Day 1 -
There’s no better way to get a feel for Brisbane than to head into South Bank. South Bank is a huge stretch of parklands, shops, restaurants and dessert bars situated on the river overlooking the city. We suggest grabbing a coffee from Hoo Ha Coffee Bar in Fish Lane then heading over to the massive play equipment, to let the kids work up a sweat and you enjoy that coffee. In South Bank you will find the museum, two art galleries and our personal favourite the sciencentre. The sciencentre is a must, no matter what time of year you are visiting, as for the galleries and museum check here for the latest exhibitions and displays.
It’s easy to work up an appetite but lucky there are so many options for lunch so you will always find something to suit your taste. Our top picks and kid friendly venues are The Plough Inn, Cactus Republic and The Charming Squire.
After lunch it’s time to get those swimmers on and cool off in the man-made pool and beach. With plenty of pool options you will need all afternoon to enjoy them.
A day in South Bank is not complete without visiting at least one dessert bar. Our absolute favourite and highly recommend is Cowch. With a menu to cater to each family member including adults only milkshakes. Another recommendation is San Churro.
To top off the full day here, we suggest the Imax cinema. You can find the guide here. For cinemas, they are cheap and a great end to a big day. Our top picks for dinner either before or after your movie are Grill’d Burger Bar, Ginga Sushi or Guzman Y Gomez. If you are kid free and want to end the night with a good cocktail and music, head to Dandy’s Rooftop Bar or Soleil Pool Bar.
To be honest, you could spend more than 1 day here, so if you are in Brisbane longer, definitely come back.
Day 2 -
After a busy day yesterday, it’s time to change the pace and relax a bit. Head to Brisbane’s iconic lookout, Mt Coot-tha. From here you can see the whole of Brisbane and the windy river, you can also learn a bit of the city’s history here too. There’s a great little cafe up the top for coffee and morning tea.
Further along the road you will come to the botanical gardens. We suggest taking a picnic lunch so you can take your time exploring the gardens for the afternoon. There’s plenty of room for the kids to run around and use up some energy.
Day 3 -
Stradbroke Island. One of the most beautiful places to explore and so close to Brisbane. This will need to be pre-booked if taking your own car (which we recommend) alternatively you can walk on to the ferry or take the water taxi. There is a bus service on Straddie but you will find having your own car far easier.
Once on the Island, exploring it is entirely up to you and the pace you want to take. You can find a map of the Island here. You can easily see the entire Island in a day but our personal favourite places are The Gorge Walk, Cylinder Beach and
With plenty of places to eat and even do a little shopping. Check out The Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel or Seashells Amity for lunch and some afternoon beers.
If you are planning on staying the night have a look at the Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel or some glamping tents at Adder Rock Campground.
Day 4 -
Brisbane is quite divided into north and south. So, if you’re staying closer to the south side, we suggest taking a trip to Manly. There’s a beautiful waterfront there with a great path to ride some bikes or simply walk along. There are multiple playgrounds for the little ones, ocean baths for a swim on high tide and a great free splash park, just look for the whale.
Check out Cambridge Lane Espresso for a coffee, Coopers Cafe for lunch, or Pelican’s Nest for fish and chips. If you are after a great place to do some shopping, then head to the Westfield at Carindale. It’s a huge centre filled with chain stores as well as boutiques. Downstairs you will find a strip of restaurants. After a busy afternoon of shopping we recommend Lord of the Wings for American style dining or the Carindale Hotel for some good pub grub.
Now, if you are staying closer to the city or north side, head to New Farm Park or Roma Street Parklands and let the kids run wild in the huge space. As for a large shopping centre, Westfield at Chermside will cater to your every need. Like all Westfields, they have chain stores, boutiques and a string of restaurants. We love to eat at Beach House Bar & Grill. There is always the city centre to have a look through as well. Although its far busier and not the most entertaining for kids.
Day 5 -
You may or may not know that Brisbane is all about their food and there is no better way to see this than visiting “Eat Street”. Located at Northshore, Hamilton, this is a street food showcase like no other. Countless shipping containers turned into restaurants, Eat Street has all styles of food to tempt those taste buds. From Greek to Asian to Italian to the most amazing desserts you could imagine. It’s best to arrive early and with an empty stomach, we also suggest bringing a carry bag so you can take home some extra goodies. On top of the good food there are market stalls with locally made items for sale. Each stall is unique and worth looking at. It’s quite easy to spend a few hours here wandering the “picture perfect” container restaurants.