Free things to do in Brisbane, Australia

Here is a quick list of places to visit on your first trip to Brisbane. They are all suitable for a young child and they are FREE!

South Bank: We attended the Little Days Out activity session, walked the gardens (and sampled some food), saw the Nepalese Pagoda, visited markets and took full advantage of the swimming areas and playgrounds. It truly is a family friendly area for all ages and easily accessible via ferries or walking over from the city. We visited twice on our trip! The official ‘Visit Brisbane’ website has heaps of information. See here!

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South Bank, Brisbane
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Nepalese Pagoda, South Bank, Brisbane

Queensland Museum: We visited most of the free sections of this museum while my son was napping. Lucky, as once he woke up he was climbing everything! Thankfully there were some interactive exhibits and some animal exhibits that kept him amused for a small amount of time. There is also a small play area that included some dinosaurs to look at. Find out more here!

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Queensland Museum, Brisbane

Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA): This was high on my list of places to visit because at the time the “Obliteration Room” exhibit by Yayoi Kusama was on. This exhibit is a completely white room with white furniture that has then had colourful stickers placed all over it. Upon entering we were given sheets of stickers to place around the room – it was a great visual concept and a perfect activity for a toddler! It was one of the highlights of the trip and while it has since closed in Brisbane it may pop up elsewhere so keep an eye out for it. We only briefly looked at a couple of the other exhibits as it was getting late but check out their website here to get the latest exhibits. 

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“Obliteration Room” at QAGOMA, Brisbane

Brisbane City Botanic Gardens: We explored the gardens and spent time on the playground before walking along the river. Guided tours are offered but we chose to go at our own pace. There is a second garden out of the city (Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens) but too far for us to walk. If you hire a car, go see it! Otherwise this was a nice way to spend the morning before the little one had a nap in his pram. If you’re interested more information is here.

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Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
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Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

Explore the City: We had a lot of time wondering, seeing the buildings and listening to buskers. Head into a Visitor Centre in South Bank or the City for some walking guides and find out what you are looking at!

Museum of Brisbane and Clock Tower: We spent time exploring the exhibits here before heading up the old lift to view the city from the top of the Clock Tower. This place is located inside of City Hall and I’ve written more about this experience here. You can get free tickets for the Clock Tower tour but they are limited.

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Museum of Brisbane, Clock Tower Tour

Powerhouse Markets, New Farm: We walked to South Bank and then took the free ferry over to explore the markets. Entry is free but obviously you pay for whatever you want to buy. Tip – at the end of the market all the food stalls start dropping their prices and you can get a great lunch with fresh fruit for after! Dates and times are here.

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City Hopper Ferry, Brisbane

Roma Street Parkland: This was a beautiful place to explore, wondering through different areas of the parkland. Gardens, lawns, walkways, water features and a playground meant that there was a lot to see. They even have a little train that runs occasionally as well as performances. We made good use of the playground, tiring out the little man before our flight home later that afternoon. Start looking here for more information.

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Train, Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane
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Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane

So there you have it – a brief overview of our Brisbane 2017 trip and some links to help you plan your own. Happy travels!

And to anyone who has been or who lives in Brisbane – let me know what we should do the next time we visit?

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