Brisbane is now a home away from home for me. After living there for 4 months, and easily seeing myself back there in the near future, I had to tell you all about the wonderful things you can get up to, without breaking your poor backpacker-bank-balance!
Free Walking Tours
These are a backpackers dream and are available in all major cities! Normally, people who run these just work off donations but don’t feel obliged to hand over your money, especially if you didn’t think it was worth it. These tours can let you in on all the locals tourist spots as well as some fascinating folktales and local history! They will give you a good grounding in where you are and what you could be doing. They are also a great way to meet fellow travellers! So for 2 hours of your life you get to have a free guide of the city and you can start getting excited about exploring it yourself!
City Botanical Gardens
By far my favourite place to either go and relax by myself with a good book on a summers morning, or with a group of friends where you can throw a towel down and have a picnic (which involves 3 bags full of stuff which brought together only cost you $3 each!) The gardens also offer FREE guided walks at both 11am and 1pm for around an hour. Click here to find out more.
Easily the highlight of Brisbane! With it’s beautiful landscape and glistening river, you will spend many a day strolling through the waving paths. Being in a city can make you feel deprived of the beach scene, but not for long! There is a lagoon on Southbank, think of it as a fake beach with a city backdrop! It may not top the stunning white caved beaches we all know and love about Australia but it’s a great day out! So grab your towel and plenty of sun lotion and relax on the sand with a friend or two.
Getting peckish? Believe me, the prices of food on Southbank can be enough to give any backpacker a headache, but you can find som great bargains! And remember, every traveller must treat themselves. I have many a time at Southbank after living in Brisbane for 4 months. The food is unbelievable and if you still want something to do, Southbank offers one of the cheapest IMAX cinemas around!
Fancy an afternoon of immersing yourself in local and aboriginal culture? Then the Queensland Museum can offer you just that! It hosts such amazing exhibitions (which come at a cost) but the museum itself is free to wander!
Queensland Art Gallery
Feeling a little uncultured? Don’t know much about art? None of that matters when you have a whole art gallery at your disposal for the morning and not a dollar has slipped out of your pocket! Spend the morning perusing beautiful art pieces and follow it off with a nice iced coffee before you brace the heat which is waiting outside!
Mount Coot-tha & Botanical Gardens
Such a missed place in Brisbane! So few know about this place! Jump on a bus to Mount Coot-tha and you will be hit with the overwhelming sight of Brisbane Skyline right in front of you! You could spend a good time there staring off into the distance, but don’t forget that the botanical gardens are just one bus stop back from the way you came and there are plenty of walking trays at you leisure to explore whilst your up the top!
D’Aguilar National Park
Another missed place! Brisbane and it’s surrounds are overflowing with nature and beauty, yet so many people miss out! This national park will let you in for a full days worth of exploring! Once you arrive, head to the information desk for a free map, and then do as I did, and ignore the map and get insanely lost for 4 hours. Only to discover hidden lakes, bays scattered with tiny frogs and sights I shall never forget! Don’t forget to take a blanket and some food, because you will want to spend the whole day there! Check out my Follow Me Around video here.
FREE AND CHEAP TRANSPORT
If you plan on staying in Brisbane for a while then I recommend you getting your hands on a GoCard! It offers cheaper prices on public transport and is so easy just to top up as you go! Also, a really helpful website is translink.com.au which provides live timetables on the go!
Want to be out on the open water? The CityHopper is totally free and is just a hop on hop off service running between points along the Brisbane river. Even if you don’t need to get to a particular place, then the CityHopper can offer a day of exploration and adventure as you sue it freely at no cost to you! We cannot complain about a free boat at our disposal now can we?
CHEAP DAYS OUT
Brisbane is in the centre of such beautiful coastline that you would be mad to miss out on exploring it all!
Cycle the river
We have all seen those bikes mounted up alone the pavement, but have we ever really thought about hiring one! Well with CityCyle, it is super cheap to do! Just register online here and grab a bike and get exploring! All along the river is totally adaptable to cyclists so is the perfect route for all travellers! (A handy tip: Your first hour is free, so with loads of docking stations around the city, just dock your bike back before the hour is up and take out another one!)
Gold Coast & The Sunshine Coast
With both iconic locations directly above and below you, getting yourself a GoCard will be the best thing you have ever done! With train lines running to both ends, you have easy access to them! Once you spend a day in both, you can then decide whether they are places you want to book a night to two in!
Let me know in the comments below of your favourite free things to do in Brisbane! Always looking to update the list 🙂