Brisbane has become increasingly sophisticated over the years yet still manages to retain its laid back charm.
Bustling ferries ply the waters of the Brisbane River, the beach is less than an hour away by car (or 5 minutes if you go to South Bank) and the weather lends itself to outdoor pursuits like watching some pretty magical sunsets. The city's subtropical climate and relaxed outdoor lifestyle are irresistible and there is plenty to keep you entertained in the city and beyond. Discover fine art at one of the many CBD galleries, pull up a chair and enjoy the city's thriving dining scene, grab a beer at a historic pub or get your heart racing with a bike ride along the Brisbane River or a kayak tour which travels through its city reaches. Brisbane is also the perfect jumping off point for travelling further afield to destinations such as Noosa, the Sunshine Coast, Fraser Island, the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef.
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Highlights of Brisbane
Take a ferry ride
Take a free CityHopper ferry ride along the Brisbane River and explore the inner-city reaches of the river for free. Ferries run every 30 minutes or so, seven days a week. As the CityHopper is free, no ticket is required. Just hop on and hop off as you please and enjoy taking in the Brisbane River and city sights, ideally from a prime seat on the top deck.
Enjoy the city's dining scene
Pull up a seat and discover some of Brisbane’s best dining spots. Whether you are craving Middle Eastern fusion, classic Mod-Oz or a delicious breakfast featuring tasty regional produce, Brisbane offers some stellar dining options. What’s more, you don’t need to spend a fortune or get dressed to the nines to enjoy them, even at the city’s top restaurants.
Visit Brisbane City Hall
The Museum of Brisbane is located on the third floor of Brisbane City Hall, a grand sandstone building that dominated the city skyline when it was completed in 1930. This unique museum celebrates Brisbane’s living history by looking at how individual and collective stories have made the city what it is today.
Go on a bike ride
Brisbane has an extensive network of picturesque cycle paths and a public hire scheme which gives locals and visitors access to shared e-bikes and e-scooters. Keep an eye out for the e-bike hire racks which are located throughout Brisbane's inner-city suburbs or grab a scooter if you see one free.
Swim at South Bank
South Bank includes riverside walks, shops, parklands, weekend markets and a sandy beach and pool in the heart of the city. It's a great spot to go for a swim and soak up the atmosphere on a warm Brisbane day. On the weekend, you'll find interesting markets to browse in the middle of South Bank or you could explore the nearby art gallery precinct.
City Botanic Gardens stroll
The grand City Botanic Gardens are heritage listed and many of the original trees from the early 1800s remain. The stone paths winding through the gardens are shaded by their boughs and provide a tranquil haven in the heart of the city. Keep an eye out for historical highlights such as the old Curator’s Cottage at the top of the hill which has been turned into a cafe.
Brisbane tour reviews
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy
Visitors can fly into Brisbane Airport which is located 16 km north-east of the CBD, arrive by train, catch a bus, or drive to Brisbane.
If you don't have far to go it's easy to walk around the Brisbane CBD as the area is almost completely flat. If you would like to travel further afield, you can catch a bus, ferry or train or rent a car. Brisbane also has an excellent network of bikeways and a public bike hire scheme.
Any time of year is a good time to visit Brisbane. Summer is hot and humid and perfect for swimming. Spring and Autumn are cooler and the town and surrounding area tend to be quieter. In winter, there are festivals in the city and the weather is perfect for active pursuits like hiking or bike riding.
Brisbane is a laid back destination and smart casual is the most common style of dress for a night out unless you are planning on hitting the clubs in Fortitude Valley. Brisbane is pleasantly warm throughout the year, although it can get cool in the evening so bring a lightweight sweater just in case. Bring swimwear as well as you may like to go swimming, even in winter.Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are a must as Brisbane is famous for its sunny weather.
Casual clothes are fine during the day. Smart casual is the usual dress code at restaurants in the evening.
Brisbane is the capital of Queensland so there is good WiFi coverage in town and the surrounding area. Free Wi-Fi is available in the Queen Street Mall, State Library of Queensland and on most trains and ferry services.
Brisbane is the capital of Queensland so there is good mobile coverage in town and the surrounding area.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
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