Brisbane is the capital city of the Australian state of Queensland. Located about halfway down the east coast of Australia, Brisbane sits on the banks of the Brisbane River, approximately 13 miles from the sea. The third-largest city in Australia, the city’s metropolitan area is home to over 3.6 million people.
Brisbane has a subtropical climate. The city is known for its abundant sunshine with an average of over 280 sunny days per year. The city’s main feature is the Brisbane river, which flows through the heart of the city, and is a popular spot for river cruises, paddleboarding, and kayaking.
Top tourist attractions in Brisbane include:
- South Bank Parklands: A riverside cultural and recreational hub with restaurants, shops, and events, located in the heart of Brisbane. Covering an area of over 40 acres, it features restaurants, cafes, museums, galleries, playgrounds, and parklands.
- Roma Street Parkland: A large urban park with landscaped gardens, water features, and picnic areas. Located in the heart of Brisbane, the park spans an area of about 40 acres. Its attractions include walking and cycling paths, water features, gardens, and playgrounds.
- New Farm Park: A popular park with riverside views, picnic areas, and walking paths. Located in the Brisbane suburb of New Farm, only a few kilometres from the city centre, this 90-acre park features playgrounds, a picnic area, and a famous large rose garden featuring over 2,500 roses of various varieties and colours.
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary: A wildlife sanctuary where visitors can cuddle and take photos with koalas. Located in the Brisbane suburbs, this is the world’s oldest and largest koala sanctuary. It protects over 130 adorable koalas, along with kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, and various bird species. Open year-round, this is a must-visit for anyone fascinated with Australian wildlife.
- Story Bridge Adventure Climb: A guided climb to the top of Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge for panoramic views of the city. Plan on spending over two hours and climbing over 1,000 steps. Hardy climbers will learn about the history of Brisbane and, once at the top, be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Brisbane city skyline and the river.
- Gallery of Modern Art: A contemporary art museum featuring local and international artists. Located in the South Bank cultural precinct, the Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art is one of Australia’s largest contemporary and modern art museums. The museum houses a permanent collection of over 18,000 works of art, featuring Australian Artists Tracey Moffatt, Sidney Nolan, and Jeffrey Stuart.
- Queensland Art Gallery: Located in the same district as the Gallery of Modern Art, this is a separate institution operated by the Queensland State government. The Queensland Art Gallery mainly focuses on Australian and international art from the 19th century onward. Its collection includes over 17,000 works of art from ancient artifacts and indigenous art to contemporary and modern artists like Henri Matisse and Salvador Dali.
- Brisbane Botanic Gardens: A sprawling garden with a variety of plants, trees, and tropical displays. Located in the Brisbane suburb of Mount Coot-tha, it covers nearly 140 acres and features a wide variety of plans, including rare and endangered species. Its most popular attraction is the Tropical Display Dome, a large glasshouse with a collection of tropical plants and flowers that visitors can explore while walking through different climate zones inside the dome.
- Mount Coot-tha: Named after the Aboriginal word “Kuta-Kuta,” meaning “place of honey, this mountain and parkland has hiking trails, a lookout point, and a planetarium. This is a mountain and parkland located in the western suburbs of Brisbane. It offers stunning 360-degree views of the city’s skyline, the Brisbane River, and the Moreton Bay Islands.
- Moreton Island: A nearby island with pristine sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and opportunities for snorkelling, fishing, and dolphin watching. Home of the Tangalooma Wrecks, a group of sunken ships just offshore, the off-shore wrecks host a variety of marine life and are a popular spot for snorkelling and diving.