Fun things to do in Brisbane

  • Colin Campbell Place
    Colin Campbell Place
    by Anniko
  • Lots of colours in the Spectacle Garden
    Lots of colours in the Spectacle Garden
    by tropicrd
  • Creative planting
    Creative planting
    by tropicrd

Most Viewed Things to Do in Brisbane

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    James Street and The Valley

    by wise23girl Updated Mar 12, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Known as "The Valley" but more properly Fortitude Valley (named from the ship SS Fortitude which arrived in Brisbane in 1849) this little bit of Brisbane has been known to me since I was a young girl. At one time when I was nursing at The Royal Brisbane Hospital (now RBWH....Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital) I knew every 'inch' of The Valley but not any more. We drive through 'the Valley" many times every year now-a-days to go to the Brisbane CBD and never stop and certainly have not kept up with the changing scene..
    I usually see some sports shops as we whisk by in the traffic and around the corner...we pass Cathedral Place.....I knew there was China Town...I knew it was a bit rough in some areas....I knew there was night life of some sort......and I did want to find out a bit more of The Valley scene.

    Well I did just that the other night...found out a bit more....I visited Jugglers Art Gallery....almost vistied a cute boutique hotel called Limes where there are cocktails on the roof top but not much sleep if you stay over(the party goes on till 3am at weekends)....had a glimpse of James Street night life... enjoyed a meal in Chow House and even discovered there are some places to park if you know where to look.
    2013 Dec, Have been told night life in the Valley is tops...Look for a place called Cloudland.(bit of a shame if you remember the old Cloudland that was demolished by wicked men in the past)

    So what I am getting around to is that if you want to find the quirky interesting side of The Valley do visit James Street....for all of about 15 minutes....

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    3 more images

    Visit The Eden Garden Centre

    by wise23girl Updated Feb 25, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This little spot for relaxation is on the outskirts of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia ...in the area of Aspley/Carseldine.

    I always quite like the cafes attached to garden centres...you have something else to do besides eat, drink , and be merry
    Not only shopping but also you can stroll around the grounds....see the water fountain...watch the ducks at play ...and that is quite an amusing pass time.

    The food here is pretty good...we came in for afternoon tea and breakfast the next day...served from 8.30am.
    You will enjoy the view from the cafe as well....you do not even notice the traffic on Gympie Road.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • al2401's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    The Blackall Range

    by al2401 Updated Feb 15, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Blackall Range starts 80 kilometres north of Brisbane. It runs behind the Sunshine Coast parallel to the ocean. Starting with Maleny in the south a road travels along the ridge, linking Montville, Flaxton and Mapleton and showing spectacular views over the Sunshine Coast.

    A drive up the range is a very popular outing for residents and tourist alike.

    Activities are varied. There are three main parks with walking tracks through subtropical rainforest and sclerophyll forest - Mary Cairncross Park, Kondalilla National Park and Mapleton Falls National Park.

    Shops, galleries and restaurants can be found in all of the range towns and there are wineries at Maleny and Montville. There are also many Bed & Breakfasts and small hotel accommodation. There is even a reception centre - Maleny Manor - on the east side of the range which caters mainly for weddings and offers amazing views.

    On the western side of the range are the towns of Kenilworth and Connondale. This is rich dairy country and Kenilworth is famous for its cheese.

    Along with the Bunya Mountains the Blackall Range isthe only are where the Bunya Pine is found naturally. The area was first established by timber getters after the Red Cedar which grows in the rainforest.

    Follow the link to all the things to do on the Blackall Range.

    Blackall Range

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • al2401's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    The Regatta Hotel

    by al2401 Updated Feb 15, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Regatta Hotel is so well known in Brisbane that it even has its own City Cat jetty. It is named after the rowing regattas held on the river; it was often the finishing post.

    In 1965 there was a famous protest in the Regatta Hotel. Two women chained themselves to the public bar in protest of the law restricting the public bar to men only. The protest failed and the law stood for quite a few years.

    A single storey building was erected on the site in 1884. After flooding the present three storey structure was built in 1886. It featured beautiful iron lace work which is still present today. The Regatta Hotel was redecorated in 1981. It is part of the National Trust of Queensland and was registered in 1992.

    The hotel was progressively renovated from 2001-4 to include modern bars and nightclubs only to be extensively damaged in the 2010-11 Queensland floods. It was reopened in September 2012 after more refurbishments.

    The Regatta Hotel is a great place to have a meal and is a favourite place to stop for folk on a City Cat tour.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • al2401's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Bridges

    by al2401 Updated Nov 22, 2013

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Brisbane River is spanned by 14 bridges. Most are road bridges but there are rail and pedestrian bridges as well.

    Arguably Brisbane's most famous landmark is the Story Bridge which was built in 1940. It was designed by Dr John Bradfield who also designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Story Bridge also offers bridge climbs.

    The William Jolly Bridge (originally the Grey Street Bridge) was built in 1932 and named posthumously after Brisbane's first Lord Mayor.

    The Victoria Bridge was opened in 1970. Two bridges had stood on this site - the first built in 1865 collapsed in 1867. Its replacement was partially destroyed in 1893 floods.

    The two major rail links in Queensland were finally joined in the CBD with the construction of the Merivale Rail Bridge in 1978. Previously the only rail bridge was miles upriver at Indooroopilly or passenger took public transport between the southside of the river to the north.

    The Goodwill Pedestrain Bridge linking Gardens Pont and the Queensland University of Technology with Southbank was built in 2001.

    Since writing the above Brisbane has seen the addition of two new bridges - the Kurilpa Bridge from Tank Street to Kurilpa Point and the Go Between Bridge from Hale Street to the South side.

    The list of 16 bridges from the lower to the upper reaches is;
    Sir Leo Hielscher (two bridges) - formerly known as the Gateway Bridge
    Story Bridge
    Captain Cook Bridge
    Goodwill Pedestrian Bridge
    Victoria Bridge
    Kurilpa Pedestrian Bridge
    William Jolly Bridge
    Merivale Rail Bridge
    Go Between Bridge
    Eleanor Schonell Bridge - buses, cyclists & pedestrians
    Jack Pesch Bridge - cyclists & pedestrians
    Albert Rail Bridge
    Indooroopilly Railway Bridge
    Walter Taylor Bridge
    Centenary Bridge

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • al2401's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    The Glasshouse Mountains

    by al2401 Written Nov 21, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Glass House Mountains National Park has an area of 2,117 hectares and starts about 70 km north of Brisbane. It is a flat plain featuring cores of extinct volcanoes, the outer rock having been eroded away. The park was established in 1994 and extended in 2010.

    The Glass House Mountains were named by Captain James Cook in 1770 as he sailed up the coast. The mountains can be seen from quite a distance out to sea and the shapes reminded him of glass kilns.

    The highest peak is Beerwah at 555m, while the most recognisable are Coonowrin (or Crookneck) 377m and Tibrogargan 364m (also 2nd & 3rd highest)

    Walking tracks allow access to the summit of some of the peaks but you need to check with the National Parks on accessibility. Climbing the mountains can be extremely dangerous and many people have had to be rescued. There have also been fatalities.

    The park covers a diverse range of habitiats from heath to open forest with some rainforest patches.

    The Glass House Mountains are best viewed from Mary Cairncross Park - Maleny

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • al2401's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Kurilpa Bridge

    by al2401 Written Nov 20, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Originally know as the Tank Street bridge this pedestrian/cycle bridge crosses the Brisbane River from Tank Street (off George Street) to Kurilpa Point near the Gallery of Modern Art. Construction started in 2007 and the bridge was opened in 2009. The Kurilpa Bridge is the world's largest hybrid tensegrity bridge. It is a multiple-mast, cable-stay structure, designed to be light but incredibly strong.

    The bridge is lit by a LED lighting system which can produce many different effects. The power for the lighting is derived 75% - 100% from solar power depending on the design in use.

    A competition was held to choose the name for the bridge. The successful "Kurilpa Bridge" comes from a local Aboriginal name and means 'place for water rats'.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • al2401's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    The Wheel of Brisbane

    by al2401 Written Nov 20, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This 60 metre tall ferris wheel was erected to commemorate the 150 year anniversary of the statehood of Queensland and 20 years since World Expo 88. It is located next to the Queensland Performing Arts Complex at South Bank. Rides started in August 2008.

    There are 42 air-conditioned gondolas that can carry 6 adults and two children. The ride takes approximately 12 minutes and is accompanied by an audio pointing out landmarks across the city.

    This is a great thing to do for visitors to Brisbane and for locals too.

    The price is 15AUD

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • al2401's Profile Photo
    2 more images

    A slice of history restored.

    by al2401 Written Nov 18, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Brisbane's oldest cafe the Shingle Inn was established in 1936 and was originally located at 254 Edward Street. It derived its name from the shingle awning over the door. It was created as an old English teahouse and was famous for its cakes. The front windows of the cafe were always loaded with all sorts of cakes and sweet things.

    In 2002 Shingle Inn had to bow to the pressure of inner-city development and expansion and closed its doors. It was lovingly dismantled and stored by the current owners. More than eight years later the owners gifted it to the City of Brisbane. It has been faithfully restored by the Brisbane City Council and now can be found in the newly restored Brisbane City Hall.

    Original 75 year old timber panelling, light fittings and booths have been restored and original windows act as features in the new restaurant space.

    The tradition of great cakes, excellent service and warm ambience that is Shingle Inn lives again.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo

    Oktoberfest Brisbane Style

    by wise23girl Written Oct 12, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    So you want to celebrate Oktoberfest? Well you can do that in Brisbane, Queensland in 2013 ...no problem....so raise a stein and get your beer goggles ready and head for The Brisbane Showgrounds out near The Royal Brisbane Hospital or to the Bavarian Bier Cafe in the city centre.

    I read that The Bavarian Cafe is the only venue offering all five 5 exported Oktoberfestbeir which are actually brewed in Munich .....so isn't that something.

    Then there are two 2 weeks of celebration at the Showgrounds...German music, entertainment....everything you could want....in fact this event has been called one of the Ten10 top Oktoberfests outside of Germany.

    All this started in 1810 (no not the Australian one of course) back in Bavaria to celebrate a royal wedding and the event has never looked back.

    There may be other venues that celebrate Ocktoberfest in Brisbane (well we had one on Buderim recently, but this tip will get you started.

    see you there!

    Related to:
    • Beer Tasting

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    DICK JOHNSON RACE SHOP & MUSEUM

    by balhannah Updated Oct 7, 2013

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are interested in V8 car racing, then a visit to this Museum you would enjoy.
    The Dick Johnson Racing complex is home to the Dick Johnson Museum, Raceshop, Workshop, Team Mates HQ and of course, The Team.
    Dick Johnson is a famous Australian driver.

    In the Museum, there are cars that made Dick Johnson famous, including...
    Bathurst 1000 winning cars in 1981, 1994 and the 1981/82 championship.
    The Shell Falcon which was Dick’s last race car. (He is retired now)
    The museum also displays some of Dick’s rivals' race cars from time to time, including Peter Brock’s 1978 A9X Torana, Kevin Bartlett’s 9 Camaro and Allan Moffat’s 1969 Coca Cola Mustang.
    Over 30 years of DJR memorabilia are also on display including the famous 'Rock' (valued at one million dollars), trophies, videos and photographs.

    The Raceshop stocks the entire range of DJR merchandise including their exclusive Jim Beam Racing range of clothes and accessories. There are model cars, books, DVD’s, stickers, flags, mugs, key rings, pens and much, much more.
    You are sure to find a unique souvenir or the perfect gift for the man? or woman in your life!

    A large glass window to the workshop allows you to see the DJR team working hard on the current Jim Beam Racing cars.

    The museum is open 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday
    CLOSED ON Saturdays & Sundays & Pubic Holidays.

    Tours are held Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11am. Bookings are essential and group tours can be arranged.
    Call the DJR Raceshop on +61 7 3287 0123 *Subject to race schedule.

    PRICES FOR 2013.....

    FREE admission to the Dick Johnson museum and race shop.

    Workshop tour costs.... $15.00 adults $7.50 school age children
    $7.50 concession
    Bookings are essential and can be made by calling the DJR Raceshop on +61 7 3287 0123. Group tours can also be arranged

    Closed in shoes essential.

    TO GET HERE.......
    PUBLIC TRANSPORT........
    Take the Train to Beenleigh Station, then a Taxi to Stapylton (only 7-10 minutes).

    BY CAR.......
    On Pacific Highway, Take EXIT 38 (Yatala North turnoff), head towards Jacobs Well (Route 96) and look out for the 'Dick Johnson Racing' sign.
    ....Turn right into DeBortoli Street (just before the Yatala/Beenleigh Drive In) and right again into Emeri Street.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    AUSTRALIAN - AMERICAN MEMORIAL

    by balhannah Written Oct 7, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I must admit, that I have never bothered walking around Newstead Park before, so on the sunny day I visited Newstead House, I decided to go for a walk and was quite surprised with what I saw.

    The entrance to Newstead Park is through some lovely sandstone gates that have ornamental lights on top. Before entering, I stopped and viewed the map of the park, then made my way to the pathway known as Lyndon B. Johnson Place.

    This led me alongside the river and past the Australian-American Memorial which commemorates the contribution of people of USA to the defence of Australia during 1939-1945 war. The foundation stone was laid by Professor John Bostock, President of the Australian American Association on the 3rd May 1951 during Coral Sea week. £2000 had been allocated for the memorial, money spent on a very impressive tall column that reaches for the sky, with an Eagle sitting atop. In 1951, this was the first American war memorial in Australia. I guess Newstead park was chosen for this monument as Newstead House was occupied by American forces during WWII. More plaques were added to the memorial in 1988 and 1995.

    As I walked around the park, I found many families picnicking on the lawns, some were trying their luck fishing - I didn't see anybody catch a fish. The views of the Brisbane River that runs beside Newstead Park are lovely, and further around, I had views of Brisbane. A nice way to come to the park, is by the City-Cat ferry.
    On a hot day, this was a very pleasant park to be in, as breezes come along the Brisbane River and sweep over Newstead Park.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Anniko's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    KOALA AND RIVER CRUISE WITH MIRIMAR II

    by Anniko Updated Aug 25, 2013

    Alongside a boardwalk in the city’s heart, on the waters of Brisbane River, rested the Mirimar II, a cruise boat about to depart for Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

    On board, the captain and crew greeted everyone with a warm welcome. Inside was a licensed bar, and café, where coffee and refreshments could be purchased. People from all over the globe, including Australia, occupied the upstairs deck, protected from weather by an awning.

    As the engine began to purr, a narrative guide commenced. During the following hour and a quarter, we sailed past waterfront suburbs displaying different architectural styles. They ranged from historical Queenslander homes to impressive modern mansions. This view was only accessible by boat, and was a new experience.

    Arriving at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, passengers were eager to commence the 2.5 hour encounter with creatures uniquely Australian. Clambering up steps, screeches of parrots filled our ears. Occupying several enclosures, they shared the park with marsupials including Tasmanian devils, wombats, koalas and kangaroos. Also represented were platypuses, dingoes, emus, and reptiles. Lectures on various species were available at scheduled times, throughout opening hours.

    The main attraction being koalas, over one hundred of them clung to eucalyptus tree constructions. No cages, only waist high barriers separated them from tourists, who fervently clicked cameras, and queued to cuddle the animals. The koala talk was interrupted when two of the furry bundles repeatedly slapped each other. The audience burst into giggles. Zoo keepers separated the pair, but they continued to groan loudly, providing another hilarious moment. Soon, the sparring partners were at it again, and had to be forced apart with a plastic rake.

    Our mouths watered smelling barbequed onions. Visitors headed for the café, to experience a traditional Australian sausage sizzle. Tasting fresh bread and grilled ingredients drowned in tomato sauce, pleasantly relieved hunger.

    At the kangaroo enclosure, Asians timidly approached with cameras focused. A Japanese girl said to one, “Hello!” The marsupial just looked at her, obligingly staying still during photography. Tourists were able to sit down beside tame animals, and run fingers though soft fur. The kangaroos appreciated having their necks rubbed.

    The two and a half hours allocated for exploring Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary was just right. Weary passengers returned to the cruise boat, as the captain welcomed everyone back. Many momentarily dozed off. As the Mirimar II commenced its return journey, they were revived by river breezes.

    Don and family from San Diego, California, who were staying at the Sofitel, a five-star hotel in the CBD, exclaimed, “This place is really beautiful!” Our waterfront impressed them. Don said, “We live in a house as big as any of these, but you guys have got it right, the way you fit in with the environment. You’re far more sophisticated than us, and everything is so clean.”

    Surroundings taken for granted by Australians were viewed in a different light. The vessel glided towards the city, as visitors clicked away, photographing every building in sight. From a local’s point of view, I thought, “Yes, everything is immaculately maintained. Nothing looks shabby or neglected. There’s no rubbish floating about, or grime covering any structure.”

    Satisfied passengers disembarked from the cruise boat, as its captain fare-welled them individually. The Mirimar II then disappeared downstream, beneath skyscrapers and bridges glistening in the afternoon light. Never before had I felt so proud to be an Aussie!

    Related to:
    • Zoo
    • Cruise
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    2 more images

    Explore the Brisbane Arcade

    by wise23girl Updated Aug 24, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well if you love to shop with a bit of local history this is a place to do just that. But NOT on Sundays. We are often in town on a Sunday and all I can do is a bit of window shopping.

    Now for the history...The site was once the home of the Mayne family...Dad was a butcher and he must have been a very successful one for he built the Arcade for his two youngest children one of whom was a doctor. Still to this day proceeds go to the Medical school and Medical Research at the University of Queensland.

    There are three levels to explore in the arcade and you will be delighted by the Edwardian Baroque style street facade and original terrazzo stairs.

    And you can purchase some hand made sleepwear...fashion design...imported shoes...and teapots. Oh and Darryl Lea chocolates if you love to indulge.....Sorry Darryl Lea have gone! Something called Bodyworks there now.

    2013....I just discovered on the balcony level this little place called Room of Roses which surely will tempt your senses with the beautiful food and decor ...and especially the roses....

    And down the stairs in Kerri Craig Emporium not only clothes and gifts but an elegant restaurant where fresh crab sandwiches to die for are served....at an elegant price I may add.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Shingle Inns for Coffee

    by wise23girl Updated May 25, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well I remember the original Shingle Inn which was established 1936:
    "The historic Shingle Inn, Edward Street, Brisbane was built by David Webster and Sons amidst the horrific depression of the 1930's. The Managing Director at the time was W.R Webster, a son of David Webster, the founder of Webster Cake and Biscuit Company of the 1890 era."
    "Purchased by the Bellchambers family in 1975, Shingle Inn Cafés & Bakery has been owned by only two families during its 72 year history, enabling the business to retain the quality and unique character which has made it famous amongst several generations".

    Such a beautiful building and they served the most delicious cream cake you could ever imagine. As a young nurse it was one of my favourite places.

    We were there on the last day when progress demanded its demise....sad day in August 2002.

    The City Hall Shingle Inn opened in 2013 using the original fittings

    Today you can still get some enjoyable food and tea or coffee and there are little "Shingle Inns" scattered all over the place. And they have really special high teas as well.

    (And they are now in Sydney I notice)

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

Brisbane Hotels

See all 198 Hotels in Brisbane

Latest Brisbane Hotel Reviews

Quay West Suites Brisbane
275 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 10, 2014
Hotel Ibis Brisbane
641 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 15, 2014
Sofitel Brisbane
1535 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
Urban Brisbane Hotel
265 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 13, 2014
Medina Executive Brisbane
328 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 17, 2014
Citigate King George Square Brisbane
589 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 15, 2014
Rydges Southbank Hotel Brisbane
822 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
Stamford Plaza Brisbane
620 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 17, 2014
Flag Airport International Motel
57 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 1, 2014
Mercure Hotel Brisbane
717 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
Novotel Brisbane
1126 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
The Chifley at Lennons
231 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 18, 2013
Traders Hotel, Brisbane
270 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 17, 2014
Evolution Apartments
194 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 14, 2014
Quality Hotel Clear Mountain Lodge
167 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 4, 2014

Instant Answers: Brisbane

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

84 travelers online now

Comments

Brisbane Things to Do

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Brisbane locals.
Map of Brisbane