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Must-Do Brisbane Activities for Every Budget

This article is sponsored by University of Queensland

Just arrived in the Sunshine State and looking to explore Brisbane? Luckily for you, there are so many things to do in Brisbane, whatever your budget! 

Whether you’re looking to splurge or want to find some cheap things to do in Brisbane, there are many options. We’ve put together a handy list of activities you can do while you’re here. 

Cheap and cheerful

Museum-hop around St Lucia


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The University of Queensland‘s (UQ) iconic St Lucia campus is home to no less than five unique museums! Free and open to the public, spend your day discovering them all.

The Art Muesum is packed with contemporary exhibitions, the Anthropology Museum houses a range of art and artifacts, RD Milns Antiquities Museum is perfect for those that love classical relics, the Physics Museum is an insight into UQ’s 100+ year history, and check out the weird and wonderful objects at the Marks-Hirschfeld Museum of Medical History.

Get cultured at QAGOMA 

Take a trip to South Bank and spend an afternoon wandering around the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). There’s an abundance of thought-provoking art pieces to admire, and you can also check out the paid exhibitions showcasing artists from all over the world. Make sure you bring your student card so that you can access discounted concession tickets. 

Exploring QAGOMA is a great way to spend an afternoon, and it’s easily accessible via South Bank’s bus and train transportation hubs.

Laze around Streets Beach

Since you’re already in South Bank, why not catch some sun on Australia’s only inner-city man-made beach? Streets Beach is an iconic destination in the heart of Brisbane, with tons of cafés, restaurants and bars to keep you hydrated while you sunbathe.

Even if you don’t feel like a swim, it’s a really beautiful place to just walk around and appreciate Brisbane’s laid-back vibe. 

Take in the views at Mount Coot-tha


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A stay in Brisbane really isn’t complete without a trip to one of its most iconic destinations: the Mount Coot-tha lookout. The panoramic views of Brisbane are absolutely breathtaking and it’s a special place if you’re looking to wow your significant other or enjoy a picnic with a couple of friends. 

Maximise your funds

Visit a brewery

One thing you can say about Brisbane is that the locals know how to enjoy a good pint. Brisbane is home to more than 22 different breweries, from large taprooms of nationally beloved brewers like XXXX and James Squire, to independent, local heroes like Slipstream Brewing and Range.

Quite a few breweries are scattered around the suburbs of Brisbane, so it’s a great place to soak in the community spirit while getting to know new friends over a few beers. A lot of breweries also offer non-alcoholic options and some great food.

Game the night away at B.Lucky and Sons


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Feel like proving to your friends that you’re the superior gamer? B. Lucky and Sons is Brisbane’s most famous arcade for adults, where you can team up with a group of friends or enjoy your own company and spend a few hours playing a range of games. 

Passes start from $30 (with bonuses added depending on how much you buy) which would get you at least a solid hour of entertainment. 

There are racing games, shoot ‘em ups, basketball games and so much more.

Unleash your inner diva at karaoke

Feel like a sing-along? To get the best karaoke experience you can’t go past Brisbane institution Music City, located in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD. There are many rooms of differing sizes, so you can bring a group of friends or enjoy your moment of stardom solo. 

Prices range from $30 per hour for up to 3 people, $40 per hour for 4–5 people, and then $50 per hour for 6–8 people. 

There are numerous other karaoke venues around Brisbane – like Blute’s Bar, Cloud 8 and The Palace Lounge – but Music City is undeniably the best place for karaoke in Brisbane.

Go big or go home

Take a trip to Stradbroke Island 

Just a short ferry ride away from Brisbane, you’ll find Stradbroke Island. It’s an incredible place where you can stroll down the beach, take in local wildlife and even ride quadbikes! And that’s just the start…

For those that enjoy the water, you can snorkel, swim, surf, kayak, go whale watching or fish. On land, try out sandboarding, enjoy a picnic on the shore or go souvenir shopping at the Point Lookout Markets. 

As a popular tourist destination, it can be a little bit pricey for some activities and accommodation options on Stradbroke Island. But, if you plan in advance and stay somewhere more affordable (like a hostel), you can still make it a cheap weekend away.

Dine at Queensland’s best restaurants

Brisbane is home to some of the best restaurants in Australia. Whatever cuisine takes your fancy, you can be sure to find an award-winning establishment to suit your needs.

Whether it’s high tea at Patina Alumni Court on UQ’s St Lucia campus, wood-fired wagyu ribeye at Agnes or an antipasto spread at Biánca in Fortitude Valley, or a Japanese feast at Yoko in the CBD, it’s worth splurging on a luxury meal once in a while!

Feature image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland