Cool free things to do in Brisbane

Free things to do in Brisbane was contributed by travel blogger Kerri McConnel of Beer and Croissants

Brisbane, the capital city of the Australian state of Queensland, is a perfect city for those who love the outdoors. With a relaxed, casual lifestyle it’s a place that’s easy to fall in love with. While often overlooked for the more recognized cities of Melbourne and Sydney, it is slowly earning a reputation for being a must-visit on any Australian itinerary. With near perfect weather all year round, there are great opportunities to take advantage of the many free things to do in Brisbane. Here are my favorites.

South Bank

free things to do in Brisbane - treets Beach South Bank, photo Matt Williams, courtesy Beer and Croissants

Streets Beach South Bank, photo/Matt Williams, courtesy Beer and Croissants

A visit to Brisbane must include a visit to South Bank, the inner city’s green oasis. South Bank is made for visiting over and over. There’s a constant and varied range of free activities. Where else in a major city can you have a swim in pristine waters, surrounded by white sand with a stunning view of the city across the river? The man-made beach here is the most popular attraction in the precinct. There are also wonderful pedestrian and bike pathways that wind their way through South Bank and along the river.

On weekends, free activities include the local markets and Sunday afternoon music in the natural grassy amphitheater. From picnics on the riverfront, to food and cultural festivals and fireworks displays, there is always something free to get involved in at South Bank.

Take in the city view from Mt. Coot-tha

free things to do in Brisbane - Moon over city viewed from Mt Coot-tha, photo Matt Williams, courtesy Beer and Croissants

Moon over city viewed from Mt Coot-tha, photo/Matt Williams, courtesy Beer and Croissants

Also known as the Brisbane Lookout, Mt. Coot-tha overlooks inner city Brisbane. On a clear day, you can see Moreton Island from the top of the mountain. Mt Coot-tha is a great spot to get a panoramic view over Brisbane and of the Brisbane CBD (Central Business District). It’s one of the best seats in the house when fireworks light up the Brisbane sky. It’s also an awesome place for sunrise photos, as well as watching thunderstorms sweep across the city. Walking tracks provide access into the bushland for hiking, walking and birdwatching. Bike paths allow mountain bikers to pit their skills against the often steep terrain.

Walk or cycle the Brisbane River Loop

 free things to do in Brisbane - photo Matt Williams

Story Bridge Brisbane, photo/Matt Williams, courtesy Beer and Croissants

Brisbane is set on a winding river. Both sides of the river have excellent cycle and pedestrian paths. Brisbane boasts incredible weather all year round; outdoor activities are popular with visitors and locals alike.  The Brisbane River Loop takes in many of the city’s iconic landmarks including the Story Bridge, the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, South Bank and the Botanic Gardens. There are plenty of great opportunities to stop at the various cafes and restaurants along the way, or to simply sit and watch the people go by. Bicycles may also be hired for a small fee at many locations along the loop.

Spend time at the Cultural Precinct

 free things to do in Brisbane - ld Cultural Centre, photo Matt Williams, courtesy Beer and Croissants

Old Cultural Centre, photo Matt Williams, courtesy Beer and Croissants

The Cultural Precinct, located adjacent to South Bank, has much to offer. The Gallery of Modern Art, with its huge permanent display of historical and contemporary art pieces and the children’s art center, is popular with locals and visitors alike. Their visiting exhibitions.  the majority of which are free, draw the biggest audience, Nearby, the Queensland Museum has exhibitions on rotation all year round as well as exceptional permanent displays.

 Ride the river on a City Cat

 free things to do in Brisbane - City Cats Brisbane River, photo Matt Williams, courtesy Beer and Croissants

City Cats Brisbane River, photo/Matt Williams, courtesy Beer and Croissants

If getting onto the river is more your style, catch the CityHopper service, with free ferries that run every 30 minutes. You can hop on and hop off at various locations along the river. It’s a great way to see the city from a different perspective.

Visit Kangaroo Point Cliffs

 free things to do in Brisbane -Rock climbing at Kangaroo Point Cliffs, photo Matt Williams, courtesy Beer and Croissants

Rock climbing at Kangaroo Point Cliffs, photo/Matt Williams, courtesy Beer and Croissants

Kangaroo Point Cliffs, lining the river directly opposite the city, are a Brisbane landmark offering a magnificent view of Brisbane. You can rock climb, run the hundreds of steps up to the top, or kick back and have a relaxing BBQ with your friends and family. It’s another free vantage point to watch the fireworks during New Year as well as the Riverfire Festival in September. Better still, bring a few drinks or take-away down here at sun set, and watch the night lights twinkle on the city buildings and the iconic Story Bridge.

Brisbane is a great city for walking. The activities and areas mentioned in this post are either in the CBD or nearby. Access, either by foot from the CBD or by public transport, is easy. When out and about always remember that the weather here is always warm; a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are always a good idea. Finding free things to do in Brisbane is easy!

What are your favorite free things to do in Brisbane?

Kerri McConnel, a business executive for over 20 years, now travels regularly with her husband. Eating great food, drinking great beer and wine, and cooking international foods are integral to their adventures. Kerri, a firm believer that everyone can travel, shares her tips, advice and stories on everything from motor home travel to luxury experiences on her website Beer and Croissants. You can follow Kerri’s adventures on Facebook or Instagram.

Thanks to Matt Williams for his Brisbane photos. You can find more of his work on his website, Matt Williams Photography and on Instagram. You can also find him on Twitter.

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