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Things to do in Brisbane

The Sunshine State capital has something for everyone, from city beaches to modern galleries and koala sanctuaries.

Our most recommended things to do in Brisbane

Moreton Island: Dolphin and Tangalooma Wrecks Day Cruise

1. Moreton Island: Dolphin and Tangalooma Wrecks Day Cruise

Discover Moreton Bay Marine Park and learn about marine life from an onboard marine naturalist on this cruise. Go on a guided snorkeling tour of the Tangalooma wrecks and keep an eye our for the dolphins, dugongs and sea turtles that call this glamour area home. Choose from a tour where you meet the boat at the Rivergate Marina or with pickup from the Gold Coast or Brisbane. Throw your swimwear into a bag and set sail to uncover miles of unspoiled white sand beaches. Departing daily from Brisbane, cruise in luxury to Moreton Bay Marine Park aboard the modern, air-conditioned catamaran Spirit of Migaloo II. Here enjoy the freedom to do as much or as little as you please with all activities included and no local fees. Dive in and snorkel the fifteen shipwrecks that have been deliberately sunk just off the coastline with an abundance of spectacular coral formations and colorful marine life that needs to be seen to be believed. No experience is required and all equipment and water safety items are provided. Afterwards, join our naturalist guides in a fish-feeding session with the 200 species that frequent the area. Satisfy your appetite with a gourmet tropical buffet featuring ocean king prawns, and quench your thirst with a glass of local wine, craft beer or frozen cocktail. Take the time to relax, enjoy free island time on the pristine white-sand beach. Kayak on sheltered crystal-clear waters, join a game with complimentary beach sporting equipment, or simply kick back and soak in the serenity. Watch out for some of Queensland’s best marine wildlife in this area that is home to one of the largest populations of bottlenose dolphins in Australia. Feel the joy of seeing them jump and play in turquoise waters. Search for six of the world’s seven species of sea turtles and herds of shy and gentle dugongs in one of the world’s remaining strongholds for this species. Get help from the onboard marine naturalists that have been working with these incredible animals for over a decade and have the experience to give you the closest wildlife encounters possible.

From Brisbane or Gold Coast: Moreton Island Full-Day Trip

2. From Brisbane or Gold Coast: Moreton Island Full-Day Trip

Enjoy a day on Moreton Island on this full-day trip from Brisbane or the Gold Coast. Relax on the cruise on the way, enjoy a delicious lunch, then take part in fun outdoor activities like kayaking and sand tobogganing. Be picked up from a centrally-located meeting point in Brisbane or the Gold Coast. Sit back and relax on the air-conditioned drive to the boat's departure point. Board a spacious boat with an outdoor area and a covered seating area. Enjoy ocean views as you cruise across Moreton Bay. Discover a vibrant underwater world as you follow your guide on a snorkeling tour around shipwrecks. Have the chance to spot turtles, fish, and rays. Stop to savor a sandwich lunch on the beach before taking a guided tour in a glass-bottom kayak. View the underwater wonders of the Tangalooma Wrecks as you paddle over crystal-clear water. Explore the area on the island that is known as "The Desert." Ride in a rugged 4X4, and experience the exhilaration of sand tobogganing at speeds of over 40 miles per hour. Admire the Gheebulum Coonungai National Park that covers most of Moreton Island.

Brisbane: Moreton Island Return Ferry & Adventure Day Pass

3. Brisbane: Moreton Island Return Ferry & Adventure Day Pass

Experience the stunningly beautiful Moreton Island from multiple perspectives with a full-day trip. Catch the ferry from Holt Street Wharf in Brisbane and head on to the white sandy beaches of Tangalooma Island Resort. Revel in a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard session along the calm crystal-clear waters of Tangalooma. Snorkel around the shipwrecks to meet the island’s marine life. Enjoy convenience, as all guests have full access to the resort’s facilities and amenities which includes 2 swimming pools which are perfect for guests who are not fond of the sandy shores. Showers, toilets, and lockers are readily available, plus restaurants and cafés for your hungry stomachs. Play a variety of games such as beach volleyball or cricket with friends and family or just relax and chill by the beach. Return to Brisbane arrive at the wharf in the late afternoon.

Brisbane: Story Bridge Adventure Climb

4. Brisbane: Story Bridge Adventure Climb

The Story Bridge Climb provides the best 360-degree panoramic view of Brisbane city from the heart and soul of Brisbane’s most iconic landmark – the Story Bridge. Your adventure begins at base camp, directly under the Story Bridge itself. After a quick pre-climb brief, you’ll depart the base and ascend a spiral staircase that leads to the start of the suspended walkway directly beneath the Bradfield Highway (Brisbane's shortest highway). You’ll start your journey along the suspended walkway to the base of the southern pylon, learning about the colorful history of the Story Bridge and Brisbane as you go. From here - it’s climb time! Start to venture up through the inner Eastern bridge arm, climbing level with one of Brisbane’s busiest commute points, and then ascending straight up the south-eastern cantilever arm that stretches over the Brisbane River and reaches up into the sky. Before you know it you’re celebrating with your climb group on the summit platform, where you’ll get your bearings and hear some fun facts about the amazing 360 panoramic view before you. See Brisbane and its surroundings, including the Glass House Mountains, Moreton Bay, and the Scenic Rim. Venturing further along you’ll explore the bridge from a different angle, traveling approximately halfway across the river below before returning to the top platform for a final climb group photo before your descent back to base camp. Every climb to the top includes a group photograph, with additional individual photographs available for purchase afterwards - once your adrenaline has calmed down! See the glittering nighttime lights of Brisbane below - a unique vantage point for such a view with twilight option.

Brisbane: Sightseeing River Cruise with Morning Tea

5. Brisbane: Sightseeing River Cruise with Morning Tea

Experience the original sightseeing cruise on the Brisbane River, as you sip your morning tea. During this 1.5 hour guided tour, you will be entertained by informative commentary, while taking advantage of  fantastic photo opportunities. Board the MV Neptune at the City Botanic Gardens River Pontoons. These are located on the river at the City Botanic Gardens. Access off Alice Street through the gates at either Albert St or Edward St. Cruise past Brisbane’s most iconic sights, including the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, the city center, and the Story Bridge.    Enjoy this interesting, cost-effective, and informative tour of Brisbane’s distinctive river scene, ideal for both locals and visitors. Available year-round, you don’t want to miss out on this beautiful and relaxing tour.  

From Brisbane: Tangalooma Day Cruise with ATV Quad Bike Tour

6. From Brisbane: Tangalooma Day Cruise with ATV Quad Bike Tour

Head out on a day trip of adventure and exploration on Moreton Island. Receive full resort access, lunch, Eco Ranger experiences, a dolphin presentation and get your adrenaline pumping with an ATV quad bike ride at Tangalooma. Check in at the wharf, then travel from Brisbane to Moreton Island on a scenic boat ride. You may choose to enjoy a complimentary beverage either on the boat ride over or on the return journey. Arrive at beautiful Moreton Island after a 75-minute boat journey. Experience the thrill of riding an ATV quad bike along the beach and through the bushland at Tangalooma, regardless of your experience level. Receive basic beach track training to handle the best dedicated ATV quad bike tracks in Australia. Learn from a dedicated team of Eco Rangers about conservation and the surrounding ecosystems. Throughout the day, you’ll have full access to the resort facilities including pools, restaurants, and bars. Enjoy the 'Discover the World of Dolphins' video presentation at the Eco Centre. Head back to the wharf to depart for Brisbane at 4:00 PM. After the 75-minute return journey, you arrive back in Brisbane at 5:15 PM.

Brisbane: River Cruise with Lunch

7. Brisbane: River Cruise with Lunch

Discover Brisbane from the water with this river cruise complete with lunch at one of the city's most popular eateries. Departing from South Bank, set out on a 1.5-hour cruise to explore some of Brisbane's most important sights. During your cruise, see sights such as the South Bank Parklands, Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Story Bridge, New Farm Park, and the Brisbane riverside homes. The sights will be accompanied by an informative commentary about the region as well as a morning tea to satisfy your onboard cravings. The morning cruise will last for 45 minutes until you reach your first port of call. After a short walk from the landing dock, arrive at the Breakfast Creek Hotel where you can enjoy a delicious meal. Choose from a range of dishes such as rump steak, panko calamari, and Caesar salad. From here, you will once again board the boat to cruise back to the dock at South Bank within the luscious Parklands.

Brisbane: 1.5 Hour River Sunset Cruise

8. Brisbane: 1.5 Hour River Sunset Cruise

Board your boat for the evening at 5:45 PM and set off along the scenic Brisbane River at 6:00 PM. Purchase a drink from the onboard bar, then sit back and relax as you gaze at the city skyline. Gently cruise along the river, admiring the many bridges along the way, including the impressive Story Bridge. Marvel at the beautiful Kangaroo Cliffs, and watch the city be transformed with color as it lights up at night. Along the way, listen to relaxing music, take in the sights of the city, and soak up the memories of this unforgettable experience. The cruise ends at 7:30 PM, back at the dock.

Brisbane: Midday River Sightseeing Cruise

9. Brisbane: Midday River Sightseeing Cruise

Discover Brisbane on a fun city cruise and learn all about the area from a local guide. See the highlights of Brisbane and snap great photos along the way. Enjoy informative commentary of your guide while taking advantage of the fantastic photo opportunities.  Cruise past Brisbane’s most iconic sights including the city center, Kangaroo Point Cliffs, New Farm Park, and the Story Bridge. The commentary will tell you some of the history of Brisbane and point out the historical and contemporary landmarks of the city.

From Brisbane: Tangalooma Cruise with Wrecks Snorkel Tour

10. From Brisbane: Tangalooma Cruise with Wrecks Snorkel Tour

When you check in at the wharf, the staff will advise all tour times of the day to guests. You will then travel from Brisbane to Moreton Island on a scenic boat ride. Enjoy a complimentary beverage on the boat ride there, or to relax on the return journey. Arrive at beautiful Moreton Island after a beautiful 75 minute boat journey. Included in your day trip is a snorkelling tour. The snorkelling experience takes you to one of Australia's best snorkelling locations, The Tangalooma Wrecks, which is home to a large variety of reef fish, coral formations and marine life. Throughout the day, you will also have full access to the resort facilities, including pools, restaurants and bars. You can also enjoy the 'Discover the World of Dolphins' presentation at the Eco Centre at 3:15pm. Head back to the jetty to depart for Brisbane at 4:00pm for another relaxing boat journey. You will arrive back in Brisbane at 5:15pm.

Available activities

  • Aussie animals & wildlife
  • Islands, shipwrecks, & more
  • River City cruises
  • Exploring Brisbane
  • Sunshine Coast food & wine
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Frequently asked questions about Brisbane

What top attractions are a must-see in Brisbane?

The must-see attractions in Brisbane are:

What are the best day trips and excursions from Brisbane?

The best day trips and excursions from Brisbane are:

Tamborine Mountain

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Other Sightseeing Options in Brisbane

Want to discover all there is to do in Brisbane? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Brisbane

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2,610 reviews

We really enjoyed our relaxed cruise down the river. It was a great way to see more of the city and from a different perspective, and after a hectic week it was great to relax and enjoy a glass of wine with a beautiful sunset! the service was also really great!

It was our first time and we plan on visiting again. Everything was on time and staff went the extra mile for the safety of my son who rode for the first time. They were very patient. Beautiful day!

A great day from start to finish. My teenagers highlight of our trip. Lunch was lovely, snorkeling was great, boat itself nice. Friendly staff.

Eclectic interesting activities. First rate service due to an attentive and engaging crew and an impressive boat.

It wasn’t the best weather day but the trip was made to be absolute fun.