What attractions are there in Brisbane, Australia

Tour tip: Brisbane and the surrounding area

Brisbane - Brisbane River
© Ingo Öland

Google Maps: Larger map view
Queensland's capital is a lively city of millions with a casual flair, characterized by the pleasant subtropical climate. It lies widely on the Brisbane River, a few kilometers west of its confluence with the Pacific. The sunniest city in Australia is an expanding modern economic center, which had a particular boom in the 80s with the EXPO 88 (the world exhibition on the Brisbane River). Brisbane is largely staying out of the Australian city competition. You just live in the knowledge that it is the most beautiful here anyway. To be honest, there is also a little arguing about the architecture.
From November 15 to 16, 2014, the summit of the "Group of 20" (G20) was held in Brisbane. Australia held the G20 presidency in 2014.
Less known to international tourists but very attractive are the offshore islands of Moreton (50 km NE), Stradbroke and North Stradbroke (30 km S). Moreton Island is 168 square kilometers and has a maximum north-south extension of 38 km. 98% of the area of ​​the island are national parks. On it is the highest sand dune in the world with 278 m near the coast, the Mount Tempest. The island was discovered in May 1770 by James Cook, who named the northern tip of the island Cape Moreton. However, Cook thought that the cape was part of the mainland. Between 1952 and 1962, Tangalooma was Australia's only whaling station. Today the Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort is located in the old buildings of the station.
Service to Brisbane and the surrounding area in AUSTRALIEN-INFO.DE
Order city maps and regional maps from Queensland
City Council
Moreton Island National Park and Recreation Area
locationBrisbane: 27 ° 28'S 153 ° 1'E
Location / region representation in online maps
Time zone
Current time:
GMT +10, Eastern Standard Time
climateSubtropical climate; Summer: frequent precipitation, partly combined with thunderstorms, high humidity; Winter: less precipitation, at night sometimes cooling below 10 ° C.
Average temperatures for air (minimum - maximum) and water
  • January: 21-29 C; Water 25 C
  • July: 10-21 C; Water 21 C

Detailed climate table for Brisbane (including the temperatures of the individual months)
ResidentsOver 2.3 million (2016)
Foundation & historyIn search of a suitable location for a new penal colony, the soldier and explorer John Oxley landed on the Brisbane River in 1823. The original colony was established in Redcliffe in 1824, but was relocated further upriver to what is now the city center a year later. In 1859 Brisbane became the federal capital of Queensland.
In 2011 Brisbane hit the headlines around the world: In January the city experienced the strongest flooding since 1974. The "normal" heavy rainfalls that are common between January and March in the tropical areas of Queensland in the Cairns region were around 1000-2000 km south in 2011 gone down. In normal years, Brisbane has an annual average of 880 mm of precipitation. That is approximately the amount that discharged from the clouds in the region in the first two weeks of January 2011. The Brisbane River had overflowed in the city center, leaving hundreds of thousands of households without electricity, and in many places the water was up to the roof. Five percent of the urban area and around 10,000 households were flooded.

Shortly afterwards, an intensive clean-up campaign began. Around 25,000 volunteers from all over Australia (including many Working Holiday Makers) were involved in the major cleaning and reconstruction in Brisbane. The military also provided active support. Solidarity in the "big cleanup" carries a weight in Queensland's history books similar to reports of the horrors of the floods. An exhibition in the Queensland Museum reflects the time of the flood and the great clearing up afterwards.

If you have 4 weeks for your Australia trip, 1-2 days in Brisbane are correct. Brisbane is an ideal starting or ending point for a trip along the Queensland coast.

1 dayDowntown and suburbs
  • For a first impression, the view from the tower of the City Hall is recommended.
  • Then a tour of the shopping mile
  • To relax, take a stroll through the Southlands.
2 dayFauna, flora or dunes
  • We would suggest the green side of Brisbane for the second day. A boat trip on the paddle steamer on the Brisbane River to the Lone Pine Sanctuary is particularly recommended for animal lovers.
  • If you prefer flora to fauna, you should visit the lavish gardens of Mt Coo-tha Botanic Gardens. For a first impression, the view from the tower of the City Hall is recommended.
  • Alternatively, take a trip to Moreton Island
viewYou have the most beautiful city views of Albert Park and the Brisbane River. You can even rappel down from the floodlit Kangaroo Point Cliffs at night - from which you have a view of Brisbane's famous river and the city center.

The 60 m high Ferris wheel - known as the "Wheel of Brisbane" - has been erected in the South Bank cultural and entertainment district since 2010. There is space for six adults and two children in 42 fully air-conditioned gondolas. The 15-minute trip includes three complete laps and offers a panoramic view of the metropolis and the Brisbane River. A ride is particularly impressive in the dark. Then thousands of LED lights shine and decorate the ferris wheel.
Wheel of Brisbane

Literature tipsTravel literature for Queensland

Airportinternational: Brisbane (airport code: BNE) Eagle Farm, approx. 10 km outside of Brisbane, cheapest connection to the city center with the "Airport Express Bus" (journey time: approx. 25 minutes).
The "Airtrain" connects the city center directly with the airport. The route runs partially 12.5 m above the ground and has five stations in the center with a connection to the Queensland railway network. The national and international terminals can be reached within 22 minutes from the city from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm.
StreetsDistances from Brisbane - each on a direct route
Cairns: 1681 km (22 1/4 hours)
Sydney: 930 km (12 1/4 hours)
Parts of the motorway in the Brisbane area are toll roads ("Toll Road") - the Gateway Bridge east of the city near the airport and the Logan Motorway. The 4.8 km long RiverCity Motorway (and then also chargeable) is expected to be part of the north-south bypass of Brisbane from 2010.
Queensland Motorways
trainNorth: The Queenslander from Cairns and Spirit of the Tropics from Rockhampton (662 km), West: Westlander from Charleville (754 km)
Queensland Rail

Brisbane is sufficiently to well developed by public transport. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the tariffs on the detailed website "TransLink" before arriving. The combination of a train-bus-ferry-hiking-exploration in Brisbane is extremely appealing. An online route planner, network maps as PDF and many other service modules make planning - almost - child's play.
busdense network, but often slow due to many small traffic jams.
trainVarious rail lines for local transport extend far into the suburbs and in the south to the Gold Coast.
FerriesThe various ferries and "CityCats" (catamarans) on the Brisbane River. The offshore islands (such as Moreton Island) can also be reached by ferries via the Brisbane River.
Brisbane Ferries - Metropolitan Ferry Service (PDF)
Ferry service to Moreton Island
Ferries to North Stradbroke Island (people and vehicles) from mainland Redlan Bay and Cleveland.
Ferry service to North Stradbroke Island
Insurance cover for trips on the islands with rental cars mostly only for all-wheel drive vehicles: Tracks and coastal road on Moreton Island unsurfaced, mostly sandy roads -> you must inform yourself locally about the times of the ferry and ebb and flow. Ferries to Moreton Island (people & vehicles) from the mainland from Lytton (Fisherman Isl.) And Redcliffe; from other islands: Amity Point (North Stradbroke) and Bribie Island.
bicycleBike rental: many rental stations - our tip: an ideal way to get to know the rather sprawling city in a reasonable amount of time.

Various types of accommodation are offered to you by numerous providers. We recommend that you first familiarize yourself with the forms and classification of accommodation in Australia.
Accommodation types
Accommodation classifications

If you are planning a trip to Australia with various components (flight, rental vehicle, domestic flights), we recommend that you seek advice from experts on booking accommodation. Please use our
Provider database

Hotels / motels

Accommodation search via HotelsCombined

Use this search mask to start an accommodation search at our Australian partner Hotels Combined Pty Ltd. In a meta-search, the databases are queried via 25 different reservation systems. Around 900,000 hotels worldwide can be queried in this way. Hotels Combined has existed since 2005.

  • Lone Pine Sanctuary on the banks of the Brisbane River (11 km SW). A variety of the austral. Mammals and birds are at home there. The zoo became particularly well-known because there visitors can feed kangaroos and hug tame koalas.

    The sanctuary, founded in 1927, can be reached by boat (Miramar Cruises), but not with the municipal boats. The only ride reaches the park at 11:15, the return journey starts at 13:45. The costs are high, for the journey (there and back) as well as the entrance for about 2.5 hours you pay AUD 68 per person (as of 2013). It makes more sense to take the boat to the park, stay there longer and then return to Brisbane by city bus (AUD 27.50 one way trip by boat + AUD 33 entrance fee + AUD 6.70 return trip by bus = AUD 67.20) . The busses 430 and 445 run continuously, so you can stay longer.
    Lone Pine Sanctuary

  • In the South Bank Parklands on the Brisbane River is the Gondwana Rainforest Sanctuary with the butterfly and insect house. Butterfly lovers will get their money's worth here as well as fans of filigree spiders.
    Visit South Bank
  • Brisbane's "non-Australian second zoo": In the Alma Zoo district of Kallangur (28 km N) you can see exotic animals (bears, monkeys, etc.).
  • An injured koala foster station that can be visited is located in the Daisy Hill State Forest (20 km N)
    Daisy Hill Koala Center
  • The Walkabout Creek Freshwater Life Study Center in Brisbane Forest Park mimics a natural watercourse where platypus and lungfish are much easier to spot than in the wild.
  • Humpback whales can be seen on North Strandbroke Island (30 km S) (preferably between May and September).
  • On Moreton Island (50 km NE), especially in the Tangalooma Moreton Island Resort area, dolphins often come near the beach in the evening. An off-road vehicle is required to travel around the island.
floraThe City Garden is the second oldest in the country - a green oasis of 180,000 square meters in the middle of the city with palm trees, weeping figs and duck ponds. (Tue + Sat free tours). The mangrove boardwalk on the Brisbane River is also known.
Mt Coo-tha Botanic Gardens (8 km W) is Australia's largest subtropical park. Tropical plants can be found in a glass dome. A Japanese garden at EXPO 88 also awaits visitors and the trip to Brisbane's No. 1 mountain is topped off with a great view of the city and Moreton Bay.
North Strandbroke Island is renowned for its bloom between July and September. Outstanding: swamp orchids up to 2 m high.
Historic housesNot much is left of the city's beginnings on the Brisbane River. Only a few traditional wooden houses stand between the skyscrapers. But their modernity also has something to offer. The Earlystreet Historical Village (Mc Ilwraith Ave, Norman Park): "A step back into the good (?) Old days" charming houses from the pioneering days in a delightful subtropical garden. The Newstead House (born 1846, Breakfast Creek Road) is probably the oldest private house in Brisbane in typical colonial style.
architectureThe town hall with its 100 m high tower dominates the center, even if it is now towered over by some high-rise buildings. The tower is accessible on weekdays by an elevator and you can enjoy the very good view of the city center.
The French Renessaince-style Parliament House (opened in 1868) - you can even attend parliamentary sessions here.
Bridges over Brisbane River: They can't quite keep up with the Sydney Harbor Bridge, but they are also very attractive: Our two recommendations: William Jolly Bridge (497 m) and the steel bridge Story Bridge (782 m).
CultureEvery state capital has it. In Brisbane, it's the Queensland Cultural Center (South Bank Parklands) with an art gallery, theater, opera, museum and libraries.
museum Founded in 1862, the Queensland Museum on South Bank has numerous exhibits on the history of the Australian state. These include above all collections on the history of seafaring, which began with the landing of the Dutch in Cape York around 1606. In addition, the Queensland Museum holds a variety of information about nature, science and technology. The large skeletons of dinosaurs found in Australia are impressive. For its 150th anniversary in 2012, the design of the museum was comprehensively brought up to date.
Queensland Museum and Sciencentre
Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) on Stanley Place with a unique mix of Australian Aboriginal art, classics and film retrospectives.
Gallery of Modern Art
The Postal Museum (General Post Office, 261 Queen Str) with old telephones and rare stamps is also worth a visit.
The St. Helena Island National Park is about 4 kilometers from the mouth of the Brisbane River on the island of the same name in Moreton Bay. The islet was Queensland's first prison. In the 19th century, Helena Island was initially used as a quarantine station, and since 1867 as a prison for a total of 67 years. The Queensland government imprisoned numerous sheep shearers here. The sheep shearers' strike in 1891 is considered one of the most significant events in Australia's early labor movement and lasted four months. Boat tours from Brisbane / Manly included and night ghost tours.
St. Helena Island
LifestyleIn-areas include Paddington and Fortitude Valley (including Chinatown there) with their colonial buildings, which are home to many boutiques and art / design shops. You can turn night into day in the various galleries, pubs and restaurants.
NightlifeAmong other things in the Treasury Casino - one of the youngest attractions of the city.

In the middle of Brisbane, opposite the main business center, there is an artificial beach with a salt water lagoon on the grounds of the South Bank Parklands, the former exhibition area of ​​EXPO 88. A huge pleasure. Those who prefer "pure nature" will feel more comfortable on the islands in the east.

SwimmingMoreton Island NP is easily accessible sand & forest island (38 km long; max. 9 km wide, 185 sq km). With the Mt. Tempest there is one of the highest stable sand dunes in the world. In addition, clear freshwater lagoons beckon.
Bribie Island (77 km NE) has very beautiful beaches on the west coast. The east coast is great for water skiing, sailing and canoeing. [Access from the mainland via the bridge over the Pumicestone Passage]

Main shopping areaQueen Street & Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley (pedestrian areas)
MarketsBrisbane has made a name for itself in particular for its artisan markets. Sunday is market day number 1: at the Pure Crafts Market (Riverside Center), the bustling Southbank Market (Southbank Parklands), the small Eagle Street Pier Market (Eagle Street) and the rural Closeburn Country Market (16 miles W Dayboro Road).

You will find tips for your onward journey in our route recommendations.
The following goals are presented in the tour tips from AUSTRALIEN-INFO.DE:

Fraser Coast
Gold coast
Sunshine Coast (Noosa)

We look forward to your suggestions for updates and enhancements to this page.
Our editorial team invests a lot of time in research to keep the contents of AUSTRALIEN-INFO.DE up-to-date, clear and correct. Nevertheless, it cannot be ruled out that the content of this page is not updated daily.

You can help us: Do you have any suggestions for updating or adding to the information on this page? Is there an important reference to other sources of information missing (Internet links, literature, etc.)? Please click here and send us your information. Many thanks in advance.