Explore Brisbane the 'River City' - Visit Brisbane


Explore Brisbane the 'River City'

A great way to experience the true beauty of Brisbane is to get to know the Brisbane River. As a defining part of our "River City", the Brisbane River links together our inner-city precincts and is the backdrop for a whole range of outdoor adventures, activities, major attractions and dining options. 

You can visit the Museum of Brisbane to find out more about the fascinating history of our river.

Major Attractions

With Brisbane’s warm, sub-tropical climate and our incredible riverside sights, visitors should take a ride on the river. Jump aboard one of many cruises (River City CruisesKookaburra Showboat Cruises and Mirimar's Koala and River Cruise), or hop on a CityCat to explore Brisbane from a different perspective.

Although you won't find the furry animals here, Kangaroo Point is a popular place for picnics, abseiling, and rock climbing. Standing atop the ancient cliffs, the unmasked views of the river, city attractions and mountains show Brisbane at its best. Visit at sunset to enjoy the scenery.  

Just around the corner, Brisbane "must do" South Bank is a premier lifestyle and cultural destination. Its 17 hectares of lush parklands and Australia's only inner-city, man-made beach make South Bank a perfect place for a dip in the pool, stroll in the park or a barbecue with friends. It is also home to a major dining precinct.

Get your slice of arts and entertainment at the Cultural Centre. This riverside hub includes the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Queensland Performing Arts Centre, State Library of Queensland, and the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, as well as the award-winning GOMA Restaurant.

If you’re itching for more culture, jump on a CityCat and head to New Farm Park. The Brisbane Powerhouse hosts local and international talent and is a hub for everything creative. It features festivals, exhibitions and entertainment, and has two restaurants onsite.  

Get Active 

A great way to get around Brisbane is by bike. Enjoy the Bicentennial Bikeway or join a Brisbane by Bicycle tour and fall in love with our city. If you don’t have a bike, don’t worry! The Brisbane City Council has provided more than 150 CityCycle stations for use. Sign up and go for a short loop – start in the city, ride over the Kurilpa Bridge, cruise along the waterfront Clem Jones Promenade (stop by Streets Beach for a dip, and the Epicurious Garden for fresh herbs), before heading over the Goodwill Bridge back to the CBD. Grab a coffee on the bridge and stop for a selfie with local barista Brendan.

Once you've gone under it by boat, why not go over on foot? The Story Bridge Adventure Climb is an experience you'll never forget. One of only three like it in the world, the climb will get your adrenaline pumping and give you views like no other.

Kayakers on the Brisbane River

If you’re up for something more adventurous, make the Brisbane River your playground. Rock climb at Kangaroo Point, kayak down the river and roller blade through South Bank – Riverlife is a fantastic way to experience Brisbane from a different angle.

Brisbane is filled with lush parklands. Wind down at the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, or head out to Colmslie Beach Reserve. Great for kids, there is a big playground – take food and have a picnic down by the river. Brisbane City Council also runs a range of fitness classes, from pilates to tai chi, as part of the Active Parks program. Find out more on its website

Eat and Drink 

Many of Brisbane’s best restaurants and cafes are located by the water. If you’re looking to enjoy the river and have something to eat, these are the top precincts you should visit.

Howard Smith Wharves: Well on the road to becoming Brisbane’s ultimate foodie and lifestyle precinct, Howard Smith Wharves has to be at the top of your Brisbane bucket list. 

River Quay, South Bank: Home to premier riverfront dining, River Quay offers its patrons the epitome of luxury in an accessible and unrivalled location. Enjoy dining at OttoRiver Quay Fish, AquitainePopolo and The Jetty, and walk through South Bank to cap your night off.

Eagle Street, The City: Eagle Street Pier is an iconic waterfront precinct with world-class dining venues and views of the Brisbane River and Story Bridge. Firmly established as one of Brisbane's favourite food and entertainment destinations, its prestigious culinary stable includes Coppa Spuntino, Fatcow Steak & Lobster, Naga ThaiThe Bavarian, Blackbird Bar & Grill, Riverbar & KitchenJellyfish, and Alchemy

Coppa Stuntino

Hamilton: For fine, sophisticated dining Portside Wharf is hard to miss. Filled with a buzzing atmosphere, visit Byblos Bar, Belvedere Grill, Sono, or Gusto da Gianni for waterfront dining. The famed Eat Street Northshore is just down the road too and we have a handy guide to help you navigate the tasty treats on offer.

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