30 places you need to take your mum (and mates) when they visit Brisbane - Choose Brisbane


30 places you need to take your mum (and mates) when they visit Brisbane

Huzzah! You have family and friends on their way to visit you in Brisbane. Clean your apartment, stock the fridge, vacuum the cat … no, wait. Don’t do that. Leave the cat alone.

So your mates (and your mum) have seen the photos, now you get to show them all your favourite places IRL. Don’t waste a moment – we’ve picked out 30 things to do with your visitors to give them an authentic Brisbane experience. So much to do, so little time!

1. Picnic at Kangaroo Point

Picnic at Kangaroo Point

Where else would you begin? Introduce your friends and family to a picnic with a stellar view of Brisbane City and the Brisbane River.

2. Up your Brisbane knowledge

Drop into the Visitor Information Centre in Queen Street Mall to pick up your maps and guides of the city. You can check out the old Regent Theatre while you’re there and get any questions about transport and bookings for activities answered by the friendly staff.

3. City Cycle Brisbane Greeter Tour


Incidental exercise is great, especially after a long flight. Jump on CityCycles with the Brisbane Greeters and head out to uncover some secrets about the city.

4. Mt Coot-tha for sunrise

Sunrise at Mt Coot-tha

The sleep-in can wait. The city’s best sunrise can be seen from Mt Coot-tha lookout. Head up while it’s still dark so you don’t miss out on the action. Tip: Take the camera – this is a great photo op.

5. Messina for gelato

Gelato Messina

Brisbane’s favourite dessert food is up for grabs at Gelato Messina. Satisfy your sweet tooth for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

6. Cuddle koalas at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

This is half about the photo op, and half about the adorable cuddles on offer by the world’s least scary bears (OK, we know they’re not really bears). Kangaroo feeding is also on the cards.

7. Watch the croc-feeding at Australia Zoo

Drop into the home of the Crocodile Hunter to learn about Australia’s wildlife. You may even catch one of the famous Irwins walking around.

8. Discover Brisbane’s laneways

Winn Lane

There’s always something special hidden in each of Brisbane’s laneways. Whether you’re seeking food, coffee, drinks, street art or shopping, you’ll find it here.

9. Explore North Stradbroke Island

Got a full day to kill? Tick off some of these 41 things to do on North Stradbroke Island.

10. Climb the Story Bridge


That’s not a view … this is a view! Take your folks and friends up the Story Bridge on the twilight climb to see the sun set.

11. City Hall viewing platform

Do the tourist thing. Go into City Hall in King George Square and head up the clock tower for a city view.

12. Dinner at Eagle Street Pier

Grab a feed with your guests and take in a view of the Brisbane River at the same time. Take your mum to Sake, Madame Wu or Aria to impress; take your mates to Grill’d or Guzman Y Gomez...

13. Show or concert at QPAC

Plan in advance and line up the visit with a show or concert.

14. Rooftop bars

Spicers Balfour

Brisbane’s weather is awesome – take advantage of it from up high. You can wind down with a cool drink after a long day exploring the city. We suggest Next, Up on Constance or Limes. Find the best of them here.

15. Brisbane River cruise

Check out the city from a different angle. Brisbane River cruises show off the waterfront suburbs including Toowong, West End, South Bank, Kangaroo Point and the city around to Bulimba, New Farm, Teneriffe and Ascot.  

16. Sunday session

The only place to spend Sunday afternoon is by the river. We suggest you take your guests to Stokehouse Q at South Bank, iL Molo Italian Kitchen & Bar at Bulimba or Watt Bar at New Farm.

17. Teneriffe boardwalk

Head out for a leisurely stroll along the picturesque river walk at Teneriffe. This is best done mid-afternoon after a hearty, healthy lunch nearby.

18. Dinner at South Bank

Watch the sun set over the Brisbane River and Streets Beach and head to dinner at one of the many multicultural restaurants at Brisbane’s South Bank. You may even catch the weekend markets along Little Stanley Street.

19. Brisbane City Markets

This is an iconic market in Brisbane CBD showcasing the city’s best local produce, bakers and makers. Drop into the market at the top end of Queen Street Mall every Wednesday!

20. Live music at Brooklyn Standard 

Round up your mates for a night out at this New York-inspired basement bar where you can enjoy jazz, funk and sweet, sweet blues.

21. Coffee at John Mills Himself

Do coffee like a Brisbanite. Your folks will love it. 

22. Check out an exhibition at GOMA or QAG

Show off the city’s cultural centre and check out what’s on offer at Australia’s largest Gallery of Modern Art or the Queensland Art Gallery.

23. Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

City Botanic Gardens

Take time to rejuvenate. Go for a wander around Brisbane’s inner-city botanic garden and have a gander at Queensland University of Technology’s Gardens Point campus.

24. Shopping in Queen Street Mall

No holiday is complete without a healthy dose of retail therapy. Shop up a storm along the city’s main drag.

25. Lunch at James St

Tinderbox Kitchen

Enjoy the laid-back vibes on offer along James St and dig into a damn fine meal at the popular Gerard’s Bar, Tinderbox or Cru Bar to name a few. If you’re up for some shopping after, you’ll find plenty to uncover along the Fortitude Valley shopping trail.

26. Performance at the Powerhouse

Alternative music, comedy and theatre take to the stage at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Book in advance or take advantage of some of the free acts on offer. Dine before at Watt Bar to make a night of it.

27. Tour of your university campus

Show off your uni campus with a tour of your lecture theatres, classrooms and restaurants and cafes surrounding.

28. Local brews in West End


Go for a trendy bar hop through Brisbane’s West End visiting The Catchment, Brisbane Brewing Co and Archive Beer Boutique.

29. Brunch in New Farm

Little Loco Cafe

Show your visitors how Brisbanites like to brunch and take them somewhere cool in New Farm like The Gettin Place, King Arthur Café, Little Loco or Little Larder.

30. Wilson’s Outlook

Finish the trip with a picturesque sunset overlooking the Story Bridge and Brisbane River.

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