Tick off all 93 things to do on Brisbane’s bucket list - Visit Brisbane


Tick off all 93 things to do on Brisbane’s bucket list

Updated: 20 April 2022

How well do you really know Brisbane? Here are the must-do experiences everyone needs to have in and around this stunning city. From ticking off the major city attractions, to catching a gig in a historic hangar or exploring Brisbane via your stomach, this list covers off the best things to do in Brisbane.

1. Go on a clock tower tour up Brisbane City Hall

It’s classic, it’s free and it only takes 10 minutes. Ride the original elevator past the giant clock faces to the top of the tower. 

2. Watch the sunrise over The City from Mt Coot-tha

Rise and shine people. Drive up to Mt Coot-tha pre-dawn to watch the sun rise behind the skyline. Take a rug, pop yourself down and wait for golden hour to arrive. 

3. Visit a local craft brewery

Sample brews from Brisbane’s best boutique breweries. Say that 10 times fast, after 10 beers. In Newstead try Green Beacon, Stone & WoodRange Brewing or Newstead Brewing. In Milton head to XXXX, Milton Common or Newstead Brewing’s newer headquarters. All In at Banyo and Ballistic Beer Co in Salisbury and West End are great, as is Bacchus Brewing in Capalaba, Slipstream in Yeerongpilly and Aether in Northgate. If you're serious about your craft brews, leave it to the experts and book in a tour with Hop on Brewery Tours or Brisbane Brewery Tours

4. Night kayaking the wrecks on Moreton Island

Moonlight and two strips of LEDs light your journey towards 15 rusty tin shells that make up the Tangalooma Wrecks. It’s quiet and eerie until fish spot your bright lights and come leaping towards the clear Perspex vessels.

5. Catch a gig in an old WWII hangar at The Triffid

Our already excellent live music scene added another, rather large (probably peacock) feather to its hat when Powderfinger’s bassist John Collins opened The Triffid. The renovated World War II hanger has incredible sound quality, pulls killer acts and has a top beer garden.

6. Experience world-class art at QAGOMA

“Have you been to GOMA?” will be one of the top three questions any local will ask. We’re proud of our modern art gallery. It’s the largest in Australia and conveniently located next door to QAG, the Queensland Art Gallery.

7. Go for a laneway bar crawl through The City

The real question is, where to begin? Perhaps in Albert Lane with dumpling and sake shots at Harajuku Gyoza. Then happy hour at Brew, cocktails at Burnett Lane bars Death & Taxes or Super Whatnot, hop to whisky house The Gresham, and finish with a boogie at Brooklyn Standard.

8. Dip your toes in Streets Beach

It’s Australia’s only beach located in the middle of a city. Drop on by, the water’s damn fine.

9. Take a Brisbane Greeters tour

Have you seen the locals with the bright red shirts and big friendly smiles? Join a free tour with a volunteer Greeter and unearth knowledge for trivia night and beyond.

10. Feed the hungry masses at Eat Street Northshore

A feast for the senses – drop into the multicultural shipping container market to experience the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of Brisbane’s much-loved Eat Street Markets.

11. Sip on brews under the Bridge

You won't regret stopping in for a bev at Howard Smith Wharves, located directly under the Story Bridge. This riverside precinct boasts an overwater bar (cocktails at sunset is the winner here), a huge brewery, an Art-Series Hotel, a number of delectable restaurants and a large green space where you can relax with this epic view of the Brisbane River and Brisbane CBD. 

12. Adventure along the river

Abseil down the Kangaroo Point Cliffs  - once you make that nerve-rattling first step over the edge, it’s easy as pie. Stop halfway and take in the view. Thursday through Sunday evenings Riverlife hosts a twilight kayak and grazing adventure in the river water by the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Take a date, paddle out and watch The City skyscrapers spark from day to night.

13. Eat breakfast in the inner-city suburbs

Brisbane is a city of breakfast lovers. Don’t get between a Brisbanite and his or her plate of perfectly poached eggs. And yes, we can eat our smashed avo and afford to buy a house* too.

*for now

14. Ride the CityCat 

The Brisbane River defines the shape of The City and suburbs. One of the best ways to see Brisbane is from the water. Jump aboard and follow its curves.

15. Hold a koala at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Did you know that Queensland is one of only a few States where you can actually hold a koala? Prep those guns for a snap with your new furry best friend. 

16. Get a kangaroo selfie at Lone Pine

Lone Pine might have 'koala' in its name, but it’s the kangaroos that get up close and really personal. Feed them, pat them and get a selfie on the green roaming fields. 

17. Buy a haul at Noosa Chocolate Factory 

A family pack of the rocky road with handmade strawberry jelly and marshmallow is an essential. 

18. Watch the State of Origin kick off at Suncorp Stadium

It’s state against state, it’s mate against mate. Watch the city turn maroon as statetriotic Queenslanders defend our reputation. #8inarow #neverforget

19. Take in the sights with Jet Ski Tours Brisbane

Why not book yourself an adrenaline-filled adventure with Jet Ski Tours Brisbane! Choose from their guided jet ski safaris along the Brisbane River or even venture out to the stunning Moreton Bay – no license required!

20. Head to a show at the Brisbane Powerhouse

Speaking of date nights (or friend dates), meet over a drink and casual meal at Mary Mae's Bar & Kitchen before catching a show, or treat a date to an Italian feast at Bar Alto before a late night live act.

21. Explore the exotic Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens

A bamboo forest, cactus garden and fern house walk into a bar… 

22. Bar hop between our rooftop bars

Our rooftop bars sound like the perfect spot to down an icy drink and soak up the 283 days a year of sunshine. Find a list of Brisbane’s best rooftop bars here.

23. Tour the XXXX factory

Do you even know Queensland if you haven’t stepped foot on the home ground of the Milton Mango? The XXXX Factory runs tours through the facility.

24. Climb the Story Bridge at Twilight

For two glorious hours you can take in insanely great views of Brisbane in one of very few bridge climbs in the world with Story Bridge Adventure Climb. It also has the only bridge climb and abseiling experience in the world, so you can truly make the day an unforgettable one.

25. Feed dolphins at Tangalooma Island Resort

Stand knee-deep in the shallows at Moreton Island and watch as if on cue wild bottlenose dolphins swim in to pluck fresh fish from your hands.

26. Historic pub crawl through Woolloongabba

The southside is home to a few killer pubs with character. Stop for a steak at the Norman or Morrison Hotel, then head on over to the Story Bridge Hotel for afternoon beers or head into South Bank via Brisbane Brewing Co and the Ship Inn. Good times ahoy.

27. Eat all of Brisbane's best ice cream

Brisbane has the perfect temperature any time of year to tuck into a bit of the cold stuff. But with so many incredible options, how do you choose just one? From the rich, creamy classics at Lick! to the more experimental flavours at Gelato Messina, you're bound to find something to satisfy your sweet tooth. Check out all the best ice cream around Brisbane

28. Sand tobogganing on Moreton Island

Australia’s third-largest sand island, the centre of Moreton is home to "The Desert". Join a tour and roar down the giant dunes on a slippery board. Fun.

29. Take a photo at Wilson’s Outlook

A photography hotspot, head to a small park on the cliffs at New Farm around sunset or sunrise to capture The City skyline poking out from behind the iconic Story Bridge.

30. Spend a day or the week at the Woodford Folk Festival

Over six days and nights more than 2000 performers gather for a program of live music, dance, street theatre, panels, film, comedy acoustic jams, social debate and more.

31. Join early birds at the Jan Power Farmers’ Markets

Get to know what grows around Brisbane at the local weekend farmer markets. Saturday at the Brisbane Powerhouse is one of the best.

32. Selfie with the B-R-I-S-B-A-N-E sign

The real challenge is fitting all eight letters into the shot. Perhaps get a friend to take the photo – you’ll want to include the Brisbane CBD skyline in it after all. Find the colourful sign at South Bank.

33. Catch a cricket ball at The Gabba

Well, your chances of actually catching a cherry are slim – but it’s worth a shot. Slap on some zinc, grab mates and head to The Gabba for a summer game of cricket.

34. Eat your way through all the best burgers

Whether it's tender fried chicken, a succulent beef patty or a vego delight, Brisbane has a number of epic burger joints just waiting for you to try. Check out our guide to find Brisbane's best burgers.

35. Devour a strawberry sundae at the Ekka

It debuted at the Royal Show in 1950 and it’s been a firm favourite since. Annually Brisbane eats through 10 tonnes of strawberries, 1800 litres of cream and 18,000 litres of ice-cream at the Ekka. 

36. Dine on Greek food in West End

Opa. The benefits of Greek migrants moving to West End many moons ago is still evident. Pop by Nostimo at The Greek Club, Little Greek Taverna or Lefkas for a cheap meal.

37. Don your best outfit for Oktoberfest 

Named one of the top 10 Oktoberfest celebrations outside Germany by Lonely Planet, this is the closest you’ll get to Munich in Australia. Gather friends, dress up and clink beers. Prost.

38. Experience a show at Brisbane Festival

Each September Brisbane is tickled pink for Brisbane Festival. Performing arts, live music, comedy and installations take over the city spaces.

39. Stake out a prime spot for Riverfire 

The last night of Brisbane Festival goes off with a bang. Riverfire is Brisbane’s night of nights, second only to New Year’s Eve. Find a vantage point for the big fireworks spectacular.

40. Exercise while you drink

Felons Brewing Co at Howard Smith Wharves has introduced weekly yoga sessions into the bustling drinking and dining venue. These are no ordinary yoga sessions, instead the drinking of beer throughout is highly encouraged.

41. See the universe at the Planetarium

Have your La La Land moment hand-in-hand while looking at the stars from the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.

42. Shop the Valley laneways

Between neighbouring Winn Lane, California Lane and Bakery Lane there are a bunch of petite shopfronts peddling boutique wares. Shop local and score a unique find.

43. Enjoy 3am pancakes at the Pancake Manor

You haven’t partied hard enough in Brisbane until you’ve finished off with 3am pancakes at the The City’s 24/7 Pancake Manor. Bonus point if you get kicked out for licking syrup off someone else's plate. 

44. Treat someone to high tea at Customs House

There’s something extra-special about sitting on the leafy terrace with white table linen, high tea stands and views of the Story Bridge while historic Customs House towers over you. Celebrate something special, or just the fact that it’s Saturday.

45. Take a photo of The Arbour in bloom 

The iconic steel structure that snakes its way through South Bank Parklands is covered in bougainvillea vines. Time it right and the whole 1km walk will be a vibrant shade of magenta.

46. Quad bike over island dunes 

Honestly, it’s hard to narrow out the best activities on Moreton Island as there are so many. Quad biking over the sand dunes certainly does sit near the top of that list though.

47. Boogie and eat pretzels at Brooklyn Standard

Step into the underground and lose yourself to dance at this tucked-away Brisbane CBD bar. There’s live music every night it’s open, free table pretzels and Brooklyn lager on tap.

48. Wander Teneriffe to see the Woolstores of yesteryear

What was once a suburb of wool and grain stores is now a buzzing inner-city residential area. Grab a coffee and walk between the city’s old factories by the river. 

49. Drink a fine whisky at The Gresham 

It didn’t win Australian Bartender Bar of the Year two years in a row (2015 + 2016) and Gourmet Traveller’s Bar of the Year 2016 for nothing. Order something special and settle into a chesterfield sofa at Australia’s best bar.

50. Catch a flick at an outdoor cinema.

At various times throughout the year, make the most of our spectacular weather and watch a new release or old classic at an outdoor cinema. Keep a lookout for dates from American Openair Cinemas or Moonlight Cinemas.

51. Barbecue in a park

More than a bucket list item, it is a council god-given right to barbecue meats for free in parks. Try Kangaroo Point Cliffs, New Farm Park or Orleigh Park for views.

52. Experience the boutiques and cafe scene of Paddington 

Best wandered by foot, the two terraces of Paddington are home to a seemingly endless strip of cute boutiques set in Queenslander homes along with hip cafes and an ever-increasing number of bars.

53. Find the fairy light trees at Gardens Point & Captain Burke Park

Dotted around Brisbane’s inner-city neighbourhoods, you’ll find pockets of enchanting fairy-lit fig trees to add a touch of magic to any snap.

54. Treat yo’self to the breakfast dego at 85 Miskin St

We told you Brisbane locals take breakfast very seriously. So seriously that one restaurant offers a four-course breakfast with matched drinks.

55. Find Brisbane's secret bars

Speaking of bars, step through the wardrobe to Jack Rabbits, find the pirate-themed Mermaid Lounge above Lefty’sThe Walrus Club beneath The Regatta and Greaser down a driveway next to a discount chemist.

56. Chase the whales

Each winter when 20,000 humpback whales migrate to the warmer waters in north Queensland, Brisbane’s Moreton Bay becomes a whale-watching paradise. Here the curious creatures can relax, slow down, have a play and interact with the locals (that’s you).

57. See the sun set over the water from Moreton Island

On the east coast, watching the sun set over the water is a dreamy ideal. Make it real by staying the night on Moreton Island and crack a beer while seeing out the day.

58. Cycle the city river loop

Loop from Kangaroo Point over the Story Bridge and down onto the City Boardwalk along the riverfront. Ride past the City Botanic Gardens and around two sides of the Brisbane CBD to the Kurilpa Bridge. Roll down the matchstick bridge and pedal along the Clem Jones Promenade back to where you started. Streets Beach makes a prime spot to cool off at. A $2 CityCycle is up to this challenge.

59. Drink a fancy cocktail at Maker

Pull up a chair along the 7.5m-long oxidising brass bar and prepare your tastebuds for a new experience. Maker pushes the boundaries using local and native ingredients to make unusual combinations.

60. Round of putt putt at Hillstone St Lucia

Try to focus on tapping the ball through the course, while being distracted by lush garden views.

61. Picnic in New Farm Park or at Kangaroo Point Cliffs

New Farm Park is a firm local favourite for lazy Saturday picnics, birthday celebrations by the river and space to kick a ball, while Kangaroo Point Cliffs are perfect for a romantic picnic with a spectacular view of The City. Do as the Brisbane people do – pack a rug and bring your favourite cheese.

62. Plan a night out in Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley was Australia’s first dedicated entertainment precinct and it continues to thrive. Hide in a small cosy bar with a gin cocktail, tap your toes to live music or dance all night until your feet hurt and a 3am slice beckons. 

63. Run the Kangaroo Point stairs

Ah, the dreaded Kangaroo Point stairs. If you’re just there to take in the view from the top, no doubt a heavy-breathing, sweaty mop of a human will distract you at some point. Do them once, not 10 times over.

64. Sail the afternoon away at Manly Harbour 

Every Wednesday, weather permitting, enthusiastic yachties escape to the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron for a sail around Green Island.

65. Cheer on the Brisbane Roar

Don orange and cross the road to Suncorp Stadium where locals back our soccer team the Brisbane Roar.

66. Enjoy dinner along Eagle Street Pier

Brisbane’s largest concentration of award-winning and hatted fine dining restaurants lie along the Eagle Street Pier riverfront. Try Sake, Fatcow Steak & Lobster, Madame Wu, Naga Thai, Rico Bar and Dining and more. Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong.

67. Go for a quick round of golf at St Lucia

It's quick, picturesque and has a cracking 19th hole (the bar). 

68. Run the Bridge to Brisbane

Tie up your laces and run the streets and bridges of the city at this annual event for fitness fanatics.

69. Take in the view on the Wheel of Brisbane

With sky-high views of the river and The City, The Wheel of Brisbane has worked its way into the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Head along, settle in, and enjoy the ride.

70. Wander the esplanade from Wynnum to Manly 

Start at Waterloo Esplanade and stroll along the bay to Manly Yacht Club. A mixture of sea breezes, seaside views and fishing lines will accompany you along the waterfront.

71. Hunt down Brisbane’s food truck fleet

You see them around the city, rollin’ on all four wheels. Use this handy website to chase one down or find a truck meetup.

72. Go for a cooking class at Vanilla Zulu

Savoury or sweet? Vegan or meat lover? Whatever your taste buds are craving, Vanilla Zulu has a cooking class to cater to it.

Greater Brisbane Region

73. Go strawberry picking near Caboolture

In the cooler months, drive north from Brisbane and spot the big strawberry signs. There are a few farms in the Caboolture area that offer "pick your own".

74. Chase sunflowers in the Lockyer Valley

For two weeks each year around late January or early February, field upon field of sunflowers bloom west of Brisbane. A small slice of sunshine found closest to Brisbane is near the University of Queensland Gatton Campus

75. Climb into the canopy on the O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk

Nine suspension bridges swing high above in the trees through the ancient Gondwana rainforest. Climb ladders to the top of an old tree and pop your head out at the top above the canopy. 

76. Chase waterfalls

Drive south-west of Brisbane to chase down incredible cascades hidden within lush rainforests.

77. Watch the sun rise from a hot air balloon

Set off in darkness and take flight before sunrise. Pastel-coloured skies will greet the breaking day as you beat the world to wake up. Back on solid ground, enjoy a champagne breakfast.

78. Catch a wave off North Stradbroke Island

The Straddie Surf School will help out if you need a lesson. Follow surfing with a scoop from Oceanic Gelati.

79. Experience Aboriginal culture with Quandamooka Coast

Quandamooka country is the waters and islands of central and southern Moreton Bay and the coastal land and streams between Brisbane and the Logan River.  Learn more about our local Aboriginal culture on a whale watching boat tour or Aboriginal culture walk – you'll hear creation stories, identify bush tucker plants and more. 

80. Hire a BBQ Boat and cruise up and down Pumicestone Passage

A crystal-clear, calm passage that’s abundant with wildlife sits between Bribie Island and the mainland. 

81. Go for a day trip to Lady Elliot Island

Be a total baller and fly from Redcliffe to this coral cay for the day. It’s the only way to see the Great Barrier Reef from Brisbane on a weekend.

82. Go for a helicopter pub crawl 

Hop from country pub to country pub in your own private chopper with Pterodactyl Helicopters.

83. Tour local wineries

Designate a driver or jump on a tour through the Scenic Rim or Somerset Valley wine regions.

84. Visit a winery on horseback

Speaking of wine, visit Ocean View Estates via a scenic two-hour horse ride with Slickers Horse Riding. When you arrive, enjoy a picnic by the dam.

85. Trek the Northbrook Gorges in D'Aguilar National Park

There are plenty of epic trails to trek around Brisbane, so what makes this one special? Swimming through two gorges. It takes three hours return.

86. Climb to the peak of Mt Barney 

It’s South East Queensland’s highest mountain at 1,359m and climbing to one of the two peaks takes eight to nine hours return.

87. Pick up exotic local liqueurs at the Tamborine Mountain Distillery

The internationally awarded distillery produces liqueur, vodka and schnapps using native flavours and local produce. Drop by for a bottle of the lilly pilly gin, eucalyptus gum leaf vodka or lemon myrtle liqueur. 

88. Visit a freshwater island lake

With a sandy bottom and crystal-clear blue or tea-tree stained brown water, dive into the creatively named Blue Lake or Brown Lake on North Stradbroke Island, or Blue Lagoon on Moreton Island.

89. Drop into the Chung Tian Temple

A Chinese temple in the middle of Logan? It has to be seen to be believed. Stay for a tea ceremony.

90. Eat a fresh local Rock Oyster

Moreton Bay Rock Oysters grow off the southern tip at Kooringal. Brisbane’s most isolated pub, The Gutter Bar, is the freshest spot to eat them. At Amity Point on North Straddie, pick up a dozen direct from Dialba Oysters.

91. Gain speed on the V8 track

Get behind the wheel of a V8 race car and experience the thrills of picking up speed around tight corners at Queensland Raceways in Willowbank. 

92. Discover the mystery behind the enigmatic opal at the Brisbane Opal Museum 

Explore the Opal Museum with a personal tour and find out about how opals are formed and mined. You can even pick up one of these beautiful iridescent, shiny things for yourself - my precious. 

93. Walk a llama down the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail

When you’ve finished leading that llama, you’ll get morning tea as a reward.

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