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Things to Do in Brisbane, Australia (Hometown Series)

Intro: Through the hometown series, we have traveled to big cities and small towns across the globe as travel bloggers share with us why their hometown should be on our bucket lists! We have explored the Australian city of Geelong, the castles and country houses of the Peak District, UK, the famous waterfall destination of Niagara Falls, Ontario, the small town of Russellville, ArkansasVirginia BeachDelhi in India, Cartagena in Columbia, Utrecht in the Netherlands, and my own small hometown of Herkimer, New York. Now we will travel back to the land down under and explore the Australian city of Brisbane with Eloise from My Favourite Escapes.

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland, Australia’s Sunshine State. I remember the first time I visited Brisbane. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. Although it’s the third largest city in Australia, it’s much smaller than Melbourne and Sydney. And it’s not as photogenic as Sydney and not as trendy as Melbourne. But there are many things to do in Brisbane, and I really had a good time. So much that I’ve been calling it home for almost ten years now!

the Brisbane city line from South Bank lagoons, one of the top things to do in Brisbane
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The City of Brisbane from South Bank. Photo Credit: Home – My Favourite Escapes

Top Things to Do in Brisbane:

South Bank Lagoons

Imagine swimming in lagoons and chilling on the sand in front of the city sky-scrappers. It’s pretty unique! That’s why the South Bank lagoons are so popular for visitors and locals, especially families. It can get hot in Brisbane, so it’s an excellent way to enjoy a refreshing activity. There are many restaurants nearby when you’re done having fun in the water. It’s one of the most popular places to stay in Brisbane, and I recommend the Emporium Hotel for the stunning views of the lagoons, the city, and the river.

swimming at South Bank Lagoons with the Brisbane city line in the background
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South Bank Lagoons. Photo Credit: My Favourite Escapes

The Brisbane River

The Brisbane River gives the city all its charm. There are many ways for visitors to enjoy the river. You can board one of the ferries to go from one side to the other. Lunch and dinner cruises, and even party boats, will take you up and down the river to enjoy the views of the city. 

If you want to exercise, you can hire a kayak to explore the river at your own rhythm. There are also pedestrian paths and bridges to make it safe and fun to ride, walk or run along the river. It’s easy to rent an e-bike, an e-scooter, or a segway if you want to keep your energy for later. 

There are also many restaurants and bars with river views—for example, head to Eagle Street in the City or Howard Smith Wharves near the Story Bridge.

If you’re visiting Brisbane in September, you may want to check when the Riverfire is happening. It celebrates the end of the Brisbane Festival with stunning fireworks on the river.

The Parks

Brisbane has beautiful parks in the CBD and nearby, giving you a nice break from the city buildings. The City Botanic Garden is located on the riverbanks just across the river from South Bank. And the stunning Roma Park is another oasis of 16 hectares in the heart of Brisbane. A bit further, New Farm Park should not be missed during the Jacaranda season (usually in October). Finally, at the bottom of Mount Coo-Tha, the second Botanic Gardens are lovely to explore too, if you’re after a bit of greenery without leaving Brisbane.

The Story Bridge in Brisbane
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Story Bridge. Photo Credit: My Favourite Escapes.

Mount Coo-Tha

Mount Coo-Tha is just outside the city and is easy to reach by car or public transport. You get a fantastic view of Brisbane and its surroundings from up there. It’s even more special at sunrise!


Beer lovers will love exploring the many local breweries in Brisbane. The XXXX Brewery is the biggest, Felons at Howard Smith Wharves the most scenic, but you’ll also find many micro-breweries near the city. If you plan to do tastings at a few different places, it may be wise to book a tour

Kangaroo Point

Kangaroo Point is an excellent spot to visit in Brisbane if you feel adventurous. It’s located on the other side of the Story Bridge. From there, you can book a tour to climb to the top of the bridge and get the best views of Brisbane. There are also stunning natural cliffs on the river edge that you can climb and abseil, with the CBD just behind you. You won’t find this in many other cities! Plus, my favorite French bakery in Brisbane is in Kangaroo Point.

the Brisbane city line, boats in the river, view from Kangaroo Point Cliffs, best things to do in Brisbane
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View of Brisbane from Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Photo credit: My Favourite Escapes


There are a few museums to visit in Brisbane for those into the arts or who’d like to learn more about the city’s history. A few of them are located in South Bank (Gallery of Modern Arts, Maritime Museum, Queensland Museum) and the city (Museum of Brisbane). 

The Brisbane Region

One of the things I love the most about Brisbane is the stunning islands and national parks we have not far from the city. The diversity of landscapes within one hour from Brisbane is astonishing: you’ll find rainforests, sand islands (Minjerribah and Mulgumpin), fascinating mounts (Glasshouse Mountains), beautiful beaches and even coral reefs.

Whether you like hiking, scuba diving or just chilling near the water, you’ll find an exciting getaway close to Brisbane.

About the Author

Eloise loves sharing her travel experiences and tips to help others plan their big and small trips. She lives in Brisbane (Australia), but you won’t often find her in the city. She spends most of her weekends in national parks or underwater. 

Follow her adventures on or on her social media channels:

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