Things to Do in Brisbane
For an authentic Australian sporting experience, take yourself along to the 42,000-seat Brisbane Cricket Ground. Known as the Gabba, because it's in the suburb of Woolloongabba, the sports ground hosts Australian Football League (AFL) games and international cricket matches.
Summer is the time for cricket, with matches held between January and March. In winter, March to October, AFL games hit the turf, often under the lights at night. Tours run daily, but not on match eve and match days. You get to view the stadium from the upper levels, then take a walk on the hallowed ground, see the memorabilia in the members’ dining room, see the corporate and media facilities, view the practice wickets and take a stroll through the players’ locker room.
Explore the sights of the iconic Brisbane River by taking a relaxing ride on the city catamaran service, the CityCat.
Travelling on water is undoubtedly the best way to soak in sunny Brisbane’s skyline and admire the vivid suite of colourfully-lit city landmarks by night. As you cruise along the inner city stretch of the river, look for the ultra-modern Kurilpa Bridge, the glowing Brisbane Wheel, the historic Treasury Casino, the famous Story Bridge, the impressive Kangaroo Point cliffs.
Popular CityCat sightseeing itineraries include embarking from the cultural, entertainment and parkland precinct at South Bank, winding along the river past the City Botanical Gardens and stopping at the Brisbane Powerhouse in New Farm for a glass of wine and an exhibition, or a picnic in the sprawling parkland by the CityCat terminal.
Dating back to 1829, Brisbane’s heritage-listed Commissariat Store is one of only two surviving buildings that date back to Queensland’s convict period. Built in a back-breaking four months by recidivist criminals sent to Queensland’s Moreton Bay Penal Settlement as extra punishment, the Commissariat Store was originally built as a government storehouse. Surrounded by the gleaming skyscrapers of the Central Business District, today the Commissariat Store is known as the Birthplace of Brisbane, representing the beginning of European settlement in Australia.
On the river by Queens Wharf Road, today the Commissariat Store is a museum run by the Royal Historical Society of Queensland. On a visit, you can learn the story and struggle of the penal colony through the exhibits and convict-era objects on display. You’ll even see a small glass jar with the remains of some of the prisoners’ fingertips.
Moreton Island is a peaceful retreat for day trippers and weekenders, right on Brisbane's door step. More than 90 percent of Moreton Island is protected as national park, and only 4WD (four-wheel drive) vehicles and walkers can access the beaches and trails. Spend days relaxing by pristine beaches, swim underwater to view the marine life, go wreck diving or try dune bashing across the sandy dunes.
Dolphins visit Tangalooma to be hand-fed by volunteers, and seasonal whale-watching cruises circle the island between June and October.
South Bank is located on the southern banks of the Brisbane River in Queensland’s capital city. South Bank is home to lush parklands, restaurants, cafés and bars, and many, many events. The boardwalks and promenades threading their way along the riverside are popular with joggers and cyclists, and ideal for catching city views across to the CBD.
South Bank is perfect for a relaxing day out. The gardens are a mixture of rainforest, grassed areas, water features and plazas, leaving plenty of places for picnics in the many habitats. The river promenade is the main attraction, including the Grand Arbour covered in flowering bougainvillea, the Nepal Peace Pagoda, the open air amphitheatre of the Courier Mail Piazza, and many retail spaces.
Streets Beach is a main attraction of South Bank. A large, man-made beach covering 1.2 square miles, Streets Beach is comprised of a huge lagoon, rocky creeks, and exotic plants, creating a mini-oasis in the center of Brisbane.
North Stradbroke Island, nicknamed “Straddie” by the locals, offers a low-key escape from Brisbane. The picturesque island, the most popular of all the islands in Moreton Bay, is lined by white sand beaches on its eastern shores, while the interior is dotted with freshwater lakes.
The first inhabitants of the island showed up some 40,000 years ago, and members of three Australian Aboriginal groups call the island home today. Before you begin your explorations of the island, spend some time learning about the island’s long history at the North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum.
Besides the museum, all of Straddie’s other attractions revolve around Mother Nature. Along the coast, it’s possible to spot dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles and humpback whales, and more something a little more active, you can dive, surf, fish, sand board, sea kayak or take a 4WD tour of the island’s interior.
Constructed back in 1868, the Brisbane Parliament House is the active seat of Queensland’s ruling Parliament. It was Australia’s first Parliament House to be wired with electricity, and remains an architectural gem in Queensland’s bustling capital. For a detailed look at inside the building, join an afternoon public tour through the building’s exquisite interior, where you’ll pass the foyer and grand staircase and see the building’s verandah, and view the curious “wind yarn,” or Parliament’s didgeridoo. When Parliament is in session, you can sit and watch as the laws are made and Queensland’s elect are at work, and there are even those who say the building is haunted with political ghosts. Aside from the architecture, regal surroundings, and dose of Australian history, a visit to Brisbane’s Parliament house is a way to view the political process that rules the northeastern state.
More Things to Do in Brisbane
Dreamworld on the Gold Coast is home to the most thrilling rides on Australia's east coast! Adventure and excitement can be found at every turn. Thrill-seekers can get their hearts racing with any of the Big 9 Thrill Rides including Pandamonium, Tower of Terror II, The Claw and Tailspin. Little ones will enjoy fun-filled rides like Escape from Madagascar, Big Red Boat Ride or Dorothy's Rosy Tea Cup Ride.
Those on a quest for adventure will also find great attractions from DreamWorks Experience: Shrek's Faire Faire Away, Kung Fu Panda: Land of Awesomeness, Madagascar Madness and Madagascar Live!
Dreamworld is also home to Australian wildlife, including a huge population of koalas, while Bengal and Sumatran tigers rule at Tiger Island. And if you get hungry at any time during your exciting day, stop at any one of restaurants and cafes located throughout the park for a bite to eat!
Things to do near Brisbane
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