8 Things To Do With Kids in Brisbane
Brisbane might be Australia’s most family friendly city. There are dozens of amazing things to do with kids in Brisbane, and it’s all concentrated in the heart of the city.
It’s easy – and often free – to entertain little ones in the Queensland capital. From cultural fun to outdoor exploring, here are four great things to do in Brisbane on your family escape.
1. Climb to the top of Mt Coot-tha
If the family has an itch to get into the great outdoors or see some nature, there are plenty of places to visit around Brisbane. For hikes and bushwalks you can’t go wrong with Mt Coot-tha Forest. Climb or drive to the top for amazing views out over Brisbane CBD. While you’re over this way, drop into the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at the base of Mt Coot-tha to explore the Tropical Dome and other themed gardens. It’s the perfect spot for a family picnic.
2. Go wild with wildlife
Not out of place on a list of the top zoos in the world, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is famous for its koala cuddles and up-close native animal encounters. Venture into the wildlife park to explore Aussie sheep dog exhibits, shearing, bird of prey exhibits, barn encounters and more.
Save time to meet one of the cuddly koalas and get a family photo together. Lone Pine has long been among Brisbane’s most popular tourist attractions and a must do for Brisbane families.
3. Explore the river
South Bank, Kangaroo Point Cliffs, the Story Bridge, and the view of Brisbane are just some of the reasons to get out and along the Brisbane River. Feel free to explore it on a public CityCat, or book a tour with River City Cruises or even the Kookaburra River Queens. If you’ve got teenagers in tow or are looking for something more active, spend a day kayaking, rollerblading or abseiling off the cliffs, or simply stroll the many riverfront walks and get to know the city’s curves.
4. Splash about at South Bank
Set on the banks of the Brisbane River, explore 17 hectares of manicured parklands stacked with gorgeous picnic spots, world-class eateries, event spaces and Australia's only inner-city man-made beach. Bring your togs, as Queenslanders say, and let the kids splash about at Streets Beach and the nearby Aquativity water playground. There’s almost always cool events being hosted at South Bank – from yoga or family events to huge-scale festivals – plus you’re never far from a cheap lunch or excellent sit-down meal at Stanley Street or River Quay.
5. Dial up the culture
Once you have discovered gorgeous South Bank, take a short stroll over to the cultural precinct where you’ll find the Queensland Museum, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, State Library of Queensland, and the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). All these big cultural institutions host amazing exhibitions, with extra special events and programming designed just for kids.
From international ballet to musicals like Aladdin and West Side Story, Brisbane is fast gaining a reputation for hosting some amazing performances. QAGOMA is a must-stop for art lovers and the art curious, and the Queensland Museum is filled with hands-on science experiments and exhibits to explore.
6. Eat through Eat Street
A feast for all the senses, catch the CityCat ferry along the river to an epic street food market that’s open every weekend. Eat Street Northshore is a wonderland of crazy food stalls and interesting eats that’s perfect to explore with the family on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday evening in Brisbane. Every market stall is set within colourful shipping containers, which are stacked to make streets and alleyways, each with a different theme and live entertainment.
7. Venture out for a day trip to Straddie
Staying for an extended break with the family in Brisbane? Why not schedule in a day trip? North Stradbroke Island or “Straddie” is a favourite amongst locals and international tourists and perfect for an active family. Straddie is a sub-tropical island, located 30 km southeast of Brisbane, and it is the world’s second largest sand island. From endless summer adventures to awesome “whale-watching“ winters, Straddie Is the perfect spot for a day trip.
8. Get your thrills on the GC
If you’re looking for extra adventure, a 40-minute drive further south from Straddie will place you on the doorstep to some of the greatest theme parks in the world. Choose between Dreamworld with its Tiger Island and White Water World, get wet and go wild on the slides at Wet ‘n’ Wild, or lift the curtain and discover movie magic and thrilling roller coasters at Movie World.