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Top 10 Brisbane Bucket List

Home > Brisbane > Adventure | Lists | Places of Interest | Tours | Unusual Things to do
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published May 8th 2016
These are the 10 items to add to your Brisbane must do list
Brisbane Bucket List

Lists of things to do before you die, or bucket lists, are increasingly popular. Whether you are visiting Brisbane or have lived here your entire life, here are 10 things that should be on your list of things before you leave.

What is your Brisbane Bucket List
What is your Brisbane Bucket List


1. Climb Kangaroo Point Cliffs or Abseil Down

Whether you have been in Brisbane all your life or just arrived, you can't walk past the Kangaroo Point Cliffs without wanting to either climb up them or abseil down them.

Climbers at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs
Climbers at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs


Now climbing the cliffs is actually pretty difficult. Even on the easiest routes, hand and foot holds are fairly far apart. You should build up to the cliffs in a climbing gym.

Climbing Kangaroo Point Cliffs
Climbing Kangaroo Point Cliffs


However if you don't think you can climb up, you can always abseil down. This is a great location for your first even abseil. You have great views of the city to distract you from any vertigo and of course afterwards it is a quick walk to a pub at South Bank for a few beers to calm your nerves.

Abseiling down Kangaroo Point Cliffs
Abseiling down Kangaroo Point Cliffs


2. See a State of Origin Match

Brisbane is a pretty sport mad city. I mean we have the Broncos, the Lions, the Roar and even the Queensland Reds. See anyone one of these events is going to be an experience. But go and see a State of Origin Match at Lang Park (yes, I know it is called Suncorp Stadium, but on State of Origin night it is still Lang Park) is always the premium sports event of the year.

Photo courtesy of Suncorp Stadium
Photo courtesy of Suncorp Stadium


It is here that it is said that Queenslanders grow and extra leg (you would think this would make it harder to play football, but let's not be finicky) and play the greatest games of their careers. I would argue that because the stadium is built on a former cemetery, it is the ghosts of former Queenslanders coming back from the great beyond to stand up for the state that they lived and died in.

Photo courtesy of the NRL
Photo courtesy of the NRL


If you haven't been, then it is definitely something to do. Remember tickets can be a little hard to get so get online as early as possible to buy them.

3. Kookaburra Queens River Cruise

There are lots of river cruises in the city. Some, like the Mirimar Koala Cruise to the Lone Pine Sanctuary is actually fairly practical as well as fun. However the cruise everyone should have on their bucket list is a cruise on one of the paddle boats run by Kookaburra Queens.

The Kookaburra Queens are one of the best cruising experiences on Brisbane River
The Kookaburra Queens are one of the best cruising experiences on Brisbane River


Cruises include lunch, dinner and high tea cruises. These cruises include good food and live music. So you jump aboard, listen to music, view the city and dance for an hour or so.

Go for fun or do something romantic. They have romantic packages that include wine, flowers and help with a marriage proposal (if that is what you were planning to do).

4. Take a Green Cab

Another touristy thing to do is jump on one of the Green Cab rickshaws are cruise around the city. Anyone who has seen these cruising around South Bank or the city have secretly wanted to go on a trip. With built in speakers and a selection of music, it is a fun way to get around various party venues in Brisbane and South Bank.

Green Cabs in South Bank
Green Cabs in South Bank


You can also book a tour and have the chance to see the sights around Brisbane. The Grand Tour goes for 1 hour around both sides of the river with views of every major location in the city.

5. XXXX Brewery Tour

XXXX beer is as Queensland as bananas, mangos and wearing t-shirts and shorts in the middle of winter. While you can find XXXX in nearly every pub in the state, the only real way to get the full XXXX experience is with a brewery tour.

XXXX Factory in Milton
XXXX Factory in Milton


Gone are the days when the XXXX Brewery tour ended with as much free beer as you could drink. These days the $32 tour includes some beer tasting, but not the open bar of old.

Historic Machinery at the XXXX Factory
Historic Machinery at the XXXX Factory


The tour takes you through the factory. Obviously if you go on the weekend it will be a tour of an empty factory, while on weekdays you will have the chance to see the factory in action. However the tour is both informative and funny and tells you not just about the beer, but about the history of the brew.

6. Mt Cotton Winery

If you are not the beer drinking type of person, then you will want to check out some of the wineries in the area. You don't have to even leave the Great Brisbane Area to find wineries with the closest being Sirromet Wines at Mt Cotton.

Photo courtesy of Sirromet Wines
Photo courtesy of Sirromet Wines


Sirromet includes the cellar door for buying wines, a fine dining restaurant and a casual dining restaurant and cafe. They also host live music and events on the grounds.

Photo courtesy of Sirromet Wines
Photo courtesy of Sirromet Wines


While the experience is not quite as good as some other wineries in the region, it is still a great opportunity and conveniently located.

Overall a great day or evening out with food, entertainment and of course wine. It is a destination to put on your list of places to go.

7. Hike a Lake

There are actually 3 lake reserves within Brisbane that you can easily hike around. These are Lake Manchester, Gold Creek Dam and Enoggera Reservoir. The trails around these lakes are not really official walking tracks, but rather a combination of shorter official trails, bush tracks and fire trails. So without a lot of official information people are not that confident to attempt these hikes.

Gold Creek Revesvoir
Gold Creek Revesvoir


However all 3 hikes are easily walked and the links above have descriptions that are easy enough to follow. You can also download free topographic maps of the hikes from QTopo.

Hikers at Lake Manchester
Hikers at Lake Manchester


The easiest hike to do is Enoggera. It is about 12 kms around the lake and you can arrive at the start of the hike by bus if you don't have a car. There is also the Green Tree Frog cafe at the end of the hike.

Hiking at Lake Enoggera
Hiking at Lake Enoggera


The only wrinkle is that the last part of the hike around Lake Enoggera is along the road and not directly by the lake. However you can follow the obvious track that local kids follow up over the dam, then go around the end of the fence to avoid most of the roads.

8. Moreton Bays Islands

If you live in Brisbane then you have access to Moreton Bay and its many islands. I don't want to put down one particular island as for most people there is one island on their bucket list, and after visiting it, they then put the next island to visit on their list.

The main island to visit is North Stradbroke. It is a great day out crossing Moreton Bay on the ferry then walking on the cliff tops above the gorges to Cylinder Beach to Swim.

The cliffs at North Stradbroke are part of a great walk
The cliffs at North Stradbroke are part of a great walk


The next island people visit is Bribie Island. This is my favourite island because there is a lot to do. I love the walk from Bongaree to Woorim along Red Beach (8 kms of beach backing onto bushland). I also love kayaking Pumicestone Passage. It is also a great place for fishing and camping.

Walking at Red Beach at Bribie Island
Walking at Red Beach at Bribie Island


The third easy to visit Island is Coochimudlo Island. Not the most exiting place but worth visiting if you have a free day. Take the ferry from Victoria Point, relax on the beach and then go home.

Photo of Coochiemudlo Island courtesy of Redland City Council
Photo of Coochiemudlo Island courtesy of Redland City Council


Moreton Island is the big tourist attraction. Most people go there as part of a tour that could include swimming with dolphins, sandboarding and many other things.

Photo of the Tangalooma Wrecks at Moreton Bay courtesy of Michael @ Flickr
Photo of the Tangalooma Wrecks at Moreton Bay courtesy of Michael @ Flickr


The next island for tours is St Helena Island. This little island is a historical reserve. While you can visit it independently if you have a boat, if you don't go on a tour you can't visit the penal colony historical ruins. So book a lunch tour or go on a night ghost tour to see this well preserved part of Brisbane's history.

Photo of St Helena Island courtesy of merlin9911 @ Wikimedia Commons
Photo of St Helena Island courtesy of merlin9911 @ Wikimedia Commons


The final island to include on your bucket list is Peel Island. To get here you need to either have your own boat or be a strong and experienced sea kayaker and paddle across. This island sees regular weekend boat traffic coming to visit the wonderful lagoon. It is also where they filmed scenes from one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

9. Dining at the Summit Restaurant

There are a large number of great dining experiences around Brisbane. The one place that sits in people's minds is The Summit Restaurant at Mt Coot-tha.

The Summit at Mt Coot-tha
The Summit at Mt Coot-tha


Not only does this restaurant have great views of the city, it is also a well regarded fine dining restaurant. Yes, there are better restaurants, but there is something about that location that makes the entire experience special.

The Summit Restaurant at Mt Coot-tha
The Summit Restaurant at Mt Coot-tha


It certainly is one of the best destinations to be romantic. Not only is it a popular location to propose but it is also popular for anniversaries (because if you proposed there, you will come back for your anniversary.)

Night view from Mt Cooth-tha summit
Night view from Mt Cooth-tha summit


10. Cycle Kedron Brook, the Boondall Wetlands and beyond

This cycle path starts out in Mitchelton, goes through Stafford, up to Toombul and continues all the way out to Nudgee Beach. Then you can also turn off and ride through the beautiful Boondall Wetlands. But the path doesn't stop there but continues on to Shorncliffe where it follows the shoreline and continues on to Redcliffe.

A family cycling at the Boondall Wetlands
A family cycling at the Boondall Wetlands


With such an amazing cycleway with almost no hills and mostly off the road, nearly everyone with a bicycle has already ridden some of this path.

Kedron Brooke Cycleway near Lutwyche
Kedron Brooke Cycleway near Lutwyche


If you are a cyclist then it is on your bucket list to do the whole path. When going west, most people stop at Stafford because the path goes on the road for a short while and people think that the path has ended. However it quickly returns to dedicated cycle paths and becomes the most scenic cylce path that I know of.

The Cycle Path past Stafford include several bridges and many artworks
The Cycle Path past Stafford include several bridges and many artworks


In the other direction it is worth going to at least Shorncliffe. Only the most dedicated cyclists I know do the whole path from Michelton on to Redcliffe and return in one go. You can of course ride from Tommbul Train Station out to Shorncliffe and then take the train back.

Cyclists can continue all the way out to Redcliffe
Cyclists can continue all the way out to Redcliffe


If you don't have a bicycle, then it should be on your bucket list to borrow or rent one just to do this path. Here is some information on renting bicycles in Brisbane. The most popular part of the route is from Toombul out to Boondall.
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