Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

Free Fun in Brisbane

Home > Brisbane > Beaches | Free | Lists | Outdoor | Parks
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published November 8th 2015
A selection of fun and fun & free activities to do in Brisba
Free fun in Brisbane

Everyone loves something for nothing and Brisbane has a lot of fun that you can have for free. Here are a selection of some great free activities on offer in Brisbane.

There are lots of opportunities to have free fun in Brisbane
There are lots of opportunities to have free fun in Brisbane


Have a barbecue

When I have a group of people to entertain and the weather is great, the best option is to go somewhere and use one of the many free barbecues in the Brisbane area. There are so many great locations for this.

Electric barbecues in Chermside's 7th Brigade Park
Electric barbecues in Chermside's 7th Brigade Park


South Bank is a popular barbecuing destination for backpackers and international students, but it tends to become pretty crowded. For the best views in town, try the top of the Kangaroo Point cliffs. Though my favourite location for barbecuing is actually the Roma Street Parklands. These wonderful parklands stay open late, have amazing scenery, sports fields and lots of different barbecue areas. In addition, it is one of the few parks in Brisbane you can legally drink in (as long as you don't drink from glass containers).

Roma Street Parklands is a great place to barbecue during the day and at night
Roma Street Parklands is a great place to barbecue during the day and at night


But if you want some interesting scenery, why not try Wellington Point in the south or Sandgate and Shorncliffe in the north. One of my favourite places for barbecue is Bullocky Rest at Lake Samsonvale. Because the barbecue areas are out on a peninsular jutting into the lake, the area stays cool even on a hot day.

Bullocky Rest at Lake Samsonvale is a quiet place for a barbecue
Bullocky Rest at Lake Samsonvale is a quiet place for a barbecue


For those who love wood fired barbecues then Daisy Hill Conservation Park has mostly wood fired Barbecues and JC Slaughter Falls picnic area and Simpson Falls picnic area at Mt Coot-tha have a large number of wood fired barbecues with available wood.

Wood fired barbecues at Anzac Park in Toowong
Wood fired barbecues at Anzac Park in Toowong


Go for a swim

Brisbane is not the best place for a free Swim. Streets Beach in the South Bank Parklands is a great place to cool off, as is Settlement Cove Lagoon in Redcliffe. The wading pool in Wynnum is more suitable for little kids.

Streets Beach at South Bank
Streets Beach at South Bank


There are not many beaches suitable for swimming around Brisbane. Local kids swim of the Jetty in Redcliffe when there are not too many jellyfish around and Suttons Beach attracts a few swimmers.

Redcliffe has a few beaches you can swim at, but most people prefer the Lagoon
Redcliffe has a few beaches you can swim at, but most people prefer the Lagoon


Sandgate's beach is basically a sandbar that goes far out to sea and is not a very good place for swimming, but a great location for kite surfing.

One little secret beach is Wellington Point. People head here for a range of reasons. the main reason is to walk out to King Island along the exposed sandbar at low tide. But at high tide there is a nice little beach you can swim at. The point itself is a lovely park worth visiting for a barbecue or alternatively you can enjoy a mid priced ranged seafood meal at the Point of View Cafe or a cheap meal or an ice cream at the little takeaway shop.

The little beach at Wellington Point at low tide
The little beach at Wellington Point at low tide


But if you really want to swim around Brisbane you have to go to the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast or head out to one of the islands.

Go to the markets

Brisbane has a wide selection of markets. While shopping is not everyone's idea of fun, most markets have some entertainment. Find your local market and grab a coffee and listen to local musicians performances.

Performer at the Eagle Farm Markets
Performer at the Eagle Farm Markets


Here is a list of the most fun markets in Brisbane. I think the best way to enjoy a market is along with other attractions in the local area.

Busker at the Northey Street Markets
Busker at the Northey Street Markets


For example, a trip to Redcliffe on a Sunday morning will take the market, followed by lunch in one many great cafes or restaurants, a dip in a a lagoon, and a walk or ride along the shore front. The Boundary Street Markets are worth going to in their own right for food and entertainment in the evening, but many people head there as the first stop on an evening out.

Exercise equipment

There are also over 80 parks around Brisbane with exercise equipment. I am not sure whether that counts as fun, but it is free. Actually many people I know consider exercising fun.

The council has generously placed exercise equipment along popular locations for jogging and exercise. If you go past during the day you will think no one uses the equipment, but go early in the morning you will find quite a large number of people taking advantage of the machines as part of their morning workout.

Exercise equipment at Burnie Brae Park in Chermside
Exercise equipment at Burnie Brae Park in Chermside


While most of this equipment doesn't stack up against what you would find in a gym, it is still a great way to mix up your exercise. Let's face it, it really is much more fun to exercise in a park than a gym.

Cyclist rides past exercise equipment in North Lakes
Cyclist rides past exercise equipment in North Lakes


Some locations that I recommend include the Minnippi Parklanks in Brisbane's south east which probably has the best equipment, Burnie Brae Park in Chermside, and Michelton Outdoor gym. But check out the the Brisbane City Council Website for equipment near you.

Art

Brisbane's art scene is pretty populist, which makes it more fun. The Art Precinct means you can visit the Queensland Art Gallery, The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and whatever might be on at the State Library of Queensland. Not far away on Grey Street in South Bank you will find the Griffith University Art Gallery. Around the galleries themselves are also a range of public outdoor artworks.

Art outside of GoMA in South Brisbane
Art outside of GoMA in South Brisbane


This can be followed by a walk through South Bank to the Kangaroo Point cliffs to look at the various artworks that make up the Art and the River art trail. Also across the river you will find two art galleries at the Queensland University of Technology.

Man & Matter artwork at Kangaroo Point
Man & Matter artwork at Kangaroo Point


The city as well has a quite a number of public outdoor artworks which you can visit following the Contemporary Art and Architecture Public Art Trail around the CBD. Until you go looking for them, you often don't realise how much art is in city.

Artwork in Queen Street Mall and harp player
Artwork in Queen Street Mall and harp player


Watch Weekend Notes for information about upcoming art exhibitions in other locations around Brisbane.

Go for a hike

There are also of bushland areas in Brisbane for people who enjoy a hike. Hikes range from easy strolls in nature, through to longer and challenging hikes.

The Bell Bird Trail in Mt Coot-tha
The Bell Bird Trail in Mt Coot-tha


The best hiking locations are Mt Coot-tha's many trails, the lakes such as Enoggera, Gold Creek or Lake Manchester. In the South of Brisbane Daisy Hill Conservation Park provides a great place to hike and spot koalas and other wildlife.

Enoggera Reservoir a great place for a stroll or even a serious hike
Enoggera Reservoir a great place for a stroll or even a serious hike


There are also numerous bushland reserves dotted around Brisbane. One of my favourites though are the Chermside Hills Reserve which is a collection of three bushland areas including the Raven Street Reserve.

Chermside Hills Reserve
Chermside Hills Reserve


Join a Brisbane City Council Activity

But what happens if you want to do something fun and free but your friends are not lazy or have different interests? Luckily the Brisbane City Council has you covered. The active parks program runs everything from dance classes to fitness boot camps. Most are free, some though might require that you pay a few dollars.

Dragon boating is an activity you can try for free
Dragon boating is an activity you can try for free


The City Botanic Gardens in the mornings usually have lots of groups getting fit. On weekends looks for activities in parks near you. Some of the more interesting and unusual activities, such as kayaking or rock climbing, book out quickly, so make sure you get in early.

Free dancing classes at South Bank
Free dancing classes at South Bank


But events go beyond these and there are also lots of less active events on as well, including music, entertainment and cultural festivals. The biggest and the best will be listed in Weekend Notes, but if you are looking for small local events, such as cooking classes or kids activities, visit the Brisbane City Council Website.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  36
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Your Comment
Articles from other cities
Featured
Foodi Photoh Classie
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions