Authored by Janine Mergler
You don’t need to be a local to know that Brisbane is a beautiful place to live. The weather is good, the people are friendly, and the city full of parks and open spaces.
Add to that the variety of entertainment options and places to eat and you can see why the locals love it and visitors flock from all corners of the globe!
You can discover what it’s really like to live in one of the world’s most liveable cities (yes, it’s official!) with our top seven Brisbane local suggestions to make any visitor feel at home.
7 Places to Visit in Brisbane That Will Make You Feel Like a Local
Eat Street Markets
Nowhere else in the world has a place like Eat Street Markets – it’s unique to Brisbane city!
The Eat Street Markets 180 stalls are a mix of artfully converted shipping containers, cabins and wagons offering food, drinks, entertainment and retail. This is a great place to find international flavours from every liveable continent to enjoy while you browse, or take home for later.
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday the markets are a gathering place for Brisbane locals, there to enjoy the live musical entertainment on the many stages, stroll along the alleyways, and take in the city and riverside views.
This is a must-visit Brisbane destination to get amongst the locals!
South Bank Parklands
Where else in the world can you visit a beach right in the centre of a city? The South Bank Parklands in Brisbane offer a premier lifestyle experience on the southern bank of the Brisbane River, with a beach, several playgrounds, street entertainment, gardens, eateries and a cultural precinct.
On any given day and at any given time, South Bank is a hive of activity, and you can easily spend a whole day. Visitors love the lifeguard patrolled artificial beach and swimming areas, while kids can’t get enough of the water play park with its tipping buckets, fountains and wading areas.
If you don’t fancy getting wet, relax on one of the many lawns while the kids go wild on the playgrounds, or stroll through the varied formal gardens.
South Bank Parklands is also home to the Wheel of Brisbane, the Expo ’88 Nepalese Pagoda, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art, State Library, and Maritime Museum. No visit to Brisbane is complete without a trip to South Bank Parklands!
Roma Street Parklands
Just a ten-minute walk from Brisbane’s CBD you’ll find Roma Street Parkland – a 16-hectare haven of beautifully maintained gardens, lake and manicured lawns.
On any given weekday you’ll find lunching locals taking a break from the office, families enjoying the playgrounds, personal trainers leading yoga and fitness classes, retirees out with their sketchbooks or enjoying the blooms, and locals enjoying time out from the stresses of modern life.
On the weekend the park comes alive with entertainment, which Brisbane families take full advantage of. If you want to unwind like a Brisbane local, pack a picnic or some snags to cook on the free BBQs, grab a Frisbee or indeed hire a Segway, and head on out to Roma Street Parklands.
Picnic at Mt Coot-tha
Mt Coot-tha is the closest mountain to Brisbane CBD, with panoramic views of the river, city and Moreton Bay. It’s the perfect place to hang out with locals enjoying a hike, picnic, or taking in the views from the lookout with a meal at the summit’s café or restaurant.
At Mt Coot-tha you’re spoiled for choice. There’s over 16km2 of bush land and parks to explore with plenty of places to spread a rug, unpack a picnic and have fun with the family. For those who like to cook, there are also many formal picnic areas with free gas BBQs available to use.
If you’re visiting with children, you simply have to walk the ‘Hide and Seek Trail’. This stroll through the mature gardens has 17 hidden secret objects for you to find – you’ll need to look up, down and all around to find them!
Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre / Swimming Hole
Walkabout Creek is located 12km north-west of Brisbane and is a great place to spot the local wildlife. Home to the Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre where you’ll see a variety of native creatures, and one of the few places where you can see the shy platypus splashing in its rockpool.
You can do a spot of splashing around yourselves after visiting the wildlife as Walkabout Creek also has a beautiful freshwater swimming hole, the Enoggera Reservoir, right behind the Discovery Centre.
The swimming hole is popular with local Brisbane families, so if you want to experience a true Brisbane lifestyle grab your togs (Queensland slang for swimsuit) and towels and dive right in!
Victoria Park Golf Complex
Victoria Park Golf Complex is just outside the Brisbane CBD, and it has a lot more to offer than its USGA rated 18-hole golf course!
Victoria Park is a popular destination for local families who love its fantastic playground, complete with re-purposed farm tractor, rowing boat, and a huge cubby house.
Kids will love the opportunity to have a bit of low-tech, traditional fun on the 18-hole putt putt course with views of the Brisbane skyline, followed by a delicious lunch in Victoria Park’s Bistro.
With such a family friendly venue there’s no wonder the locals keep going back for more!
South Bank Beach is gorgeous, but if you want something a more authentic there are plenty of stunning beaches within easy reach of Brisbane. Some of our family favourites to visit are as follows.
Located just south of Brisbane, Wellington Point Reserve and Beach is a popular choice for local families. The shallow waters are ideal for children to splash around in, shielded from big waves by North Stradbroke Island.
At low-tide you can walk out along a sand bar to King Island, taking in the views towards Manly Marina and Port of Brisbane. There’s a fantastic playground and some of the best climbing trees to be found in the southern hemisphere – huge Moreton Bay figs!
Shorncliffe Beach is a great place for children to splash around in shallow waters, sheltered by Moreton Island. There’s a playground to enjoy too, trees to climb, a pier to stroll down, and BBQ and picnic areas.
Settlement Cove Lagoon in Redcliffe is a beachside tropical swimming hole that’s a firm favourite for Brisbane families.
Styled as a tropical lagoon, the swimming hole features islands with palm trees, a water play area for smaller children, playground and seafront cycle paths. It’s a great spot for a picnic and some family-friendly fun!
Other Brisbane Beaches
There are lots of Brisbane beaches to visit, each offering something a little different. Take a ferry to one of the local islands, or the bridge to Bribie, or travel a little further north or south to find some great surf beaches.
Wherever you go in Brisbane you’ll be assured of a friendly welcome from locals who’ll love to share the secrets of their favorite visitor attractions with you.
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