Brisbane tours and things to do: Six of the best experiences

DISCOVER HIP NEW BARS

For the inside scoop on the city's coolest nightspots, book an exclusive Private Small Bars Tour with Walk Brisbane. During a three-hour ramble from Fortitude Valley to the CBD, your group will visit three under-the-radar venues, including an innovative craft brewery, a subterranean whiskey den and an intimate urban cellar door. Sample a signature drink in each and enjoy a light snack along the way. Also worth checking out are the company's other tours, which display the city's flourishing art and design scene plus its lesser-known laneways and cafes. From $480 per group (up to four people). See walkbrisbane.com

KAYAK THROUGH THE CBD

An abandoned 1890s steamship is one of several unexpected highlights during a 90-minute kayak on the Brisbane River with Riverlife Adventure Centre. If you're lucky, you might also see kingfishers, cranes and wagtails darting among the mangroves opposite the city's shimmering curtain of skyscrapers. Tours start from Kangaroo Point and – depending on the tide – head downstream towards the Story Bridge or upstream towards South Bank. The centre also offers climbing and abseiling at Kangaroo Point Cliffs plus bike, kayak and rollerblade hire. From $65 per person. See riverlife.com.au

CRUISE TO KOALA CENTRAL

For more than 70 years, Mirimar Cruises has been ferrying guests from the city to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket. The delightful 75-minute narrated journey along the Brisbane River passes grand waterfront mansions and pockets of verdant bushland on its way to the world's oldest and largest koala sanctuary. Spend three hours admiring these adorable marsupials,plus other Australian natives, including wallabies, kangaroos, platypuses and dingoes. Once you're done, hop back on for a relaxing return cruise to the CBD. From $85 per person (includes return cruise and park entry). See mirimarcruises.com.au

CLIMB THE STORY BRIDGE


xxBrisbaneTours Six of the best Brisbane tours ; text by Rob McFarland ; handout images supplied by Tayla Barkhuysen <tbarkhuysen@brisbane-eda.com.au>  Brisbane Economic Development Agency : Story Bridge with climbers at sunset

Aside from the obvious thrill of scaling Australia's longest cantilever bridge, the Story Bridge Adventure Climb delivers impressive 360-degree views of the surrounding region, from the Glass House Mountains in the north to Lamington National Park in the south. The two-hour experience ascends the south- eastern arm of the bridge before a celebratory group photo at the summit. Thrill-seekers can ramp up the adrenaline with nerve-testing add-ons, such as a 30-metre abseil and a pirate-style plank walk suspended 50 metres above the traffic. From $129 per person. See storybridgeadventureclimb.com.au

SOAR HIGH OVER GREATER BRISBANE

As the closest hot air balloon operator to Brisbane, Floating Images offers an unusual combination of urban and countryside vistas. Starting from Ipswich, a 40-minute drive south-west from the city, flights provide magical views over Greater Brisbane, Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range. Owner Graeme Day pilots every flight and has been operating in the area for 20 years. Flights depart 40 minutes before sunrise (so brace yourself for an early start, particularly during summer) and include a hearty post-flight breakfast. From $370 per person. See floatingimages.com.au

LEARN FROM A LOCAL

xxBrisbaneTours Six of the best Brisbane tours ; text by Rob McFarland ; handout images supplied by Tayla Barkhuysen <tbarkhuysen@brisbane-eda.com.au>  Brisbane Economic Development Agency ; Brisbane Greeter showing two women around in a church

After a nine-month pause last year due to COVID-19, Brisbane's much-loved Greeters Program is back and better than ever, with an expanded range of free walking tours run by a team of more than 100 passionate volunteers. Admire the classic Queenslander architecture in leafy Paddington, explore the rejuvenated inner-city suburb of New Farm or learn more about the city's colonial and convict history. Can't decide on a tour? Let a guide show you their favourite parts of the city on a Greeter's Choice. Free. See brisbane.qld.gov.au

Rob McFarland was a guest of Brisbane Economic Development Agency (visitbrisbane.com.au) and Hotel X (hotelx.com.au).

Comments