A city trip like Brisbane can quickly become a pricey outing. As Australia typifies, there are plenty of activities you can do for free. Queensland’s tropical capital has a lot in store for you because of its winding river. Your budget isn’t going to be a problem because of the list below.
1. Walking the Brisbane River
Brisbane may not have a coastline, but it can certainly show off its river. A walk on the River Walk will give you excellent skyline views and much more. There are parks, free sports lessons and lots of vista’s to discover. You can walk from the CBD (city centre) to New Farm Park.
2. Swimming in Streets Beach
An incredibly cool lagoon in the middle of a big city. Brisbane boasts this swimming pool located in South Bank. Bring your towel and picnic set and you can enjoy the tropical temperatures. Moreover, there’s always something to do around South Bank so be sure to check the city calendar. More information can be found here.
3. CityHopper on the Brisbane River
A cruise on a river sailing through the city normally costs a lot of money. Not in Brisbane! The CityHopper is a free ferry that takes you through the city. Take the CityHopper just before Golden Hour and have your camera ready. The CityHopper goes from one side of the river to the other, so you won’t miss anything if you use this ferry for transport.
Here you’ll find all stops of the CityHopper so you can plan your trip and your accommodation based on its route. Have your camera ready when you pass the Story Bridge!
Protip! We booked our Airbnb near a CityHopper stop so we hardly had to spend any money on transportation.
4. Brisbane Greeters
Look out for the smiling people in a red t-shirt. In Brisbane you can count on free local guides to show you the most important places in the city. Moreover, they show their added value by sharing interesting stories about the city.
The standard meeting is one of of four hours in which you will travel around the city with a small group. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about the Brisbane Greeter and how to plan one.
5. Chillen in New Farm Park
The perfect place to rest for a while and see the different ferries of Brisbane pass by on the Brisbane River. A favorite of the locals because of the peaceful atmosphere. Moreover, there are good sandwich shops nearby where you can get fresh bread with delicious European toppings.
6. Sunset at Mount Coot-Tha
Jump out of bed and into your car before sunset! Set your gps to Mount Coot-Tha8 From this mountain top you’ll have an amazing view of Brisbane. It’s a twenty minute drive to Mount Coot-Tha, but it’s definitely worth it!
7. Free fitness classes in Brisbane
During our visit in Brisbane you could see up to ten groups playing sports during your walk on the River Walk. Afterwards we only got to know that all these lessons were free! Brisbane organises several months a year free sports lessons on the Brisbane River in the spirit of the ‘Feel Good’ program. The program consists of pilates, yoga, dance, aquarobics and much more. When, where and what to do can be found here.
8. Organic Epicurious Garden
In the middle of Australia’s third largest city you don’t really expect a vegetable garden. Yet the Epicurious Garden is exactly that! Located in South Bank, you can wander around here among exotic plants and a wide range of vegetables and herbs. You can pick up fruits, vegetables and herbs here from Tuesday to Thursday between 7am and 2pm, free of charge!
Besides the fact that this is an insanely cool initiative, it’s also an oasis of peace and quiet. Ideal to visit and read a book or to unwind in the green grass.
9. Koala’s in Brisbane
In the south of Brisbane you’ll find Daisy Hill Koala Centre. Admission is free and you’re able to enjoy some walks where there’s a good chance of spotting a koala in their natural habitat. You’ll also find enough information about koalas to keep you busy for an entire afternoon.
Protip! Would you like to cuddle a koala? You can in Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. This place has an admission fee and can easily be reached by ferry south of the Brisbane River.
10. Sunset at Kangaroo Point
An incredibly nice view of the city while the sun behind the large buildings says’ goodbye’. Moreover, you can bring your own food and throw it on the barbecue, free of charge of course! If you don’t feel like preparing your own food, you can have an aperitif at Bar Spritz. The whole menu is top notch and tapas are also recommended. Trust us, we’ve got plenty of experience here!
11. Fish ‘n Chips at Shorncliffe Pier
The fish ‘n chips aren’t free of course, but they’re not necessary to enjoy this trip. Shorncliffe Pier is the longest wooden pier in Brisbane. About three hundred metres long, this pier stretches from inland to deep waters. Take your time to enjoy the different shades of colours during the sunset.
12. Roma Street Parkland
Maybe one of the most beautiful places in town. Brisbane has several beautiful gardens. Outside South Bank, Epicurious Garden, New Farm Park and Botanic Garden, you also have Roma Street Parkland. Here you can spot exotic flowers and walk through a real jungle. Because of the tropical climate in the city, a wide range of plants can easily survive here.
13. Brisbane City Botanic Garden (+ Markets)
Every Sunday there’s a good excuse to go to the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. From 8am you can enter for free to enjoy the markets. Nice food trucks and artisan souvenirs can be bought here as a nice reminder of your visit to Brisbane.
14. Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art
On a hot day in Brisbane you can escape the heat in the air conditioned Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art. Free exhibitions are open to the masses at all times. New paying exhibitions are available every month for the cultural visitors. What’s more, this is a great idea if it rains…
Which is not likely.
A city trip isn’t complete nowadays without a photo with the city name in large plastic letters. Brisbane also has such a copy in the city. When you’re walking the bridge towards South Bank you can’t miss the gigantic sign!
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