24 Hours in Brisbane

18 JANUARY 2023

We’ve put together three itineraries to help you make the most of your 24 hours here. Take your pick from an adventure-packed day, see the tourist sights, or indulge in a foodie extravaganza experience.


Brisbane’s tourist sights in one day

Morning: cruise on the Brisbane River or ride above Brisbane on the Wheel of Brisbane

Let the Brisbane River be your guide. Join River City Cruises and take in all the sights with a fully guided tour of the Brisbane River, try your hand at being captain on your own GoBoat, enjoy the ultimate luxe experience aboard YOT Club, or jump on one of 22 family-friendly CityCats. For the thrill seekers, take in the Brisbane River from a new angle on a guided Jet Ski or Kayak tour.

Afterwards, see Brisbane from a higher perspective when you ride the Wheel of Brisbane, enjoy a bite to eat with rooftop views at The Terrace Emporium rooftop bar, or spend the morning taking an exclusive trip with Elite Helicopter Tours

Afternoon: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Make your way to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – the world’s largest koala sanctuary. Rated one of the top 10 zoos in the world, the sanctuary is home to more than 130 koalas, as well as platypuses, Tasmanian devils, snakes, crocodiles and other Australian wildlife. Hug a koala and hand-feed kangaroos and lorikeets during your visit. Mirimar Cruises can take you there.

Evening: bring out your competitive side at Strike Bowling

Get ready to roll at Brisbane City’s ultimate bowling alley! Located in The City’s Queen Street Mall, Strike has truly raised the bar when it comes to entertainment. With 12 bowling alleys, a laser tag arena, pool tables, karaoke and escape rooms this venue makes for a great night out. 

Active adventure in one day

Morning: Explore the Brisbane River with Riverlife

Embrace the day with an early-morning kayak or paddle-board at Riverlife. The adventure centre offers guided tours down the Brisbane River. Or if you don’t feel like getting wet, try rock climbing or abseiling on the iconic Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Riverlife also offers Segway tours plus bicycle and rollerblade hire.

Twilight: Conquer the Story Bridge

Take a deep breath and feel the rush as you climb the glorious Story Bridge with Story Bridge Adventure Climb. One of only three bridge climbs in the world, the climb takes you 80m above sea level for breathtaking 360 degree views across the city. Time the 2.5-hour climb to include sunset and see Brisbane City turn from day to night.

Dinner: Riverside at South Bank, Howard Smith Wharves or Eagle Street Pier

After the climb, venture over to South Bank – one of Brisbane’s most relaxing precincts made up of 17 hectares of landscaped parkland. Here you can find one of Brisbane’s best range of dining options, with nearly every cuisine from Japanese and Thai, to American, Greek, French and Spanish.

Alternatively, if you’re staying in The City, check out the city’s best riverside restaurants at Eagle Street Pier or head to Howard Smith Wharves for a range of options from fine dining to casual eateries.

After dinner stop by for a nightcap and a dance at Brooklyn Standard – the hip bar features live music six nights a week. Check out epic views of The City from Sixteen Antler’s chic rooftop bar, or take in the Story Bridge at the opulent Blackbird Bar and Grill.

Brisbane foodie adventure in one day

Early morning: Hot air ballooning

Strap yourself in foodies – today you have to earn your breakfast. Hot Air Balloon Brisbane or Floating Images Hot Air Balloon Flights will pick you up from your accommodation or in The City and take you out to the Scenic Rim. Take-off is before sunrise, allowing you to appreciate the day breaking over the picturesque mountains of surrounding national parks. Afterwards a breakfast of pastries, eggs, bacon, cereal, fruit and fresh juice will be served on the wide veranda of the grand old Queenslander at O’Reilly’s Grand Homestead & Vineyard.

Lunch: Brisbane City or South Bank

Make the choice between exploring Brisbane City or South Bank for the afternoon.

Food lovers will enjoy a petite degustation at Bacchus in South Bank followed by a quick dip to cool off at Streets Beach, Australia's only inner-city, man-made beach. While you’re there, be sure to pop by the Epicurious Garden – it is made entirely of edible plants for the public to enjoy.

In The City, have lunch at Donna Chang for delicious eats fusing ancient Cantonese cuisine with modern techniques, snack on steak tartare and oysters at Rothwell’s Bar and Grill, or feast on a sophisticated take on Yum Cha at Longtime Dining

Brisbane City is home to more than 1000 stores. Make the most of the retail offering and continue your afternoon by shopping at Queen Street Mall. Hunt down the Noosa Chocolate Factory store for an afternoon treat and take-away gifts for family or friends, or take a break and pop into City Winery’s Cellar Door on Edward Street for a sneaky vino.

Evening: Rooftop bar hop

With almost 300 days of sunshine every year, a trip to one of Brisbane’s rooftop bars is a must for any visitor. Cielo Rooftop on Brunswick St is a subtropical oasis set high above Fortitude Valley’s entertainment precinct. The bar serves up an original mix of cocktails. For a more exotic experience, head around the corner to Soko for decadent Peruvian and Japanese eats and cocktails set amongst a rooftop jungle. Take in the sweeping views of Brisbane City at all-day venue MAYA Mexican, perched upon the 11th floor in Fortitude Valley, where the venue serves European-style share plates, coffee and cocktails in sleek and stylish surrounds.

For dinner, walk towards James Street to sAme sAme. Feast on Asian fusion dishes at this trendy Ada Lane venue that is part restaurant, part bar. Located next door, Bianca serves traditional Italian dishes with a nod to the Australian climate. For simple home-style Greek food, head upstairs to Hellenika at The Callie - it’s the perfect place to gather, share and enjoy.