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.
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
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
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)
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
As 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
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.