Brisbane City Tours

Discover the best tours to get to know the city of Brisbane, from day tours to Moreton Island to cruises along its charming river.

Rocío Villaescusa

Rocío Villaescusa

9 min read

Brisbane City Tours

Brisbane | Pixabay

Brisbane, the capital of the state of Queensland in Australia, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with much to offer its visitors. From its stunning natural scenery to its lively cultural life, Brisbane always has something for everyone.

If you are thinking of visiting the city, one of the best ways to get to know it is through the many tours and excursions on offer. These tours will allow you to explore the city at your own pace and learn about its history and culture.

In this article, I have selected for you the best tours to get to know Brisbane. In addition, I will tell you what is the price of each one of them, what means of transport you will have to use in each one, how long they last, etc.Everything you need to know to make it perfect!

1. Walk around the most iconic places in Brisbane

Brisbane Arcade| ©lozikiki
Brisbane Arcade| ©lozikiki

This tour is a must to discover the best things to do in Brisbane! The tour offers you a walking tour of about 3 hours that will introduce you to its history, culture and architecture.

The tour will continue to the Brisbane Arcade, a historic building from the Victorian era. You will then stroll through King George Square, where Brisbane's second city hall is located. On the way to the old Queensland Treasury building, a guide will tell you about the past of the city's early inhabitants while you will see some interesting street art.

Afterwards, you will walk through the Botanical Gardens, and on the other side of the Brisbane River you will see the cliffs of Kangaroo Point. Finally, the tour reaches the commercial and financial area of the city, all the way to St. Stephen's Cathedral.

Finally, at Eagle Street Pier, you can have lunch at one of the many riverside restaurants or cafes. This tour is a great way to learn about Brisbane's history and culture.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 173 euros.
  • Duration: About 3 hours.
  • Means of transport: On foot.
  • Advantages of this option: It is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.
  • Disadvantages of this option: If you do not feel like walking around the city and prefer more nature, you may be able to do without this tour.

Book your Brisbane walking tour

2. Cruise down the Brisbane River

Brisbane River Tour| ©Lance CASTLE
Brisbane River Tour| ©Lance CASTLE

The Brisbane River is one of the most important coastal rivers on the eastern side of Australia, and is located in the southeast of the state of Queensland. It flows through the capital, through Brisbane, and empties into Moreton Bay.

Fortunately, it is navigable, and crossing its waters can offer you much more than just a boat ride and beautiful views.

From the river, you can indeed see the city center, Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge and Kurilpa Bridge. But in addition, the river has significant wildlife, including dolphins, turtles, birds and fish, so you may see some of these animals from the river.

From the boat, you can see how the landscape changes, from urban to industrial to natural areas; contrasts that are hard to see on any other mode of transport.

There are several companies offering Brisbane river cruises that vary in length and price, but all offer a unique way to see the city and its surroundings. These are my favorite options:

  • Sunset cruise: a sunset cruise is a romantic and relaxing way to see the city.
  • Wine tasting cruise: a wine tasting cruise is a fun way to learn about the wines of the Moreton Bay region.
  • Dolphin watching cruise: a dolphin watching cruise is an exciting way to see dolphins in their natural habitat.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 62 euros.
  • Duration: About 5 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Means of transport: Boat.
  • Advantages of this option: Boat ride, views, natural life... this experience brings together the best of Brisbane.
  • Disadvantages of this option: The boat may not be your favorite mode of transport. In that case, this tour may not be your first choice.

Book your Brisbane River Cruise

3. Tour Brisbane by Segway

Brisbane by segway| ©Lance CASTLE
Brisbane by segway| ©Lance CASTLE

A different and fun way to tour Brisbane is by segway. This tour will take you through the most emblematic places of the city while you move at the speed of this vehicle. If you have never used a segway before, don't worry, you will be given a briefing before you start, and safety is guaranteed, with helmets included, you will enjoy a 2 hour tour of the main points of interest in the city, from South Bank Parkland to the trails along the Brisbane River.

The groups are small, and you will have a guide by your side talking to you about the places you are seeing with your segway. I recommend it if you like both speed and walking around the city!

Interesting details

  • Price: From 49 euros.
  • Duration: Between 1 hour and a half and 2 hours and a half.
  • Means of transport: Segway
  • Advantages of this option: A fun and agile way to travel around the city.
  • Disadvantages of this option: If you are not familiar with the Segway, it may not be the most comfortable way to discover Brisbane.

Book a tour to Moreton Island

4. Discover Brisbane by kayak

Kayaking Day| ©eGuide Travel
Kayaking Day| ©eGuide Travel

If you want to immerse yourself (never better said) in an unforgettable adventure exploring the natural beauty of Brisbane, I recommend a kayaking tour. Paddle along the calm waters of the Brisbane River while enjoying the breathtaking cityscapes that surround it. In addition, on this tour you will have a local guiding you, so that both beginners and experienced kayakers can enjoy a unique way of getting to know the city.

All the necessary equipment is included to ensure your safety and comfort during the 1 hour and a half tour. Another interesting advantage of this option is that you can choose to do it during the day or at night, so you can admire Brisbane's skyline under the sun or illuminated by the city lights, from the iconic Story Bridge to the charming South Bank Parklands. Don't miss this unique opportunity to explore Brisbane in an exciting and completely new way.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 46 euros.
  • Duration: Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Means of transport: Kayak.
  • Advantages of this option: If you want to practice sport while touring some of the most emblematic places in Brisbane, this activity is perfect.
  • Disadvantages of this option: If you don't feel like paddling, this may not be the perfect activity for you.

Book the Brisbane kayak tour

5. Explore the more mysterious side of the city

Story Bridge| ©Robyn Lombardo
Story Bridge| ©Robyn Lombardo

If you like mysteries and detective stories (like those of Agatha Christie), you can't miss this exciting night-time crime tour. Immerse yourself in the enigmatic atmosphere that envelops the city at nightfall and get ready to live an experience that combines history, suspense and architecture. For approximately 1.5 hours, you will pass through key points of the city where you will unravel the mysteries that lurk around every corner.

From intriguing murders to unsolved enigmas, each stop will take you deeper into Brisbane's dark tales. Plus, you'll have the opportunity to see iconic landmarks such as Brisbane City Hall and Story Bridge, enjoying panoramic views under the enchanting night sky - get ready to be thrilled and immersed in Brisbane's dark side!

Details of interest

  • Price: From 21 euros.
  • Duration: Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Means of transport: On foot.
  • Advantages of this option: If you like to investigate and learn about a city in an interactive way, this activity is ideal.
  • Disadvantages of this option: As it is at night, you must organize your day well so as not to arrive at this activity with excessive fatigue.

Join the Brisbane Crime Tour

6. Get up close to the whales on an unforgettable cruise

Brisbane Cruise| ©idunbarreid
Brisbane Cruise| ©idunbarreid

In case one of the things that most attracts you to Australia is its wildlife, you can't miss the opportunity to see wild whales on a day cruise. Imagine spotting majestic whales in their natural habitat, accompanied by live commentary from an Eco Ranger, a marine wildlife expert. In addition, during the cruise you will be able to delight your palate with lunch on board the cruise ship.

Since this is a one-day activity, you will stop at Tangalooma Island Resort, where you will find swimming pools, beaches, restaurants and bars, and learn about dolphin life at the Eco Center! Sea, beach, whales, dolphins... Without a doubt, this can be one of the most complete experiences of your trip to Brisbane.

Interesting details

  • Price: (Price not available)
  • Duration: 1 day.
  • Means of transport: Boat.
  • Advantages of this option: If you are interested in Australia's natural life, this activity is perfect for you.
  • Disadvantages of this option: It requires a full day, so distribute your travel time well if you want to include this activity.

Book a Whale Watching Cruise

7. Climb the Story Bridge and see Brisbane from above

Story Bridge by night| ©Steven Penton
Story Bridge by night| ©Steven Penton

Discover the thrill of climbing Brisbane's iconic Story Bridge! If you dare to reach the top of the bridge, with the assistance of expert climbers, you will have the opportunity to ascend to the top of the bridge while enjoying panoramic views of the city and the Brisbane River. This unique experience offers you a dose of adrenaline and an unparalleled perspective of Brisbane from above.

For approximately 2 hours, in small groups and with all the necessary equipment provided, you can do the climb by day or night. With historical commentary on the surrounding landscape and a 360-degree panoramic view at the top, spanning from Moreton Bay to Lamington National Park, this adventure promises to be unforgettable. And to top it all off, a group photo is included at the end of the experience so you can treasure this special moment!

If you prefer to discover Moreton Island at your leisure, you can also sign up for one of the best tours to do in Brisbane. You can spend up to a full day touring the island and doing water activities.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 79 euros.
  • Duration: Approximately 2 hours.
  • Means of transport: You can get there on foot or by bus.
  • Advantages of this option: If you like adventure sports, this activity is a must.
  • Disadvantages of this option: If you travel with little time, this may not be one of your priority activities.

Book your Story Bridge Climb

Tips to make the most of your tours in Brisbane

Comfortable shoes| ©Alexandra Tran
Comfortable shoes| ©Alexandra Tran

I have told you which are the best tours to visit Brisbane and its surroundings, and it is up to you to choose your favorites. But I can't say goodbye without giving you some recommendations to make your trip go perfectly and enjoy every minute in this wonderful Australian city.

  • Plan ahead: Start planning as soon as possible. This way, you will have more time to research and find the best deals and the most interesting tours; and to create a schedule so that you have things to do every day of your trip.
  • Read reviews: This is the best way to get information about the quality of a tour. This way, you can get an idea of what to expect from each one, and you will have enough resources to choose the best option.
  • Be flexible: Things don't always go according to plan, so I recommend you have some time to spare in case any activity or transportation is delayed, or any other unforeseen event occurs.
  • Consider the schedule and duration: Is the tour a half-day or full-day tour? Is it private? Do you have to get up early? It is important to take these questions into account to avoid surprises during the trip.
  • Choose the right company: This tip is related to reading reviews. It is important to have references on how the tour works, and for this it is important to choose the best option based on the experiences of other people. Take your time to research different companies and choose the one with the best reputation.