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Free Things To Do in Brisbane

If you have extra time, Story Bridge is worthwhile.

#1

#1 in Brisbane

Free
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.   
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Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
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.   
... more

#2

#2 in Brisbane

Free
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.
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Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
City Botanic Gardens
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.
... more

#3

#3 in Brisbane

Free
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.
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Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Story Bridge
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.
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#4

#4 in Brisbane

Free
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.
... more
Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Roma Street Parkland
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.
... more

#5

#5 in Brisbane

Free
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.
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Museum of Brisbane
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.
... more

#6

#6 in Brisbane

Free
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.
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Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha
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.
... more

#7

#7 in Brisbane

Free
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.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)
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.
... more

#8

#8 in Brisbane

Free
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.
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Tours Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
CityHopper
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.
... more
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