What to do with a 24-hour layover in Brisbane

Short stopovers can sometimes be hard to navigate, but with Brisbane’s CBD just a 20-minute Airtrain or taxi ride away, 24 hours is enough time to get out and explore some of the best places to go in Brisbane. Whether you are on business, a romantic getaway, travelling solo or with the family in tow – here’s how to have a quintessential Brisbane experience in just one day.

For the business traveller
Set against the backdrop of Brisbane’s the high-rise financial district and hugging the curves of the Brisbane River, Eagle Street Pier is the perfect place to while away a few hours at one of the many fine dining establishments, including Matt Moran’s Aria, iconic steakhouse Cha Cha Char and long lunch favourite Il Centro.

Cha Cha Char at Eagle St Pier Cha Cha Char at Eagle St Pier

All of Eagle Street Pier’s restaurants enjoy expansive views to the Story Bridge and along the river, making it an ideal spot to soak up Brisbane’s best views. Once you’re done dining, go shopping along Queen Street Mall or try your luck at the Treasury Casino.

For the solo traveller
To experience a dose of culture, hop on a Brisbane CityCycle bike in the CBD and head across Kurilpa Bridge to the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA). A daily CityCycle subscription is just AU$2 and the first 30 minutes of any journey is free, making it a cost-effective (and an environmentally friendly) way to travel around the city.


Within its stately white walls, GoMA houses a range of modern art exhibits from around the world, while its neighbor, the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG), is home to Australian art from colonisation onwards, as well as a stunning Indigenous Australian collection. From here, take a short ride to West End to visit cafes, boutiques and second-hand book stores along Boundary Street.

For couples
Make a slow start to the day with brunch at the famous Chester Street Bakery & Bar at Newstead and choose from the mouth-watering array of breakfast favourites. While you’re there it’s almost impossible to ignore the deliciously decadent cakes on offer (it was voted best place for dessert in 2015).

Chester Street Bakery Chester Street Bakery

So choose something sweet to take away and go for a river walk along the Newstead–New Farm bikeway to New Farm Park – one of the best places to go in Brisbane to relax under the shade of a tree and watch the river life pass you by.

For families
To wear the kids out and have an adventure to remember, consider taking them kayaking on the Brisbane River. Riverlife at Kangaroo Point offers group kayaking adventures for those eight years and over, giving you the chance to paddle alongside speeding CityCats as you make your way past South Bank and the CBD. They also offer abseiling, rock climbing and Segway tours if you want to continue the adventure.

Rock climbing at Kanagaroo Point Rock climbing at Kanagaroo Point

If you have tiny tots with you, head to South Bank Lagoon for a few hours of fun in the water, right in the middle of the city. Let the kids enjoy some exercise at the nearby playground or Aquativity water play (bringing a change of clothes for the day is recommended).

Travel secret: The CityHopper ferry is a free service that takes you on a slow and serene ride from Kangaroo Point’s Thornton Street Terminal to the heart of South Bank for more family fun. 

Type Of Traveller

By Belinda Peters

When she’s not kid wrangling two energetic boys, Belinda Peters lives for trying out the ever expanding array of cafes, restaurants and bars in her home town of Brisbane. While her caffeine addiction remains strong, she also finds her Zen with yoga and attempts to find her balance by stand up paddle boarding.

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