This 2 hour walking tour of the city is paid for by tips
Brisbane is an odd city. Whether you are a casual visitor or you work in the CBD, it can appear to be a boring and chaotic business and shopping district. But if you follow the right path and know what you are looking for, Brisbane has a city centre that is fascinating with a rich and diverse history.
BrisBeat tours takes you on a 2 and a half hour walk around the city. The tours are diverse and include the obvious and most famous locations. But will also delve into a lot of the alternative history such as Aboriginal Culture, rock and entertainment history, ghost stories, writers and artists as well as Brisbane's strong protest culture.
Meet at the statue of Queen Victoria in Queens Park
The tours are "free" with payment based on tips. How much should you tip? Well it is totally up to you. But if you think about, you are paying someone for 3 hours of work, and if there are 10 people in the tour, and everyone puts in $10 minimum, they are making at least $30 an hour. Obviously you are free to throw in much more (as the European tourists usually do). Of course other walking tours cost $30 for the same amount of time, so that gives you an indication of how much you might want to give.
Tours are on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday starting at 10 am, though check the website to see if additional times have been added. Tours don't have to be booked and are run in all weather short of one of Brisbane's heavy storms. Just turn up at Queens Park. Look for the blue umbrella near the statue of Queen Victoria.
Post Office Square Laneway Arch that appeared in the movie San Andreas
The theory of course is that because tour guides are not paid, the focus will be on providing the best possible service. This attracts tour guides that are more outgoing, if maybe a little sales person like. What I like is that many guides are able to mix the history, culture, politics and contemporary developments together in a very eclectic style. But remember of course if you don't like the tour, you can give them a small tip. My feeling though is that a tour that goes beyond the normal potted history is well worth a generous tip.
The tours range around the city, which is mostly flat, but does head up to Spring Hill and where you will see Brisbane's oldest surviving building. It is not like you will be walking for 2 and half hours, but you will instead have plenty of opportunities to rest between sites. So that should give you an idea of the level of fitness required.
The Old Windmill, Brisbane's oldest standing building
Visitors to Brisbane often fail to see a lot of the beauty, history and culture that is on offer in Brisbane. This tour comes highly recommended as a way to see the best of Brisbane on foot. Even if you are a local, here is your chance to see the city in a different way.