Top 10 Free Things To Do In Brisbane

Brisbane is the capital city of the state of Queensland in Eastern Australia and acts as the gateway to the Gold Coast. It is nicknamed ‘Brisvegas’ but is locally referred to as ‘Brissie’ and is the third most popular city in Australia for tourists after Sydney and Melbourne.

Brisbane - Brisbane sign

We only spent a few days in Brisbane during our road trip up the east coast, but what we saw of it, I loved. I’m not usually a big fan of cities and much prefer small towns like Byron Bay. However despite the confusing road network around the CBD, Brisbane felt like a super cool place to be. The sunshine probably helped too but so did the amazing variety of Free Stuff there was available. Here’s our Top 10 free things to do in Brisbane for you to check out.

Brisbane City Hopper

Brisbane - City Hopper

Winding it’s way up and down the Brisbane river, this is a great way to see the city. It’s a fun ride, there are 8 stops to choose from and best of all it’s FREE! There are a number of different ferry services operating, including the fast cat. So just watch out for the red boats with kangaroos on the side to make sure your ride is free! Hop on and hop off at will.

Streets Beach/boat pool/aquativity

Brisbane - streets beach

Streets beach is a must visit on any trip to Brisbane. It’s a man made beach complete with sand and salt water and as it’s shallow is suitable for young kids. In addition the boat pool is a shallow outdoor swimming pool whilst aquativity is an interactive water-play-park. All three of these are 100% free and open all year round. So sit back, sun bathe and then cool off with a dip in your choice of water!

City Hall Tours

The city hall, home of the city mayor, is one of the most recognised civic buildings in the city. Apparently it is second only to the Sydney Harbour Bridge as Australia’s most expensive building ever. There are two tours available and both are completely free: the ‘City Hall Tour’ takes you around the building itself and lets you discover the history of the building. The second, the ‘Clock Tower Tour’ takes you 76m up in the lift to the top of the building. See the bells that still ding and get a great view!

Citycycle (Not 100% free)

Brisbane - city cycle

Okay, so this isn’t completely free but as good as. For a meagre AUD$2 you get 24 hours of access to the bikes, that come with helmets and locks. Each “journey” can only last half an hour, but once you dock the bike at one of the 150 stations across the city, you can simply get another one. Enjoy a day seeing the city by bike for just $2 – that’s basically free! (If you’re staying longer term you can get monthly membership for $5 – still an absolute bargain).

The South Bank

Brisbane - the arborAs you can probably guess from it’s name, this area of the city is on the southern bank of the Brisbane river. Here you will find loads of things to do, see and eat. From the Nepalese pagoda, to a help yourself food garden; ride on the Wheel of Brisbane (not free) or enjoy a lovely walk under The Arbor (see pic). There are also loads of free events put on throughout the year. Just head on over and chill out!

Walking Tour – Brisbane Greeters

We love a good walking tour and free ones are even better. Unfortunately the I-Am-Free walking tours of Sydney and Melbourne haven’t made it to Brisbane yet, but fear not! Brisbane Greeters is a free service set up by Brisbane City Council. Local volunteers take visitors on a tour of Brisbane; The route is either based on the visitors’ choice (if they have specific locations in mind) or the greeter will choose, “showing you the Brisbane they know and love”. You can book your tour here.

Powerhouse (Friday Night’s Comedy)

If you’re in Brisbane on a Friday night get yourself down to the Brisbane Powerhouse. Located in the New Farm area of the city, this former tram system powerhouse is now a contemporary arts and culture centre. Friday night is comedy night and entrance is free!

CITY Botanic Gardens

Brisbane - city botanic garden

Sometimes when you’re in a big city you can get overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle. If you’re looking for some downtime head on over to the city botanic gardens. There are free guided walks twice a day, a self-guided map available online or simply just while-away the day amongst the greenery.

Have you been to Brissie? What was your favourite free thing to do? Are there are free things that we missed? Get in touch in the comments below.

Brisbane - pin 2                Brisbane - pin 1

9 thoughts on “Top 10 Free Things To Do In Brisbane

    • D of Love C and D says:

      Thanks Simon. Wow that’s exciting and hope he enjoys all the free stuff. If you check out the comment from Tony at Outdoor Adventures there is loads more free things to do in and around Brisbane!

  1. Tony (tonyandkimoutdooradventures) says:

    I came across this and remembered leaving a comment on one of your other blogs. (Trip Sydney to Brisbane) I actually live in Brisbane and was interested on a travelers thoughts. Most tourist get hooked on Byron and Gold Coast, but you missed out on the Sunshine Coast, which is where us locals go. You can’t beat Mooloolaba, Caloundra, and Noosa for beaches. Loved your top ten. You can take the bikes with you because we didn’t want them. Was alot of wasted money in those bike at start and the council didn’t provide any hemets until a couple of years ago. It is illegal to ride a bike in Australia without an helmet. The fine is around $250 these days. The bike sat there for years not getting used. As for some more tips, here you go.

    Fort Lytton Admission, guided tours and parking are all free 10am-4pm on Sundays, most public holidays and special occasions.

    Museum and Art Gallery on the Southbank side are free.

    Take in a sunrise or sunset at Mt Coot-tha. Or hike up one of our mountains at Glasshouse National Park.

    South of Brisbane, the Daisy Hill Koala Centre is home to a number of education koalas on display who can’t be released back into the wild. It’s free to enter and besides the resident koalas there is plenty of information about them.

    Swim at Wynnum Wading Pool.

    Barbecue at Kangaroo Point above the cliffs at night checking out the city lights.

    Visit Old Petrie Town.

    Walk to King Island.

    Just a few, there is plenty more.

    • D of Love C and D says:

      Thanks Tony. It’s really interesting to know that the bikes aren’t a big thing with the locals and I also didn’t know that no helmet was illegal! Some great tips as well for more free things to do in the area. Thanks so much. We’d love to come back to Brisbane one day and will be sure to do more on the sunshine coast. We did make it to Noosa but only briefly; we walked around the national park but didn’t visit the beaches unfortunately.

  2. Nico says:

    This is a great guide to Brisbane, I’ll make sure to bookmark this post for the future! Great pictures. I love botanic gardens and the street beach looks awesome! Thanks

  3. finaciofotografia says:

    Even it is not for free the 2$ are worth I believe. Travel a city by bycicle or walk is the best way to explore. The street beach should be so fun, be at the beach in the middle of the city 😀 I have been in Australia but just in the West Coast, next time need to go to the opposite side 😉

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