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Top things to do in Brisbane and a guide to what’s on in the city

The must-see attractions when you’re visiting the Sunshine State’s capital.

So much more than just a bustling CBD, Brisbane boasts a wide variety of activities and experiences both within its city boundaries and beyond.

The city’s booming cultural scene offers world-renowned art and science exhibitions, as well as an underground music scene, and a cafe culture the locals are proud to share.

Natural wildlife encounters and breathtaking landscapes are just a stone’s throw away from the city, ideal for a day or weekend escape. Attractions that reconnect you with nature include Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Springbrook and Tamborine Rainforests, and Stradbroke Island.

Well, what are you waiting for?


Top Brisbane attractions and experiences

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Lone Pine Sanctuary

Lone Pine is the place to get up close with, and even hold, a koala, right in the heart of the city.

Make a trip of it by taking a cruise down the Brisbane River right to the entrance, or drive there from the city in 20 minutes.


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Scenic flight over Brisbane

Take a scenic flight over Brisbane and marvel at this beautiful coastal city as well as the nearby Mount Coot-tha.


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Story Bridge

Story Bridge is an icon of Brisbane’s skyline and is not something you could miss, even if you tried.Like the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, you can do a Story Bridge Climb and take in some of the best views of the city and the river from above.


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Kangaroo Point Cliffs

Another icon of Brisbane’s skyline are the heritage-listed Kangaroo Point Cliffs.

Impressive sunrise and sunset views aren’t the only reason to visit the cliffs; there are also barbeque facilities, rock climbing and abseiling opportunities available.


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Brisbane Arts Theater

Established in 1936, Brisbane Arts Theatre is a fundamental cog in Brisbane’s dynamic arts scene.

Performances are scheduled around four seasons: a main house season, children’s theater season, touring season and musical parody season, enabling it to cater to all manner of theatergoers.


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Stradbroke Island

Brisbane’s most popular coastal island is over 40km long, and is the second largest sand island in the world.

There are various day tours to suit your travelstyle, or you can DIY your day trip if that’s more your to your taste. Whichever you choose, make sure to check out Whale Rock, Brown Lake and Point Lookout while you’re there.


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Fraser Island

Fraser Island is a picture of perfection where you can spot whales, comb beaches and walk through lush rainforest.

While day trips are possible for those starved for time, if you have a weekend to spare, spend the night on the island and wake up to nature and its beautiful sunrises.


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Springbrook and Tamborine Mountains

Explore two of Australia’s World Heritage rainforests in a day trip from Brisbane. Springbrook and Tamborine Mountains are two of the Queensland hinterland’s most popular escapes, and are a must for any nature lover.

Once you’ve finished marvelling at the natural surroundings, take some time to wonder at its bevy of wineries and sample a local drop, naturally.


What’s on in Brisbane this year

  • Brisbane Festival: Held at various venues throughout the city, Brisbane Festival is an international music, dance, arts and entertainment event. It is held over three weeks and concludes with a fireworks display from three city bridges. Brisbane CBD, September.
  • Brisbane Kite Festival: Masterfully crafted kites fill the sky in this one-day event spectacular. It also features food stalls, workshops and live entertainment. Murarrie Recreation Ground, October.
  • Brisbane Comedy Festival: Held at the Powerhouse, the Brisbane Comedy Festival is a crack-up, with more than 40 Australian and international comedians. Brisbane Powerhouse, February–March.
  • Brisbane Marathon Festival: Established as a public event in 1992, Brisbane Marathon is one of the oldest festivals on the calendar. It’s an open-entrance event that crosses several city bridges and Brisbane icons, making it a great way to tour the city by foot. Brisbane CBD, 6 August 2017.
  • The Ekka: Formally known as the Royal Queensland Show, The Ekka is an agricultural festival that celebrates Aussie farmers and their produce. The program includes rides, cattle shows, fashion shows and whip-cracking competitions. Brisbane Showgrounds, 11–20 August 2017.
  • Valley Fiesta: Overflowing with new and emerging talent, Valley Fiesta is a celebration of music, arts, food and markets in Brisbane’s renowned arts and music precinct. Fortitude Valley, October.
  • Brisbane International: Part of the ATP World Tour 250 series, and regarded as the warm-up competition for the Australian Open, the Brisbane International draws top-seeded players to the Queensland Tennis Centre. Queensland Tennis Centre, 31 December 2017–7 January 2018.

Top Brisbane attractions

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is a journalist, avid traveller and all-round bargain hunter. If there's an online coupon code, deal or cheap flight available, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too.

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