Where to go in Brisbane

Take time to explore Brisbane and the city's surroundings for incredible wildlife, breathtaking views and unbeatable city activities.

Last updated:

Brisbane is one of Australia’s highlights. It’s a city that combines culture, nature, art and food into one compact area to explore and discover. Head to Fortitude Valley for an incredible foodie and nightlife scene, spend time cruising down the Brisbane River, discover the wildlife at Australia Zoo or scenic views on Moreton Island or at Mount Coot-tha.

Brisbane has a lot to offer and it’s all on the city’s door step. It’s a city that’s perfect for all ages, showcasing everything a typical city has – and more.

We're sharing the best places to visit in Brisbane so you know where to go during your time in this fabulous city.

Where to go in Brisbane

1. South Bank

South Bank is the star precinct in Brisbane. Located along Brisbane River, it allows visitors to take in the city by day and night.

It’s a combination of recreational, educational, cultural and social aspects that create an entertainment hub which locals and visitors alike enjoy. It was once the 1988 World Expo site but now the most popular attraction is the Streets Beach, a man-made lagoon. The Wheel of Brisbane shows off Brisbane’s city skyline and there are many restaurants, walking and biking paths to enjoy.

  • Best for: City sites, walking/biking, beach
  • How to get there: South Bank is in Brisbane’s south central Central Business District (CBD) along the south side of Brisbane River. From Queen Street Mall it’s a short 8-minute bus or a 13-minute walk. From Fortitude Valley it’s a 16-minute bus or a 35-minute walk.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Soak up the sun at Streets Beach, ride the Wheel of Brisbane, walk under the Arbour, check out the South Bank Collective Markets and see the Nepalese Peace Pagoda.
  • How long do I need? 2 hours - 1 day
  • Recommended tour: Hop on a Brisbane Segway Tour to explore the top sites in South Bank and Brisbane’s other highlights while learning about the city’s history, landmarks and architecture.

2. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has been open since the 1920s and is the oldest and largest koala sanctuary.

Visitors today still head to the sanctuary to snap a picture with these cuddly creatures and for a chance to see them up close. Other animals you might see include a platypus, crocodiles, snakes, Tasmanian devils and more, on view here for guests to meet, take pictures and see feedings or demonstrations.

  • Best for: Animal lovers
  • How to get there: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is in southern Brisbane and is a 46-minute bus from Queen Street Mall or a 15-minute drive. You can also take scenic cruises along the river to the sanctuary.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Take a picture with a koala, take a scenic river cruise to the sanctuary, watch one of the animal feedings, listen to a keeper talk and catch the free flight raptor show.
  • How long do I need? 1-3 hours
  • Recommended tour: Take a river cruise for scenic river sites throughout Brisbane before discovering fun facts and insights about koalas and other animals at the sanctuary, which is included in your tour.

Image: Visit Brisbane

3. Cultural Precinct

The Cultural Precinct is in South Bank along the Brisbane River. It’s a heritage-listed area that’s packed with entertainment, including galleries, museums and venues for performances such as ballet and opera. Some of the architecture in this area is award-winning and beautiful parklands create a wonderful space to relax outdoors. Many of the exhibits are interactive, making it a great spot for all ages.

  • Best for: Art, cultural performances
  • How to get there: Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct is on the south shores of the Brisbane River and is a 5-minute walk from South Bank attractions, a 6-minute bus or a 12-minute walk from Queen Street Mall or a 16-minute bus or 38-minute walk from Fortitude Valley.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Visit the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, watch a show at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, check out the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, visit the State Library of Queensland and stop by the parklands.
  • How long do I need? 2 hours - 1 day
  • Recommended tour: Take a Brisbane city sights and South Bank tour to explore Brisbane’s best sites in the morning and with free time in the afternoon to visit the Cultural Precinct.

4. Mount Coot-tha

Mount Coot-tha is a mountain and a western suburb in Brisbane that welcomes visitors and locals alike to enjoy a nice city break and explore nature.

From the top, Mount Coot-tha offers scenic views over Brisbane, and activities include hiking and biking trails.

  • Best for: Active travellers, scenic sites, nature
  • How to get there: Mount Coot-tha is in western Brisbane and is a 25-minute drive from the CBD or a 40-minute bus from Adelaide Street.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Take in the views from the top, visit the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, see stars at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, find a trail to hike/bike and take a cemetery ghost tour at Toowong Cemetery.
  • How long do I need? 1 hour - 1 day
  • Recommended tour: Hop onto a helicopter for a scenic flight to Mount Coot-tha where you’ll get the best views of the city, with the option to fly with the doors on or off.

5. Brisbane River

Brisbane River doesn’t just run through the city, it’s a star attraction bordered by many of the city’s best areas.

It’s the longest river in southeast Queensland and provides a perfect backdrop on river cruises, as well as scenic views for guests dining along the river or rappelling down cliffs. The river flows under the heritage-listed Story Bridge, where visitors can participate in some adrenaline action on the Brisbane Story Bridge Adventure climb.

  • Best for: Active travellers, city sites
  • How to get there: The Brisbane River runs through the Brisbane CBD and is a 1-minute walk from South Bank or the Cultural Precinct. Story Bridge is a 28-minute walk from Fortitude Valley.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Take a scenic cruise, visit Kangaroo Viewpoint, climb Story Bridge, go rock climbing/abseiling and kayak down the river.
  • How long do I need? 2-5 hours
  • Recommended tour: Take a cruise on the Brisbane River that includes dinner, sparkling city lights, live music and dancing.

6. Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley is Brisbane’s trendiest neighbourhood and is well-known for its eclectic mix of culture and popular for nightlife ranging from dive bars to high-end clubs. It may seem gritty on the outside but spend some time in this neighbourhood and you’ll discover unique cocktail bars, plenty of eateries, Chinatown, boutiques selling a bit of everything and trendy galleries.

  • Best for: Nightlife, food and drinks
  • How to get there: Fortitude Valley is in the north of Brisbane’s CBD and is an easy 15-minute bus from Queen Street Mall or a 26-minute walk. From South Bank it’s a 20-minute bus or a 47-minute walk.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Experience the nightlife, explore Chinatown, shop the boutiques, bar hop, enjoy brunch
  • How long do I need? 2 hours - 1 day
  • Recommended tour: You don’t need one! The best way to visit Fortitude Valley is to explore on your own.

7. Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo is a widely popular day trip from Brisbane with buses and tours leaving from the city daily for the zoo, made famous by Steve Irwin. The 100-acre property is home to many animals and uniquely built attractions such as the Cambodian-style Tiger Temple or the Crocoseum. Plenty of native animals are available to see as well as a range of other wildlife from regions around the world.

  • Best for: Animal lovers
  • How to get there: Australia Zoo is in Beerwah, north of Brisbane. It’s an hour drive but coach services between Brisbane and the zoo are available. The train is another option because a complimentary shuttle picks up guests for transfer to the zoo. Day tours are also available.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Visit Roo Heaven to feed kangaroos, see Tiger Temple, explore Bindi’s Island, learn about Steve Irwin’s research at the Croc School and adopt an animal.
  • How long do I need? 1-day
  • Recommended tour: Join an Australia Zoo Day Tour from Brisbane where you’ll not only get to see animals but can also watch scheduled shows. Entry and transportation are included.

8. Moreton Island

Moreton Island is a protected sand island off of the southeastern coast of Queensland. 95% of the island is apart of Moreton Island National Park which is home to Mt Tempest, the highest sandhill in the world. Moreton Island has an abundance of activities and natural sites such as sand dunes to explore, coral sites and wrecks for diving, beaches to lounge on and bushland to find your way through.

  • Best for: Water activities, scenic sites
  • How to get there: Moreton Island is off of the southeast coast of Queensland and is accessible from Brisbane by ferry (75 minutes) or flying (15 minutes).
  • Top 5 things to see/do: snorkel the Tangalooma Wrecks, go sand tobogganing, visit the Champagne Pools, visit the Cape Moreton Lighthouse and go whale or dolphin watching.
  • How long do I need? 1-2 days
  • Recommended tour: Head out on a Brisbane to Moreton Island day tour that includes water activities such as snorkelling, kayaking and sandboarding.

Top Brisbane travel deals

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Domestic flights from $42 each way

Available on select dates until December 2020. Destinations include Adelaide, Sydney, Newcastle, Ballina, Hobart and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Melbourn with TigerAir.

Last verified

Deal ends

Accor Hotels Accor Hotels

Up to 40% off hotels worldwide

Available for stays on select travel dates. Destinations include Australia, New Zealand and Thailand. T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

Accor Hotels Accor Hotels

Up to 25% off advance bookings in Australia

Available on select travel dates when booking 30 days in advance. Prepayment required. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Cairns, Melbourne and Canberra. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Up to 35% off worldwide stays

Available on select travel dates. Destinations include Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA, Dubai and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Wotif Wotif

Up to 73% off Australia-wide stays

Available on select dates. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, Byron Bay, Perth and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Wotif Wotif

Australia-wide flights from $73 return

Available on select dates until November 2020. Destinations include Gold Coast, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, Hobart and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Melbourne with Jetstar. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Adrenaline Adrenaline

Extra 10% off site-wide with code

Coupon code valid on driving and flying experiences, water sports, land adventures etc when you spend $199 or more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Budget Air Budget Air

Domestic flights from $141 return

Available on select travel dates from February - March 2020. Sample fare is Sydney-Brisbane with Tigerair. Destinations include Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Ballina and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Europcar Europcar

Up to 25% off Australia-wide car hire

Available on rentals until 31 May 2020. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

STA Travel STA Travel

Australia-wide flights from $99 each way with Virgin Australia

Available on select dates until 27 August 2020. Sample fare is Sydney-Gold Coast. Destinations include Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Broome and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Flight Centre - Holidays Flight Centre - Holidays

Australia holidays from $325

Available for travel February - June 2020 with Jetstar. Destinations include Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, Yarra Valley, Sunshine Coast and more. Sample price is for a 3-night getaway from Gold Coast-Sydney.

Last verified

Deal ends

RedBalloon RedBalloon

Up to $39 off theme parks and experiences

Available on select activities and attractions like break room experience, dolphin deep water adventures, Raging Waters Sydney, escape rooms, Luna Park passes and much more.

Last verified

Deal ends

DriveNow DriveNow

Airport rentals from $30/day

Valid for travel on select dates in 2020 with Avis, Budget, Sixt, Europcar, Hertz and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

DriveNow DriveNow

Brisbane car hire from $49/day

Valid for travel on select dates in 2020 with Avis, Budget, Sixt, Europcar, Hertz, Alamo, Firefly and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Topdeck Topdeck

Up to 15% off Australia and New Zealand trip

Valid for travel between 1 July 2020 - 31 March 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Alice Springs, Auckland, Wellington and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

RedBalloon RedBalloon

Up to $100 off things to do in Brisbane

Available on select dates and experiences like bridge climbs, introductory flights with aerobatics, brewery tours, driving experiences, cooking classes, spa treatments and much more.

Last verified

Deal ends

TourRadar TourRadar

Up to 25% off Australia-wide tours with Intrepid

Available on select travels in 2020 and 2021. Destinations include Brisbane, Sydney, Darwin, Broome, Uluru and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Avis Avis

Earn double Qantas points

Earn more Qantas points using the code when you rent for 2 days or more. Available on rentals until 31 March 2020 across Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Perth and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Adina Adina

Australia and New Zealand: Earn points per dollar spent on stays

Velocity membership card must be presented at check-in. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, Christchurch and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Flight Centre - Domestic Flight Centre - Domestic

Australia-wide flights from $74 each way

Available on select dates until December 2020. Sample fare is Sydney-Gold Coast with Tigerair. Other destinations include Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Ballina, Canberra and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

G Adventures G Adventures

Up to 15% off Australia and New Zealand tours

Available for travel 18 April - 6 July 2020. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Uluru, Adelaide, Auckland, Christchurch and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Contiki Contiki

Up to 20% off worldwide tours

Available for travel on select 2020 dates. Destinations include Italy, France, Germany, Iceland, Greece, USA, Canada, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Laos, Australia and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 54% off helicopter ride experience

Valid on select dates. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and more.

Last verified

Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 50% off driving experiences

Available on select 2020 dates for experiences like V8 driving, rally driving, karting, classic car hire and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 50% off water sports activities

Available on select 2020 dates for activities like jet boat ride, whale watching, shark dive, kayaking, harbour cruise and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Contiki Contiki

Up to 15% off Australia tours

Available for travel April - December 2020. Destinations include Cairns, Sydney, Darwin, Alice Springs, Uluru, Byron Bay and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skydive Australia Skydive Australia

Skydive from $249

Available on select 2020 dates across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Perth and York. Sample rate is from Hunter Valley. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Adrenaline Adrenaline
Exclusive

Extra 10% off things to do across Australia

Available site-wide for activities like driving experiences, whale watching, sailing, jet skiing, scuba diving, hot air balloon rides, flying experiences, kayaking and more. Minimum spend of $100. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and all major cities across Australia. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Trafalgar Tours Trafalgar Tours

Up to 10% off Australia and New Zealand tours

Available on select 2020 dates. Destinations include Cairns, Tasmania, Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Auckland and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Wotif Wotif

Extra 8% off hotels

Available on all dates including over Christmas and New Year. Destinations include Asia, Australia, Europe and more. Must book in advance. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Budget Air Budget Air

Extra $5 off your next booking

Subscribe to BudgetAir enewsletter and receive extra $5 discount of your next booking. Destinations include Europe, Asia, Australia and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Otel.com Otel.com

Extra 9% off hotel bookings

Valid on select hotel stays worldwide like Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Thailand, USA, Europe and more on all dates, including over holidays like Easter, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Some restrictions apply.

Last verified

Medina Medina

Subscribe to TFE Hotels eClub and save 10%

Join the TFE eClub now to receive 10% off future bookings in Australia and New Zealand and receive 15% off future European bookings plus bonus extras. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Vibe Vibe

Subscribe to TFE Hotels eClub and save 10%

Join the TFE eClub now to receive 10% off future bookings in Australia and New Zealand and receive 15% off future European bookings plus bonus extras. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Travelodge Travelodge

Subscribe to TFE Hotels eClub and save 10%

Join the TFE eClub now to receive 10% off future bookings in Australia and New Zealand and receive 15% off future European bookings plus bonus extras. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Adina Adina

Subscribe to TFE Hotels eClub and save 10%

Join the TFE eClub now to receive 10% off future bookings in Australia and New Zealand and receive 15% off future European bookings plus bonus extras. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Rendezvous Rendezvous

Subscribe to TFE Hotels eClub and save 10%

Join the TFE eClub now to receive 10% off future bookings in Australia and New Zealand and receive 15% off future European bookings plus bonus extras. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

TFE Hotels Collection TFE Hotels Collection

Subscribe to TFE Hotels eClub and save 10%

Join the TFE eClub now to receive 10% off future bookings in Australia and New Zealand and receive 15% off future European bookings plus bonus extras. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Otel.com Otel.com

Extra 8% off hotel bookings

Valid on hotel stays worldwide on all dates, including over holidays like Easter, Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Last verified

Gift It Now Gift It Now

Up to 20% off experiences

Valid on select experiences and activities like skydiving, scenic helicopter flight, kayaking, whale watching and more. Destinations include Sydney, Byron, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Darwin and Perth. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Popular Top Brisbane travel deals coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
17 Feb 2020 Extra 10% off site-wide with code ZON****
5 Feb 2020 Earn double Qantas points MPP****
14 Feb 2020 Extra 10% off things to do across Australia FIN****
10 Jan 2020 Extra 8% off hotels BOO****
28 Oct 2019 Extra 9% off hotel bookings AUT****

Related Posts

Latest travel offers

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site