Brisbane Travel Guide – About this page
Brisbane travel guide suggests things to do in Brisbane, Various attractions and sightseeing, budget tips to safely stay, travel, and plan your Brisbane trip.
Brisbane Travel Guide – About Brisbane
Brisbane, Australia is the capital of the state of Queensland and is the third-largest city in Australia.
Founded in 1825, Brisbane is a kind of “business city”, so there isn’t much to do here compared to cities like Sydney or Melbourne. It’s the kind of place where people work Monday through Friday, and then they go to shore on the weekends.
Most people visit Brisbane on the way to the Gold Coast or while heading to Cairns. The city is a great stop on Australia’s backpacking travel trail, and you’ll find plenty of budget hostels, toddlers, and budget travelers here.
While it is not my favorite place in Australia, Brisbane has a lot to see and do. It is a really cool city with a high quality of life. South Bank has some good restaurants, as well as some good pubs in town.
This Brisbane travel guide can help you plan your trip, save money, visit interesting exhibits and attractions, and overall have the visit of a lifetime!
Brisbane Travel Guide – Top 5 places to visit and do in Brisbane
1. Koala Sanctuary
The largest koala sanctuary in the world, Lone Pine has more than 130 koalas. You can also feed the parrots and rainbow kangaroos, local snakes, and see the country’s beautiful fauna, such as wombats, echidnas, Tasmanian devils, and dingoes. Open every day from 9 am to 5 pm and costs $ 34 AUD ($ 24 USD).
A beach and palm trees in front of the city skyline in South Bank Parklands, Brisbane
2. South Bank Parklands
With a stunning downtown beach, miles of wooded promenades, fabulous shopping, and plenty of restaurants, South Bank is the only place to see in Brisbane. I love walking on the river, watching a movie, or eating something. You often see musicians and outdoor dance classes here.
the giant ferris wheel in Brisbane
3. Brisbane Wheel
If you want a view of the city, hop on this 60-meter Ferris wheel and take a ride! The trip takes place in a climate controlled closed gondola and lasts about 15 minutes. It operates daily from 10 am to 10 pm, and adult tickets are $ 21 AUD ($ 15 USD). Discounts are also available for students, children, and families.
tall green trees in the botanical gardens of the city
4. The city’s botanical gardens
These gardens are located in a fabulous place by the river, near the CBD. Spend a few hours walking away from the madness of the city center. They are not as pleasant as the Melbourne ones, but I like to come here, walk around and read a good book on a nice afternoon.
a church and skyscraper in Brisbane
5. Churches and cathedrals
If churches and intricate architecture are your things, be sure to visit the handful of the area: St. Stephen’s Cathedral, St. Stephen’s Chapel (adjacent to the cathedral), St. John’s Cathedral and the United Church of San Alberto stop worth visiting and worth visiting…
Brisbane Travel Guide- Other places to see and do in Brisbane
1. Enjoy the view from Mount Coot-tha
Mt Coot-tha offers beautiful panoramic views of the city and, on a nice day, Moreton Bay. A favorite for both locals and visitors alike, you can enjoy a meal or a coffee and take in the surroundings of the city. Take local bus 471 from the city or buy a pass for the City Sights bus.
2. Hit the beaches
The beach is never a bad idea here. The Gold Coast, with its white sandy beaches and surf, and its lush rivers, is only 30 minutes away. Just remember that on the weekend, everyone in the area has the same idea, so the beaches get crowded and traffic is a mess. Head there during the week to beat the crowd.
3. Explore the cultural center
The Cultural Center is right on South Bank and includes the Queensland Art Gallery as well as the Modern Art Gallery. The Queensland Museum is a good place to learn about the area’s natural history and cultural history. If you want to see an opera, ballet, or other theater, there is also the Queensland Performing Arts Center.
4. Roma Street Parklands
This is the largest subtropical urban garden in the world, covering more than 16 hectares and located just 5 minutes walk from the town hall. Personally, I like it better than the riverside park, but they are both very good if you have time to hit them. Bring a book, pack a snack, and relax.
5. Visit the Riverlife Adventure Center
The Riverlife Adventure Center is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. They offer various outdoor activities for people of all ages, at an affordable price too! Cycling, rollerblading, rappelling, and rock climbing is available if you are looking to get out and stretch your legs. Guided groups can take you anywhere, from the riverbank to the cliffs at Kangaroo Point. prices will vary, but expect to spend at least AUD 35 ($ 25 USD).
6. Visit XXXX Brewery
XXXX (Four X) is one of the cheapest bees in the country. It’s not that good either (in my opinion). However, if you need to do something one day and want to learn more about beer and drinking beer, you can do it at XXXX Brewery!
7. Queensland Performing Arts Center
This exhibition and presentation space is considered one of the best in Australia. Home to a performing art complex, art gallery, state library, museum, and more. Be sure to check your daily schedule to find out what’s around. Get some culture!
8. Ruins of St. Helena Island Prison
Queensland’s first historic national park, this island is home to the ruins of a colonial prison that was once known as “the hellhole of the South Pacific.” I definitely recommend the guided tour, even local schools take excursions here. It is very interesting
9. Manly Boat Harbor
This is Brisbane’s gateway to Moreton Bay Marine Park, an area with pristine canals and picturesque islands. You can find a wide variety of food and shopping options overlooking the marina, however, they may not be the cheapest.
Brisbane Travel Expenses
Hostel prices: There are many hostels in the city. A bed in a larger bedroom (10-20 beds) will cost around $ 15-20 AUD ($ 10-15 USD). A bed in a smaller bedroom (6 beds) averages around $ 26 AUD ($ 19 USD). Private rooms for 2 people with shared bathroom costs around $ 65 AUD ($ 47 USD).
Budget Hotel Prices: You can find a room for 2 in a 3-star hotel for as low as $ 160 AUD ($ 115 USD), but most are over $ 190 AUD ($ 136 USD). Most of these hotels have private bathrooms and free Wi-Fi. If you’re willing to stay a bit further away from the city center, you can find even cheaper deals closer to $ 100 AUD ($ 72 USD) per night! A better alternative to hotels is Airbnb. On Airbnb, a shared room in a house average around $ 18 AUD ($ 13 USD). You can find an entire apartment for around $ 90 AUD ($ 65 USD). Also, some of the Airbnb options have a pool or views of the Brisbane River (which is a huge plus).
The average cost of food: Cheap takeaways and ethnic foods like India or China can be found for less than $ 13 AUD ($ 9 USD), but most restaurant meals with a drink and tip will cost between $ 28 -40 AUD ($ 20-29 USD) A national beer in a bar will cost you around $ 7 AUD ($ 5 USD). Naturally, if you are on a budget, you will want to limit eating out. If you cook your own food, you can spend around $ 70 AUD ($ 50 USD) per week on staples like pasta, vegetables, chicken, and other staples. At the supermarket, a bottle of mid-range wine will cost you around $ 15 AUD ($ 11 USD), and a can of beer will cost around $ 5 AUD ($ 4 USD), both prices are much cheaper than if you were to go to a bar or restaurant and order one.
Brisbane Travel Guide – Brisbane Backpacker Suggested Budgets
How much does it cost to visit Brisbane?
With a budget for backpackers, you can do it for $ 65-90 AUD ($ 45-65 USD) per day. This is a suggested budget, assuming you stay in a cheap hostel or campground, cook most of your meals (sometimes eating fast food), and use local transportation. With this budget, you could stick to mostly free activities or museum/site admission fees.
With a mid-range budget of around $ 225-240 AUD ($ 160-170 USD), you will be able to stay in a private hostel room, eat fast food or takeaway ethnic food for your meals, enjoy some long-distance travel in the region with the SeeQ card, and see some more sights (such as the Koala Sanctuary).
With a “luxury” budget of $ 455 + AUD ($ 325 + USD), you can book a room in a nice 4-star hotel, enjoy restaurants for every meal, take day trips, and rent a rental car for travel… The sky is really your limit here!
Brisbane travel guide: Tips to save money
Brisbane can be a very, very expensive city to visit. Here are ways to save money when you visit Brisbane:
Get a phone plan
If you’re here for a while, the Telstra phone company has really improved its service and offers great phone packages that have great coverage across the country. Their calling/texting rates aren’t that high either, so the credit will last a while. Vodafone is another option. They also have amazing deals (sometimes better than Telstra), but they have more limited coverage across the country.
Drink goon (box wine)
Goon is an infamous staple food on the road for Australian backpackers. This cheap wine box is the best way to drink, have fun, and save a lot of money at the same time. Typically 4 liters cost $ 13 AUD ($ 9 USD) (compared to a six-pack for the same price). Drink this before you go out and save money at the bar.
Eating in Brisbane is not cheap. The best way to reduce the cost of food is to cook as many meals as possible in your hostel.
Book tours as a package
Australia has many fun activities and exciting tours to suit any budget. If you plan to take a tour while you’re here, booking activities together through a hostel or travel agency will give you a discount and save you tons of money.
Work for your room
If you are on a budget and looking to save some money, many hostels offer travelers the opportunity to work for your accommodation. In exchange for a few hours a day of cleaning, you get a free bed to sleep. Commitments vary, but most shelters ask you to stay at least a week.
WWOOFing is a program that allows you to work on organic farms in exchange for free room and board. If you plan to stay in the area for a while and are on a budget, see if there are farms or gardens seeking help in exchange for free room and board.
Accommodation in Brisbane can be quite expensive. If you plan ahead, you can usually find a really fun Couchsurfing to welcome you during your visit. This way, not only do you have a free place to stay, but you will also have a local host who can tell you the best places to visit and things to see.
Fill your water bottle
Tap water is clean and safe to drink in Brisbane. Reducing the $ 2-3 AUD ($ 1.45- $ 2.15 USD) for each bottle of water will reduce your daily spending. Not buying water bottles also has a good environmental impact
Brisbane Travel Guide – Where to stay in Brisbane?
Bunk Bed Brisbane
HQ City Backpackers
Summer House Backpackers Brisbane
How to get around Brisbane
Buses – Most bus routes in Brisbane have their own lanes, making bus travel an easy and efficient way to get around the city.
Brisbane also offers free City Loop and Spring Hill Loop buses in the city center. They operate clockwise and counterclockwise every 10 minutes from 7 am to 6 pm, and will take you to some of the city’s key attractions (such as the Botanical Gardens and King George Square).
You can also take the CityGlider bus service that will take you a little further out of town, such as the West End or The Gabba (especially useful for sporting events). You can also use the Go Card for these buses!
Trains – Brisbane’s rail network is excellent and will take you to attractions throughout the city and the surrounding suburbs. Central Station and Roma Street Station are two of the largest stations in the city.
The Airtrain will also take you to and from the airport in approximately 20 minutes, with services running every 15-30 minutes. You can use your Go Card; otherwise, tickets cost $ 18.50 AUD ($ 13 USD) each way, or $ 35 AUD ($ 25 USD) round trip.
Ferries: Ferries are a popular way to get around because the Brisbane River runs through the city center. The CityHopper ferry is free and runs between the Sydney Street and North Quay terminals. For other routes, you can take the CityCat and use your Go Card (or buy tickets on board).
Bicycle: With Brisbane’s CityCycle bicycle rental program, you can access 2,000 bicycles at 150 city stations. The CityCycle Casual Pass allows you to use the bikes for unlimited 30-minute trips per 24-hour period. It’s also the cheapest way to get around: The first 30 minutes are free, then it costs $ 2 AUD ($ 1.45 USD) for 31-60 minutes and $ 5 AUD ($ 3.60 USD) for every 30 minutes after that.
Note: You will also need to deposit a $ 48 AUD ($ 34 USD) deposit for the pass to ensure you comply with the terms and conditions.
Taxi: Taxis are expensive here and should be avoided.
Brisbane Travel Guide – When to go to Brisbane
Autumn (March to May) is the best time to visit Brisbane. The average daily temperature during this time is between 50 ° F (around 15 ° C) and 80 ° F (around 30 ° C), and there is very little rain. This is not high season either, so you will find good discounts on accommodation and activities. However, you’ll still want to pack sunscreen for this time of year!
Winter (June to August) and spring (September to November) are also good times to visit, as the temperatures are still warm and dry. The average minimum during this time is only 50 ° F (10 ° C), but 72 ° F (22 ° C) is the average maximum. However, Brisbane can be very busy during this time (especially in September, when the artistic month-long Brisbane Festival is held), so book early.
You’ll get the best accommodation deals during the wettest and wettest time of the year in Brisbane, from December to early March. If you plan on doing a lot of outdoor adventures, this is not the best time to visit.
How to stay safe in Brisbane
Brisbane is an incredibly safe place to backpack and travel, even if you are traveling alone, and even as a solo traveler. People are quite friendly and helpful and unlikely to get you in trouble.
When in doubt, always trust your instincts. If a taxi driver seems gloomy, just stop the taxi and get out. If your hotel or accommodation is seedier than you thought, go out and go somewhere else. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and identification, before traveling in an emergency. Also, send your travel itinerary to friends or family so they know where you are just to be safe.
As a general rule, if you don’t do something at home, don’t do it when you’re in Brisbane. Follow that rule and you will be fine.
The most important safety tip I can offer is to buy good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellation. It is comprehensive protection in case something goes wrong.
Brisbane Travel Guide – Best Booking Resources
Brisbane Travel Guide – Brisbane Gear and Packing Guide
In this section, I will give you my suggestion for the best travel backpack and advice on what to pack when visiting Brisbane.
Best Backpack for Brisbane
REI Flash 45 Package
What is the best backpack for traveling around Brisbane? I recommend the REI Flash 45 package. It is lightweight and comfortable, front-loading and fits perfectly in the top compartment of an airplane.
Straps: Thick and padded with compression technology that pulls the pack load up and in so it doesn’t feel so heavy.
Features: removable top cap, large front pocket, hydration compatible, contoured hip belt
Brisbane Travel Guide – What to pack for Brisbane?
1 pair of jeans (heavy and not easy to dry, but I like it; khaki pants are a good alternative)
1 pair of shorts
1 long-sleeved shirt
1 pair of flip-flops
1 pair of slippers
8 pairs of socks (I always end up losing half)
5 pairs of underpants (I’m not a type of underpants!)
1 tube of toothpaste
1 package of dental floss
1 small bottle of shampoo
1 small bottle shower gel
Small medical kit (safety is important !!!)
Cream Antibacterial Cream
Hand Sanitizer (Germs = Sick = Bad Vacation)
Other Packing lists -Optional
A combination key or lock (security first)
Zip lock bags (prevents things from dripping or exploding)
Plastic bags (great for washing clothes)
Universal charger / adapter (this applies to all)
LifeStraw (One bottle of water with a purifier).
Travel List for Women
1 pair of stretch jeans (easily wash and dry)
1 pair of leggings (if it’s cold, they can go under your jeans, otherwise with a dress or shirt)
2-3 sleeve tops long
3-4 spaghetti tops
1 light cardigan
1 spray of dry shampoo and talcum powder (keeps hair long without grease between washes)
1 hair brush
Make-up you use
Hair bands and hair clips
Feminine hygiene products (you can also choose to buy there, but I prefer not to have it, and most people have their favorite products)
Brisbane Travel Guide: Suggested Reading
In a Sunburned Country In Bill Bryson’s A Sunburned Country
It’s hard to pick just one Bill Bryson book that’s good because they all are. It is one of the most prolific and recognized names in travel writing. This book chronicles a journey through Australia and takes you east to west, through small mining towns, forgotten coastal towns, and unusual forests. Bryson includes many curiosities in his history as he travels in amazement, and sometimes in fear (thanks to jellyfish, tides, crocodiles, spiders, and snakes), of this enormous country. This is the book that inspired me to go to Australia.
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
This is an Australian classic, originally published in the 1970s, which follows the epic saga of a family living in sheep country in the Australian Outback. The story centers on two main characters: Meggie Cleary with her forbidden love, and Ralph de Bricassart, a pastor whose passion for Meggie haunts him. Even if this is not your type of book, it is a truly amazing insight into life in the Australian Outback (especially during the ’70s).
A Long Way From Home, by Peter Carey
Irene Bob loves to drive fast, and her husband is the best car salesman in Southeast Australia. Together they decide to participate in the 1954 Redex Trial, a resistance push that circumnavigates the entire country. Willie Bachhuber, an unsuccessful school teacher, joins them. If they win their lives, it will change forever, but first, it will take them out of the comfortable Australia they know so well and on an unexpected adventure full of twists and turns. Peter Carey is a two-time Booker Prize winner and one of Australia’s best-known writers. Read this book!
Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Walk Through 1700 Miles of Australian OutbackTracks: A Woman’s Solo Walk Through 1700 Miles of Australian Outback, by Robyn Davidson
This is Robyn Davidson’s memory of her incredible 1,700 journey miles through the Australian desert to the sea, accompanied only by four camels and a dog. Davidson defends himself from the suffocating heat, venomous snakes, and dangerous men, all while fighting with his temperamental camels. It is definitely one of those transformative stories that allow you to get a huge investment in the author as well as in the harsh Australian desert landscape. It has also become a great documentary!
The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
You cannot come to Australia without learning a little about the country’s indigenous Australians. This is partly a travel notebook and partly an autobiography, and one of Chatwin’s most famous books. Here, Chatwin searches the Australian Outback for the source of Aboriginal “footprints of dreams”, the invisible paths from which Aboriginal ancestors sang of the world’s existence. The Songlines was an instant bestseller when it was published, and today it is a classic.