As the capital of Queensland, Brisbane is a beautiful, modern city with a strong atmosphere of culture, history, and science. One look at the many Brisbane attractions is sure to show you just how amazing this community is, even to those who have never visited Australia. This top-rated city has much to offer those looking for fun, relaxation, and activities.
Explore Story Bridge
Story Bridge is at the heart of the city. This attraction provides incredible views of the mountains in the backdrop along with the Gold Coast itself. Visitors are able to climb Story Bridge up 262 feet above sea level to capture those views. Those looking for a bit more of a challenge can ascend another 98 feet higher to see views of the river and the entire cityscape laid out in front of you.
- For those who want adventure, the climb up Story Bridge is just the first step. It’s also possible to cantilever lean out from the highest points, perfect for adrenaline seekers. It’s also possible to climb and abseil down the edge or just walk the plank over the river itself.
Check In to Quest on Story Bridge, Step Out to Story Bridge
Enjoy Nature at Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
Another of the top Brisbane attractions is Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. The Botanic Gardens provide seven full gardens, each with different layouts, greenery, and water features. The kids will enjoy it too with a full playground onsite. There are birds, lizards, and insects at every turn. From the bamboo creek to the massive trees that dominate the Weeping Fig Avenue garden, this area is perhaps a fantastic place to sit, read, relax, and just visit overall. Since the gardens are right along the riverside, it’s also quite easy to get to.
Check In to Royal on the Park Hotel, Step Out to Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
Step Into Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
For those visiting Brisbane, a big part of that experience is going to be with wildlife, and koalas are one of the most recognized symbols of the area. Loan Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane brings it all to life. This is an 18-hectare wildlife sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket, a suburb of Queensland itself. It was first founded in 1972, and it has since grown as one of the largest sanctuaries for koalas in the world. It has over 130 koalas to care for, many of which could not survive on their own.
When you arrive at Brisbane’s Loan Pine Koala Sanctuary, you’ll be able to see the animals up close. There are also various educational programs, exhibits, and excursions available. The location does have other animals, too, including hand-fed kangaroos.
Check In to Glen Hotel and Suites, Step Out to Loan Pine Koala Sanctuary
Take in Some Culture at Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art
Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art is an exceptional experience into both global and local art. It is a part of the Queensland Cultural Centre and first opened in 2006 right in the South Bank area of Brisbane. The many exhibits here change often, but they include everything from classic art to modern architectural displays. While much of the campus is dedicated to all visitors, there is a kid’s area, too. A cinema helps to tell the story of some of the history of the area as does the artist’s works on display. It’s also possible to schedule a tour, which allows you to walk around with a tour guide learning all there is to know about the works present. Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art is home to over 17,000 works. This includes contemporary art, historical pieces, and much more.
- There are other locations worth a visit for anyone that loves art and museums. When you are coming to explore Queensland cultural locations, make sure to visit Birrunga Gallery & Dining (The Henderson). This particular museum focuses on First Nations Artists.
Another must-see location and top tourist attraction is the Institute of Modern Art (IMA). As its name implies, the focus here is on truly modern art pieces.
Check In to Fleet Lane Apartments, Step Out to Queensland Art Gallery
Walk Along Brisbane Riverwalk
One of the top tourist attractions in the city is Brisbane Riverwalk. This is a long, boardwalk-like structure that spans from Howard Smith Wharves (a historic fishing wharf area) to the center of the city of Brisbane. You can walk this path or bike it if you would like to (you can rent a bike along the route). Most people use the Riverwalk as a way to get between the city’s two precincts – The New Farm area to the Central Business District.
It’s a leisurely walk over the water along floating paths, providing a nice, relaxing way to explore the area. Whether you’re shooting photos professionally or posting selfies on Instagram, this is an excellent photo spot, especially at night when the city lights are turned on.
Check In to Kirribilli Riverfront Apartments, Step Out to New Farm Park
Experience Fine Dining at Brisbane Restaurants
Because Brisbane is a top tourist city, you are sure to find a wide range of global cuisine available here. That includes trips around the globe from India to America and more. Examples include the Scenic Rim area, where you will find the Kooroomba Vineyards and Lavender Farm and The Peak. In the Moreton Bay Region, Ocean View Estates Winery & Restaurant is another fabulous wine location. Other places near Brisbane worth exploring are the Redlands, where you will find Restaurant Lurleen’s, and Ipswich, which offers Homage Restaurant. Each of these locations offers decadent meals with unique twists.
- Perhaps the best place to get a bite to eat is the Eat Street Markets in Brisbane itself. There are market stalls lining this location, including several street food eateries. It’s a modern shopping area but very much a festive, busy place with new things to see and do each time you visit. It is worth signing up for a newsletter and making this a must-see attraction on your trip to Brisbane.
Check In to Link Portside Wharf Apartment Hotel, Step Out to Eat Street Markets
More Can’t-Miss Brisbane Attractions
There is a reason Brisbane attractions are rated so highly by people who visit, noting it is one of the best places to visit in the QLD. That is due to the wide range of activities and locations throughout the city. Here are a few more locations to check out during your trip. The food options range from Asian to German, and even a few Spanish and Mexican options as well.
- See what’s happening at Brisbane Powerhouse. This is a revitalized tram power station. Long gone are the days of trams, but today it offers the center for entertainment in the city. Depending on when you visit, you can plan to catch a concert here. There are many shows and plays that take place at Brisbane Powerhouse as well. Often, speaker series are available as well.
South Bank is a fabulous location to spend time in, even on a honeymoon. This is the location of the World Expo in 1988. It continues to offer a unique range of activities and sites to see, including plazas and parklands. It’s also home to Streets Beach at its center. You can visit Epicurious Garden, walk along the park trails, and even swim in the lagoon that is onsite. This is a popular area to explore not only for tourists but also for locals looking to cool off during the warm summer months. It’s also home to The Wheel of Brisbane, which can give you impressive views of the South Bank.
Take a Brisbane River Cruise. For a romantic evening or just a relaxing day on the water, the river cruises are a solid option for most visitors. These ferries and riverboat cruises are available every day of the year. You can float along the waterfront seeing the North Shore, the University of Queensland, and even the Story Bridge from this area. You can also hop on and hop off at various locations throughout the city.
A final stop is Queen Street Mall. With over 700 retailers available here, including more well-known and local shops, it is easy to find something to take home with you. There’s a farmer’s market during the weekend, numerous artisan shops available throughout the week, and lots of fresh flowers and baked goods to enjoy. This is a pedestrian-friendly area, perfect for those who want to see what the area really has to offer.
The Brisbane attractions here are just the starting point to a wide range of experiences to explore in the city. From the beautiful views of the mountains to the modern street art on the buildings, there is always something special happening in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, that is a must to see and explore.