Brisbane Tourist Destinations
Brisbane is an amazingly diverse city with something to suit everyone’s tastes.
Take a hike up the mountains and enjoy vistas of the city and then head down to Moreton Bay and out to one of the Islands for an amazing snorkelling holiday or laidback weekend on the beach.
The city is full of delights with cultural attractions at South Bank, live music gigs and festivals in Fortitude Valley, farmers markets in New Farm, relaxed picnic grounds in the Botanic Gardens and delicious Chinese cuisine in the kitsch Chinatown.View more things to do in Brisbane here.
Enjoy one or all of the destinations below!
Bribie Island is a gorgeous sand island located across the Pumicestone Passage in the northern section of Moreton Bay. It’s around 30 minutes from the city centre and you can easily reach it by bridge, making it the most easily accessible sand island in Queensland. It’s a great residential and holiday island which offers a relaxed lifestyle and an easy weekend getaway.
The great thing about Brisbane is that you can spend days sightseeing your way around the city whilst soaking up some of that brilliant Queensland sun and barely touching your bank balance. Brisbane City has a unique blend of historic and modern buildings dotted with city parks and gardens where you can sit back, unwind and watch the thriving city go about it's business.
Ideally located in South Bank Parklands on the banks of the Brisbane River, the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre is a progressive, world class, purpose built convention centre that attracts exhibitions and conferences from all over the world. The Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre is the most awarded venue in Australia and has been officially ranked among the world’s top 3 convention centres.
Brisbane’s Chinatown Mall in Duncan Street (Fortitude Valley) was opened in 1987. It is a commercial, social and cultural hub of Brisbane’s Asian community and you’ll notice that the streets are signed in both English and Chinese characters with many authentic touches. Guarding the entrances of the mall are pairs of stone lions which were presented as gifts from the People’s Republic of China.
The Brisbane City Botanic Gardens are located at Gardens Point and are bordered by the Brisbane CBD and the Brisbane River. Originally the gardens were planted by convicts in 1825 with food crops to feed the prison colony. Then in 1828 the botanist, Charles Fraser, selected the site to become a public garden and by 1855 the garden was established.
Fortitude Valley (or just The Valley as it’s known to the locals) is the cool kid of Brisbane suburbs. It’s located just outside the city and is the epicentre of live music in Queensland and a great nurturing suburb for up and coming designers, artists and musicians. It’s history is diverse, from the early 1900s to the 60s when the suburb was a thriving shopping precinct.
At 120 kilometres in length Fraser Island is considered to be the world’s largest sand island. Located a few hours north of Queensland this island has been listed as a World Heritage site since 1992 and is also known as The Great Sandy National Park. There’s plenty of different flora and fauna to take your fancy including rainforest, mangrove forests, swamps, sand dunes and eucalyptus woodland.
Kangaroo Point is a suburb just outside of the city that is located above the Brisbane River. It is well known for the Kangaroo Point Cliffs which are located on the east bank of the river. It’s not only a fantastic picnic and lookout spot but it’s also very popular with rock climbers and abseilers. At night these rhyolite cliffs light up with tiny lights which allow climbers to use the area at night.
Milton is a beautiful suburb that borders the Brisbane River and the city. It’s a wonderful area with shady streets, lovely parks and beautiful old Queenslander style houses. The area is busy both day and night with many ladies who lunch, business people and uni students soaking up the sun with a coffee. Park Road is a long cafe strip linking Milton Road to Coronation Drive.
Moreton Bay extends from Caloundra down to the Gold Coast Seaway stretching 125km in length. The bay itself is located around half an hour from Brisbane’s city centre. These waters are a veritable playground for anglers as there are many fishing adventures for you to take part in. The bay’s waters are also important for commercial fishing operators.
Mount Coot-tha is both a mountain and a suburb. It sits on Taylors Range and is one of the highest points in Brisbane and 287 metres above sea level. The Mt Coot-tha Lookout sits at the top and gives visitors a wonderful panoramic view of Brisbane, the Glasshouse Mountains, Moreton Bay and the D’Aguilar Range. It’s surrounded by natural bushland reserve which covers more than 1500 hectares.
The charming township of Mount Nebo is located 45 minutes out of Brisbane’s city centre and is a great day trip away. Mount Nebo sits 550 metres above sea level and lends the feeling of the town being inside the forest. There’s not much to the township but there is a great cafe which we recommend you stop at. Cafe Boombana is full of lovely homemade goodies, hearty meals and delicious milkshakes.
New Farm is located just outside the city and sits on a large bend of the Brisbane River. It’s one of Brisbane’s oldest suburbs and though it once has a disreputable reputation in the last 10 years it has experienced much gentrification. The suburb still retains its sense of diversity and remains to be Brisbane’s ‘Little Italy’ due to the long established Italian community.
Brisbane Forest Park offers the facilities for barbecues, fireplaces, picnic shelters and there are also tables provided. If you're up for roughing it in the bush then there are plenty of secluded campsites off the beaten track in the park's back country. However, before you pitch the tent remember that you've got to swing by the Brisbane Forest Park Headquarters to obtain a permit.
Hop in your car and visit one of Brisbane's best and oldest inner city suburbs, Paddington. Located in the inner west of Brisbane just 2km from the Brisbane CBD, it's just a short drive or a long stroll away. Five minutes drive and you're there - strolling along gorgeous leafy streets and admiring large classic Queenslander homes, often converted into boutiques and restaurants.
This huge park sits on 26 hectares and has around 800 metres of frontage along the Brisbane River. The park has a wide range of features including a market garden, bushland range, river flat and dry eucalypt forest. It’s a great day out for children as there’s an adventure playground, a flying fox, climbing web, basketball court and a maze of bike pathways.
Roma Street Parkland sits on 16 hectares in the centre of the Brisbane CBD and adjacent to the Brisbane Transit Centre and Roma Street Station, they are a veritable oasis in the middle of the city. The world’s largest subtropical garden in a city centre is home to grassy picnic spots, subtropical plant displays, colourful flower displays, fern groves, rocky peninsulas, barbeque areas and playgrounds for kids.
Somerset Dam is located just one hour from Brisbane and is the perfect place for those who love their water sports, fishing, walking and the great outdoors. The Dam has 237 kilometres of shoreline and is nestled in by a protective ring of hills which makes the water calm and ideal for boating. Surrounding the shores of the dam are unspoiled bushland, valleys, lakes and rivers as well as the town of Somerset.
South Bank is at the heart of Brisbane’s entertainment, culture and recreation precinct. Located next to South Brisbane and on the banks of the Brisbane River the setting for this destination is idyllic. Around 11 million Brisbanites and tourists visit South Bank each year for its great restaurants and bars, boutique shopping, markets, fun activities, museums and man-made Streets Beach.
North Stradbroke Island or ‘Straddie’ as it’s known to locals is an ideal holiday spot for families, couples and groups of friends - pretty much anyone really! It’s only one hour away from Brisbane so it’s great for day trips or longer holidays if you want to stay a while and experience the tranquility. The island is incredibly diverse with quaint little villages, unspoilt beaches, year round fishing and stunning lookouts.
Before January 2010 the area that we knew as Teneriffe was officially just a part of Newstead. The Brisbane City Council approved the designation of Teneriffe as a suburb in February 2010 and the locals helped define the boundaries of this new suburb. Historically the area was home to the first wool store built in 1909 with another dozen or so built after this until the 1950s.
Brisbane's West End is on Boundary Road, on the southern side of the river and nearby South Bank. The early English settlers named the area West End as it reminded them of the West End of London. West End has definitely lived up to its theatrical namesake as it has a long history of being home to the local Brisbane artists.
Just outside the Brisbane City is the bayside suburb of Wynnum. It’s located on the shores of Moreton Bay and has heaps of popular locations for visitors and locals to enjoy. Walk along the Esplanade and enjoy cooling breezes and views over to the islands of Moreton Bay or grab your bike or jogging shoes and exercise along one of the pathways.