Brisbane is one of Australia’s fastest growing cities and I can see why based on the incredible amount of things to see and do. Thanks to great urban planning, Brisbane is a really easy city to get around, and has a fantastic range of things to do, with beautiful, natural wonders right on its doorstep. From its flourishing restaurant, bar and cultural scene to its family friendly areas and beautiful attractions such as the stunning Moreton Bay, lapping on the city edge, there is something for everyone in Brisbane. There are some fantastic Brisbane hotels and serviced apartments to stay in when you visit that offer the freedom of space to relax and recharge. With so many things to choose from, here are our must have experiences in Brisbane.
Catch the sunrise from Mt Coot-tha
Mt Coot-tha is the closest mountain to Brisbane CBD and offers a panoramic view of the city. A definite essential Brisbane experience is to set an early alarm, get out of bed and drive up to Mt Coot-tha pre-dawn in order to watch the sun rise over the skyline. To make it even better, take a picnic rug and some breakfast and enjoy all that golden hour has to offer from this beautiful lookout.
Cool down at Streets Beach
South Bank has incredible facilities for a family day out with public bathrooms and showers, parent’s rooms and lockers for hire, as well as the incredible Streets Beach. Streets Beach is the only inner-city man-made beach in Australia and boasts a beautiful blue lagoon with white, sandy beaches and tropical plants. It’s also free to use and is patrolled by lifeguards all year round and it is an absolute haven in the summer months. There’s no shortage of space to cool down as it holds more than five Olympic swimming pools of water which is pretty impressive!
Pat Kangaroos & Cuddle Koalas at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine is the world’s oldest & largest Koala Sanctuary, and is only 15 minutes from the city centre. Australia is well known around the world for our unique wildlife (some more cuddly than others) and most visitors to Australia are amazed by our animals. Lone Pine is one of the only places in Australia where you are able to cuddle Koalas and snap a selfie with one! Koala’s aren’t the only animals you can interact with at Lone Pine and you’ll get the opportunity to see many other native animals and even hand-feed kangaroos.
Take on the Story Bridge Adventure Climb
The Brisbane Story Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Brisbane. It is one of only three bridge climbs in the world, and one of the most affordable with tickets starting from $79. The adventure takes around two and a half hours and from the main viewing platform you’ll be rewarded with a 360° view over the Brisbane CBD, to Mount Coot-tha, Moreton Bay and towards the Glasshouse Mountains and Gold Coast Hinterland. The bridge can be climbed at dawn, day, twilight and night and is a must do in Brisbane (unless of course you’re incredibly scared of heights).
Indulge your taste buds at the Eat Street Markets
There’s really no where like Eat Street anywhere in the world. This multicultural, shipping container market has been designed to allow you to experience all the sights, smells, sounds and tastes that Brisbane has to offer. The Eat Street Markets are loved by locals and visitors alike and you are guaranteed to not leave hungry! The markets run every Friday and Saturday night from 4pm – 10pm and on Sundays from 12pm – 8pm.
Take a day trip to Moreton Island
Just a short 20-minute drive from Brisbane will have you boarding the MICAT ferry and cruising across the beautiful Moreton Bay to Moreton Island. In 75 minutes you’ll step on the sand and be able to experience all Moreton Island has to offer with crystal clear waters, countless fish varieties, stunning white sandy beaches and the region’s only shipwreck snorkelling site.
Watch Humpback Whales on their annual migration
Brisbane’s whale watching season takes place from June to November each year. There is honestly no better experience than seeing whales in the wild and Brisbane is a fantastic place to do this. During the annual whale migration, Humpbacks and Southern Rights come into the calm waters of Moreton Bay to rest and tend to their young.
Take in the views from the Wheel of Brisbane
It seems most major cities have their own ‘wheel’ these days and the Wheel of Brisbane gives you the opportunity to take in views of the Brisbane River and CBD, all from air-conditioned comfort. It’s a great experience to do at night and see the city light up.
Ride the CityCat or CityHopper
One of the best ways to see Brisbane is from the water and you can either jump on board a CityCat ferry or ride for free on a CityHopper, which allows you to explore Brisbane by water, for free! It’s not often you get free public transport or sightseeing (other than walking) in a city and so visitors to Brisbane will love this great experience.
Smile at a Crocodile at Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo is known as the home of the Crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin and if you’re lucky enough, you might even come across his wildlife warrior family, Terri, Bindi and Bob. Australia Zoo is only 45 minutes from Brisbane CBD and allows you the opportunity to see a wide variety of wildlife, view crocodile feedings and have hands-on encounters with animals.
Cycle the City
Brisbane has been planned very well and great lengths have been taken to provide public transport options that alleviate traffic congestion. In addition to the CityCat system, Brisbane has an expansive amount of bicycle paths. The comprehensive CityCycle system allows for the public rental of bikes from a number of terminals around the city, with the first 30 minutes being free. The majority of the popular sightseeing areas in the city and its outskirts are all accessible by bike and allow a unique and healthy way to get out and see the different parts of Brisbane.
Have you been to Brisbane? Would you recommend any other must have experiences?
This post is brought to you in collaboration with The Sebel Brisbane.
Our opinions are as always, our own.