To the north, south, east, and west, Brisbane is surrounded by a kaleidoscope of diverse landscapes in every direction. On the eastern horizon lies the island-studded playground of Moreton Bay. Drive an hour west from Brisbane and you’ll discover the endless sights and outdoor adventure activities of the Scenic Rim’s lakes and mountains.
While there are a multitude of fun times to be had in the beautiful landscapes surrounding Brisbane, there are even more fun times in store within the boundary of Queensland’s capital. Brisbane is a treasure trove of lively entertainment, culture, shopping, wining, dining, and fun experiences. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the best places to have fun in Brisbane.
Story Bridge Adventure Climb
Every day of the week, you can find visitors and locals alike taking the trek up Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge to take in the expansive juxtaposition of towering buildings, blue seas, and rolling green hills of Brisbane and the surrounding area from high above the Brisbane River.
After reaching the top and stopping to enjoy the view of a lifetime, you can take your Brisbane adventure to the next level by opting for the Abseil Climb. After all, who wants to trek down stairs when you can zip down from the Brisbane icon?
Whether you have little ones or just desire an escape in a beautiful natural setting, Southbank Parklands is a great place to spend a sunny Brisbane day. With riverside walking and cycling paths, a breathtaking beach, lush gardens, vibrant shopping, and a wide range of dining options, there is sure to be something fun for everyone at Southbank Parklands.
Riverlife Adventure Centre
Riverlife provides a host of fun outdoor activities and is a popular spot for both locals and visitors. Here, you can spend an hour or two rollerblading or biking along the beautiful riverfront, move on to an adrenaline-pumping rock climb, head down to the Kangaroo Point Cliffs for some abseiling, kayak down the azure waters of the Brisbane River, and much more.
Best of all, all of these fun activities are affordable, even for traveling Dutchmen on the tightest of budgets. From little ones as young as eight years old to adults, there is fun in the sun for everyone at the Riverlife Adventure Centre.
Queen Street Mall
As Brisbane’s long-time shopping destination, the Queen Street Mall has long been the retail and fashion centre of Queensland. In the heart of Brisbane City, the vibrant shopping destination is perhaps Australia’s most popular pedestrian mall, hosting upwards of 26 million people every year.
Home to over 700 local, national, and international labels and retailers, Queen Street Mall provides an unparalleled shopping and leisure experience. Here, you’ll discover an array of restaurants, bars, cafes, 5-star hotels, day spas, salons, cinemas, a grand casino, and so much more. Only five minutes down the road, you can also peruse the museums and galleries located along the riverside.
Although one could spend a week just having fun in and around Queen Street Mall, “The Valley” as it’s called by locals, was the first district dedicated strictly for entertainment in all of Australia. Today, Fortitude Valley is abuzz with the sounds of music and people. Not only are popular music venues like the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and The Zoo located here, but international bands and DJs are also drawn to the area’s chic bars and clubs.
If you’re in need of a little midnight party snack, the Chinatown Mall is full of authentic Chinese supermarkets and restaurants serving delicious yum cha and dim sum. You can also find a slew of interesting and affordable items in Chinatown’s quirky markets.
However, Fortitude Valley is also home to a multitude of small lifestyle strips, where locals and visitors enjoy an endless mix of shoppes, bars, and restaurants in an array of unique atmospheric settings. For instance, The Emporium emits a European village vibe, Brunswick Street plays host to an assortment of multicultural restaurants and bars, and James Street houses the best Australian fashion labels.
Every Dutchman loves a good beer, and there’s no better place to enjoy a fine craft brew in all of Brisbane than the Scratch Bar. This unique and charming pub takes its beers very seriously. Featuring an ever-changing menu of craft beers on tap from around the globe, this trendsetting little bar is heaven on earth for every self-proclaimed ale lover. From Raspberry Ale and Toffee Apple Amber to Cherry Wheat Porter and everything in between, the Scratch Bar is the place to sit back, relax, and enjoy good laughs while drinking a quality brew or two.
Brisbane is home to a number of other great bars and pubs as well. Golden Chains Motels wrote an excellent blog post on the best beer bars in Brisbane and is definitely worth checking out.
Thanks to beautiful natural scenery in every direction, endless days of sunshine, and a fun-loving population, there are a tonne of fun things to do in Brisbane. So, grab a swim suit or put on your shopping shoes and get ready for some fun in the sun!
This is a guest post by Andre Smith. Andre is a Brisbanian who loves exploring Australia and going on exciting road trips with his friends. He also likes to blog about everything related to cars.