What to do with 48 hours in Brisbane

Only have 48 hours to explore somewhere new or revisit some old favourite memories in Brisbane, Australia?

You would be surprised how much you can get up to in one city over a weekend. If you only have time for a weekend away and want to get in as much as possible in Brisbane, follow in my footsteps of 48 hours in Brisbane and you won’t be disappointed.


Afternoon : Beach time at Southbank

Amid the hustle and bustle of a lively CBD is one of the last places you would expect to discover a vibrant beachside setting. Australia’s only beach in the middle of the city, Streets Beach is one of South Bank’s most popular attractions. I start here for a bit of Friday afternoon sunshine, ready to start my weekend of exploring Brisbane.

Late Afternoon: Kick-Bikes along the river

So I saw this couple scoot by my on these retro looking bikes, and I just had try it. It’s time to get active while enjoying the Brisbane River walkways with some funky looking kick-bikes, available to hire from Riverlife. I felt so alive with the wind in my hair, cruising down the walkways on my awesome kick-bike, the song Down Town playing in my head. I even stopped to pose for a few photos along the gorgeous scenery of the Brisbane River.

Evening: Grooving in the city

As the sun goes down over Brisbane, the river city really does come alive. I find myself sauntering about the city streets before stumbling across a place that oozed atmosphere. The Groove Train (123 Eagle Street, Brisbane) is a relaxed and funky place to get a healthy bite to eat for dinner. I tried something from the green room part of the menu, yum. After dinner it’s time to wander through the city back to my hotel and soak up the warm night and city lights. Town Hall right across from the Groove Train is a great place to start from, and check out the coloured lights on the ground.



Early Morning: Stretch and Flex

Yoga always offers an energetic start to the morning and gets the blood pumping and mind clear. Yoga classes can be taken outside to really take in the morning air, pretty much anywhere along the Brisbane River. You will notice there are classes you can join, or if you are more like me and like to go at your own pace, just go solo and do your own thing.

Morning: Abseiling at Kangaroo Point Cliffs

Once I limbered up from the yoga and grabbed a morning coffee, I felt the need for something a little more adventurous. Kangaroo Point cliffs are a hive of activity, lining the river with a series of walkways and bike paths; they also offer a spectacular view over Brisbane City. Here is where the adventure begins, so bring your brave, and launch over the cliffs edge to experience abseiling at its best. Riverlife offer abseiling and rock climbing at the Kangaroo Point cliffs.

Lunch: Lunch with a view at Cliffs Café

Perfectly perched on top of the Kangaroo Point cliffs, The Cliffs Cafe offers one of Brisbane’s most spectacular views from which to enjoy a delicious meal or a lazy afternoon drink in the sun. During Brisbane’s Riverfire, it is the best viewing spot the city has to offer.

Evening: Night kayak on the Brisbane River

It’s time to work out the arm muscles, and navigate the Brisbane River by kayak. Operated by Riverlife, to do the night kayak you have to not mind getting a little wet and be prepared to take a plunge if you tip the kayak, but it is a unique and different way to experience the city. All lit up at night, the view is spectacular. A BBQ dinner on the river is well deserved as kayaking works up an appetite, so a few beers and a BBQ goes down well. It couldn’t get more Queenslander.

Late Evening: Drinks at the Riverbar

A quick free ferry ride across the river to Eagle Street Pier and it’s time for a few drinks at the Riverbar. Riverbar is a breezy open plan destination with spectacular views of the Story Bridge.



Early Morning: Walk across Kurilpa Bridge to Southbank

Kurilpa Bridge is a pedestrian and cycle bridge which connects the northern end of the Brisbane CBD to South Bank. Affectionately named the “sticks bridge” due to its appearance, the bridge is unique in that it’s the first major pedestrian bridge in the world to use tensegrity cable stay principles.

Morning: Southbank’s Sunday Markets

A stroll through Southbank’s Collective Markets at a Sunday pace is a relaxing start to the day. There are treasures to be found across the many stalls, with plenty of time to visit them all as the markets open from 9am to 4pm.

Lunch: Coffee break at DOT café

Needing a coffee hit, the DOT Café (Little Stanley St, South Brisbane) is a funky little café to stop at, if you don’t mind sharing it with a sheep.

Afternoon: Brisbane’s Eye on the river

See the city from a different angle on the Wheel of Brisbane. The giant observation wheel offers a spectacular 360 degree panoramic view of Brisbane City from the heart of Brisbane’s cultural, lifestyle and entertainment precinct.

Late Afternoon: Walk through Southbank Parklands

Keeping with the walking theme, exploring the rest of Southbank Parklands on foot, as you take twists and turns through tropic rainforests, sculptured pathways and hidden gardens.


How would you spend 48 hours in Brisbane?

Kate Webster is a travel journalist – writer and photographer who travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the places she visits. Born out of a life-long love of travel and fascination with the world around her, is Kate’s inspiration behind her writing and photography.