16 Things That Locals Recommend Doing In Brisbane

by Charlotte Jacobsen

Brisbane, or Brissy as it’s affectionately known, is a modern, clean and vibrant city. Not to mention the 2032 Olympic host city! Being our adopted home for the better part of a decade, we’re excited to share our ever growing local knowledge. Read on to discover our pick of the 15 best things to do in Brisbane!

Ranging from lookouts to eateries, our list covers what we believe makes Brisbane the future go-to city on the east coast of Australia.

Related: Every Affordable Camp You Need To Know About On Brisbane’s Islands (Stradbroke, Moreton, and Bribie)

1. Mt Coot-tha

Let’s start off with Brisbane’s famous lookout spot, Mt Coot-tha. If you’re a morning person you’re going to want to visit for sunrise, it’s spectacular! Watch the city wake up from the spacious viewing platform. Afterwards, grab breakfast at The Summit Cafe and soak up the views all morning (or afternoon, or evening!) There’s multiple walking trails up the mountain or if you’d rather take it easy there’s a car park situated on the summit.

Daisy Hill Koala Sanctuary

2. Brisbane Botanic Gardens

Combine your morning at Mt Coot-tha with a trip to the Botanic Gardens, situated at the foot of the mountain. Accessible all year, the subtropical gardens are a great, free, attraction. Featuring a Japanese Garden, Tropical Dome and a children’s playground.

couple dance in Brisbane

3. Howard Smith Wharves

With its excellent location and eateries, the Howard Smith Wharves is booming in popularity. Located on the Brisbane River, beneath the Story Bridge, the views are star quality. There’s a bustling, community feel to the area, and you’re guaranteed an excellent Sunday session.

4. King Island

Walk on water at this unique location in Brisbane’s Redlands Coast. Start your day at Wellington Point and when the tide is low, walk along the sand bank to the small, inhabited island. Family-friendly and dog-friendly, it’s a popular walking spot at just 2km return. Best time to visit? Sunrise and sunset make for a special memory at this locally known location. 

Related: Your Ultimate Day Trip Guide To The Redlands Coast

5. South Bank

No Brisbane list would be complete without a mention of South Bank. Boasting Australia’s only man-made, inner city beach, South Bank is quite rightly the talk of the town. Home to an array of restaurants, walking paths and picnic spots, it’s our top place to recommend for a family day out. Additionally, it’s also the art and cultural hub of Brisbane. There you’ll find, Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Museum and State Library of Queensland.

6. Eat Street

If you’re looking for a fun night out and you’re a foodie, look no further! Eat Street Northshore is a vibrant venue selling international street food and alcohol along with live music performances. Entry costs just $5, so go take a visit. Your taste buds will thank you, trust us. 

7. Daisy Hill Koala Sanctuary

Situated just a short drive out of Brisbane, the Daisy Hill Koala Sanctuary is a wonderful education centre. Rescuing and rehabilitating koalas, the mission of the sanctuary is to educate and inform visitors. Situated on a peaceful day use area, it makes for a perfect picnic spot. Spot wild wallabies as you walk along one of the many trails found in the area. Admission to the centre is free. 

picnic in Brisbane

8. New Farm Park

One of Brisbane’s oldest parks, you’ll find this place come alive on weekends with local families gathering for a picnic. At just a minutes’ drive from the CBD, it’s easily accessible and is the perfect place to relax in the city. Walk amongst the flower beds and enjoy the impressive vantage point of Brisbane CBD.

9. Paddington

Discover the quirky suburb of Paddington in Brisbane’s west. With panoramic views of the city, it’s become a much sought-after real estate hot spot. Along with its city skyline views, Paddington is home to incredible antique stores, unique recycled shops and a host of eco-friendly independent stores.

10. Brisbane Vegan Markets

Found in the suburb of West End, this marketplace is Brisbane’s first monthly wholly vegan market. Offering a wide range of vegan goodies and delicious treats, its growing popularity is no surprise. Running twice a month, make sure you plan an early visit. Crowds flock and line the street to sample some of Brisbane’s best plant-based dishes.

11. Citylink Cycleway

Brisbane is proud to boast an extensive cycleway throughout the city, making eco travel easier than ever. Cycle stations are prominent throughout the city so there’s no need to worry about providing your own bike. Spend a day exploring the city by pedal and if you’re thrifty you can do it for free! Hire a bike for less than 30 minutes and there’s no charge. Simply swap your bike at the next station and you’re good to go. 


12. Netherworld

Release your inner child at Netherworld and enjoy their numerous pinball machines, board games and arcade. Additionally, you can grab a drink and a bite to eat and make a meal out of it. Another great place for plant-based lovers, their menu is 100% vegan! Customers can choose to add meat and dairy if they wish.

13. Mt Gravatt

Another must-do is Mt Gravatt lookout. Giving Mt Coot-tha a run for its money, this lookout spot is pretty hard to beat. Famous with the locals, small crowds gather to watch the sunset after cycling, hiking or driving to its summit.

14. Jacaranda Trail

If you’re lucky enough to visit Brisbane in Jacaranda season (October/November) then you’re in for a treat. The city comes alive with colour as the purple flowers bloom. Though they are native to Brazil, they have become Brisbane’s iconic tree. Grab your camera and capture the city at its most beautiful. 

15. Kangaroo Point

Whether you want to kayak the Brisbane River or hike the Story Bridge, Kangaroo Point has it all. Home for the adventurous, there’s an array of activities to do within this famous suburb. If you’re wanting something a little more down to earth, then simply take a walk along the riverside, it’ll impress you just as much.

Enjoy trip

16. Rooftop Bars

Brisbane is home to many things and rooftop bars are one of them. Dotted around the city there’s multiple bars to choose from, some of which even contain pools. Live your best life and enjoy a cool down cocktail as you soak up the skyline views.


Related: 7 Incredible Brisbane Experiences To Have On Your Big Lap

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