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The Top 8 Cheap Things to Do in Brisbane

Brisbane, the vibrant capital of Queensland, Australia, offers an exciting array of activities and attractions for visitors on a budget. From picturesque parks and cultural experiences to charming markets and scenic river cruises, there are so many cheap things to do in Brisbane without breaking the bank. 

Here are my top 8 cheap things to do in Brisbane that won’t dent your wallet.

1. Explore the City Botanic Gardens

Nestled along the banks of the scenic Brisbane River, the City Botanic Gardens is a lush oasis in the heart of Brisbane. Spanning 20 hectares, these beautifully manicured gardens offer a serene escape from the bustling city centre. Entry to the gardens is free, making it a perfect budget-friendly activity for nature lovers, families and couples alike.

As you step into the City Botanic Gardens, you’ll be greeted by a breathtaking array of vibrant plant life, sprawling lawns and picturesque pathways. Take a stroll along the meandering trails and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you. The gardens are home to a diverse collection of plant species, including towering fig trees, colourful flowering plants, and fragrant roses.

One of the highlights of the City Botanic Gardens is the Mangrove Boardwalk. This elevated wooden walkway allows you to explore the unique mangrove ecosystem, offering a glimpse into the delicate balance of nature. As you meander through the boardwalk, keep an eye out for native bird species, including lorikeets and kookaburras, which often grace the area with their presence.

For those seeking tranquillity, find a quiet spot under the shade of a tree or by the lakeside and relax with a book or a picnic. The gardens provide numerous picnic areas equipped with tables and benches, making it an ideal spot to enjoy a leisurely lunch or a peaceful afternoon snack. Feel the cool breeze from the river and listen to the gentle rustling of leaves as you unwind in this picturesque setting.

2. Visit the Queensland Museum

Situated in the heart of Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct, the Queensland Museum offers a wealth of knowledge and entertainment for visitors of all ages. With free entry to the majority of its exhibitions, the museum provides an excellent opportunity to explore Queensland’s natural and cultural heritage without straining your wallet.

The Queensland Museum boasts a diverse range of exhibits that showcase Australia’s rich history, culture and natural wonders. From dinosaurs to ancient civilizations, from marine life to indigenous art, there is something to captivate every interest.

3. Explore South Bank Parklands

Located on the southern bank of the Brisbane River, South Bank Parklands is a vibrant and picturesque destination that offers a wide range of activities, events, and attractions for visitors of all ages. With its stunning riverfront location and free entry, South Bank Parklands is the perfect place to spend a day enjoying the outdoors without putting a dent in your wallet.

Here are some of the highlights and activities you can enjoy while exploring South Bank Parklands:

Streets Beach

Escape the heat and take a dip in Streets Beach, Australia’s only inner-city man-made beach. With its sparkling blue lagoon and sandy shores, Streets Beach provides a refreshing oasis in the heart of Brisbane. Whether you want to swim, sunbathe, or build sandcastles, this beach-like swimming area is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Lifeguards ensure a safe swimming experience, making it suitable for families with children.

Rainforest Walk

Escape the urban environment and wander through the Rainforest Walk, a tranquil enclave within South Bank Parklands. This lush tropical rainforest features a winding boardwalk that leads you through a dense canopy of native plants, towering trees, and gushing waterfalls. Immerse yourself in the sounds of nature as you spot local birdlife and discover the fascinating plant species that thrive in this mini-ecosystem.

Epicurious Garden

For those interested in gardening and sustainable practices, a visit to the Epicurious Garden is a must. This productive garden showcases an array of herbs, fruits, and vegetables that are grown using organic and sustainable methods. You can take a self-guided tour, learn about urban farming techniques and gain inspiration for your home garden. The garden also hosts regular workshops and events focused on gardening and healthy living.

4. Take a CityHopper Ferry Ride

The CityHopper Ferry Ride is a free way to experience the beauty of Brisbane. A scenic mode of transportation between various key locations, you’ll have the opportunity to swing by iconic landmarks such as the Queensland Museum, South Bank parklands, the Wheel of Brisbane, Eagle Street Pier and more.

5. Wander Through the Roma Street Parkland

Nestled in the heart of Brisbane, the Roma Street Parkland is a lush oasis that offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city centre. Spanning 16 hectares, this expansive parkland is a haven for nature lovers, fitness enthusiasts and those seeking a serene retreat. 

Entry to the parkland is free, allowing you to explore its beautiful gardens and attractions without spending a dime.

6. Appreciate the Art

Brisbane is a city that embraces creativity and artistic expression, and there are several places where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene without breaking the bank. Whether you have a passion for contemporary art, indigenous culture, or street art, Brisbane offers numerous opportunities to appreciate the art for free or at a minimal cost. Here are some ways to delve into the artistic side of Brisbane:

Indigenous Art

Immerse yourself in the rich and diverse culture of Australia’s First Nations people through the exploration of indigenous art. The State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Museum often host exhibitions and displays that celebrate indigenous art, storytelling and cultural heritage. These exhibits provide valuable insights into the history, traditions, and contemporary expressions of indigenous art in Queensland and beyond.

Independent Art Galleries

Brisbane is home to a variety of independent art galleries that showcase the works of emerging and established artists. While some galleries may have entry fees for special exhibitions, many have regular displays that are free to visit. These galleries provide a platform for local talent, offering a diverse range of art forms, including painting, sculpture, photography, and mixed media. Keep an eye on gallery websites and social media for upcoming exhibitions and events, allowing you to appreciate the art while supporting the local arts community.

7. Go on a Street Art Adventure

Brisbane is a city that embraces creativity, and its vibrant street art scene is a testament to that. From colourful murals to intricate graffiti, the streets of Brisbane are a canvas for local and international artists to express themselves. Embarking on a street art adventure allows you to explore the city’s hidden gems, discover talented artists, and immerse yourself in the urban art culture. Here’s how you can make the most of your street art adventure in Brisbane:

Fortitude Valley

Start your street art journey in Fortitude Valley, a neighbourhood known for its alternative and artistic vibes. Brunswick Street and its surrounding laneways are a haven for street art enthusiasts. Marvel at the large-scale murals that adorn the walls, showcasing a diverse range of styles and themes.

West End

Head to the eclectic neighbourhood of West End, where street art seamlessly blends with the area’s bohemian charm. Boundary Street is a hub for artistic expression, with numerous murals and graffiti artworks decorating the buildings. Explore the side streets and laneways branching off Boundary Street to discover hidden gems and smaller-scale artworks. The vibrant and ever-evolving street art in West End reflects the dynamic spirit of the community.

Capture and Share

As you explore Brisbane’s street art, don’t forget to capture your favourite pieces to share on social media using hashtags like #BrisbaneStreetArt or #StreetArtBrisbane to contribute to the vibrant online community surrounding the city’s street art scene.

Cheap things to do in Brisbane

8. Visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a must-visit destination for animal lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. Located just a short drive from the Brisbane city centre, it is the world’s oldest and largest koala sanctuary, offering a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with Australia’s iconic wildlife.

The small admission fee contributes to the protection of this beautiful species. Here’s what you can expect when you visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary:

Koala Cuddling and Photos

One of the main highlights of Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the opportunity to cuddle a koala and have your photo taken with these adorable marsupials. The sanctuary is home to over 100 koalas, and trained handlers ensure the welfare of the animals during these encounters. You can gently hold a koala and capture a memorable photo that will be cherished for years to come. It’s a unique and heart-warming experience that allows you to connect with these lovable creatures.

Meet Other Native Animals

In addition to koalas, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is home to a wide range of native Australian animals. You’ll have the chance to interact with a range of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. Educational talks and presentations throughout the day provide valuable insights into the unique characteristics and conservation efforts of each species.

Cheap Things to Do in Brisbane

Brisbane offers a plethora of affordable and enjoyable activities for visitors and locals alike. With its diverse range of attractions and experiences, Brisbane proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune to have a memorable and fulfilling time in the city. 

So, grab your friends and family or head out to explore solo as you embark on the adventure of a lifetime to discover the affordable gems that Brisbane has to offer.

After Brisbane, why not take a look at the fun things you could do in Sydney. 

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