24 hours in Brisbane

You’ve got just one day to explore Brisbane. What do you do? 

We’ve put together three itineraries to help you make the most of your 24 hours here. Take your pick from an adventure-packed day, see the tourist sights, or indulge in a foodie experience.

Brisbane’s tourist sights in one day

Wheel of Brisbane, South Bank

Morning: cruise the Brisbane River and ride the Wheel of Brisbane

Let the Brisbane River be your guide. Join River City Cruises and take in all the sights with a fully guided tour of the Brisbane River. Afterwards, see Brisbane from a higher perspective when you ride the Wheel of Brisbane. The package includes a late lunch at the Plough Inn – an Australian-style pub.

Afternoon: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Make your way to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – the world’s largest koala sanctuary – by car. Rated one of the top 10 zoos in the world, the sanctuary is home to more than 130 koalas, as well as platypuses, Tasmanian devils, snakes, crocodiles and other Australian wildlife. Hug a koala and hand-feed kangaroos and lorikeets during your visit. Mirimar Cruises can take you there.

Evening: Connect with Aboriginal culture at Spirits of the Red Sand

This thrilling live theatre and dinner experience takes the audience back to 1800s Queensland to experience the trials and challenges as British and Aboriginal lives collide. The show is set within a real 19th century Australian town, complete with church, pub and indigenous village. The experience includes a hearty Australian-style three-course char-grill meal.

Active adventure in one day

Views over the city during the Story Bridge Adventure Climb

Morning: Riverlife

Embrace the day with an early-morning kayak or paddle-board at Riverlife. The adventure centre offers guided tours down the Brisbane River. Or if you don’t feel like getting wet, try rock climbing or abseiling on the iconic Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Riverlife also offers Segway tours plus bicycle and rollerblade hire.

Afternoon: Brisbane by Bicycle

Join Ross and experience Brisbane through the eyes of a local with one of his authentic bicycle tours. Showcasing the best of what the city has to offer, this fun, leisurely, easy paced guided tour takes you on a journey through historical sites, cultural attractions, riverside parks and past some the best local bar and dining options.

Twilight: Story Bridge Adventure Climb

Take a deep breath and feel the rush as you climb the glorious Story Bridge. One of only three bridge climbs in the world, the climb takes you 80m above sea level for breathtaking 360 degree views across the river city.  Time the 2.5-hour climb to include sunset and see Brisbane City turn from day to night.

Dinner: South Bank or Eagle Street Pier

After the climb, catch a cab over to South Bank – one of Brisbane’s most relaxing precincts made up of 17 hectares of landscaped parkland. Here you can find one of Brisbane’s best range of dining options, with nearly every cuisine from Japanese and Thai, to American, French and Spanish.

Riverbar

Alternatively, your hotel will likely be in the CBD, making the popular Eagle Street Pier dining precinct the perfect spot for dinner. Most restaurants have stunning views over the Story Bridge and Brisbane River – check out Pony Dining, Jellyfish, Sake, or celebrity chef Matt Moran’s Riverbar & Kitchen and Aria.

After dinner stop by for a nightcap and a dance at Brooklyn Standard – the hip bar features live music six nights a week.

Brisbane foodie adventure in one day

Early morning: Hot air ballooning

Hot air balloon gets fired up

Strap yourself in foodies – today you have to earn your breakfast. Hot Air Balloon Brisbane or Floating Images will pick you up from your accommodation or in the CBD and take you out to the Scenic Rim. Take-off is before sunrise, allowing you to appreciate the day breaking over the picturesque mountains of surrounding national parks. Afterwards a breakfast of pastries, eggs, bacon, cereal, fruit and fresh juice will be served on the wide veranda of the grand old Queenslander at O’Reilly’s Grand Homestead & Vineyard. 

Lunch: Brisbane City or South Bank

Make the choice between exploring Brisbane City or South Bank for the afternoon. 

South Bank

Food lovers will enjoy a petite degustation at Bacchus in South Bank followed by a relaxing stroll through the 17ha South Bank Parklands on the river. Be sure to pop by the Epicurious Garden – it is made entirely of edible plants for the public to enjoy.

In the city, try the tasting menu at Esquire – one of Brisbane’s top restaurants. Brisbane City is home to more than 1000 stores. Make the most of the retail offering and continue your afternoon by shopping at Queen Street Mall. Hunt down the Noosa Chocolate Factory store for an afternoon treat and take-away gifts for family or friends.

Evening: rooftop bar hop

Eleven Rooftop Bar

With almost 300 days of sunshine every year, a trip to one of Brisbane’s rooftop bars is a must for any visitor. Elixir Rooftop Bar on Ann St is a subtropical oasis set high above Fortitude Valley’s entertainment precinct. The bar serves up an original mix of cocktails.

For dinner, walk towards Chinatown and down a fairy-light lit laneway to LoNGTIME. Feast on Asian fusion dishes at this trendy laneway venue that is part restaurant, part bar.

Finally, take in the sweeping views of Brisbane City at all-day venue Eleven, perched upon the 11th floor of 757 Ann St. The venue serves European-style share plates, coffee and cocktails in sleek and stylish surrounds.