Free Activities

South Bank Parklands

Some of the best things to see and do in Brisbane are free, so pack your vegemite sandwiches and enjoy a day in the city without spending a cent on entertainment.

In the South Bank Cultural Precinct across the river from the CBD the Qld Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland State Library and Queensland Museum are all free, except for special exhibitions.

The Queensland Performing Arts Centre has regular programs of free entertainment.

There’s free swimming at South Bank Parklands, Manly Wading Pool and Settlement Cove Lagoon.

The Queen Street Mall in the city centre hosts regular shows on stage and for just a few coins, buskers entertain the crowds.  This is a good place for people watching.

4 Responses to Free Activities

  1. Jody says:

    Dianne, you’re the best! Many thanks for all of this wonderful information! I’m absolutely going to pick up your book(s) for our walking tours. ~Please consider jumping in with a guest post for our beach blog. We’d love to link to your site and share your fun-loving style with everyone!

    • Dianne McLay says:

      Thanks Jody. If anyone wants to look at Jody’s beach blog, just click on “Jody” above.

  2. Jody says:

    Greetings! We’ll be traveling to Brisbane via cruise ship. We’ll only have one day in your fine city. Do you have any suggestions for those of us who want to see everything in just one day? It’s almost impossible for us to narrow it down for ourselves. We love beaches and would love to see kangaroos in a natural setting but don’t know if they frequent any nearby beaches. We’d love to hear your suggestions! Many thanks. P.S. We’re big on walking – so no worries!

    • Dianne McLay says:

      Hi Jody
      Great to hear you’re visiting Brisbane. I can tell from reading your blog that you’re big fans of the beach. There are fantastic beaches north (Sunshine Coast) and south (Gold Coast) of Brisbane. Allow about an hour and a half driving time (outside peak hour).

      If I had just one day to see some beautiful coastline, I’d head to the Sunshine Coast, and starting at Caloundra’s Bulcock Beach, follow the waterside pathway past Kings Beach and Shelly Beach to Moffat Beach. You’ll see rock pools, spectacular views from the headlands and there’s usually some good surf on Kings Beach. The walk is about 9 kilometres (5.5 miles) return. If you have time, there are plenty of beautiful beaches further north.

      The roads to both the north and south coasts tend to get busy in peak hour, so allow plenty of time to return to your ship.

      If your ship is staying overnight or leaving later in the evening, you could also visit Brisbane’s South Bank where there’s an inner city beach. You can have an evening swim in the lagoon pool while viewing the city lights. There are plenty of eateries in the area, and after dinner you can take in the city views on a lovely walk along the river. Catch a river CityCat from the Cruise Ship Terminal to the South Bank ferry stop.

      Now for kangaroos – these are shy animals that usually come out to graze in the early morning or evening. I’ve seen kangaroos and wallabies on the beach around sunrise but these tend to be on isolated beaches adjacent to bushland. In Brisbane there’s the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary where you can get up close with lots of kangaroos and wallabies. It’s not out in the wild, but is a nice bush setting.

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