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Brisbane City Council/Flickr

Key Info

North Quay Terminal

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Free, Tours Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 2.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

One of the best ways to take in Brisbane's sights is to travel along the Brisbane River on a CityHopper ferry. Part of the TransLink transportation network, CityHoppers offer free service between North Quay and Sydney Street. The ferry passes by or under popular attractions like the City Botanic Gardens and Story Bridge, giving passengers a chance to snap some superb photos and take in the sights. Visitors are welcome to ride the entire voyage or hop on and off along the way.

Travelers rave about this convenient, reliable and cost-effective service. But keep in mind that this ferry is slower than the city's fee-based CityCat service, with most journeys between the route's first and last terminals lasting approximately 45 minutes. Also, consider sitting on the top deck when the weather is nice to enjoy some of the route's best vistas.

CityHopper ferries operate every half hour between 6 and 12:30 a.m. daily. North Quay, downtown's most convenient departure point, sits by the Pacific Motorway near Victoria Bridge and the Queens Gardens. Other ferry terminals can be found in the South Bank, Kangaroo Point and New Farm neighborhoods; at the Maritime Museum; and on the eastern edge of the central business district. To get to one of the terminals, it's best to walk or rely on public transportation, but free parking is typically available near CityHopper ferry docks situated outside the CBD. On-board amenities include two levels of seating and restrooms. Plan you trip on a CityHopper by visiting TransLink's website.

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#1 Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha

After you've admired the sweeping views at the Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha, walk (or drive) about 1.5 miles northeast to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. At this 138-acre subtropical conservatory, you'll find a host of native and exotic plants, not to mention the largest collection of Australian rainforest trees in the world. Within the garden you'll come across several themed spaces, including the Japanese Garden, the Lagoon and Bamboo Grove, the Fern House and the Fragrant Plants and Herb Garden – all containing different varieties of plantlife. When you're not admiring the spectacular flora, see if you can spot the fauna: Visitors say you'll likely come across iguanas and other reptiles, not to mention plenty of insects and birds.   

Past visitors said the gardens provided a beautiful setting for kids to burn off some energy. The Brisbane City Council also offers a "Hide 'n' Seek Children's Trail" with surprises and facts for youngsters to discover as they make their way through the garden. And do be sure to bring your camera since this outdoor attraction boasts plenty of photo-op-worthy spots, including areas with superb views of the city.

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