Top Brisbane staycation ideas

Enjoy a picnic in one of our 2160-plus parks

If our subtropical seasons, endless sunshine and vibrant city isn’t enough reason to holiday at home, think about all the great local businesses (food, fun, leisure or shopping) who’ll be happy to see your face during your Brisbane staycation. Stay, play and vacay, the Brissy way.

For the hardcore adventurer

The Story Bridge has just turned 80. Celebrate this milestone with a Story Bridge Adventure Climb. Council is preparing to give this Brisbane grand dame a makeover as part of a five-year project to restore it to its former glory.

If obstacle courses are more your style, release your inner ninja at St Lucia’s Guyatt Park’s new outdoor fitness challenge course, Warrior Park. Beat the clock or tackle the obstacles at your own pace.

Reach great heights with the Story Bridge Adventure Climb

For the gentle adventurer

Brisbane is a haven for kayakers. Council opened a recreation hub at Riverhills in June 2020. Grab your paddles and head to Newcomb Park to launch your kayak or canoe from this 18-metre long pontoon.

Riverhills also allows limited fishing (watercraft receive priority here), or you can grab your rod and reel and head to the fishing platform at Cameron Rocks Reserve in Hamilton, or one of our many other fishing platforms.

No kayak? No worries. Riverlife Brisbane at Kangaroo Point is fully operational and hires kayaks, bikes, rollerblades and Urb-e scooters for use along this beautiful Brisbane River stretch.

For paddling of a different kind, check out Streets Beach and family favourite Riverside Green playground at South Bank Parklands.

Hire a kayak from Riverlife and explore the City Reach, Brisbane River

For the foodie

Howard Smith Wharves is enjoying a cosy comeback with foodie faves Felons Brewing Company, Mr Percival’s, Grecca, Betty’s Burgers and Goodtimes Gelateria back serving. Laze on the lawn with alfresco food and drinks overlooking the Story Bridge, Brisbane River and city skyline.

Take in the beautiful Brisbane waterfront from a different perspective at Riverside at Eagle Street, Brisbane City. Cocktail bars, beer gardens and restaurants are all within easy walking distance of each other.

Toast your staycay at City Winery – the first urban winery to open in Brisbane since 1860. Indulge in wine blending workshops, tours and tastings, wine and food pairing experiences, or their fireside experience in the heart of Brisbane.

Then, do what any holidaying foodie should – get gourmet the local way with fresh produce and street eats from neighbourhood markets across the city.

So much to explore at Howard Smith Wharves

For the art aficionado

We’ve painted the town red, and in every other colour, with a plethora of public art dotted around the city. Soar along Kingsford Smith Drive and admire the new Bretts Wharf plaza as well as ten aviation-themed art beacons.

Head to the Brisbane CBD for the latest Outdoor Gallery offerings and check out Brisbane's best street art across the city and suburbs.

Like your art and your gardens cutting-edge? Council commissioned artist Hiromi Tango has created a permanent public artwork for The Platform at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha. Check out Roots, a bronze artwork which explores connection and place, and enjoy exotic blooms while you’re there.

Explore the new Kingsford Smith Drive Public Art Trail

For the history buff

Immerse yourself in Hamilton's local history with the Roam the River from Creek to Wharf Heritage Trail which uncovers the rich history of the Hamilton area including Aboriginal history, the transformation of Kingsford Smith Drive and the iconic architecture and infrastructure.

The Anzac Legacy Gallery at the Queensland Museum is another must-do for history lovers, or step further back in time to learn about dinosaurs. Entry to the Queensland Museum is free.

Interested in the history of Brisbane City Hall? Book a Brisbane City Hall or Clock Tower tour online through the Museum of Brisbane. Did you know it’s been 100 years since its foundation stone was laid and construction of the city’s iconic building began? Check out The Storytellers exhibition when you visit and uncover Brisbane's histories, myths and tales as told by storytellers of our city.

For the culture vulture

The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) is open daily (excluding Good Firday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day), so see what exhibitions are showing.

One of the current exhibitions, 'I, object' examines the complex relationships indigenous Australians have to certain objects, while Al Weiwei, Boomerang 2006 is a giant object made of 270,000 crystal pieces that fill the soaring space of QAG’s Watermall. Check out the sublime showcase of Indigenous artist, Mavis Ngallametta at The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA). 

Over at New Farm Park, visit Brisbane Powerhouse. Find out what's on.

Visit the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art

For the music makers

Love live music? Check out what's on at the much-loved The Triffid in Newstead or at The Zoo in Fortitude Valley.

For the hotel hedonist

Nothing screams staycation like a sleepover and Brisbane hotels have some great deals on offer. Check out Visit Brisbane for the latest and greatest accommodation packages.

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This blog was originally published in July 2020 and was updated in November 2020.

Date posted:
Last updated: 16 August 2021
Topics: things to do