Comedy at The Powerhouse
By the end of the week, it’s time to crack out a few belly laughs. The best place for that is Knockoff – a weekly comedy event held inside the stunningly restored Brisbane Powerhouse in New Farm. It kicks off at 6pm every Friday. You’ll be glad you went!
COST: Only what you want to drink + a CityCat ride to get there.
Into space, animals, war history and all things science? The Queensland Museum will be your new favourite place. The epic range of collections spans everything from culture and history to biodiversity and geoscience. Yes, that includes dinosaurs! They also have revolving exhibitions that pass through, with all kinds of cool things, so be sure to regularly check out the program. Inside the museum, the Sciencentre is full of incredible displays, including kinetic and interactive elements and experiments that will blow your mind.
Climb the Brisbane City Hall Clock Tower
Brisbane City Hall is one of Brisbane’s most beautiful buildings, with its iconic 1930s-era clock tower jutting high into the skyline. See for yourself the marble stairs, pressed ceiling and ornate balustrades inside, before riding to the top of the clock tower in an old, hand-operated lift for panoramic views. The observation tower stands 64 metres above the city. Clock Tower Tours depart daily, every 15 minutes from 10.15am to 4.45pm.
COST: Free! And maybe a cheap little souvenir.
Take a Brisbane Greeters tour
If you’re new to Brisbane, get acquainted with the city sights with the help of true-blue local. The Brisbane Greeters program connects visitors with passionate and friendly local volunteers who are happy to lead the way and show you the city through their eyes. Let them decide the route or tell them what kind of themes you’re interested in, whether it’s art, architecture, history or something else altogether. They’ll be sure to show you lots of hidden gems.
Cruise up and down the river
Brisbane’s river-based transport network isn’t just for commuting. It’s heaps of fun and offers a great way to discover new parts of Brisbane. Feel the wind in your hair standing on the decks of the CityCat catamarans as they zig-zag up and down the river. There are 17 great stops between the University of Queensland and Northshore – including New Farm, West End, South Bank and Teneriffe – where you can step off to explore. For a shorter, more relaxed ride, try the blue ferry, or cross from one side of the river to the other bobbing along on the CityHopper and simply admire the city views from the water.
COST: A trip or journey on your concession GoCard – so a couple of dollars. All 17 CityCat stops and all blue ferry stops fall in Zone 1. The red CityHopper ferry is completely free.
Popcorn and movies
Going to see a movie doesn’t have to cost more than your avocado on toast. You just have to know where to go. For the cheapest movie tickets in Brisbane, head straight to the Cineplex cinemas at South Bank. Not only are the movies cheap, but so are the snacks. And you can save extra cash by walking there. Alternatively, check into the Student One cinema for free!
COST: Standard movie tickets for students are $6.50 (that means $3.50 left for snacks!). It comes down to $5.50 for a movie ($4.50 for snacks) on Tuesdays, after 4pm on Sundays, and before 6pm on school days (as long as it’s not a Disney movie). Just remember to bring your student ID card!
BBQ by the river
Brisbane is blessed with a huge array of free BBQs in beautiful locations to take advantage of the beautiful lifestyle and scenery on our doorstep. Get some friends together and snag a BBQ with river views at South Bank, the City Botanic Gardens, New Farm Park or Kangaroo Point (either below the cliffs or at the top). Bring some speakers, food and good friends and you’re all set! Residents can also enjoy our free BBQs at Adelaide Street and Wharf Street.
COST: Whatever you want to throw on the BBQ: sausages, bread, sauce, drinks and some snacks. Split the cost with friends and you’ll have a massive feast.
<Don’t want to cook? Here a guide to the best parks (and top secret spots) for a picnic in Brisbane.
GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art)
It’s one of Australia’s most interesting modern art galleries, and it’s right here in Brisbane (with some pretty nice river views too). The Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is home to over 16,000 colourful, innovative, renowned and emerging works, so there’s always something here worth checking out. Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama and Patricia Piccinini are a handful of past featured artists. To see what’s on now, check out the GOMA website.
COST: Free, but special exhibitions can be ticketed.
Love the artsy stuff? Don’t miss this list of free art experiences in Brisbane.
Museum of Brisbane (MoB)
Before or after climbing the Brisbane City Hall Clock Tower, be sure to drop by the Museum of Brisbane (MoB) on level three for a dose of local history. There are always interesting exhibits, which are regularly changing. From rare old photographs of Brisbane’s early days to unique fashion exhibits, modern artistic visions and everything in between, the MoB is always a pleasant surprise.
Play some sports
One of the great things about living in Brisbane is the weather. So get outside and make the most of it! There’s a bunch of free and cheap sports facilities around Brisbane – from table tennis to real tennis, football fields, basketball courts and cricket fields. Too hot? Feel the wind in your hair on one of these short and sweet bike rides around Brisbane city. Or jump in a pool!
COST: Free or a small hire fee.
Coffee in a bookshop
Do you love to escape the world and curl up with a good book every now and then? There are plenty of great book shops around Brisbane full of great reads, cute little knick-knacks and often, cosy little cafes pumping out drinks and small bites. Try Avid Reader in West End, Mary Ryan’s in Milton or Riverbend Books in Bulimba. Alternatively, get stuck into the pages sans the barista at Folio Books, Archives Fine Books or Pulp Fiction in the CBD – all fabulous little bookstores full of atmosphere.
COST: Around $4.50 for a tea or coffee – and if you’re lucky, a bargain read for $10 or less.