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Best Things to do in Brisbane

Home > Brisbane > Places of Interest | Nightlife | Fun Things To Do | Lists
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published May 31st 2014
Brisbane can be exciting
One of the questions I like to pose of people from other cities and countries is, if I was in their city for just one day, where should I go, what should I eat, and what should I do? So I thought I would pose myself the exact same question about the city that I now live in. What would should someone who was in Brisbane for just one day do to have the best day ever!


The best place to start your day is breakfast with a view and the best view in Brisbane is at the lookout at Mt Coot-Tha. If you are energetic you can walk up the mountain via the Honeyeater trail, though you can also drive or take the bus as well. The Kuta Cafe at Mt Coot-tha lookout starts serving from 8 am. If you are really keen you can do the summit trail walk after breakfast.

360 degree view of the Kuta Cafe and Brisbane
360 degree view of the Kuta Cafe and Brisbane

The morning

South Bank and the cultural precinct are the place to spend the morning. There are a range of galleries in the area, but if you only have a few hours the best of these is usually GoMA. This is Australia's most visited art gallery and popular with families because there are many kid friendly exhibits and information. Don't think you don't have to avoid the other galleries. Both the Queensland Art Gallery and the State Library's galleries sometimes have fascinating exhibitions.

Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane
Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane


After having your cultural fix it worth walking through South Bank. If the weather is becoming a little warm it is time for a dip at the "Beach". The artificial beach at Southbank is free and very popular on sunny days. While there are eateries at Southbank a better option is to cook your own by the river front using one of the many free barbecues. Food can be bought at the Foodworks on Grey street or from Coles in the city.


Rock climbing at Kangaroo Point
Rock climbing at Kangaroo Point
So how to spend the perfect afternoon in Brisbane. Certainly we are now relaxed, fed and cultured so it must be time for an adventure. You have a choice of three adventures in the Brisbane city area, they include climbing the Story Bridge, kayaking the Brisbane river or abseiling and rock climbing on the cliffs at Kangaroo Point. As rock climbing and abseiling on real cliffs in the heart of a city is pretty rare around the world I would recommend this as your afternoon adventure.


Amazing food at Aria
Amazing food at Aria
The time has come to get a little bit more sophisticated and enjoy Brisbane's fine dining scene. The best place for both views and food is Eagle Street Pier where most of Brisbane's best restaurants are located. It is a toss up between Aria and Esquire as the best restaurants. Aria possibly has the better menu but Esquire's constantly changing degustation menu is esteemed.

Drinks and partying on

Party Central in Brisbane is Fortitude Valley. Options include quiet drinks in a boutique bar, listening to bands in rowdy bars, dancing in night clubs and even strip shows. As you have dressed up for dinner, Cloudland is the where you should head to party on through the night. This opulent venue has live music most nights and dancing on Saturday nights. On a warm summer's night they will open the retractable roof so you can party under the sky.

Partying at Cloudland
Partying at Cloudland

Can it get better than this?

At first glance Brisbane can unfortunately appear a little boring and unsophisticated, yet the best that Brisbane has to offer is indeed world class and I didn't even have a chance to include many of my favourite spots.
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Why? If you are in Brisbane for one day, you want it to be the best day ever!
Where: Brisbane City and surrounds
Cost: Mostly free through to ridiculously expensive
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