Beyond the Shopping in Brisbane City

By travellingwithmynikon | Oct 6, 2020
Oceania > Australia > Queensland > Brisbane

There is more to Brisbane City than a shopping precinct, and hopefully, you'll find these gems to explore when you're here.

The Brisbane sign at the start of Southbank at the southern end of Victoria Bridge and across from the Queensland Performing Arts Centre

The Brisbane sign at the start of Southbank at the southern end of Victoria Bridge and across from the Queensland Performing Arts Centre

City Hall And Brisbane Museum

City Hall is open for all to explore from the Clock Tower at the very top to the Auditorium. The impressive architecture is on display from the moment you step through the doors.

Just by stepping through the doors, you see the incredible architecture of this building

Just by stepping through the doors, you see the incredible architecture of this building

You can go up the stairs to view the Auditorium from the balcony seating or take the lift to the 1st floor.

The Auditorium where concerts and shows are performed

The Auditorium where concerts and shows are performed

The organ at the back of the stage was built in 1892. Free tours detail the history of the building and organ throughout the day. You can prebook here. You are also free to explore on your own.

On the third level is the Museum of Brisbane. It is here that you also have access to the views from the Clock Tower above through free tours every 15 minutes.

The view from the top across the city

The view from the top across the city

You have views across the city from above, but taller buildings surround City Hall obstructing views of the river and across to Southbank.

The old cage lift is located behind the reception area of the Museum

The old cage lift is located behind the reception area of the Museum

Whether you are exploring the Museum or going up the Clock Tower, large bags have to be checked into the cloakroom.

On the way back down from the top, you stop to see the inner workings of the clock. As you're in a cage lift, you can see what makes it tick, as you don't get out here.

One of the exhibitions inside the museum

One of the exhibitions inside the museum

Once again the Museum is free although you may have to pay for one of the exhibits. The exhibits change regularly, so there is no excuse not to come back again.

Museum Of Brisbane Hours:

  • Monday-Thursday and Saturday-Sunday: 10:00 AM–05:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM–07:00 PM
  • Public Holidays open times: Anzac Day 01:00 PM–05:00 PM, all other public holidays 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day: Closed

Clock Tower Tours:

  • Daily: 10.15 AM-4.45 PM | Every 15 minutes | Tours depart from MoB, Level 3, City Hall

Albert Street Uniting Church

Across the road from City Hall, you have a great view of the Church from the Clock Tower

Across the road from City Hall, you have a great view of the Church from the Clock Tower

Opened in 1889, this Church has been at the heart of Brisbane since then. You are free to look inside at your leisure, and volunteers are there to answer any query you might have.

Inside the Albert Street Uniting Church is a quiet reprieve from the hustle and bustle outside

Inside the Albert Street Uniting Church is a quiet reprieve from the hustle and bustle outside

Once again, there is a beautiful Organ behind the altar and stained glass windows line both walls.

Hours:

  • Monday-Friday: 10:00 AM–02:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday: 09:00 AM–10:00 AM and 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Roma Street Parklands

Behind Roma Street, Bus and Train Stations, is the Parklands, a welcome place to relax amongst nature.

Waterways, trees, flowers and more are here for you to spend a morning or afternoon

Waterways, trees, flowers and more are here for you to spend a morning or afternoon

This area has many walkways through misty rainforests, around the lake, explore gardens or just relax on the grass.

One of the many Water Dragons wandering around the grounds

One of the many Water Dragons wandering around the grounds

Water Dragons are one of the many wildlife types of wildlife that call this park home. They are seen on the walkways, gardens and on rocks, posing for your photos.

There is one cafe in the park, The Garden Room Cafe, although you can bring your own picnic to enjoy on the many grass areas.

Relax with a cooling ice-cream or drink in the Garden Cafe

Relax with a cooling ice-cream or drink in the Garden Cafe

Roma Street Parklands is 16 hectares of beautiful gardens and a refreshing park to be on a hot summers day. It is certainly a place you have to visit when you're in Brisbane.

The Lake in the middle of Roma Street Parklands

The Lake in the middle of Roma Street Parklands

The Garden Room Cafe Hours:

  • Monday-Wednesday: 07:00 AM–04:30 PM
  • Thursday-Sunday: 07:00 AM–04:30 PM

Botanic Gardens

At the other end of the city from the Roma Street Parklands is the City Botanic Gardens. Here you have grass to lie on under trees over a century old.

The Duck Pond and Fountain in the Botanic Gardens

The Duck Pond and Fountain in the Botanic Gardens

Here you'll find a Duckpond and Avenue of Weeping Figs, to keep you cool in the hot summer months.

One of the Fig Trees on the Avenue of Fig trees is a refreshing reprieve on a hot day

One of the Fig Trees on the Avenue of Fig trees is a refreshing reprieve on a hot day

As it is right beside the Brisbane River, there is nearly always a welcome breeze to take the sting out of the heat. Here a walkway along the riverfront gives you views of the Story Bridge.

Yachts line the Brisbane River as it winds under the Story Bridge

Yachts line the Brisbane River as it winds under the Story Bridge

Old Government House

Another example of an "old" building by Brisbane standards

Located at the southern end of the Botanic Gardens is the Old Government House building.

One-hour guided tours take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is free but bookings are essential as places are limited. Contact Government House to book.

There is also a podcast that you can listen to as you wander through the rooms.

Hours:

  • Saturday: Closed
  • Monday-Friday and Sunday: 10:00 AM–04:00 PM

Guided Tours:

  • Tuesday and Thursday: 10:30 AM

Brisbane River - Cruise And Walk

The Brisbane River is the real focal point of the city and is a star attraction all on its own.

With walkways lining both sides of the river, you can spend all day exploring what there is to see along the river.

CityCat ferries and CityHoppers operate on the river, and you can either use them or one of the cruises that will also give you something to eat or drink.

Kurilpa Bridge is one of the pedestrian bridges crossing the river

Kurilpa Bridge is one of the pedestrian bridges crossing the river

You can cross the river using the Kurilpa Bridge which takes you across to the Cultural Precinct. It is here that you have the Gallery of Modern Art, State Library, Queensland Art Gallery and Queensland Museum.

The Victoria Bridge is a pedestrian and vehicle bridge. It is the main bridge in the centre of the city for crossing the river and will take you across to the Cultural Precinct and Southbank Parklands.

The Goodwill Bridge takes you from Southbank, the Maritime Museum or the Kangaroo Point Cliffs across to the City Botanic Gardens and the walkway along to the Howard Smith Wharves.

From the wharves, you cross back over the Story Bridge to get to the top of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs and the views of the Brisbane City Skyline.

The view of the city skyline from the Kangaroo Point Cliffs

The view of the city skyline from the Kangaroo Point Cliffs

More To Do On The River

Take a river cruise to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary from the jetty in front of the Queensland Art Gallery. Read all about visiting the Koalas here and other places at my blog Koalas Around Brisbane.

You can also take a City Cat to Eat Street Northshore in Hamilton. These weekend markets have foods you can try from all around the world. On Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday afternoons, and evenings, you have live music to add to the atmosphere, and you can find more information on my blog here, Eat Street Northshore.

Southbank Parklands And The Cultural Precinct

Southbank Parklands is the area that Brisbane comes to play, especially on the weekends and school holidays.

The Cultural Precinct is where the Gallery of Modern Art, State Library, Queensland Art Gallery and Queensland Museum are located.

Crossing the Victoria Bridge across to Southbank Parklands on the left-hand side

Crossing the Victoria Bridge across to Southbank Parklands on the left-hand side

There are three bridges you can cross to bring you here. The Kurilpa Bridge, which takes you to the western end of the Cultural Precinct, the Goodwill Bridge, which takes you from the City Botanic Gardens to the western side of Southbank Parklands, and Victoria Bridge, which takes you from the City Centre to Southbank and/or the Cultural Precinct.

Crossing the Kurilpa Bridge to GOMA

Crossing the Kurilpa Bridge to GOMA

If you are arriving by train, you can get off at either Southbank station or South Brisbane, or by bus, you can get off on the Northern end of Victoria Bridge. Visit Translink to find your route.

Cultural Precinct

The Cultural Precinct covers the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), the State Library, the Queensland Art Gallery and Queensland Museum.

Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, State Library and Gallery of Modern Art along the Brisbane River

Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, State Library and Gallery of Modern Art along the Brisbane River

Queensland Museum

The Queensland Museum is an excellent place for families and those just wanting to learn more about Queensland.

The tranquil, outside of the Queensland Museum just off the Victoria Bridge

The tranquil, outside of the Queensland Museum just off the Victoria Bridge

Inside the Museum, you have exhibitions ranging from dinosaurs in the outback to World War One.

The Dinosaur exhibition has a cast of Dinosaur footprints made during a stampede found near Winton

The Dinosaur exhibition has a cast of Dinosaur footprints made during a stampede found near Winton

The World War One exhibition on the ground floor gives you a glimpse of the people of Queensland, from those that went to war and those who stayed home and their experiences through interactive boards and memorabilia.

The German Tank that was captured by Australian Forces is a dominant feature of this exhibition

The German Tank that was captured by Australian Forces is a dominant feature of this exhibition

Although the Museum is free to wander through, there are paid exhibitions as well. You can find all the information on what is on at the time of your visit by visiting their site here.

Hours:

  • 7 Days: 09:30 AM–05:00 PM
  • Anzac Day: 01:30 PM–05:00 PM
  • Good Friday, Christmas Day & Boxing Day: Closed

Housed over two buildings, the Queensland Art Gallery has works from not only throughout the ages but also other cultures. Guided tours operate in both buildings every day, giving new insights into the works of art.

Exhibitions from Australian artists as well as international line the walls of the Art Gallery

Exhibitions from Australian artists as well as international line the walls of the Art Gallery

In the Gallery of Modern Art, installations showcase Australian artists over two levels. I'm not into Modern Art, but it was interesting to walk through and once again it's free. You can check out what's on in these Galleries here.

The Venetian Blind and Metronome Installation. It's a bit noisy in this room

The Venetian Blind and Metronome Installation. It's a bit noisy in this room

Art Gallery And Goma Hours:

  • 7 Days: 10:00 AM–05:00 PM
  • Anzac Day: 01:30 PM–05:00 PM
  • Good Friday, Christmas Day & Boxing Day: Closed

Qag Cafe:

  • 7 Days: 10:00 AM–04:45 PM

Goma Bistro:

  • Weekdays from 10:00 AM
  • Weekends from 09:00 AM
  • Lunch 11:00 AM–03:00 PM
  • Brunch on weekends 09:00 AM-10:45 AM
  • Good Friday, Christmas and Boxing Day: Closed

Goma Restaurant:

  • Thursday-Sunday Lunch: 12:00 PM–03:00 PM
  • Friday and Saturday Dinner: 05:30 PM-Late
  • Monday-Wednesday, Easter weekend, Christmas and Boxing Day: Closed

Southbank Parklands

The Brisbane sign at the start of Southbank at the southern end of Victoria Bridge and across from the Queensland Performing Arts Centre

The Brisbane sign at the start of Southbank at the southern end of Victoria Bridge and across from the Queensland Performing Arts Centre

It's hard to believe now, but Southbank Parklands used to be run-down and not a pretty sight, but that all changed when Brisbane was the host of Expo 88 and after the success of that, the Parklands were born.

The Queensland Performing Arts Centre dominates the Melbourne Street entrance. It is here that international musicals and local ballets and shows are performed. If you're in the city for a few days, you might want to catch a show, and you can see what's on from their website here.

The Bougainvillea Walkway winds its way through the Parklands taking you from one end to the other

The Bougainvillea Walkway winds its way through the Parklands taking you from one end to the other

From walkways of Bougainvillea to beaches, Southbank has become the place where locals and tourists come to have fun.

Streets Beach at Southbank Parklands is a great place to cool off on a hot summers day in the city

Streets Beach at Southbank Parklands is a great place to cool off on a hot summers day in the city

The parklands are where Brisbane comes to enjoy themselves and is the place to be on New Year's Eve and the Sunsuper Riverfire in September, which closes the Brisbane Festival.

The Wheel of Brisbane will give you views of the city, and the Nepalese Peace Pagoda is a nod to Expo 88, being the only exhibit remaining on the site.

The Nepalese Peace Pagoda with the Wheel of Brisbane behind peeking through the trees

The Nepalese Peace Pagoda with the Wheel of Brisbane behind peeking through the trees

The Nepalese Peace Pagoda with the Wheel of Brisbane behind peeking through the trees at night

The Nepalese Peace Pagoda with the Wheel of Brisbane behind peeking through the trees at night

There are restaurants, a food court or you can bring your own picnic and have a BBQ with a lot of green space for families to enjoy.

Takeaways and all favourite foods are located here

Takeaways and all favourite foods are located here

Southbank Parklands is also home to weekend markets. If you'd like more information, you can read my blog Brisbane City Markets here.

Maritime Museum

The entrance to the Maritime Museum can be found at the southern side of the Kurilpa Bridge

The entrance to the Maritime Museum can be found at the southern side of the Kurilpa Bridge

At the western edge of Southbank is the Maritime Museum. Walking tours occur on a Sunday in the middle of each month, and more information can be found on their website here.

Once inside you can explore the grounds first where the HMAS Diamantina is kept in dry dock.

The HMAS Diamantina is sitting in dry dock that you are welcome to walk around and explore

The HMAS Diamantina is sitting in dry dock that you are welcome to walk around and explore

You are free to explore this warship but be aware that the steps are steep in parts. Exhibitions with information boards as well as rooms kept as they were when it was decommissioned.

Exhibits and information on Naval life

Exhibits and information on Naval life

In the exhibition rooms, you have more to see on sailing life since white settlement. Stories of women on the water, including piracy, heroines and Captains are inspiring as well as all the other stories of exploration.

This is just part of the exhibition and information on Women and the Sea

This is just part of the exhibition and information on Women and the Sea

The Maritime Museum is a great place for those who love Naval history, ships and exploration and families.

Hours:

  • Daily: 09:30 AM–04:30 PM last entry 03:30 PM
  • 24-26 December and Good Friday: Closed
  • ANZAC Day – reduced trading hours.

War Memorial And Anzac Square

ANZAC Square is located across the road from Central Railway Station. In the rotunda at the top of the War Memorial, is an eternal flame for those fallen in all conflicts.

The War Memorial at the head of ANZAC Square with the Memorial Halls underneath

The War Memorial at the head of ANZAC Square with the Memorial Halls underneath

Statues dedicated to those who have given service and their lives for Australia line the walkways around the Square.

Underneath the Memorial and road are the Halls with interactive boards, giving you plenty of information on the wars that Australia has participated in. Memorials to Battalions line the walls as well as a film.

The long corridor of the WW1 Memorial Crypt, there is another entrance at the end

The long corridor of the WW1 Memorial Crypt, there is another entrance at the end

Hours:

  • Monday-Friday: 10:00 AM–04:30 PM
  • Closed Saturday
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM-04:00 PM
  • Anzac Day: 05:00 AM–02:00 PM

Howard Smith Wharves Story Bridge

Home to the Felon Brewing Co., the Howard Smith Wharves have become a place to meet in one of the many eateries lining the Brisbane River.

The Wharves sit under the Story Bridge

The Wharves sit under the Story Bridge

As it was only mid-morning when I was there, so I had a Gelato, and it was delicious. Located behind the Felon Brewing Co., the Goodtimes Gelataria make their own Gelato on-site from local ingredients when they can, so it is fresh and a great local business to get behind.

If you're in the city, there is a riverfront walk that takes you to the wharves and beyond.

A shuttle now operates between the Teneriffe City Cat Terminal, Kangaroo Point Dockside Apartments to the Howard Smith Wharves. You can check out all the information, including the timetable here.

Latin Friday Nights

If you love Latin dancing, then get down to Brisbane Square on Friday nights.

Watch the professional Salsa dancers from 7.00pm, then join into the free dances classes at 8.00pm.

Beginners are welcome, no bookings required and it's completely free, all you need to bring is a sense of fun.

Latin Nights happen every Friday night weather permitting. Check their Facebook page here to check that it's on.

Macarthur Museum

The MacArthur Museum is a small but informative museum on what Brisbane was like during World War Two. General Douglas MacArthur made this city his base during his time as Supreme Commander South-West Pacific Area.

You have a film of what life was like in WW2 to see

You have a film of what life was like in WW2 to see

You will find the museum on the 8th floor of the MacArthur Chambers on the corner of Edward and Queen Streets although the entrance is on Edward Street and you should see a sign in front of the door.

Information boards line the walls of the museum

Information boards line the walls of the museum

Information boards, displays and photographs take you on a journey back to 1940s Brisbane City. General Douglas MacArthur's office has been restored to its former glory. Every detail has been taken off photographs from his time in Brisbane City.

MacArthur's office as it was during his stay in Brisbane

MacArthur's office as it was during his stay in Brisbane

Hours:

  • Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday: 10:00 AM–03:00 PM last entry 02:30 PM

Regent Theatre

This beautiful old building was due to be demolished until plans got changed at the last minute.

The Information Site is situated here, where you can get ideas and make bookings.

At the back of the building, up a flight of stairs, is this amazing interior and staircase.

From the ceiling to the walls to the staircase, you won't know where to look first

From the ceiling to the walls to the staircase, you won't know where to look first

The Regent Theatre is worth a visit. You get to get more ideas on what to do in Brisbane and Queensland and see the beautiful architecture.

Hours:

  • Monday-Thursday: 09:00 AM–05:30 PM
  • Friday: 09:00 AM-07:00 PM
  • Saturday: 09:00 AM–05:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM-05:00 PM

Queensland Police Museum

The Queensland Police Museum is located at Police Headquarters on Roma Street. It's a free museum that takes you through the years from its inception in 1864 to modern-day technologies helping to solve crimes.

The history of Qld Police from 1864 in displays

The history of Qld Police from 1864 in displays

It isn't very big but packs a punch in all the information that you can read on crimes in Queensland and how they are solved.

A crime scene is set up for you to solve

A crime scene is set up for you to solve

Hours:

  • Friday-Sunday: Closed
  • Monday-Thursday: 09:00 AM–04:00 PM

Wilson's Lookout

If you want an excellent view of the city skyline and the Story Bridge, then Wilson's Lookout is for you.

It is here that you can watch the sunset and see the lights come on across the Story Bridge and tall buildings along the Brisbane River.

There is only street parking here so you might be up for a walk as you compete with residents for the parks, but it's worth it.

The sun goes down, and the lights come on in Brisbane

The sun goes down, and the lights come on in Brisbane

Whatever you end up doing in Brisbane City, there is, even more, to do in South East Queensland. Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke Islands, as well as the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, are not more than one to two hours away.

If you'd like to see Koalas, there is the Lone Pine Sanctuary in Brisbane, a short ferry ride from the city. You can read about them on my blog Koalas around Brisbane here.

Caution

Queensland is the skin cancer capital of the world, so always bring the sunscreen, hat and sunglasses, even in winter, and don't forget your water.

Church View Things to do Museum Bridge Viewpoint Theater War Military History Culture Art World War II Police

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Written by travellingwithmynikon
Hi. My name is Kim and I love to travel especially getting about in nature. I have only really started this seriously at the end of 2018 but I'm loving the lifestyle and community.

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