The capital of the Sunshine State, the city of Brisbane promises good weather, good times and a family-friendly holiday feel. And it does not fail to deliver.
The best ways to explore Brisbane are on the City Explorer hop on-hop off double-decker bus, CityCat ferry or by pushbike. Brisbane’s CityCycle program allows you to pick up one of their bright yellow bikes and cycle around for free.
Jump aboard, and make the most of Brisbane’s annual 300 days of sun at one of the city’s many outdoor green spaces. Browse the weekend markets for supplies for a picnic by the Brisbane Botanic Gardens lily ponds. Take a hike along one of Mt Coot-tha’s walking trails for spectacular vistas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay and surrounds.
Cruise along the river on a Kookaburra Showboat Cruise or head to Riverlife Adventure Centre at the base of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs for more active adventures including abseiling and rock climbing. Paddle a kayak or stand up paddleboard up river. Hire a Segway or strap on rollerblades to wheel your way along one of the city’s great waterfront bike paths.
Read more: Best weekend getaways from Brisbane
That said, on a rainy or lazy holiday in Brisbane, there’s also plenty to do indoors. The South Bank is Brisbane’s cultural heart and your one-stop shop for incredible activities and attractions. Slip and slide at state-of-the-art playgrounds, browse the cool collections at the State Library, immerse in the works of the Children’s Art Centre at QAGOMA, and get hands-on at the Queensland Museum and SparkLab Sciencentre. Or head for the heights on the Wheel of Brisbane for unparalleled 360-degree views of the city.
From city beaches to star spotting, you’ll find loads of family fun in Brisbane. Here are ten of the best.
Just 12 kilometres from the city, Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre is home to a variety of native animals. There’s a walk-through habitat where the kids can get up close to kangaroos and wallabies. There are also nocturnal houses, a walk-through subtropical aviary and the Gondwana Platypus Rockpool. This is one of the only platypus enclosures in the world. The centre’s ‘connect with nature’ program offers fun nature-based activities and events for families.
Cuddle a koala and hand-feed kangaroos in a natural setting at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the largest koala sanctuary in the world. Feed the lorikeets, watch a sheep dog show and marvel at the birds of prey.
And for even more marsupial magic, head to the Daisy Hill Koala Centre. This sanctuary is set within the Daisy Conservation Park to the south of the city.
If you’d like to check out a few more exotic animals, visit the Brisbane Valley Ostrich and Fish Farm or Lyell Deer Farm in the city’s noth. Or perhaps Ottaba Llamas in Somerset, where you can take a llama for a walk!
A subtropical paradise, Brisbane is blessed with more than 300 days of sunshine every year. It has perfect climate for exploring the great outdoors, so it’s always a good time to visit.
Brisbane’s consistent weather makes it a popular family destination every month of the year. But between March and May is the best time to beat the crowds and enjoy the most pleasant temperatures. September to November is ideal too, but September is also festival season so hotels are busy. This means that you’ll find an increase in costs and you’ll need to book well ahead to secure accommodation.
On the flipside, December to early March can be wet and humid. It is also quieter, so if you’re on a budget and looking for great deals on airfares and hotel rooms this is the best time to visit.
Brisbane’s hip and happening food scene is fantastic for families with its incredible fresh produce and loads of restaurants and cafés catering to kids. Ever popular with kids is Jamie’s Italian in the CBD where the kids can choose from dishes such as chicken lollipops and curly wurly pasta bake from the quirky kids’ menu. Stamford Plaza Brisbane’s Kabuki Teppanyaki is an action-packed meal prepared at the table by talented and fun chefs who will have the kids in fits of giggles. And Star Wars fans will love Death Star Canteen, Brissie’s coolest cafe.
At Stones Corner Hotel’s Sunday Family Laneway, kids can pick and choose between tasty treats from Mr America Hotdogs and Fries, Vira Lata Food Truck, Carolina Kitchen, Smokin’ Pizza and Dippin’ Dots while enjoying activities and entertainment. And The Food Truck Hub on Chester runs on the first Saturday of every month from 4:00 pm until late with some of Brisbane’s all-time favourite food trucks.
As funky as its London namesake, Brisbane’s West End also hosts a Farmer’s Market, vegan markets, vintage shops and many a coffee hub. It is right next door to the Southbank, so is ideal for culture vultures.
October – Oktoberfest
The Brisbane Showground will be transformed into a Bavarian village to celebrate the food, drinks, culture and family fun of Germany.
January/February – BrisAsia Festival
The colourful festival boasts more than 80 artistic and cultural events.
March – World Science Festival
Join the celebration of world science and scientific discovery.
May – The Ipswich Show
Enjoy everything from rural displays and farmyard animals to motocross and monster trucks at this ever-popular event.
July – Le Festival
Celebrate things all things French with the family at Southbank.
August – Ekka
This popular 10-day annual festival is all about rides, entertainments, agriculture and education.
August/September- Redcliffe Festival
Moreton Bay’s biggest festival offers an awesome program of family friendly entertainment.
October – Brisbane Kite Festival
Grab the kids to go make and fly a kite.
November – Good Food & Wine Show
Enjoy delicious cooking and celebrity chef demonstrations at this celebration of fabulous food.
Like getting your hands dirty? Want to see turtles hatching? Experience science up close at the World Science Festival Brisbane this March 2020.
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