There is only so much time you can spend inside binge watching your subscription worth of Netflix before you get cabin fever. You can still get out and explore the city without spending a cent if you are watching your pennies, here are 21 ways to do just that.
1. Nature with a guide
Take a guided nature walk through Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha daily from 11am and 1pm (meet at the Visitor Information Centre). Guided walks also available at selected times at Karawatha Forest (meet at the Discovery Centre) and Boondall Wetlands (meet at the Environment Centre).
2. Beach time without the drive time
Swim at Streets Beach with a view of the city skyline from South Bank and kids will love the Aquativity water play park and Riverside Green playground in the South Bank Parklands.
3. Rediscover your local library
Learn to play a ukulele, direct an animation short film, find that story within and join a writers’ group for help and support, and more. These are just some of the activities available for free at a local library.
4. Get to know Brisbane better
Discover fascinating facts about the city on a Brisbane Greeters tour any day.
5. Market days
Browse the Valley Markets in Brunswick Street Mall, Fortitude Valley, the Riverside Markets at City Botanic Gardens or wander the Jan Powers Farmers Markets at Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm and Manly Harbour – but you won’t be able to resist spending a few dollars on a great cup of coffee and takeaway food. Browse a market in a suburb you haven’t been to before.
6. Free fitness
Boxing, boot camps, pilates, yoga, Zumba – however you like to keep fit find a free class in parks across Brisbane.
7. Heritage by app
Download maps and information to plot a course to follow any one of 18 different self-guided Heritage Trails across Brisbane to discover the stories of our suburbs and discover some great hidden gem coffee stops to refresh along the way.
8. Laugh the work week away
Have a laugh at Knockoff, a free night of comedy every Friday at Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm.
9. Pedal power
Cycle the Two Bridges, from Captain Burke Park at Kangaroo Point under the Story Bridge to the Gateway Bridge and back via New Farm, Teneriffe, Hamilton and Morningside (for a coffee stop on the way back) – a total 30km ride covered in about three hours. It’s an easy paced cycle with plenty of rest stops but a good level of fitness and confidence riding on roads is required to join this activity which is part Brisbane City Council’s Active Parks program. BYO bike and equipment, or there’s a cost to hire. To find out the date of the next cycle event at Brisbane By Bicycle.
10. Bayside at low tide
Walk from Wellington Point to King Island across a sand bar at low tide to get a different view of the mainland and southern Moreton Bay.
11. Social salsa
Latin Fridays are an institution in Brisbane Square with free informal dance classes and social salsa every Friday from 8pm, weather permitting.
12. Art fix
Most of the exhibitions year round at QAGOMA are free, including the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial (APT9) on until 28 April 2019 which features the work of more than 80 artists from across the region and the James Turrell Night Life light installation. Also browse the free exhibitions at Museum of Brisbane at City Hall and take the free clock tower tour high above King George Square in the city centre.
13. Epicurious Garden
Visit the Epicurious Garden at South Bank and see what fresh produce looks, feels and smells like and learn about inner-city gardening. Volunteer gardeners are on site 7am-11.30am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays when you can also collect free produce from the garden’s harvest cart (first in, first served). Produce in the garden is organic and rotated seasonally throughout the year. Find it opposite the City Hopper ferry terminal at the River Quay end of South Bank Parklands.
14. Find lost creatures
Find out about some of Queensland’s long-lost inhabitants, including dinosaurs, giant marine reptiles and megafauna at the Lost Creatures exhibition at Queensland Museum, featuring significant fossil finds, a Muttaburrasaurus reconstruction and new 3D modelling of Queensland dinosaurs.
15. Koalaty time
See a koala nestled among the eucalypt trees at Daisy Hill Koala Centre, 25km south of Brisbane in the Daisy Hill Conservation Park.
16. Live gigs
17. Alternative New Year celebrations
Celebrate Lunar New Year in Chinatown Mall, Fortitude Valley, during February each year and be immersed in cultural performances, lion dances, fire shows and more. Also look out for the annual BrisAsia Festival in the city which showcases as many as 80 contemporary and traditional arts and cultural events over several weeks.
BNE TIP: We also celebrate a number of Chinese holidays throughout the year at the International Terminal.
Every Sunday there’s a changing and eclectic mix of indie, pop, folk, alternative country and rock music on the program at Livespark at Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm. On the last Sunday or every month Mixtape is a special collaboration between singer/songwriters who also discuss the music that drives them and perform their own mix tape of original songs or covers.
19. The Cube
Check out the interactive displays on offer at The Cube at QUT Gardens Point campus. The Cube turns students’ research projects into interactive displays open to the public to discover and contribute to research projects.
20. On the river
Explore the city from the river on the free CityHopper cross river ferry with stops from North Quay to Sydney Street at New Farm. Hop off at each of the eight stops and discover something different about the city.
21. Film buffs
Film buffs can find a quiet corner and stream a selection of documentaries and indie films for free on Beamafilm, available with a library membership. Or sit in on free cult, classic and rare international films at GOMA’s Australian Cinémathèque.