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What to Do in Brisbane If You’re a First-Time Visitor




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So it’s your first time here and you’re wondering, what to do in Brisbane? With almost 300 days of sunshine, lush green spaces, miles of riverside walkways, a burgeoning bar and dining scene, the River City is just begging to be explored. Read on to discover all the best things to do in Brisbane!

1. Stroll along the Brisbane Riverwalk

what to do in brisbane - brisbane riverwalk
Photo credit: mustdobrisbane.com

The Brisbane Riverwalk is one of Brisbane’s absolute must-dos – a water highway for pedestrians and cyclists along the most scenic tract of Brisbane river. It connects from New Farm, to Howard St Wharves and on to the CBD. This project was built to replace the city’s first floating riverwalk – a project that was swept away in the 2011 floods. Except for an occasional rest shelter, there is no shade along the riverwalk. Try to visit early in the morning or later at dusk to avoid the sun’s wrath!

2. Stuff your face at Eat Street Northshore 

what to do in brisbane - eat street northshore
Photo credit: broadsheet.com.au

If discovering and devouring local food is your favourite part about travelling, then open-air market precinct Eat Street Northshore should be high on your ‘what to do in Brisbane’ list. 180 dining and entertainment shipping containers make a colorful landmark in Brisbane’s culinary scene. 

3. Climb Story Bridge

what to do in brisbane - story bridge
Photo credit: klook.com
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You can walk across bridges anywhere, but there are only three places in the world where you can climb on top of a bridge. And two of them are in Australia – Sydney Harbour Bridge and Story Bridge here in Brisbane. Experience a unique perspective of the city and its surroundings. On a clear day, you can see from Glass House Mountains in the north to Moreton Bay in the east and Scenic Rim in the south.

4. Do a river cruise

what to do in brisbane - brisbane river
Photo credit: wikipedia.org

One of the best ways to see Brisbane is with a river cruise. There are many operators that will take you down the Brisbane River for a scenic tour, such as River City Cruises which run some of the most popular ones. Kookaburra River Queens offers lunch, high tea, and dinner cruises aboard their paddle wheelers. You can also hop aboard a Miramar Cruise to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (more on this later!)

5. Explore South Bank

south bank
Photo credit: theurbandeveloper.com

Sitting directly across the CBD, South Bank is home to an array of parklands, plazas, and promenades. Streets Beach is a South Bank icon and an oasis in the middle of Brisbane City. It is the world’s only inner-city, man-made beach, boasting a blue lagoon surrounded by white sand and sub-tropical plants. After your time at the beach, check out the giant Wheel of Brisbane that will give you a bird’s-eye view of the river and city.

6. Cuddle some koalas

lone pine koala sanctuary
Photo credit: theremotetraveller.com
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A trip to Brisbane just isn’t complete without a visit to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. The world’s oldest and largest koala sanctuary, it is one of the few places where you can still get up close and personal with these Aussie natives. Apart from holding koalas, you can also hand-feed kangaroos and get up close with over 70 species of other adorable Aussie animals.

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