Things to do in Brisbane for all the family

A city on a winding river, with taxi boats instead of a tube and plenty of green space for relaxing; Brisbane is the perfect city to chill in.

We were lucky enough to call this place home for just under two months, living on the river in suburban Bulimba.

There’s coffee shops, parks, restaurants, shops and weekend evening outings to enjoy here.

A few of our favourite things to do were:

River walks

Every Brisbanian knows a sunny weekend means a stroll along the river. A good place to start is Park Farm – a coffeeshop on the park will kick start the walk – and finish up for a lunch and beer at the brewery under the bridge.

River cruise

You can pay for tourist boats but why not hop on the City Cat taxi boats. You can swipe your travel card much like the tube in other major cities and ride the entire length of the river on one fare.

Along the way soak up the green spaces and some of the city’s industrial architecture.

Park Farm

This stop along the river is a destination in itself. With free BBQ’s overlooking the water families flock with picnic blankets and sports equipment for social gatherings in the sunshine, year round.

On a Saturday morning you can also take part in Park Run here.

Eat Street

An evening out at Eat Street promises to have your mouth watering.

The shipping container village puts on live music Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The variety of food stalls and sweet treats, as well as gift stops and bars will keep everyone entertained.

There’s a small fee for entry payable on the door.

Picnic under the bridge

Head to the iconic Brisbane bridge and you’ll find a Howard Smith Wharves on the banks underneath.

There’s food trucks and picnic rugs so all you need is your suncream and yourself.

Visit the suburbs

Head out of the city on the City Cat and get a taste of local life in Brisbane.

Bulimba was a favourite suburb to stroll through, with a quaint original church, traditional Queenslander homes and modern apartments. Coffee stops and street side take outs were always bustling and the large playing field busy with football and other sports clubs training.

Mount Coot-tha

 This lookout offers spectacular panoramic views over the CBD all the way to Moreton Bay.

There are walking tracks through the National Park and a cafe at the top.

South Bank

Just over the river from the CBD, with epic views the city skyline is South Bank.

This spot is perfect for a stroll or some sunbathing – with its own city beach! Yes, there’s sand!

Museums and galleries 

Mainly located on South Bank as mentioned above, most have free entry or a fee for special exhibitions.

Brisbane sign 

Also located on South Bank the iconic giant letters which spell out this city’s name are a favourite spot for an Instagram snap, with the city behind you.

Two dollar food trucks and markets

Keep an eye on one-off events and weekly markets. We headed to the suburb of Sunnybank for the $2 food truck event and got to feast on a number of cuisines from the stalls.

Botanical Gardens

It wouldn’t be an Australian city without an botanical garden!

Take an afternoon to mooch the grounds and escape the city buzz. There’s cafes and a vantage point to look back on the city.

Outlet shopping

Drive out towards the airport or south down the Sunshine Coast and hunt for a bargain at the outlet shopping malls.

We called Brissy home for six weeks during the winter (which feels more like a British spring).

Living in Bulimba felt like we had settled in a lively village with good trade and community spirit. The city itself felt like a bustling town with a busy business district.

I can’t recommend the city enough for a base to pick up work, have all the amenities without the overwhelming rush of a big city.

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