entrance to the South Bank Parklands. So it’s impossible to get lost on your way there.
What’s even better is that you get to ride in air-conditioned capsules. This offers protection from the elements even during the hottest days during the 15-minute ride.
7. Shop at the Queen Street Mall
You have to bring back home some trinkets from your vacation, so a trip to the Queen Street Mall makes sense. It’s a bustling area with over 700 retailers but what makes it even more exciting is the heritage-listed arcades. They make up a labyrinth in the shopping precinct.
Shopping in Queen Street Mall is a unique experience. You won’t see generic bland architecture or what you would find in other cities in the world.
And if you drop by on a Wednesday you can also experience the local Farmers Market and indulge in artisan products.
8. Kangaroo Point Cliffs
Brisbane has a set of cliffs ideal for rock climbing. And Kangaroo Point, just past the Botanic Gardens, is one of them.
Many choose to make this their picnic spot. But you can also take a rock climbing tour. Experiencing this adventure in a natural setting is a great way to spend a couple of hours, all without having to leave the city.
9. Check Out Fortitude Valley
Known as Brisbane’s party district, a trip here will keep you entertained if you’re looking for things to do at night.
Fortitude Valley is where you can find the city’s most iconic nightclubs. And the music varies from club to club.
The Prohibition Club, for example, is an excellent spot for younger crowds. Meanwhile, the Press Club is your best bet if you appreciate sophisticated cocktails. If those don’t tickle your fancy, don’t worry as there are plenty more for you to choose from.
10. Haunted Brisbane Ghost Tour
If you want something more unusual to do on a night out in Brisbane City, book a spot on the ghost tour. It takes you on a trip to some of the most popular Brisbane places where many are presumably haunted.
If you don’t want to deal with dancing crowds or the bustle of the Eat Street Market, this is a nice alternative.
Go on an Emotional Roller Coaster
Brisbane takes you on an emotional and cultural roller coaster.
The free museums, parks, and cultural hotspots can fully satisfy your curiosity. While the theme parks, bars, and nature adventures can get your adrenaline pumping.
Whatever it is that you want to do, you can find it here and more. Plan ahead to make sure you won’t miss out on anything.