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Brisbane: Things to do if You Only Have 72 Hours (2022)

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Flight delays in Australia are common, especially if it’s a domestic flight. But we are pretty sure you know that by now. What if the delay happens when you only have three days in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland Australia? No worries, the Guidesify team has done the recce for you, and these are the top things to do and do more if you up for the challenge!

Note: After much debate, we decided NOT to write an itinerary for Brisbane as everyone has different travel styles. It is simply wrong for us to choose what to do there for you. There is a large variety of activities in Brisbane, and we recommend concocting your itinerary from this list instead!

Limited time offer (Starting 14 October 2019): Want to travel like a boss with free travel credits on YouTrip? Use referral code GSF5 during the signup process and receive $5 for free!

Looking for a place to stay in Brisbane? Use our widget:

1. Bus or Ride Sharing?

Yes, the answer is obvious here considering this article is written for travellers who only intend to spend 72 hours here in Brisbane. But did you know that ridesharing may potentially be cheaper than taking a bus in Brisbane? 

Didi VS Ola

That’s right, not only do rideshare apps like Didi and Ola are faster than public transport, they are more economical if you travel within a group of at least two. Your first rides might even be free if you have a promo code?

Forget about Uber. Those days are finally over.

Don’t have promo codes to get that sign-up bonus? Here are some referral codes that still work at the point of writing! We do not benefit from them as we are no longer in Brisbane (logic):

2. South Bank – Chill & Unwind

South Bank Night

Crowned as Brisbane’s popular and iconic backyard, South Bank is a great place to stay if you prefer a less busy area compared to Brisbane’s city centre.

At South Bank, you may choose to explore the lush parklands, classy eateries, stunning river views or participate in any of its events held all year round.

The Guidesify Team was there during the Treasury Brisbane Arcadia Festival, and it was divine!

*Activities 3 – 7 are all in South Bank. South Bank is a precinct located in the suburb of South Brisbane, on the southern bank of the Brisbane River.

3. Brisbane Sign @ Brisbane River

Brisbane Sign

While you are taking a stroll along the Brisbane River, do remember to take a photo with the iconic Brisbane Sign.

It was installed to represent the collective diversity of Brisbane’s contemporary communities. 

4. Victoria Bridge (Connects South Bank to CBD at North Quay)

View from Victoria Bridge

Opened since 1969, Victoria Bridge is a vehicular and pedestrian bridge over the Brisbane River, connecting South Bank to the CBD area. 

We recommend taking a walk across the bridge after you’re done exploring South Bank as the bridge serves as a good vantage point of the city’s varied architecture and neighbouring bridges. 

Alternatively, if you’re walking from the CBD to South Bank, you’ll be able to see The Wheel of Brisbane, Queensland Performing Arts Centre as well as ABC Brisbane. 

Since it is a shared pedestrian and vehicular bridge, try not to take the bridge via foot during peak hours as you can get caught inhaling lots of traffic fumes. 

On a side note, here are all the bridges over the Brisbane River. There are a total of 15 bridges

5. Streets Beach – It’s in the Heart of the City!

Streets Beach

Who would have thought of building a beach within the city? Well, Brisbane did. 

The Streets Beach is a South Bank icon, which has a beautiful little lagoon, surrounded by white sandy beaches and palm trees. This beach is popular amongst the locals, most likely due to its convenience.

If you don’t have time to visit any of the iconic beaches on the Gold Coast, be sure to head down to this tropical oasis! 

6. The Collective Markets @ South Bank – Embrace Culture

Collective Markets

Collective Markets opens every Friday to Sunday in South Bank’s Stanley Plaza. The market showcases an exciting mix of original art, photography, unique gifts, trending fashion and vintage clothing. 

7. Board a FREE City Hopper for Amazing Views

Tired of walking? Not to worry, you can still sightsee and make full use of your 72 hours while taking a break. What’s even better; it is FREE. 

Take a free City Hopper ferry and enjoy amazing views of the city, Story Bridge, Kangaroo Point Cliffs and much much more. This ferry is a hop-on/hop-off ride, just like a bus. That means you can use it as a free mode of transport to get around the city. 

Here’s the CityHopper route as well as all the stops in between.  

For more information, please visit the Brisbane City Council‘s website. 

8. Queen Street Mall – Orchard Road of Brisbane

Queen Street Mall pedestrian walkway in Brisbane, Australia

Image Source: Jet Setting Fools

Shop till you drop at Queen Street.

At Queen Street Mall, every high-end luxury brand will be there. And if that’s not enough, neighbouring Edward Street has even more to offer. 

Don’t forget to drop the Brisbane Arcade too. Opened in 1924, its refined and vintage architecture will keep you in awe. 

9. Brisbane City Hall – Look at the Old Clock Tower

Brisbane City Hall

Snap a photo of the historic City Hall or explore the Main Auditorium and the Father Henry Willis Organ as you enter the building. 

You can also choose to take a lift to the top of the old clock tower to snap a photo of the picturesque CBD below you. 

10. Treasury Casino – Just Take Photos, Don’t Gamble!

Brisbane Casino

As suggested by its name, the buildings the casino and hotel occupy used to be old government buildings.

The exterior of this casino is absolutely enchanting, but we advise against going in and testing your luck. 

11. Kangaroo Point Cliffs – A Great Location to Stay too!

Brisbane Rock Climbing at Kangaroo Point - Riverlife ...

Image Source: Riverlife

Located just across the Brisbane River, Kangaroo Point Cliffs is a popular recreation spot where couples love to take a stroll, especially at sunset. 

You can even choose to rock climb the 20-metre weathered walls.

4 More Places that are Further Away but are Worth Visiting!

I. Mount Coot-Tha Lookout – City View

Mount Coo-Tha

Make your way up to the Mount Coot-tha lookout and enjoy the panoramic views Brisbane City has to over. 

We decided to come up at night to look at the city all lit up and twinkling. 

If your schedule allows, this place is perfect for watching the sunset (which we unfortunately missed). 

There is also a cafe for you to enjoy the view over a cup of coffee. 

II. Eat Street NorthShore – Brisbane’s Food Paradise

Eat Street Northshore | Events | The Weekend Edition

Image Source: The Weekend Edition 

The only drawback about this place is that you want to eat everything they have to offer, but you know you can’t.

Eat Street Northshore has 180 dining and entertainment “shipping” containers. This is an event not to be missed if you’re in Brisbane over the weekend. 

There’s a small entrance fee of $3 per person and kids (12 and below) enter free! 

III. Eumundi Market – Australia’s Premier Market

Visit the Eumundi Night Markets this December - Caribbean ...

Image Source: Caribbean Noosa 

There’s no other market quite like it, and it only opens on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

It is about a 90 minutes drive from Brisbane, so we recommend you to book the Eumundi Markets round-trip shuttle if you do not have a car. 

Taking public transport (rail and public bus) is possible too, but the duration would probably be too long! 

IV. Australia Zoo – Home of the Legendary Steve Irwin

Australia Zoo

Crocoseum Australia Zoo
Steve Irvin’s iconic Crocoseum, Australia Zoo

Nobody will forget what Steve Irwin, the legendary crocodile hunter, did for the world (Except an unnamed animal rights organisation).

Although its been years since his unfortunate death, Australia Zoo continues to live on his legacy. 

Just 45 minutes north of Brisbane – Take a Greyhound down to the Australia Zoo and explore its major attractions, such as the one and only 5,500-seat Crocoseum, Bindi’s Island and the Wildlife Hospital. 

Bonus: Take an Affordable Train down to the Gold Coast!

Orm-who? Ormeau! - Mosaic Property GroupImage Source: Mosaic Property

After you’re done exploring Brisbane, take a train from Brisbane’s Central Station to Helensvale or Nerang then catch a bus into Surfer’s Paradise. 

It is also recommended to get a go card if you plan to use the light rail in Gold Coast as it offers 30% cheaper fares than a paper ticket. 

Instead of flying into the Gold Coast directly from wherever you are, you can also consider taking an Airtrain directly from Brisbane’s airport. The service travels between Brisbane Airport to the Gold Coast every 15 minutes during peak and (and 30 minutes during off-peak). 

For us, it was cheaper flying into Brisbane for a stopover (then taking a train down to the Gold Coast) than diving into the Gold Coast straight. Do compare prices before booking your flight! 

Want to know how much your fare prices are? Plan your journey on the TransLink website, which came in very handy for us. 

We have also written a guide on Gold Coast, check it out!


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