Discover beautiful Brisbane, where the sun shines and exciting attractions await Buzzing with an edgy arts scene, hip dining culture and wildlife attractions, Brisbane is fast becoming one of Australia’s most energetic cities. So pack your bags, grab your sunnies and get ready for some family fun in the capital city of Queensland!
Exploring by Foot and Ferry
Soak in the city’s welcoming weather by cruising down the Brisbane River. One of the best ways to explore the city is on this unusual form of public transport: the CityCat ferry. Take to the water and breeze around the riverside and inner city suburbs from St Lucia to Hamilton.
Enjoy panoramic city views from the open-air deck, which definitely beats the view from behind a car windscreen, and plan your stops along the route to experience some of Brisbane’s trendiest suburbs. Feel like taking it easy? Stay put! A completeloop on the CityCat will show you most of the city and its stunning skylines.
A local’s tip: it’s best to sit out front on a fine day to feel the fresh river breeze on your face.
If you would rather go exploring by foot, alight at New Farm Park to explore the Brisbane Riverwalk, which offers scenic views of the city skyline and surrounding greenery. Or book a walking tour with a Brisbane Greeter, a free public service to show you the best of Brisbane. Led by local volunteers, they will navigate with you through the numerous city or riverside precincts.
What is a trip to Brisbane without a spot of shopping and coffee tasting? Take the ferry to Bulimba, just two stops down from New Farm Park, for an eclectic array of boutiques, bars and cafes, sure to thrill the shopaholic and caffeine junkie in you. Families can also tumble and play at Bulimba Park, which is filled with imaginative play equipment for the little ones.
Once you are done with shopping and playtime, relax at one of Bulimba’s famous cafes! Grab a perk-me-up espresso at Mugged along Oxford Street across from Bulimba Park, or satisfy your stomachs with a hearty brunch at the Southside Tea Room, a retrolicious café run by a local indie rock band. The café is about a 20-minute bus ride away from Mugged.
South Bank is another top destination, accessible by CityCat. Make the most of Brisbane’s weather by strolling along the South Bank Grand Arbour, a kilometre-long pedestrian walkway framed by beautiful bougainvillea flowers —and a perfect spot for an Instagram moodshot.
Make Some Furry Friends
Ready to meet some of Australia’s cutest natives? Visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, a 15-minute drive from the city in the riverside suburb of Fig Tree Pocket, and cuddle up to more than 130 koalas. Visitors can also hand-feed kangaroos without barriers — a popular activity for parents, children and animal lovers alike.
If you are looking to meet a wider variety of animals, then the Australia Zoo is the place to be. Owned by the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin’s family, the Zoo is located in Beerwah, about an hour’s drive north of Brisbane city at the base of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Tour the enclosures, catch a show, hand-feed native animals like wombats and dingos and watch out for mischievous leaping lemurs.
There’s no need to break the bank for a family-friendly meal in Brisbane! Head to South Bank for a range of budget-friendly menus to suit any taste. From modern Australian and Middle Eastern, to Chinese cuisine, savour the different flavours of Brisbane while enjoying spectacular riverside views.
Got a sweet tooth? Embark on a Chocolate Tour, where you will be able to taste all things cocoa in as many as 11 different stores. Start at Mayfield Chocolates in inner-city Spring Hill, two kilometers north of the CBD, where you can fill your bags with chocolate lollipops and sweet kangaroos, which come in gluten- and daily-free options, too! And don’t miss Couverture & Co. in the suburb of Red Hill — a 30-minute bus ride away —for handcrafted chocolates –a sweet treat the whole family can enjoy together!