Experiencing Brisbane on a Budget

by Jane Sophia

Days out really aren’t cheap anymore, especially for large families. A day out to Brisbane’s ‘Dreamworld’ theme park costs $280for a family of four, and that’s just the tickets! It may sound cheesy, but the best things in life are truly free, and you can easily have a great day out and not have to spend a small fortune. Enjoy some of these activities that won’t break the bank during your holiday in Brisbane.

Wynnum Wading Pool

This heritage-listed tidal pool was built in the 30s during the Great Depression, and many years later, it is still considered a lovely family day out. It’s a great opportunity to have a picnic, as there are tables and barbecues to use. The pool fills up with seawater at high tide and you can expect to see it fill up with kids as well having a great time.

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Daisy Hill Koala Centre

Admission to this wonderful koala education facility is free, and open daily. It is 435 hectares of open eucalypt forest and is home to many native animals. During your time at the centre you will learn about the koala and be able to climb the observation. There is a great choice of trails to walk whilst you’re there, but you must remember to look out for the animals.

Head to the Park

There are quite a few choices in Brisbane if you’re looking for a park setting. You have “New Farm Park”, which is a peaceful, spot with plenty of shaded areas, and a market on Saturday mornings. There is “Roma Street Parkland” which is an iconic part of Brisbane and considered one of the best contemporary display gardens in Australia. Also, there is the “Sherwood Arboretum” which is right on the river, has a playground, as well as lots of birds to spot. Bring a picnic rug and snacks to last the day enjoying the sun in these parks.

Window Shop

Just because you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the shops that Brisbane has to offer. You can visit some of the laneways such as “Winn Lane”, which is a side street off Ann Street; it’s a small laneway but with plenty of entertainment and vibrancy. You also have the option of “Bakery Lane” that has boutique studios, and plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from. If you fancy some indoor window-shopping, or if it’s raining, visit “Queen Street Mall” where you can choose from over 700 retailers. Perhaps leave your credit card at home for this!


Brisbane 3Visiting “Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art” is an absolute must when in Brisbane! The admission is free, but some of the exhibitions will cost money. This is a really family friendly gallery as there are interactive installations to get children interested, and they also offer “Toddler Tuesday” which is free and a fun opportunity for children to learn about art. There’s also the choice of a lovely café, a restaurant, and a café bistro! The gallery holds a collection of over 17,000 works of art, and the building is like a piece of modern art itself.

Nearby Hikes + Trails

There are countless hikes and trails within 30km of Brisbane that you can visit and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny! The Summit Track is rated as an easy walk located just a 15-minute drive from the city. This walk is popular among locals and tourists alike for the scenic lookout at the top. For something a bit more difficult you can try the Mermaid Mountain hike. Trek from Mt Crosby up Mermaid Mountain and get treated to the stunning views of Lake Manchester and surrounding hills. This 18km trek takes around five hours so allow a full day to tackle this one.

Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha

Located at the foot of Brisbane’s tallest mountain (Mount Coot-tha), this botanical garden is around 56 hectares and is open every day of the year (except for Christmas Day and Good Friday). Many events take place at the botanical gardens, for example, “Brisbane Visual Arts Community Inc”, and “Storytime in the gardens”. There is an event for everyone! There are so many fascinating plants to learn about here, and there is also a “Story City” app, which you can play along with whilst walking through the gardens. It’s recognised as Queensland’s premier subtropical botanic gardens.

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Well there you have it, those are some of the best ways to enjoy Brisbane on a budget, or for free. You will find budget accommodation in Brisbane if you don’t intend on spending a lot on your trip. It’s even easier to do things on a budget in sunny places like this because even a stroll on the beach can turn into a lovely day. You can get creative with these days out and make them themed, for example visit a hiking trail ornational park and turn it into a photography day.

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