Download our guides Your Next Career Accommodation Money and banking Cost of living Visas Employment Health and safety Language Life in Australia Studying Getting around Travel Advertise

What is Brisbane Famous For?

This article is sponsored by University of Queensland

When you think of Brisbane, what comes to mind?

Whether it’s the endless sunny days, local icons or the competitive sports culture, there are so many things that make this riverside city unique. As an international student moving to Queensland’s capital, here’s everything that Brisbane is famous for!

The 2032 Olympic Games

In the coming years, all eyes will be on Brisbane as it hosts the 2032 Olympic Games

The city has already begun preparing for this exciting event, with transport upgrades like the Cross River Rail and renovations to existing facilities already underway. 

For international students, this means you can enjoy all the fun and excitement of the lead-up to the games and take advantage of the many career and volunteer opportunities on offer!

Speaking of which, Brisbane is internationally renowned for its…

Sporting culture

The city was recently ranked the number one sports city in Australia and number 15 in the world, and it’s not hard to see why!

Brisbane is home to a variety of international and domestic sports events, hosting games for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the National Rugby League (NRL) Magic Round and, of course, the 2032 Olympics. While you’re here, get involved by picking a local team and going to see them play. For example, check out the Brisbane Lions AFL team, the Brisbane Broncos NRL team, or the Queensland Firebirds netball team to get a taste of the city’s sports culture and to meet some passionate fans.

K’gari, Stradbroke, Moreton & Bribie Islands

Off the coast of Brisbane, you’ll find the four largest sand islands in the world, all of which are home to stunning beaches, wildlife, and more.

Visit K’gari, North Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island or Bribie Island to experience activities like snorkelling, camping, hiking, quad biking, surfing and whale watching, to name just a few. 

All of the islands are accessible via ferry. Head off early for an unforgettable day trip, or book a longer stay at a campsite or hotel. 

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo, located north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast, was the home of Steve Irwin, who you may know as “The Crocodile Hunter”. A national icon, Irwin’s celebrity helped him bring attention to animal and environmental conservation.

A visit to the Zoo gives you the chance to learn about Steve Irwin’s life, vision and research. Plus, you can get up close and personal with Australian and exotic animals while you’re there!

Howard Smith Wharves 

Those looking to wine and dine in a picturesque spot will love the newly developed Howard Smith Wharves, which offers great food and drink year-round at the riverside. You’ll get an incredible view of the Story Bridge – another Brisbane icon.

Get some pasta and pizza at Ciao Papi, sip cocktails by the water at Mr Percival’s, or enjoy ice-cold drinks and delicious food at Felons Brewing Co.


So many of Brisbane’s best-known features revolve around the river, and the best way to experience it for yourself is on the CityCat

CityCat is the name used for the iconic ferries that travel up and down the river each day, operating as a part of Brisbane’s public transport system. There are not many people who travel over water on their daily commute, but you can! Use your go card to hop on and travel between any of the 21 terminals, stretching from the University of Queensland (UQ) St Lucia to Northshore Hamilton. 

New Farm Park 

Boasting stunning weather all year round, Brisbane is the perfect place to get outside with friends and family for a barbeque or picnic. One of the best and most well-known places to go to soak up the sunshine is New Farm Park

One of the only licensed BYO parks in the city, New Farm Park is a heritage-listed riverfront public park. Visit to enjoy the rose garden, playgrounds, barbeque facilities, bike routes and walking tracks. 

Botanic Gardens 

Brisbane is also famed for its stunning Botanic Gardens. With two locations, in the city and Mount Coot-tha, you can visit anytime for a subtropical green escape. 

The gardens are host to a variety of events throughout the year, like concerts, tours and more! The Mount Coot-tha gardens also boast amazing views of the city and a huge variety of flora and fauna, making them the perfect spot for a fun day out.  

Bakeries (and lamingtons)

The river city is home to some of the country’s best sweet and savoury treats. These include traditional Aussie favourites, like lamingtons, sausage rolls and meat pies. In fact, lamingtons – Australia’s famed dessert – were likely invented in Brisbane!

Every suburb lays claim to having the city’s best bakery, so you’ll be sure to find some great recommendations by just asking around. In particular, check out Lune, Cordelia Sourdough Bakehouse and Jocelyn’s Provisions.