Australia is a stunning country and it’s home to some amazing cities, including Brisbane. Brisbane sits slap bang in the middle of the East coast. Some argue it to be a little quieter than the popular Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne. However, there are so many things to do in Brisbane, I think it’s the perfect pit-stop for back-packers and working visa holders alike.
Brisbane is where I began my back-packing adventures along the East coast of Australia, and I met some incredible people along the way. The city itself offers a subtropical climate and plenty of inner-city and nearby neighbourhoods to enjoy.
It’s always helpful to take travelling advice from those who have already been, so I’ve gathered up some of my favourite things to do in Brisbane, including some ideas I didn’t manage to do but heard great things about.
10. Cool Down at the Southbank Lagoon
Southbank Lagoon attracts sun worshipers in their hundreds. So on a hot day, be sure to get down there early to grab a good spot. It’s a fantastic manmade beach with views of the city skyline; surrounded by a huge number of bars and restaurants just footsteps from the water. Walkways to which are covered in beautiful purple flowers.
Less than a five-minute walk from the beach, you have Grey Street which boasts a great range of eateries. If you’re a sushi fan, you could stop by Suki to try out one of their vegan Tinie Tempeh Sushi Burritos! A great place for all ages, Southbank is a must-see piece of paradise and a great thing to do for when the sun shines down on the city.
9. Eat Out on The West End
If you’re looking for a piece of Brisbane’s city chic, head to The West End for some window shopping and an up-market brunch, lunch or dinner.
There are also some fantastic eat-out options for vegetarians too. I enjoyed lunch at VegeRama. Founded by Ruchi, this chain of restaurant is helping shape a new generation of conscious eating through a plant-based diet.
8. Allow Your Eyes to Pop in Brisbane’s Art Museums
Wander through the air-conditioned beauty of Brisbane’s Art galleries. You have The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art to explore. Together, they showcase world-class art and unique exhibitions which will inspire you to pick up a pen or paintbrush once you leave. Most often free to visit, these galleries are also located a convenient walk away from the city centre – bonus!
7. Explore the City’s Eat Street
I loved this place – the perfect thing to do in Brisbane if you love late-night food, entertainment and music.
Simply catch the city hopper across the water on a Friday or Saturday evening and discover this fantastic foodie heaven! Home to a huge number of street food vendors set in old shipping containers, this spot was one of my most enjoyable moments.
With masses of entertainment to see you through the night, you can’t miss it. Though mind you, it can get expensive if you arrive on an empty stomach. But the cool, funky vibes and bustling atmosphere makes up for any lack of food if you visit on a budget…
6. Night Out on The Valley
Also known as ‘BrisVegas,’ Fortitude Valley is THE place to dance away your weekend. I did just that with the bunch of girls I made friends with from my hostel – City Backpackers HQ.
Packed with live music, rooftop bars and nightclubs by night. Then relaxed brunch spots, boutique shopping, Chinatown eateries and sophisticated restaurants by day. It’s the suburb that never sleeps!
5. Experience the Beautiful Sunrise or Sunset on Mount Coot-tha
Mount Coot-tha is 287 metres above sea level, which means it hosts one of the most beautiful panoramic city views of Brisbane. If you love the outdoors and/or getting up early for sunrise or sunset, then this is the perfect thing for you to do in Brisbane. I loved it!
I watched the sunrise from Brisbane Lookout on Mount Coot-tha and it was truly beautiful – I can’t recommend this enough.
However, there are more ways to spend your time here. You can enjoy bushwalk trails, mountain biking, dining at the hilltop restaurant or sitting down for a cosy picnic in the sun. You could even…
4. Wander Through the Colourful Botanical Gardens
With one situated on Mount Coot’tha and one in the city, Brisbane offers you two colourful botanical spots to explore.
I visited the one in the city. It’s such a peaceful and tranquil thing to do in amongst the city’s hustle and bustle. It’s lovely to walk around – you can sit in between the shadows of Brisbane’s skyscrapers and handrail lovely views of Brisbane River. It’s worth a visit; you could even take an epic foodie picnic to enjoy whilst you’re there…
3. Rent a Bike & Explore Brisbane City on Wheels
Though Brisbane is manageable to see by foot, you could give your feet a rest and rent a bike. This will let you see the city from a different perspective. Plus there’s plenty of great bike rides you can enjoy!
Not Too Far Away From Brisbane…
2. Fraser Island
Fraser Island is one of the most beautiful places I visited along the East coast. So if you have the time on your hands, cross the water and discover the 7 wonders of this magical island. It’s steeped in aboriginal history.
I went along in a group tour and was lucky enough to spend one evening on the beach gazing in awe at the star constellations, milky way and universe above…
1. Noosa Heads
Another place not too far from Brisbane is Noosa – a sought-after boutique beach-side location. Known for its beautiful beaches and tranquil bays, Noosa is a sweet surfer’s destination.
You can also hike through Noosa’s National Park, canoe through the Everglades, paddle board on the open sea or bask in the sun’s hot rays. Noosa also has some lovely foodie spots in town. BY THE WAY, Betty’s Burgers does a phenomenal veggie burger…
If You Have More Time & Money on Your Hands:
11. Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo is located on your way to Noosa from Brisbane. You can stop by to learn more about Australia’s wild animals. However, I appreciate this might not be an option for you if you are against the zoo industry.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a more ethical way to learn about Australia’s wildlife near Brisbane, you can observe wildlife in its natural habitat on…
12. Moreton Island
Another gem just off of Australia’s East coast, Moreton is another paradise Island. Even though it’s a slightly more expensive way to learn about wildlife in this part of Australia, it’s a far more ethical choice.
You can take a couple of days to explore the sand dunes, wild forests, beautiful beaches and lonely lighthouse.
Enjoy your trip to Brisbane and I hope this article was useful. Don’t forget to share it with friends and tag me on social media so I can see your best holiday moments!