When travelers think of Australia, they typically think of Sydney and Melbourne, Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef. But one city not to overlook in the Land Down Under is Brisbane, which has come into its own and is showing no signs of slowing down. What’s more, Brisbane is a fantastic, walkable city with loads of kid-friendly activities that make it a fantastic destination for the entire family.
Get Acquainted With Brisbane
A great way to get to know the city is with a Brisbane Greeter, a free service through which a guide will show you and your family the city’s highlights. There are three options when you meet up with a Brisbane Greeter — have them show you their favorite sites throughout the city; choose a topic that interests your family most, such as sports, Aboriginal heritage or public art; or choose a specific part of the city to explore. Seeing the city from locals’ eyes provides a different perspective.
The river plays a major role in Brisbane’s history, and is a focal point of the city today, too. A terrific riverwalk runs along the banks of the river, and is a terrific place to use up some extra energy. And if your family is finished walking for the day, hop aboard one of the CityCats, a ferry service that cruises up and down the river, and get off at the stop of your choosing. CityCats are used by locals and visitors alike, and for some, they are a source of commuting.
Arts & Culture
Along the river, and really throughout Brisbane, are works of public art that add character to the city. For more traditional art, stop into the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, together known as QAGOMA, with its Australian and international exhibitions focusing on contemporary art from Australia, Asia and the Pacific. The QAGOMA Children’s Art Centre is a perfect spot for your artistic child — the museum works with artists to create interactive installations, projects and activities for the entire family to enjoy. And, entry into the Children’s Art Centre is free!
Climb to New Heights
Older, adventurous kids (ages 10 and up) might want to strap in and climb to new heights with Story Bridge Adventure Climb. There are only three bridge climbs in the world, and one is right in Brisbane. After climbing to the top and taking in the 360-degree views of the city, and the Glass House Mountains, Scenic Rim Mountains and Moreton Bay beyond, you can abseil down. The Story Bridge climb is the only one of the three that offer that type of descent!
Cuddle a Koala
It is nearly impossible to visit Australia without wanting to see a koala, but what if you could cuddle one?! That is just what you can do when you visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary in the suburb of Fig Tree Pocket where 130 koalas live. The daily Koala Meet & Greets gets you up close to koalas, and you can even gently pet them, but for a real snuggle, splurge for a photo opp and hold a snuggly koala for a memory that will last a lifetime. Aside from the koalas, you can also meet, pet and hand-feed kangaroos — they’re so cute — and see other Australian wildlife such as dingos, Tasmanian devils and wallabies. A visit to Lone Pine truly is an unforgettable experience the entire family will enjoy.