Skyline view of Brisbane, Australia

Travel Guide: 14 Free Things to Do in Brisbane, Australia!

So what do you do when you travel to a place where you have always wanted to be, but you do not have the luxury of spending too much either?

How do you get around that major hurdle? How do you tour around for almost free?

Although your accommodation and basic necessities will need to be taken care of, I can, however, help you with finding some of the cheapest or completely free things to do in Brisbane.

1. Swim a while at Streets beach

Free things to do in Brisbane; streets beach
©peter lacey

There are many kinds of interactions in the tourism world.

Museums, national parks, historical sites, gardens, cool ships and so on.

Biking and hiking you might have done a lot, but have you ever started your trip by taking a dip on a beach somewhere?

The beach in Brisbane is one of the best attractions in the province. It is an enormous lagoon, widely popular among foreign travelers and visitors of the local vicinity.

If you come in the right season, let’s say summer, then perhaps you might want to start your trip by taking a dip in the middle of the city?

If you are travelling around with a family and kids, too tired to go to any major attractions in the city, if you have chosen your accommodation somewhere nearby, then why not come here for a while?

Let your kids play around in the sand, take your partner with you, go for a small swim, relax, let the tension in your shoulders melt away in the clean blue water of the beach-style lagoon.

2. Admire the artworks at QAGOMA

Things to do for free in Brisbane; QAGOMA

Seeking places filled with artwork might not be the first choice of most visitors anywhere.

Most travelers often seek places with a lot of recreational activities, adventurous moments, musical concerts and so on.

But those that do love art, those visiting Brisbane, would appreciate the expansive collection of various masterpieces in the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art.

As the name suggests, while one collects art from various eras, the other collects basic art pieces with a modern theme.

Most of the time, the exhibitions are free to attend.

So, even if you are travelling on a tight budget, this is a great place you can be when you are touring the city.

Although the major exhibitions in this place require a paid fee, there are many more exhibitions that you can attend in this place. Alternatively, perhaps you would like to admire the major attractions for a negligibly small fee.

3. Join a day cruise on City Hopper

Things to do for free in Brisbane; cityhopper cruise
©Courier mail

Going back and forth between North Quay in the CBD and Sidney St Station in New Farm Park, have you seen the tiny red vessel known as cityhopper boats?

If you research about them, you will get to know that they transport people for free, between these two points.

If you are looking for a unique and memorable experience, one of the best things to do while in Brisbane, why not join the people willing to go to one of these points and tour from Sidney St to North Quay?

Take some pictures of yourself aboard one of the boats, brag about it to your friends, experience something new.

After all, doing the routine things while travelling to different places is not all that fun is it?

What makes travel entertaining is finding hidden gems, special things to do in any place, something unique, something that will stay in your memory for a long time.

While this may not be a luxurious experience, you can get on an expensive cruise ship, but trying new things is a trial on their own.

Alternatively, if you are willing to spend some money, then there are many City River cruises along the Brisbane River that you can buy a ticket for. Whether you’re alone or with your special person, you can enjoy the luxurious experience offered by private cruises.

4.  Check out the scene at the Local Farmers Market

While there are major attractions aplenty in Brisbane, if you are going to stay a few days in the city, then perhaps after visiting the top attractions, why not spend some time experiencing the local routine?

Brisbane local farmers market is a good place to stroll around, to explore the fresh produce sold in the area, from flowers to meats and even artisan goods.

Feel like one of the residents, mingle with the locals, ask about good places to visit in the city.

One of the best ways to tour any place, is to ask guidance from the locals and this is a great area to do that.

Most of locals visit the area their daily needs,it’s a great place to meet people. So, if you’re already in the city and staying for a while then why not try this place out?

It is free after all!

5. Attend free live shows!

Most tourists, apart from visiting the usual attractions in any place, have faced buying expensive tickets for concerts, it’s something you might have done too.

So, imagine watching live musical performances but making it free.

Yes, that’s right, it’s not click bait!

Brisbane is commonly known to be the best place in Australia to attend to free live music performances.

Every week in various specified areas, you can see performances happening that you can attend for free.

Most of this live shows are performed by either local artists or music bands on a tour.

Some of the places that you can catch these shows are post office square, Green Street mall and South Bank.

6. New Farm Park

Ask any local about some of the best things to do in Brisbane, enjoying a picnic, taking a stroll or just lying on the grass in Newfarm park will definitely be in the top five of the list.

Quite popular among locals and every repeated visitor to the city, the new farm park is known for its expansive field, with an open area waiting for as many people as can come.

Enjoy the warm day in cold winter, get some tan in the summertime, come with your kids, let them play around, join in the fun of other families, have some family bonding recreational activities.

Bring food with you, make it a picnic. There is no end to finding things to do in a park as good as this.

One of the best places in the province offers a gorgeous view of the cityscape. Like most of the things on this list, it is also free.

7. Queensland Museum

While some of the special attractions may be ticketed to the Queensland museum, for those looking to visit places for free, there is plenty more to see.

Discover the natural world exhibit in the Queensland museum, from lions to bears. It is a great place to visit with kids.

You will always find visitors flocking to this place, mostly families, like school groups with little children hopping from one display to another, it’s a good place to be.

8. See the sunrise from Mount coot-tha

There is a special kind of allure in watching the sunrise in the morning, coloring the horizon with a yellowish tinge of orange.

Some travel junkies visit different corners of the world, just to see the sunrise above, to relish the experience of witnessing the divine moment from the best skylines in the world.

To those who understand wanderlust, to those close to their spirituality, this can be a highly emotional moment. A moment of quiet contemplation, a moment of being one with your inner self.

The problem with this is, that in metro cities, that have gigantic concrete buildings, hiding the skyline, it is extremely hard to witness such miracles.

This is one of the places that lets you enjoy watching a gorgeous sunrise, usually hiding behind the Brisbane skyline.

So if you do want to experience this special moment, then you will have to visit quite early, before dawn, if you want to bring some snacks with you.

Find this perfect spot. Enjoy the sunrise, the perfect place to be in Brisbane city.

9. Go hiking in the nearby mountains

To those adventurous and thrill-seeking travellers, that tend to look for places to hike just as they touch at the airport, you need not get disappointed just yet!

Although Brisbane is a city, an urban area bereft of such amenities, if you’re already in the city, what harm is it to just travel around in the 30 kilometer area of Brisbane and discover some great places to hike along The Walking trails.

Now you may not own a car as you are a traveller here, but what about rentals? Ask around the locals and they will direct you to the nearest rental or level and you can just right there, Alternatively, you can take a bus also.

10. The Museum of Brisbane

If you are a history buff, the kind of tourist that takes pictures of and takes pleasure in discovering the ancient civilizations of the places, seeking old arts and craft tools and perhaps some paintings and artworks from bygone eras, then this is definitely a great place for you to be.

The Museum of Brisbane mainly collects and documents about the area, having a vast collection of various artefacts related to the history of Brisbane.

11. Relive your childhood at the planetarium

It’s a planetarium situated in the Mount coot-tha botanical gardens, featuring astronomical shows from the present to back in the beginning of the universe.

If you are travelling around with your kids, then introduce them to the amazing field of Astronomical science. What better way to get them off their phone than take them on a journey to space?

While most of the exhibits in this planetarium are for free, The Saturday Night Live Sky show and the recorded shows of the cosmic skydome both require some fees.

12. Let your kids loose at the Corner

Travelling around is hectic enough, planning tickets, booking your shows, being in a strange town, among strange people, living a life quite different than your own, different culture. Perhaps there are many things that might stress you out, and then come the kids.

If you are travelling around with your kids, then I understand how much of a hard task managing them keeping them happy can be.

But if they’re not happy, no one is happy.

Spending long intervals of time on public transportation can get them stressed, wound up.

So what do you do?

When you’re travelling in Brisbane, take your kids to the state library on the corner.

It’s a perfectly safe-kids-friendly play area. You can let the stress in your mind melt away for a while.

For all kids under the age of 8, there are a lot of recreational activities for them to participate in, from digital games, reading activities to recreational activities of other kinds.

Being around little kids of their own age, they might make friends and feel like they’re truly travelling.

Let them have some fun, relax the restrictions a bit, because it is playtime.

13. Go mountain climbing

Although there are many things you can do to do urban attractions, visiting museums or going to the best eateries or bars in the area and meeting new people, but if you are an adrenaline junkie, if you are a mountain climber, then that perhaps might be a problem.

Well, worry not just yet! We have something for you too as well.

While not exactly in the city, if you have planned your stay for a while, then how about taking a day tour to the nearby mountains?

14. Go up the trails of Mount Cot-tha

Although there is an option of taking a drive to the top of this mountain, as we are focusing on those that want adventure, then going up by car is not how they roll.

From the bottom of the mountain to the top there is a trail leading up, well travelled and quite safe. If you are willing to test your stamina here, then you are welcome to do so.

Spend about an hour climbing up the mountain to the popular lookout spot where you can admire Brisbane city in its entirety.

So, these are some of the things you could enjoy doing in Brisbane for either quite cheap but mostly free.

Now that you know, the next you visit Brisbane, travel while feeling like royalty without having to spend any money!

Go on now, explorer, it’s time. Happy travels!

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