I’m going to pre-empt this blog post by saying when it comes to Brisbane I am pretty biased. In fact you can read all about why I think you should visit right here. To me Brisbane is always going to be where I grew up, and a place where I have had a lot of wonderful experiences. Dave on the other hand had never been before when we visited so I got to show him all the best places and got to see the place as a tourist. Here is our list of 10 things to do in Brisbane. 

1. LONE PINE KOALA SANCTUARY 

Lone pine koala sanctuary

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

As a kid whenever a foreign guest came to visit the first place that we would take them was Lone Pine. So Dave was no exception. It’s a really nice place to visit and introduces you to some of the animals that Australia is famous for. You can pose for a photo whilst cuddling a Koala, and my favourite thing has to be feeding the Kangaroos.

Kangaroo Feeding

Feeding a Kangaroo

The roos are given a vast amount of space to hop around and as a visitor you get to walk around with them offering them food. I do have to say that these Kangaroos are so well fed that they will often look at your food and hop away. It’s a wonderful experience especially for a first time visitor to the city.

For more information you can visit there website here.

2. SOUTHBANK PARKLANDS

Southbank Parklands and the beautiful flora

Located across from the CBD and by the Brisbane River is the Southbank Parklands. It is a must see when visiting and is a great place to showcase Brisbane’s outdoor and laid back lifestyle. There are several walks you can go on, a number of restaurants to eat at, and so many green spaces to just pull out a rug and chill. My favourite thing though has to be the man made beach in the Parklands with the skyscrapers of the city centre in the background.

southabank brisbane city

The man made beach at Southbank Parklands

Tourists and locals alike come to spend the day lazing in the sun and taking in the scenery. Just be warned though that some locals do refer to it as Brisbane’s largest public urinal. So maybe swim in it at your own risk.

3. KANGAROO POINT CLIFFS

kangaroo point at night

The amazing view at night

One of my favourite places to visit especially at sunset or in the evening has to be the Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park. You get a sweeping view of some of the city’s skyscrapers and it’s a great place to set up a picnic whilst watching the sunset. Thrill seekers can also abseil down the cliffs, and this can be arranged through rock climbing groups.

4. MOUNT COOT-THA

The view from the top

For the best view of Brisbane head to Mount Coot-tha. There is a look out area with a restaurant and cafe so you can indulge yourself whilst enjoying the view. There are also some amazing bush-walks such as around Slaughter Falls. You will find a lot of BBQ areas and places to park the car and go for a walk all around the mountain.

5. MOUNT COOT-THA BOTANICAL GARDENS

The Japanese Gardens at the Botanical Gardens

Located at the base of Mount Coot-tha the botanical gardens are a great place to come to grips with some of the Australian Flora. There are also several themed gardens such as the scented garden, the Japanese garden and my favourite the tropical greenhouse. It’s a lovely place to go for a walk and even meet some Australian Water Dragons that are really common in this area.

6. HAVE A BBQ

Southbank- of of the best places to have a BBQ

According to my international friends one of the most Australian things ever is to ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie’. While we don’t call it shrimp- they are prawns- we do like our BBQs. Most parks have BBQs provided by the council that you can fire up and cook some lunch. It might be a cliche but it’s a good cliche and one that I miss living so far away from Australia. There are many ideas over what ingredients are needed for a perfect BBQ but if you are going for your bog standard you can never go wrong with sausages, a loaf of bread, and heaps of tomato sauce.

7. JUMP ON THE CITY CAT

The view from the City Cat

If you are wanting to spend some time in the city and need a fun way to get around you should definitely hop on the city cat. You can glide down the Brisbane River with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face whilst standing at the front of a blue and yellow painted catamaran as part of the Brisbane ferry network. You get some incredible views of the city and it even takes you to one of the prettiest parks in Brisbane which is also our next point. to plan your City Cat journey visit the Translink website here.

8. NEW FARM PARK

On our way to New Farm Park with the City Cat

One of my favourite parks in Brisbane has to be New Farm Park. If you are lucky enough to visit in October you will be treated to a carpet of purple caused by the flowering Jacaranda trees, but the park is still beautiful all year round. It’s a great place to bring a rug and lay out (preferably under the shade of one of the Jacaranda trees because the Brisbane sun can be unforgiving), or have a BBQ. It gets really busy on the weekend so if you are trying to reserve a BBQ get in early.

9. STORY BRIDGE ADVENTURE CLIMB

Brisbane’s Story Bridge

I’m just going to put this out there, I am absolutely terrified of heights and Dave is not that far behind me, so adventure seekers we are not. That being said one day I hope to pluck up enough courage to actually do the Story Bridge Adventure Climb. The Story Bridge is Brisbane’s iconic and heritage listed bridge crossing the Brisbane River. The Adventure Climb lasts about two hours and offers some incredible views of the city. If you are brave enough it’s well worth doing, and one day I promise to be saying that from experience.

10. ENJOY THE CULINARY DELIGHTS

Eating around the Eagle Street Pier area

Brisbane is definitely becoming a culinary delight, with new and innovative restaurants popping up all the time. If you are only in Brisbane for a short time then we recommend eating at one of the many restaurants and coffee shops around the Southbank Parklands. You can enjoy some outdoor dining and bask in the beautiful Brisbane weather. If you are looking for a more upmarket affair there are some fantastic restaurants around Eagle street which offer river views and fine dining. We recommend Aria for a truly intimate and delicious dining experience.

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