Brisbane Travel Guide

Top Things to Do in Brisbane

Brisbane is now a sophisticated city yet it still retains its casual lifestyle. It has fondly been called “Brisvegas”, but now most people know it as “The River City”. Across the river, from the CBD, lies Southbank Parklands, (the original site of Expo 88) where you will find the heart of the Brisbane’s culture. Southbank has park lands, a lagoon where there is a large outdoor pool with lifeguards, shops, markets, restaurants, Wheel of Brisbane, Performing Arts Complex, State Library, Queensland Museum, ScienCentre where you can have fun with the interactive exhibitions and the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. Trust me, you will need more than a day! What is great about this area is that they all are within walking distance of each other.

Just nearby to Southbank is West End, a multicultural suburb full of old shops and traditions, and it also has great ethnic restaurants. New Farm, back over on the north side of the river and next to the city, is a well known area for dining, shops, bars and everything you could possible want or desire. New Farm has a wonderful park down on the river called New Farm Park which the locals use as their back yard. It is also the home of The Powerhouse, a great industrial space that is now a theatre and exhibition space. There are great bars here overlooking the river.

Fortitude Valley, or just The Valley to the locals, is where Brisbane’s famous nightlife and music scene takes place. It has a fantastic vibe and energy about it. Brisbane is a sprawling city and the best place to see the city is at the top of Mt Coot-tha, well worth the visit. Also located in this area are the City Botanical Gardens and the Planetarium. In the heart of the city you will also find the City Botanical Gardens, a great way of seeing them is to hire a bike.

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Brisbane Weather

Summer (Dec – Feb): Min 20°C Max 29°C
Avg monthly rainfall 130mm Avg rain days per month 12

Autumn (Mar – May): Min 13°C Max 28°C
Avg monthly rainfall 93mm Avg rain days per month 11

Winter (Jun – Aug): Min 9°C Max 22°C
Avg monthly rainfall 46mm Avg rain days per month 7

Spring (Sep – Nov): Min 18°C Max 27°C
Avg monthly rainfall 67mm Avg rain days per month 8

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Brisbane Public Transport

As an international destination Brisbane has an extensive public transport network. Trains, Buses, and Ferries. As with any large city peak hour congestion can occur. The Translink website provides a Journey Planner to help you get quickly to your destination.


Paper tickets are available for purchase through train stations and on board buses and ferries. Limited change is available on buses and ferries and some services operate on a pre-paid basis only during peak times.

Go Card is a ticketless, rechargeable prepaid card for use on all public transport in Brisbane. Go cards can be purchased from selected 7-Eleven stores and newsagents, and top up from these locations and on board most services.

The seeQ card is designed for visitors to South East Queensland and can be bought for 3 or 5 consecutive days and includes a return Airtrain service. Like to Go Card they must be touched on and off each segment of your journey and can be purchased from the same retailers.


In additional to services throughout Brisbane the train network extends south to the Gold Coast and north past Australia Zoo to the Sunshine Coast.


Buses run throughout Brisbane with major connection hubs at train stations and near most shopping areas. Some buses operate on a pre-paid service in peak times although there will always be a non pre-paid service available. The blue and maroon CityGlider buses are prepaid and tickets cannot be purchased on board.


Taxis are a convenient method for point to point travel in Brisbane. Throughout Australia dialling 13CABS (132227) will put you in touch with the nearest Taxi service. Taxis can also be pre-booked.


If you want to avoid the traffic and have a different perspective on the River City then utilise the Ferry services that operate from St Lucia to Hamilton

Car Rental

Brisbane is serviced by many car rental companies, remember that parking in the CBD can be expensive and that peak hour congestion is common. The toll roads throughout Brisbane make self-drive a popular option. (Vroom Vroom Vroom)

Travellers Autobarn Campervans Australia

Hire a campervan, campers or station wagons or buy one with a guaranteed buyback from 6 Australia wide locations: Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Perth and Melbourne. Travellers Autobarn (est. 1993) is a ‘one stop shop’ for the backpackers and budget travellers planning their self drive trip around Australia or simply up the coast in a campervan. (Travellers Autobarn)


Citycycle is a subscription based bike share service with bike stations throughout the inner city area. In Queensland cycle helmets are manditory and can be pre-purchased and collected from the Citycycle depot in Fortitude Valley.


There is the My Translink App available to make accessing public transport in South East Queensland easy.

Late Night Services

Nightlink services operate between midnight and 5 am on selected bus and train networks.

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Brisbane Major Events


30th December to 6th January 2019 Brisbane International Tennis

As one of the main lead up events to the Australian Open this is a good chance for the players to acclimatise to the harsh Australian Summer. For more information Tennis Australia


22nd February to 24th March 2019 Brisbane Comedy Festival

Now in its tenth year the festival features over 70 local and international comedians performing at three different venues across the city. . For more information Brisbane Comedy Festival


9th August to 18th August 2019 Royal Queensland Show

For ten days the city and country come together for Queenland’s largest show, attracting almost half a million visitors. Everything from cattle and cats to world class live entertainment. For more information Ekka

TBC August 2019 Bridge to Brisbane

With a 5 and 10 kilometre courses through the city ending at the show grounds. Take the run seriously, join it for fun or use it as a fundraising event.  For more information bridgetobrisbane


TBA September 2019 Brisbane Festival

During September Brisbane comes alive with an exciting program of music, dance, circus, opera and theatre. There are free public events such as river fire and a wide range of ticket events to suit everyone’s taste. For more information Brisbane Festival

TBA September 2019 Riverfire

Riverfire is the final night of three weeks of the Brisbane Festival. Watch from South Bank as the buildings, bridges and the river is lit up with an amazing fireworks display and be treated to displays and fly overs from the Australian Defense Force. A free night not to miss. For more information Riverfire


27th December 2018  to 1st January 2019 Woodford Folk Festival

Featuring over 2000 performers and 400 events, with local and international performers, this is more than a folk festival. Escape from the day to day and immerse yourself with artists, community spirit and cultures from near and far. More information: Woodford

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Brisbane Airport

Brisbane Airport (BNE) has separate Domestic and International terminals and is Brisbane’s primary airport. It is just 17 klm from the city centre and is Australia’s third busiest airport. The airport is located near the Gateway Motorway for access to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and is connected to the city via the Airportlinkm7 toll road.


The Airtrain runs to Brisbane City and the Gold Coast from both the Domestic and International terminals. It also can be used as a transfer service between the two terminals and operates from 5.00 am Weekdays and 6.00 am Weekends to 10.00 pm.. Tickets can be purchased at the Airtrain terminal.

Airport Transfer Bus

There is a complementary bus service running between the Domestic & International terminals and Skygate (shopping precinct) Terminal transfers operate from approximately 5.00 am to 11.00 pm and connections to Skygate from 6.30 am to 6.20 pm


Con-x-ion Airport Transfers offers services from the airport to the CBD and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Transfers between terminals are also available.

The public bus service only operates from Skygate (shopping precinct) to the Toombul Interchange. To utilise this service use the Airport Transfer Bus to connect to Skygate.


This is a convenient way to get to and from the airport directly connecting with your destination. Taxi ranks are located at each terminal with kerbside supervisors assisting in busy periods. Pre-booked taxis are advised if you have special needs and there is a special pre-booked taxi area at each terminal, which is shared by the limousine operators. Taxis are not permitted to pick up from outside these areas. ( or


As an alternate to a taxi a pre-booked limousine service is available and will normal meet passangers in the baggage collection area, although there is also a designated limousine parking area.

Car Rental

Most of the major car rental companies have outlets located at Brisbane Airport, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty and Redspot. (Vroom Vroom Vroom) There are rental car counters in the arrivals area of both terminals.


Soliciting for fares is not permitted.


There are parking stations located adjacent to each terminal, with premium parking close to the terminal and the Airpark option for longer term stays. Valet parking options are also available. (Airport parking)


If you are intending to cycle to or from Brisbane Airport it is important to keep to the specified cycle route. (Airport cycle)

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Brisbane Tour Reviews and Blogs

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Brisbane Top Things to Do

Top Things to Do in and around Brisbane

There is so much to do in Brisbane, cruise the Brisbane River, ride a theme park roller coaster or visit one of the Islands.

See our full list of  Top Things to Do in Brisbane

Top Things to Do on the Gold Coast

Just an hour away from Brisbane the Gold Coast awaits. From fabulous surfing beaches to the laid back hinterland the Gold Coast has something for everyone.

See our list of Top Things to do on the Gold Coast

Top Things to Do on the Sunshine Coast

North of Brisbane lies the Sunshine Coast, a relaxed nature lovers paradise. The beaches are less crowded and hinterlands offer a wide variety of walks and retreats.

See our list of Top Things to do on the Sunshine Coast

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Brisbane Accommodation

There is so much to see and do in Brisbane as well as so many wonderful places to stay. As we discover interesting, unique or suitable accommodation options we will place them here so you can also research them and decide if they are suitable for you.

Murphy’s B’n’B – Geebung

Searching for a home away from home on your next trip to the Sunshine State? Murphy’s Bed and Breakfast is the Geebung (northern Brisbane) accommodation you’ll remember for all the right reasons.

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Moreton Island

Moreton Island is another secret. It is the world’s second largest sand island, and the largest is just a little further up the coast, Fraser Is! Moreton Island is everything a 4WD enthusiast would like, beaches and some very adventurous sand roads, no bitumen on the island at all. With a 4WD you will get to swim in Blue lagoon, see Queensland oldest lighthouse and loads more.

Tangalooma Resort is on Moreton Island where there are so many activities just waiting for you to choose. Just off the beach are the wrecks which have amazing fish life and the snorkelling is wonderful. You can hand feed the dolphins at Tangalooma, so make sure you include this on your trip. If you want a little fun and speed, then you need to head to the sand dunes for some sand tobogganing.

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Stradbroke Island

Stradbroke Island or using its affectionate name, Straddie, is a well kept secret right on the door step of Brisbane. You step back in time as soon as the barge docks. You will not find resorts, fancy restaurants or flash shops only places to buy your essentials. The natural beauty of the island is still intact for all to enjoy. It is the home to three species of dolphin and you often see them surfing the waves. Manta Rays and Green Sea Turtles also call Straddie home. During the Humpback Whale migration you can see the whales just off shore.

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Fraser Island

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. It is also the only place in the world where a rainforest grows on sand. Is it any wonder it is World Heritage Listed. This is truly a unique island. A trip to Fraser is a must for true nature lovers. It has over 100 lakes on it, great beaches, loads of fauna, wetlands they call home and interesting flora. From Brisbane there are 2 day tours which take you to Fraser via the Coloured Sands and you will travel along 75 Mile Beach, an amazing experience in itself.

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Our Favourite Island Tours

An amazing experience, be one of the few guest to participate in the dolphin feeding. Full day to explore the island and then as the sun sets you can feed the dolphins.

  • Exclusive dolphin feeding
  • Explore the wrecks
  • Resort Day pass
  • Lunch voucher

Three days on Fraser island give you a chance to explore all the island has to offer. If camping is not your style then accommodation upgrades are available.

  • 3 Days 2 nights
  • Drive along 75 mile beach
  • Eli creek
  • Champagne Pools

Spend a day cruising around Moreton island spotting wildlife. Snorkel around the wrecks and spend time on the beach then if conditions permit ride the boom net home.

  • Dolphin and turtle spotting
  • Snorkel the wrecks
  • Relax on the beach
  • Lunch included

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter needs no introduction, it is famous the world over. It is regarded as the best wildlife conservation facility in the world. The dedicated staff work around the clock. The zoo has mammals, birds and reptiles, over 80 different animal types call the zoo home. There are many shows, lectures, displays etc for you to see and do. It is a great day trip from Brisbane.

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Gold Coast

The glitz and glamour that is the Gold Coast is only part of the story. Less than an hour from Brisbane are some of the best surf beaches in the Australia. Learn to surf or improve your skills with a surf lesson.

If you prefer your adventure a little wilder then there are a selection of Theme Parks to indulge you.

If your taste for adventure is more subdued then there is the other side to the Gold Coast, hidden in the hinterland that surround the Gold Coast are some amazing natural experiences, Glow Worm caves, National Parks, tree top walks, the perfect way to unwind.

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Cruise the Brisbane River

Why not cruise the Brisbane River and learn a little about this fabulous “River City”, all cities look different from this perspective. If you like to see some of natures treasures, think koalas, then cruise up the river  to Lone Pine and you will be able to cuddle one of these cuties. Or if you want an iconing dining experience cruise to lunch at the Brekky creek Hotel. Stop off at South Bank for recreation or learning at the Cultural Centre.

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Brisbane River Cruise