11 outdoor activities near Brisbane City

If there’s something you notice about locals when you first arrive in Brisbane, it’s probably their obsession with the outdoors. Adventuring, barbecues, a sneaky trip to the coast – we’re all about it, and with 283 days of sunshine every year it’s easy to understand why. Queenslanders just love getting outside and with plenty of activities nearby, you should too. Here are a few of the best things to do outdoors near Brisbane City.

1. Wander through the city’s many markets

Brisbane City, South Bank and surrounds are home to many of the city’s fresh food, fashion and designers’ markets. There really is something for everyone. We’ve rounded up all the best markets for you to check out here.

2. Live music in Queen Street Mall

Did you know Brisbane is home to Australia’s largest free live music program? The City Sounds Program brings out local, national and international artists to serenade the city’s shoppers and passers-by. Check the schedule to line up your outing with a free gig in the city.

3. Picnic in the parklands

River Quay South Bank Brisbane
Mid arvo is the perfect time to be outdoorsy and arrange a picnic in the park with friends. Between the city and South Bank you’ll find lush greens at Anzac Square, Post Office Square, Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, Roma Street Parklands, River Quay and South Bank Parklands.

4. Ride the City Hopper

Get on board and feel the wind in your hair. The Brisbane City Hopper service is free and can transport you between activities at North Quay, South Bank 3, Maritime Museum, Thornton Street, Eagle Street Pier, Holman Street, Dockside and Sydney Street terminals. Ferries run every 30 minutes between 6am and midnight, seven days a week.

5. Stroll along the city’s Riverwalk

Getting cabin fever indoors? Take a leisurely stroll along the city’s Riverwalk for some fresh air and river views. To get there, head over to Eagle Street Pier and walk north towards New Farm Park. Catch the City Hopper back from the Sydney Street terminal at New Farm if you run out of steam.

6. Weekend drinks along the Brisbane River

Bar Pacino
Brisbane’s cool and sunny afternoons create the ultimate outdoor experience. Couple that with a view and a few drinks = absolute paradise. We suggest you head down to Eagle Street Pier or Howard Smith Wharves on a sunny afternoon and settle in somewhere with a Story Bridge view like Customs House, Riverbar, Felons or Mr Percival’s. Howard Smith Wharves also hosts Weekends on the Lawn every Saturday and Sunday from 4-10pm for live music, food, drinks and lawn games. Added bonus: furry friends are always welcome so puppy watching is a must.

7. Go kayaking with Riverlife

What’s more outdoorsy than water activities? This is a classic Brisbane experience and a beautiful way to experience the river and the city at its finest. Check out the sunset paddles for a glorious view of the city lights. You can book online here.

8. Green Jam Sessions at South Bank

Enjoy free live jazz, folk and contemporary rock on the Melbourne Street Green (outside QPAC) by local artists, every Friday from 5.30pm. You’ll be supporting fellow music students from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, musicians from JMC Academy, Jazz Music Institute, Brisbane City Council’s The QUBE Effect, BrisAsia projects and more.

9. Ever-changing eats at Wandering Cooks

This kitchen co-working space is home to Brisbane’s food startups so it’s only natural that it makes their delicious creations available to the public. Each night features a different vendor, which means the food is always changing, and the bar is open daily until about 9pm. Soak up the relaxed atmosphere in a plant-filled courtyard next to South Brisbane’s popular Fish Lane.

10. Free exercise classes at South Bank Parklands

South Bank hosts free exercise classes throughout the week as part of the Medibank Feel Good Program. Classes range from high-intensity cardio and energy workouts to more relaxed yoga and tai chi classes. It’s all free, just check the schedule online and follow South Bank on Facebook to stay up to date with class changes.

11. Rock climbing at Kangaroo Point Cliffs

A picnic at Kangaroo Point Cliffs is the perfect way to get some outdoors time, but how about you work for that chilled time by conquering the 20-metre-high weathered walls first? Use the climb time to take in the amazing views of Brisbane during the day or bathe in the city lights during a night climb. Trust us, the picnic will feel just that bit more special once you’ve experienced the climb. You can book here.