Credit

Courtesy of Demosthenes Mateo Jr/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Brisbane

If you have extra time, Story Bridge is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha
    View all Photos
    #1 in Brisbane
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    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.   

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    City Botanic Gardens
    View all Photos
    #2 in Brisbane
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're searching for a quiet respite from the city bustle, you don't have to go far: The City Botanic Gardens are less than a mile southeast of the CBD. In fact, visitors can get to this free attraction by walking, renting a bike from a local vendor, riding the ferry to the QUT Gardens Point terminal or taking the complimentary City Loop bus to several nearby stops. Limited free parking is also available. Once you've reached the gardens, which were the first in Brisbane, you'll find all sorts of relaxing spaces, including the Bamboo Grove, two ornamental ponds, a riverfront cycling area and the Weeping Fig Avenue.

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Story Bridge
    View all Photos
    #3 in Brisbane
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Story Bridge operates as more than just a link between Kangaroo Point, central Brisbane and Fortitude Valley: It's also a major attraction – and not just for photo-ops. With an experienced guide leading the way, you can traverse catwalks more than 260 feet above sea level to reach the top. During your two-hour trek – which includes a briefing and a safety demonstration from Story Bridge Adventure Climb – you'll climb from one side of the bridge to the other, stopping to take in the Brisbane skyline as you go. You can also abseil down its side or travel beneath it in a kayak or on a CityCat ferry.

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Roma Street Parkland
    View all Photos
    #4 in Brisbane
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    It's the largest urban subtropical garden in the world, but travelers just think of Roma Street Parkland as a slice of urban reprieve. Roma Street Parkland, which stretches across nearly 40 acres, is divided into five distinct districts: the Spectacle Garden at Colin Campbell Place, the Celebration Precinct, the Forest and Fern Gully, the Lake Precinct and the Upper Parkland. Some of the most popular areas include the Forest and Fern Gully and the Upper Parkland. True to its moniker, Fern Gully features a rainforest with verdant ferns, bubbling creeks and walkways that will lead you into the lush forest canopy. Families should retreat southeast of this area if they want to explore the Upper Parkland, home to the children's playground, amphitheater and the Harry Oakman Pavilion.

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Museum of Brisbane
    View all Photos
    #5 in Brisbane
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Housed on the fourth floor of Brisbane City Hall, the Museum of Brisbane aims to showcase Brisbane's residents and locals throughout the years. More than 120 exhibits are on display in the museum's five galleries, including artwork by local artist Richard Randall, historic ceramics and various multimedia presentations. What's more, the property offers a small theater, a gift shop, two cafes, restrooms and the Dome Lounge, where travelers can take a break from the attraction's exhibits.

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha
    View all Photos
    #6 in Brisbane
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    For sweeping views of Queensland's capital, head up to the Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha. Located 5 miles southwest of Brisbane's city center, this free viewing platform offers more than just a spectacular vantage point: The lookout sits on a 544-acre bushland reserve with several attractions and scores of walking trails.

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)
    View all Photos
    #7 in Brisbane
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Travelers are consistently impressed with Brisbane's arts scene, and perhaps the best way to experience it is to pay a visit to this comprehensive institution. Made up of two distinct venues – the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art – QAGOMA features a diverse lineup of more than 17,000 paintings, sculptures, decorative art pieces and multimedia installations created by both Australian and international artists. Careful not to ignore the interests of its youngest visitors, QAGOMA also boasts a Children's Art Centre, where interactive exhibitions and activities – often curated by artists exhibiting within the gallery – are available for kids of all ages.

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    CityHopper
    View all Photos
    #8 in Brisbane
    Tours, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    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.

    ...Read More »

Explore More of Brisbane

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019