Best Things to do in Brisbane on a Budget

Brisbane is a great family-friendly destination that won't have you breaking the bank! For your next getaway, why not consider grabbing the family and getting involved in activities that only cost a small amount or even better, nothing at all!

Travelling with the family can be expensive, but you don’t need a big wallet to enjoy all the fine tasty things that booming Brisbane has to offer. While the city is thriving, it is also affordable which is one of the things that makes it so great. So go on, grab this list and discover the top things you can do for less or even for free.

1. Get creative at GOMA, one of the country's most exciting art galleries and innovative artistic spaces offering free programs for kids to create their own mini-masterpieces at The Children's Art Centre. Embark on a journey of discovery at the 'Journey to Fantastic Lands' exhibition on 8 November until 20 May 2015 or help transform Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama's wildly popular installation The Obliteration Room with hundreds of brightly coloured dots from 6 December until 22 March 2015.

2. Cruise along the iconic Brisbane River on a CityCat Ferry. It’s one of the cheapest and most pleasant ways to experience this amazing city. To enjoy the full experience, board at the University of Queensland and wind your way along past the City and South Bank to Brett's Wharf. You can hop on and off along the way and do all this for around $5.

3. Explore the coolest spots in the city on a free guided tour with the Brisbane Greeters – no one knows Brisbane better! The two to four hour walking tours are run by passionate volunteers and open to everyone including families and kids.

4. Grab a bite at Eat Street Markets. Brisbane has a family-friendly Southeast Asian-style night market every Friday and Saturday from 4-10pm with tasty street food that is sold from repurposed shipping containers. Situated on the riverbank at Hamilton, it’s a place to browse, enjoy live performances and get the kids a gelato.

5. Enjoy a family picnic with a twist at New Farm Park and afterwards catch a free performance next door at the Powerhouse. This enormous arts and cultural icon which used to supply electricity to Brisbane's entire tramway system, hosts live music and shows, weekend farmers’ markets and beautiful moonlight cinema during the Summer months.

6. Unwind at South Bank. Streets Beach is one of the highlights as Brisbane’s only inner city beach and, at certain times of the year, you can lounge on the sand and watch a free movie. The Feel Good program is also back until 8 November offering free exercise classes for men and women of all ages and fitness levels.


7. For adventurous families looking for a brush with nature, check out the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens’ Hide ’n’ Seek Children’s Trail. The purpose-built walk through stunning landscaped gardens and luscious rainforest is a fantastic free day out for children to learn more about their natural environment. With 17 steps along the trail, kids will discover something new and interesting at each stage including Stingless Bees, Birds, Frogs and plants like Bamboo and the Weeping Fig.

8. Enjoy some of the best dining and eating out in Brisbane for cheap at The Crosstown Eating House. You could order the entire bar menu and still have change from $20. Visit for the easy going vibe in a beautiful, airy 1920s building and the delectable lamb cutlet and minted yoghurt for only $5.

9. Learn through play at the Sciencecentre where fun hands-on displays bring science and nature to life. Experience holograms, robots, virtual reality, body challenges, fossils, planets, pendulums and more from only $14.50 per adult and $11.50 for children under 15. Family tickets are also available from $44.50. Top tips thanks to Brisbane’s Airtrain.

10. On arrival at Brisbane Airport, hop on Brisbane’s Airtrain which is the fastest, easiest and most cost effective way to reach the city from the airport, with great discounted group fares online, a 10% discount for all online bookings and a Kids Travel Free policy for kids of 14 years of age and under when accompanied by a paying adult. It also takes you right to the city centre, close to the Convention Centre, hotels and shops so you can get straight into the action, and there is a new iPhone app allowing you to plan your journey.

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