Exploring Brisbane

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Oct 14, 2013 / 0 comments

Known as Australia’s River City, Brisbane is a remarkable place to visit. Home to almost 2 million people, it’s one of the coolest places to explore in Australia (despite being a subtropical locale). Filled with arts, culture, great food, and more, Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and deserves such a crown.


Brisbane from the air

Brisbane from the air. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Cyron Ray Macey


The Brisbane River meanders through the city and should be a point of exploration itself. But the city is full of fun, intriguing, and even crazy things to do.


Exploring Brisbane

Kookaburra. Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Cyron Ray Macey


Story Bridge Adventure Climb

One of only 3 bridge climbs in the world, you can climb to the summit (80 meters!) via a walkway, or abseil climb. Below is the Brisbane River, and traffic! You can also see 360 degrees, across Moreton Bay to some of the world’s largest sand island, the Glasshouse Mountains, Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane Forest Park, and Lamington National Park.


Story Bridge, Brisbane

Story Bridge. Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Stuart Edwards.


On the Water

Take a river cruise! Or one of the best ways to see the city is by kayak. Get on the river and poke around – who knows what you’ll find?



The Queensland Cultural Centre on South Bank is a multi-venue location, and includes the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Museum South Bank, the State Library of Queensland, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and the Queensland Theatre Company. There are also arts festivals, museums, ballet, opera, music, galleries, and theatres galore.


Reaching for the Sky. Brisbane

Reaching for the Sky. Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Cyron Ray Macey



The South Bank Parklands was built for the 1988 World’s Fair, and has a waterpark, a pool, picnic areas, and more.

Visit the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and see forests of eucalyptus and other trees, hear the kookaburra laugh, and see birds. Or head to South Bank Parklands, for bike and walking paths.



Head to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which houses more than 130 koalas – the world’s largest and first koala sanctuary - and other native animals – wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, dingoes, and even Tasmanian devils. This was rated one of the top 10 zoos in the world.


Koala, Brisbane

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Photo: Wikimedia Commons: James Niland



Get away from the hustle and bustle of city life by relaxing a bit. Take a blanket to the manmade South Bank beach and just soak in the sounds of people enjoying themselves. Head to Stephanie's Spa at Accor Hotel's Sofitel Brisbane and indulge in the Opal Rasul Steam Temple treatment, the Tibetan Sacred Massage, or the Jet Lag Recovery (it pays to be stressed!). Or choose one of the many coffeeshops, grab your favorite beverage, and sit and people watch.


South Bank Beach, Brisbane

South Bank Beach, Brisbane. Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Brisbane Marketing



There are 102 shipwrecks in Moreton Bay – go take a peek at some of them! You can learn more at the Queensland Maritime Museum.

The HMQS Gayundah at Woody Point Beach, Redcliffe

Bulwer Wrecks – three wrecks in front of Bulwer, on Moreton Island: Hopewell, Mt Kembla, and Kallatina

Tangalooma Wrecks – there are 15 ships wrecked at Tangalooma, Moreton Island to create an artificial reef – perfect for snorkeling

The SS Dicky, wrecked on Dicky Beach Caloundra

The Maheno, wrecked at Fraser Island

The Grace Darling, wrecked in Moreton Bay


Tangalooma Wrecks, Brisbane

Tangalooma Wrecks. Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Thorston Engler


Where to Stay

There are many options for accommodation in the city. There are several Accor Hotels located throughout Brisbane. If you choose a central location, you can definitely use public transportation to explore the city. Speaking of…


Getting Around

There are multitudinous ways to get around the city, including walking, the City Cycle program ($2 a day gets you the use of bikes all over the city), buses, trains, ferries, and the City Cat on the river.


Citycat on the Brisbane River

Citycat on the river. Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Brisbane City Council





Tips for exploring Brisbane.

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