Explore My City with Guest Blogger Nicci O’Mara from Travel with Boys
The beautiful city of Brisbane is a great place to start your Australian adventure. Not only is it the gateway to so many of Australia’s biggest attractions, but it is laid back and family-friendly, making it a more enjoyable start to your holiday. Brisbane often gets overlooked by visitors however it should never be underestimated for what it has to offer families.
Take some time to see what Brisbane has to offer your family – this post is part of our Explore My City series
Brisbane Greeters tour
To get a true insight into this beautiful city, book yourself a free Brisbane Greeters tour. These walking tours take around four hours and you have a choice of six types of tours. You can choose between a Greeter’s Choice tour where your local guide decides the best places to show you, Your Choice, Brisbane CityCycle (ages 17 and over only), Aboriginal History and Art, Walter Taylor Bridge, and Brisbane Food Heritage Greets.
You need to book between two to seven days in advance depending on the tour.
South Bank is one of our favourite places to take the kids as there is so much to do there. With 17 hectares of parklands, South Bank certainly has plenty of space for kids to run around. If the weather is hot, go for a swim at the man-made beach or in the pool.
The relatively new Riverside Green Playground is a great place to meet new friends but it can get really busy during school holidays. There are always lots of events on at South Bank, so make sure you check out their calendar before you arrive.
Want more parks? There’s a great guide to Brisbane’s best parks here.
Culture for Kids
For art lovers young and old there is plenty to do at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). Although I admit feeling like a nervous wreck every time I take the boys through the art exhibitions, it is worth it just to get to the Children’s Art Centre. This place is absolutely amazing (and free). Its ever-changing programs are full of different interactive activities, which keep the kids preoccupied for at least an hour.
Also free is the Queensland Museum, which is a wonderful place to discover more about the history of Queensland dinosaurs, wildlife, communities, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. The Museum also houses the ScienceCentre which is set up especially for kids and is great fun. You will need to buy tickets to the ScienceCentre.
Another favourite of ours is The Cube at the Queensland University of Technology campus in the CBD. This free interactive space is filled with huge screens where the whole family can learn about dinosaurs, chemistry, physics and arcade games in a seriously fun way.
Inner City Parks and Gardens
With its excellent all year round weather and outdoor lifestyle, Brisbane boasts some fantastic parks for families to enjoy. Our favourites for exploring and playing with the kids in the inner city are New Farm Park, Frew Park in Milton (this is a new mega playground), Roma Street Parklands, and the City Botanic Gardens.
More cheap and free things to do in Brisbane? Check out this guide on what to do for $10 a day!
Go wild with the wildlife
Brisbane may be a metropolitan city, however, it doesn’t take long to get out of the city centre and discover the wildlife. One highlight for visitors is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary and is only 12km from the city. Here you can cuddle a koala (there are over 130 koalas), hold a raptor or snake, hand feed kangaroos, plus see other Australian wildlife such as platypus and wombats.
If you want to incorporate some bushwalking, swimming and wildlife discovery into your day, then head to Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre. It too is only 12km from the city centre and is a great place to learn about Australian wildlife plus has plenty of space for the kids to roam. Take a picnic or eat at the onsite café.
Eat, play and relax in the one place
One of our favourite new places to take the kids is Victoria Park Golf Club. Not because we love golf (we don’t even play), but because they have created this amazing family-friendly place where the kids are encouraged to play a whole host of games, while we enjoy our coffee or meal.
Outdoor adventure in the heart of the city
If you’re looking for some adventure during your stay, then you need to talk to Riverlife who offer everything from cycling, scooters and Segway tours, to abseiling, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding. If you have teenagers and want to get out on the river at night, you might enjoy the Friday night kayak and prawns or Saturday night kayak and barbeque.
Best Brisbane lookouts
If you love getting up high to see a city from above, then Mount Cootha should be your first stop. It has magnificent views of the city and surrounding bushland but is a 30-minute drive from the city centre. If you’d rather stay in the city then you have a few options. Go for a ride on the Wheel of Brisbane, climb the Story Bridge (must 10 years and over), or have a picnic on Kangaroo Point Cliffs.
I hope you’ve found some great things your family would love to do in Brisbane!
Thanks to Nicci for sharing her hometown with us – it’s definitely one of the prettiest and easily explorable places in Australia – a great destination to start a Queensland Road Trip.
About the Blogger
Nicci O’Mara is the mother of two boys from sunny Queensland, Australia. She is the founder of Travel with Boys – giving families with boys the confidence, inspiration and resources to get out there and discover there is more to life than their to-do list. “We want to take the hard work out of organising family holidays and weekend adventures, so together, we can discover how great family life can be.”
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