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
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. Take a 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. Greet the 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.
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.
6. 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.
7. Discover Brisbane’s laneways
There’s always something special hidden down Brisbane’s laneways. Whether you’re seeking food, coffee, drinks, street art or shopping, you’ll find it here.
8. Explore North Stradbroke Island
Got a full day to kill? Tick off some of these things to do on North Stradbroke Island.
9. 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.
10. Climb the City Hall Clock Tower
Do the tourist thing. Go into City Hall in King George Square and head up the clock tower for a majestic city view.
11. 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 City Winery, Coppa Spuntino or Fatcow Steak & Lobster to impress, and take your mates to Grill’d or Guzman Y Gomez for a more casual feed.
12. Enjoy a show or concert at QPAC
Plan in advance and line up the visit with that must-see show or concert everyone’s been talking about.
13. Up the altitude at a rooftop bar
Brisbane enjoys almost 300 days of sunshine every year, so why not take advantage of it from up high? You can wind down with a cool drink after a long day exploring the city. There’s certainly no shortage of rooftop bars for you to choose from – find the best of them here.
14. Cruise the Brisbane River
Check out the city from a different angle. Whether it’s cruising up and down the winding Brisbane River and checking out our waterfront suburbs, or putting about on the expansive blue of Moreton Bay, being out on the water is a real treat. Take your pick of boat tours around Brisbane here.
15. Chill out with a Sunday session
The only place to spend a Sunday afternoon in Brisbane is by the river. We suggest you take your guests to OTTO in South Bank, iL Molo Italian Kitchen & Bar in Bulimba, Mary Mae’s in New Farm, or just pack a picnic and BYO drinks to River Quay Green in South Bank.
16. Stroll the 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.
17. 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.
18. Browse the Brisbane City Markets
This is an iconic market in the 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!
19. Catch live music
Round up your mates for a night out at one of Brisbane’s live music venues. From big names on big stages to local bands in small, sweaty and intimate spaces, Brisbane’s live music scene is constantly evolving.
20. Take in an exhibition at QAGOMA
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.
21. Relax at the Brisbane 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.
22. Go 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.
23. Lunch on James St
Enjoy the laid-back vibes on offer along fashionable James St in Fortitude Valley and dig into a damn fine meal at Gerard’s Bar, Tinderbox or Cru Bar, to name a few. If you’re up for some shopping afterwards, you’ll find plenty to uncover along the Fortitude Valley shopping trail.
24. Be entertained 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, and make a meal of it at one of the restaurants located within the venue.
24. Tour your university campus
Show off your uni campus with a tour of your lecture theatres, facilities and surrounding cafes and restaurants.
26. Go bar hopping in West End
If your visitor fancies a brew or two, go for a trendy bar hop through Brisbane’s West End, visiting the likes of The Catchment, Brisbane Brewing Co and Archive Beer Boutique.
27. Brunch in New Farm
Show your visitors how Brisbanites like to brunch and take them for a stroll in New Farm Park, followed by a bite at one of New Farm’s great cafes like Miss Jones, Pablo, Little Loco or The Little Larder.
28. See the sun set from Wilson Outlook Reserve
Finish the trip with a picturesque sunset overlooking the Story Bridge and Brisbane River. The view from this hidden gem of a park in New Farm is hard to beat.